Writer’s Note: A while ago now, I wrote a novella. It was something that I had always wanted to do, and something that you’d probably be likely to spot on a really geeky bucket list. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved writing. Back on my Pentium 256 (or whatever the hell it was), I would sit for hours and type and type and type. There have been many failed projects that I have undertaken, some I finished (ask me about my screenplay that’s collecting dust) and others I didn’t (like a weird serial-killer fiction piece).

I guess the biggest thing for me with this novella was finally being able to actually finish something and publish it. Wow, that was like nothing else in the world. Although it was self-published, and not overly successful, last year I released “Keyboard Warrior.” It was supposed to be the first of a three-part series (yeah, the other two parts will come one day).

I am releasing the novella in its entirety over the course of a few days. I guess, for me, it’s less about trying to make money out of this, and more about sharing a passion. So, read. Share. Enjoy.

Keyboard Warrior (continued)
Dave got to his front door and unlocked it. He walked inside and tossed his gym bag on the ground. What happened next was almost like clockwork. He went straight to the bedroom, straight to the computer and straight to ProFighting.com.

Getting to the homepage, he ignored all the latest news. He didn’t really care about what was happening in the sport. Dave was more concerned about what was being said by the fans about fighters and in particular about himself. Scrolling anxiously over the forums, he finally got to his thread, all the way on page fourteen, with no new replies. Dave sighed heavily and closed the browser.

Was that really worth leaving training for?

For most the answer would be no, but Dave just didn’t give up. After not even two minutes, he had already put the computer back on his lap. He started to read some of the newer posts of the day. One thread in particular caught his eye.

“I will fight anybody,” it was titled.

This should be interesting.

He clicked the thread. He ignored the advertisement that popped up with it and started to read through what “michaeljonesmma” had posted.

I am sick of everyone in Florida ducking me. I haven’t had a fight in over six months. Nobody in this state has the balls to put me on a card and nobody wants to step up. My record is 8-0 and none of my fights have gone past the first round. This is bullshit. Somebody needs to get on a card against me.

Dave’s heart started racing. He clicked on Michael’s profile, and once again he was met with disappointment. It was the wrong weight class.

Dave hadn’t fought in a few months, and he was getting that itch to get back inside the cage. So many fighters had used this avenue to get fights, but Dave had been waiting for the right time. Christian would have said not to do it, but Dave thought that he knew better. After clicking the “add new thread” button, he typed in the subject line:

Looking for fight in Orlando @ WW

He sat there and smiled as he frantically began to type.

I am looking for a fight in the Orlando area. Check out my profile for my record, I fight at Welterweight but could probably make Lightweight if needed. I haven’t been able to get a fight in a while—I think it has something to do with everyone else in the area ducking decent fighters. Anybody got an opening on a show? Or need a quick fix opponent?”

He clicked “Post” and a feeling of fulfilment overcame him. Dave minimised the window and clicked on the folder on his desktop titled “Fights.” He opened up the first file on there. It was footage from his last fight, dated three months ago. Sitting there at the screen, Dave ducked and weaved as he watched himself in the video. He even got so carried away that he leaped up and began shadow boxing. It was a good win. It was grubby in the eyes of many fans. It wasn’t the most technical bout, but Dave showed a little bit of promise.

The fight was against a debutant. In the first few seconds, Dave was hit with an almighty right that sent him to the mat, but he was able to recover. Halfway through the fight, Dave took his opponent down and laid on one hell of a beating. It was enough to get anybody’s blood rushing, and it was at that moment that Dave’s confidence shot up tenfold. The video clip came to an end and Dave quickly checked his thread.

Ten Views. One reply.

He couldn’t hold in the excitement. Dave quickly clicked on the link, hoping to find what was going to be another chance to get inside the cage. Instead, what he found was yet another case of disappointment.

Shut up dickhead

Dave shook his head. What a waste of his time this turned out to be. He refreshed the page once more to see if anybody else had managed to type something a little bit more intellectual, but again he was disappointed with the new reply that followed.


Getting frustrated once again, Dave shut the lid of his laptop. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He would often switch between the various forms of internet communication, and now it was time to move on to Twitter to see how he could fare at securing a new excursion to the cage. His thumbs raced wildly as he began to construct his message.

Check out my thread over at ProFighting.com Trying to get a fight. #futurechamp #superstar

After sending his tweet, Dave opened his laptop once again. It was no wonder Jamie got so sick of this. He must have pressed refresh at least three times in the span of ten seconds. Still no new replies. Still no chance to get back inside the cage.

A few more minutes passed, and what felt like one hundred refreshes later a new reply finally appeared.

We have a closed trial for a tourney on Saturday night. Had a Welter pull out the other day so could use someone. It’s for Florida Fighting Alliance. If you can go 2 x 3 min rounds and win you get shortlisted in the tourney. You have six days to be ready. Email me if you are keen. Joey.

This had been what he was waiting for. This was going to be his chance to take everything to a whole new level.

His heart was racing once again, and this time it wasn’t going to stop. He clicked the link provided and began to compose his email. The smile on his face stretched from ear to ear. The time had come. Things were about to change.

Saturday couldn’t come soon enough for Dave. His nights were short and his days were long. He tried everything he could to make the day go faster. There wasn’t a lot of staying up on the internet over the past two days, as he now had a goal to focus his energy on.

Just six minutes he had to last. Within those six minutes, he had to do everything that he could to win. Florida Fighting Alliance was the second biggest fight company in Florida, and they were often thought of as a feeder league for the bigger national promotions. Both his phone and his laptop had taken a backseat. As hard as that was for Dave, he knew it was the right thing to do.

Technology had already cost him his world once. He wasn’t going to let that happen again. Christian noticed the shift in Dave’s focus and saw him as a totally new fighter. Christian should have known that there was something else fuelling Dave’s desire to focus on his training, but he was just happy to have the old Dave back.

Things were heading in the right direction again, and soon enough a new chapter would be written in Dave’s long and complicated story.

The days kind of began to run together. Although it felt like an eternity away, the big day was tomorrow. The final class of the night had just finished and Dave was ready. All that he had on his mind was the trials the next day, and nothing was going to shift his focus.

The vibration of a notification went off and Dave reached into his pocket. He had tried his absolute hardest to stay away from social media while he focused on what he thought was going to be the biggest change in his career yet. He looked at his screen and a smirk came to his face.

“2yXgerh has followed you” the notification said.


Another new spam account to add to the list. While he had his phone out, he went into his email. He began to read over the email from Joey Rivera, the matchmaker from FFA. This was going to be the tenth time this week that Dave had read the email to himself, but he didn’t care. He just had to keep on looking at it, almost as if to make sure it was all real.

Thanks Dave, please get to our training centre on Caldwell and Seventeenth by 2PM Saturday to go through weigh-ins and registration. We are doing same day weigh-ins as these fights are not sanctioned as professional but still make sure you bring your papers and $500 cash for registration. There will be two five-minute rounds and match ups will be decided shortly after registration. You will not be allowed to bring a corner or any support. This is the big show, I hope you are ready!

Each and every time he read it a smile came to his face.

You bet I am ready.

There wasn’t going to be anything that was going to stop him. Dave put his phone back into his pocket and continued to walk the short distance to his house. The moonlight created an almost picturesque scene. It was a warm night and like most, it was quiet on the back streets that Dave travelled. As he turned the final corner, he stopped dead in his tracks. His gym bag fell to the ground.

He could see his house from there, and on his front step waiting for him stood Jamie.

She looked amazing.

Dave just stood there on the corner, in shock. The two hadn’t spoken in months, not even a quick “hello.” Dave leant down and picked up his gym bag and proceeded towards the house. So many thoughts were running through his mind. So much could be said, and yet nothing could be said at the same time.

Clearing his throat and rubbing the back of his head, Dave got to the front step and looked at the love of his life. She looked as beautiful as ever. Her dark brown hair waved in the slight breeze and her deep blue eyes just went on forever. Dave stood there and looked at her. She didn’t say a word and neither did he.

“Didn’t expect to see you tonight,” Dave said, breaking the awkward silence.

She still didn’t say a word, just sat there staring right past Dave.

“How have you been?” he asked.

Still nothing.

It was as if he wasn’t even there. Dave was used to this kind of communication with her. The final stages of their relationship had been just like this. It was Dave’s fault, though. He had let things get that way, and he had taken her for granted in a big way.

He sat down next to her and stared out into the night. It was nice being so close to her, but at the same time they were still so far apart. The two of them sat there in silence, in the moonlight. It was almost like a romantic scene from a movie, except for the awkwardness. A car drove past and broke the silence. Eventually, Jamie spoke.

“She’s in the hospital,” Jamie whispered.

“Who?” Dave quickly replied.

“My mother,” she whispered back. It was at that point that the tears began. He was used to seeing her cry. He was used to her being upset, but this was completely different. This was a different kind of pain she was feeling.  Dave was quick to react. He put his arm around her, but Jamie jumped up straight away.

“Just don’t!” she yelled.

“Oh my god. Is she okay? What happened? Is there anything I can do?” he jumped up and started to walk towards Jamie, who was now walking in circles on his front lawn. He didn’t really know what to think. He knew that Jamie and her mother didn’t get along. In fact, they hadn’t spoken to each other in years. Jamie’s mother had been in the hospital a couple of years back, and it hadn’t seemed to bother her then.

Dave stood and watched as Jamie ran her hands through her hair. She was obviously agitated. He hadn’t seen her like this since…well, since the last time they saw each other.

“I don’t even know why I came here,” she sobbed as she stood there, staring at Dave, who was now trying his best to comfort her.

“Maybe there is still something here,” he whispered to her, taking a step closer and putting his hand on her face.

Once again Jamie stepped back. “I thought I made myself clear,” she replied sharply.

Dave didn’t know what to make of any of this. Out of the blue she comes back for a reason that makes no sense, but she doesn’t want to talk? There had to be something else.

“I’m pregnant!” Jamie screamed as the sobs turned into a complete breakdown.


The world became still for Dave at that point. He just stood there with his mouth open, staring at the woman he had always thought was the love of his life.

Jamie fell to her knees. The crying continued. She put her hands over her face and began to shake hysterically.

Now this all made sense.

Dave kneeled down next to her and put his arm over her shoulder. This time she didn’t resist. She just stayed there and sobbed. He didn’t know what to say or when to say it, really. He just knew that now was the time to be quiet. He gently patted her on the back as the sobs began to slow.

“This is going to be so hard to say,” she said, still fighting to get the words out without succumbing to another bout of tears. Dave, however, interrupted her before she could finish.

“It’s not mine is it?” he asked.

It was at that point that Jamie pushed him away. It took everything that she had, but slowly Jamie got back up to her feet and took a step away. Tears continued to roll down her cheeks. Her face was red, her eyes puffy. She looked completely different. That picturesque beauty had faded away.

“Of course it’s yours,” she replied.

“Well, what’s the problem then?” Dave inquired.

Jamie cleared her throat. She took a deep breath in and exhaled, moving her hands down to the side of her body. She tried to look him in the eye, but she just couldn’t. Jamie put her head down and mumbled.

“I don’t want you to have anything to do with it.”

There it was.

Dave wasn’t sure that things could get much worse in his life. There was so much going wrong, and then just when things were starting to look up again, this happens. His heart was broken again. This time it wasn’t the heartache that began to eat away at him, but the disappointment.

“I’m sorry,” Jamie sobbed as she turned her back and started to walk down the pathway.

Dave just stood there and watched. He watched as his whole life turned its back on him again. It was a feeling that he thought he would never have to feel again. It was something that he had only just come to grips with.

He stood there in the moonlight watching as Jamie got further down the street. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t have anything to say and, let’s face it, there was nobody there to say it to anyway.

All Dave had left in his life were his phone and his laptop. It was a partnership that had put him into this situation and as far as Dave was concerned, it was going to get him out of it too. It took a few minutes for him to work out what to do next, but eventually Dave walked over to his gym bag, picked it up and continued into his house.

After dropping the bag right at the front door, Dave made his way straight to his room. He picked up his laptop and opened his favourite website. He sat there for hours, typing and reading, but each time he posted, it didn’t change what was actually going on with his life.

Dave was going to be a father to a child that he was never going to be able to see. He closed the laptop and flopped back down on his bed, staring at the ceiling as the memories of his own broken family started to roll back into his head. He swore to himself many years ago that he would never put a child through the torment that he went through. He swore to himself that things would be different.

The fact was that things were different, in a way that he never would have expected.

The alarm clock began to buzz intensely, but it took a few moments for Dave to stir. Today was the day. It was time for the trials.

Dave leaped up out of bed and went straight for his gym bag. There was no time for showering today, everything had been planned down to the last second. Straight down to the floor, Dave began to do a circuit of push-ups and crunches. In his head he knew his plan and he knew exactly what he needed to do before this fight. After three circuits, Dave looked over at his laptop.

Just one look.

He opened the screen up to the website again.

The top thread on the page was titled “FFA Trials – The Fighters.” Dave clicked it and his heart began to race as it usually does when he is about to read something someone has written about him. He skimmed down the page, reading the article. There were so many fighters that were trying out. He wasn’t worried though. He was confident in his abilities. He continued to read and finally got to the end of the thread.

His name was nowhere to be seen.

Anxiety now turned to anger. Yet again, he had been forgotten. Yet again, there was nobody paying attention to his quest to make a living out of the sport that he loved.

His fingers hit the keyboard with a combination of speed and frustration.

I will show you all. My name wasn’t there but I got my invite. Just wait.

After posting his reply, Dave shut the lid of his laptop. He got up off the bed and began to shadow box. Although it’s not exactly a technique used to physically prepare for a fight, it did make him feel better. It made him feel as though he was going to be taken seriously. In his head, Dave could imagine doing this exact routine in front of the cameras for the big show. He could imagine the fans cheering his name as he made his way down to the cage. Dave had big dreams, but at the moment that was all that they were. Just dreams.

He stopped shadow boxing and looked over at the clock. It was eight o’clock, which meant that there were only six hours until he had to make his way to the venue. Theoretically, it was enough time to head to the gym and train with the other fighters, but Dave couldn’t risk it. There had been times in the past when sparring had caused him some minor injuries, and that was something that he couldn’t afford today with the level of competition that was rumoured to be taking part in the trials.

Dave decided that taking a run would be the best thing for him. Not only would it keep his body active, it would also keep his mind off the impending issues with Jamie. Although it was not conventional to work this hard so close to a fight, Dave thought he knew better. He had done this twice before, and both those times he walked out with his hand raised.

Most fighters take it easy on fight day. Dave, however, went through a cycle that helped him create the scene inside his head. Usually, he would know who he is fighting. He would know each time what he was going to do in every second of the fight. Since his opponent hadn’t been confirmed as of yet, Dave was fighting blind, so to speak. It didn’t really seem to bother him, though. If anything, this fight was also going to be an escape.

But that wasn’t good.

Usually he could go into a fight and only think about the job at hand. This time, Dave had so many thoughts jostling for position in his head.

How can I be a good father?

Why doesn’t she want me involved?

How am I going to get through this fight?

Not good.

His run came to an end when he arrived back at the house. He was sweating and panting a lot more than usual. Maybe it was his mental state or maybe it was because later today he was going to go in for an opportunity that could make or break his career.

Dave walked into his house and went straight for the bedroom. He opened up the bedside table and pulled out an envelope. This was his cash for the registration. He peered inside, roughly counting the notes in his head. Once Dave was happy with the amount, he tossed the envelope into his bag and, with one quick motion, grabbed it and began to walk out. The time was coming. Only a few hours until he had to be at the gym for the weigh-ins.

Dave left his house and started to walk down the road towards the bus stop. With his bag over his shoulder, he looked as though he was headed out of town and leaving all his worries behind him. It was only around one hundred metres to the bus stop.

It was empty, just as he had hoped. Leading up to a fight, Dave always wanted the least amount of distractions as possible. With everything that had happened the night before, he just wasn’t ready to be around other people.

Bus 856 had just rounded the corner and Dave stood up to hail it down. The bus stopped and he reached into his pocket for some coins. The elderly driver took the change and Dave went straight to the middle to take a seat. It was one of the city’s older buses, and it really looked that way. The seats were torn, the graffiti was ample and the smell, well, it was less than desirable. Dave sat there and tried to concentrate on what he was going to go through within the next few hours. It was going to be a long bus ride and he didn’t want to be sitting there thinking about Jamie.

“Goddamn it,” he said to himself.

He just couldn’t help it. The one time when he really needed to shut it all out it just kept coming back. He was helpless to stop it. He had spent months ignoring his feelings and trying to use his obsession with the internet and social media to mask what was going on. For the most part, it had worked. It cost him the relationship in the first place, so it was only fitting that it would help him work through the heartache. He reached into his pocket to pull his phone out.

Social media should fix this.

Not this time, though. Things just weren’t going to go his way today. His phone battery was about to die, only a small sliver of life left, maybe around ten percent. He forgot to charge it last night. He turned the phone off to try to conserve the remaining battery and back in his pocket it went. With Dave having left his laptop at home and his phone not operational, things weren’t looking good for him. How would he ever take his mind off these distractions?

He couldn’t. It was now time to live with what was going on.

“The next stop is Caldwell Avenue,” the computerised voice on the city bus proclaimed. Dave had never been so happy to hear that voice. He reached over and pressed the stop button and took a deep breath. The bus came to a halt. “Thanks,” Dave said to the driver as he stepped down onto the pavement.

He looked around to get his bearings and started off south down the road. It was about a fifteen-minute walk to the training centre. Dave looked at his watch. It was 1:15.

He still had a while to get there, but being early was never something that could be frowned upon with this kind of thing. Dave set off down the street. With each footstep hitting the concrete, a new thought came into his mind.

It doesn’t matter who I get.

I am the best fighter in this city.

Nobody is going to stop me.


A feeling of relief came over him as he came to the realisation that his problems with Jamie were no longer his primary concern. The only thing left on his mind was the fight and where it would take him if he were successful. In his mind, Dave thought that it would finally see him be accepted on the forums and in social media. He thought that these trials were his one-way ticket to making mixed martial arts his profession.

Once Dave got to the training centre, he stood outside and tried to take everything in. Through those large wooden doors, his future awaited him. This was the time, and it was now or never.

All of the oldest and stupidest clichés that Dave could think up flooded into his head at once. It didn’t quite occur to Dave just yet that this didn’t look like any training centre he had ever seen before. It looked like an old-style medical centre combined with a house. It was nothing like the gym that he was used to and completely different from what he had expected.

Taking a deep breath, Dave walked through the front gate. It was strange that there were no cars around the place, but Dave thought that maybe everybody was doing exactly like he was, catching the bus with their life in a bag on their shoulder.

The place looked quiet for a training centre. Maybe classes were also off today to make way for the trials? None of this really seemed to bother Dave, who pushed one of the large doors open with his right hand and made his way around with an air of confidence, almost as if he had been here a thousand times before.

The reality was that Dave had never even stepped foot inside this building before. It showed straight away as he came to a halt as soon as he arrived at a t-intersection. Dave looked up for any kind of signage to work out where he needed to go. There was nothing on the bare walls to give any indication of where to go, so following his instincts, Dave went to the right.

As he made his way down the corridor, he found a set of glass double doors. The lighting on the other side was poor, but he figured that testing for the weigh-ins must have been underway. After looking through them carefully, Dave shrugged and entered the room.

It was at that precise moment that everything changed.



Everything was black for a while, but through his groggy eyes Dave could only just make out the room around him. There was no cage, no tables. There were no lights, cameras or action. It was much like a warehouse, and right in front of him was a pool of blood. Slowly, Dave managed to get to his feet. He wiped his right hand over his face and then looked down at the puddle.

Crimson red.

“Hello?” Dave shouted. The question echoed throughout the empty room. He frantically looked around. The large pool of blood he woke up in now surrounded his feet. His shirt was torn to shreds, and to his right he could see his bag and fight shorts smouldering in ashes. He looked down at his shorts and they were also heavily stained with blood.

What the hell happened here?

There wasn’t much evidence for Dave to go on. There was a steel pipe down on the floor to his left that had splatters of blood over it. There was a baseball bat next to that and a wooden plank by the doors through which he had entered.

Dave felt his pockets in search of his phone. It was in there, seemingly safe and sound. Dave pulled the phone out. However, when he pulled it out, he noticed that the screen had been cracked. It could still be used, but it wasn’t going to be easy.

He turned it on and stood there looking at what was left of the display. He could make out the time, but that was about it. It was 6:22 P.M. He had been out for hours. He turned the phone back off.

I better make sure I have enough battery for later.

Dave shook his head and made his way over to his gym bag. Just as he had thought, the money was gone and all of his brand new gear had been destroyed. He kicked the bag out of the ashes and let out a scream. Things just weren’t adding up. He really should have seen it coming when he stepped foot inside the front doors. Never had Dave seen a lack of activity around the FFA trials. Things just weren’t the same, but he let it all get to him. Thinking that this was his next big chance had stopped Dave from seeing the reality of the situation.

His obsession had once again thrust him into a bad situation.

The cash was gone. His gear was ruined and his body, well, it had seen better days. Dave leaned down to grab his once white towel, which was laid out beside his bag. He picked it up and began to rub it over his face. It stung like lemon being squeezed into a fresh cut. He put the towel up to his nose. All that he could smell was lighter fluid. Someone really wanted to make sure that Dave was taught a lesson.

He tossed the towel back to the ground. It was now red from the blood that was still flowing from his head and face. Dave looked around the room. The only exit was the lone doorway that led him into this mess. He left his bag behind and walked through the door. Yet again, he was met with emptiness. This whole structure was empty, no visible signs of life. As Dave slowly made his way through the corridor, he started to feel a sharp pain in his leg.

That’s new.

His hand left a bloody print on the wall. Dave couldn’t help but smile.

“At least I will leave something here,” he said to himself as he caught his breath. As fit as he was, this trek shouldn’t have been so hard. Something was wrong, but Dave couldn’t quite figure out what that something was.

The sharp pain in his leg started to spread through his body. He was becoming aware of a whole new pain as he looked down at his shirt. There was a hole to the right of his ribs and a lot of a blood to go along with it. Dave tried his hardest to lift up his shirt slowly. He found what he could best work out was something that resembled a stab wound.

This just keeps getting better.

Dave did his best to put pressure on the wound. It wasn’t too deep, and eventually he worked out that it was just a slash.

Just a slash?

A smirk came to his face as he slid across the wall, using it to keep his balance. Things were going from bad to worse, and it had come to the point that Dave had to give in. He stopped limping. He looked down at his hands, then fell to his knees.

The sobs resembled those of Jamie’s from a few nights earlier, only these were of complete desperation. Dave reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone again. He turned it on and watched as the screen lit up. Through the cracked screen he could barely see what he was doing, but this wasn’t going to be too difficult.

He dialled the emergency number and listened as it began to ring.

“911. Police, Fire or Ambulance,” the operator said as Dave tried to concentrate on the task ahead of him.

“Ambulance, please,” Dave muttered into the phone.

“What is your emergency?” the operator replied.

“I think I have been stabbed, beaten and robbed,” he whispered into the phone.

“Where are you, sir?” the operator bellowed.

“Caldwell and Fifteenth.  I don’t know how much longer I can hold on,” Dave replied.

“We will have an ambulance to you as soon as possible. Now, you just have to stay with me. What’s your name?” the operator continued.

Dave had never been put in a position where he had to call an ambulance, so for him this was something new.

Just get somebody here!

He sat there, though, with the phone to his ear.

Somebody wants to hear my story?


They want to know all about me when it could very well be my last moment on earth?

“Dave,” he muttered eventually.

“Thanks, Dave. Now I just want you to know that we have ambulance about five minutes from your location. How are you feeling?” the operator asked.

“I am feeling like I have been hit by a car,” Dave groaned.

“Just hang in there, Dave. The ambulance is about two minutes away now,” the operator said.

It was getting to be a little too much.

“See you soon,” Dave said into the phone as he let it drop out of his hands and crash to the ground. He looked around the empty corridor. Was this going to be how he was remembered? As the scary cage fighter who got his ass kicked?

This wasn’t how he had planned for his story to be written. This wasn’t the ending that Dave had in mind.

The walls turned hazy as the pain continued to shoot through every part of his body. As haziness became blurriness and the pain became unbearable, the walls started to get darker and darker.

Voices came from what could only be thought of as the distance. In reality, they were just metres away.

“There he is!” the voice boomed.

Soon after, there was nothing but silence…

It’s a hard thing to describe unless you have actually been there. Your eyes are heavy and everything is blurry, but you can somehow make out what is going on. The television always makes it look more dramatic. There would be dozens of people all trying to save one life. Doctors, nurses and people that just shouldn’t be there, all doing their absolute best to preserve that life.

Reality is a little different. Well, for Dave it was anyway.

The white walls stood out more so than the two figures around him wearing scrubs. Voices could be heard, but it was going to be too much work to try to decipher what they were saying. The beeping was all that Dave could concentrate on. It was a rhythm that was somewhat familiar. It reminded Dave of hitting the heavy bag. One… two… three-four. Left… Right… Left-right. It just kept on repeating as Dave pictured himself inside the gym.

“He’s coming to,” a voice exclaimed.

All Dave could feel was the throbbing of his head. It took him a while to work out what was actually going on. A sharp pain revealed itself in Dave’s back. He winced in pain as the voices around him became more coherent.

“Make sure you keep an eye on his heart rate,” one of the doctors said.

“He’s stable now,” the nurse replied.

The gurney came to a halt. With a quick movement, much like they had done over one hundred times before, the doctor and nurse moved Dave’s body onto a bed.

“The police want to talk to him,” the nurse began.

“They are going to have to wait,” the doctor snapped back. “Give him at least six hours. He is going to experience short-term memory loss and probably won’t be much help anyway. He’s still a little out of it, and he’s going to be in some pretty bad pain until then. Make sure you keep an eye on him. He’s pretty lucky to be here.”

The nurse nodded her head as the doctor left the room.

Dave was lucky that he had insurance. His room was actually good for a public hospital. He had a window overlooking a garden and the sunlight shone through, offering a calm environment. Inside his room, he had his bed and a small flat-screen television. It was quaint and almost relaxing.

After signing the papers on the end of the bed, the nurse left the room. Dave just lay there. He didn’t want to move and didn’t know what to think.

What the hell happened to me?