I missed the beginning, but we know how it happens. Either the old man with the lazy eye said the wrong thing to the young man with the neck tattoo, or the other way around. I was there for the middle, and that’s the most important part because that’s when everyone’s still fighting like God’s in their corner. I can never tell whose corner God is in. I know this: the young man keeps dropping his hands, and the old man’s left is a hammer. There’s blood on both their faces. There’s a growing, happy crowd. Sometimes it seems like God’s in no one's corner. The losers down here have truth, but they’re hateful and inconsistent. The winners have status, but they use it for comfort, and comfort has ruined them. No one is humble. And isn’t God humble? Isn’t He gentle and open and lowly enough for anyone hurting? Okay, the fight. Someone got cracked. Someone’s head hit the pavement. The crowd screamed, and a child wept, but I was too far gone to see who won.
Dan Leach has published work in The New Orleans Review, Copper Nickel, and The Sun. He has two collections of short fiction: Floods and Fires (University of North Georgia, 2017) and Dead Mediums (Trident Press, 2022). An instructor of English at Charleston Southern University, he lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina with his wife and four kids.