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MN - 1 - Champion

Darkgenerallord Mar 31st, 2020 (edited) 89 Never
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  1. “Art! Lean! Art! Lean!”
  2.  
  3. It was the final round of the World Freestyle Karate Championships. Full contact. Full speed. And the crowd was on its feet, chanting, their voices filling the Stockholm arena.
  4.  
  5. Art Lean, a handsome, muscular African-American, shook his head to sling the sweat out of his eyes and twisted on his feet to find his opponent. When he moved, his legs moving like pistons, his skin gleaming like polished ebony, the referee scurried to stay out of his way.
  6.  
  7. Art changed his stance again, easy and slow, ready for anything. His opponent, Caesar Cerant, the Belgian national champion, was good – but Art knew he was better.
  8.  
  9. (...)
  10.  
  11. “It’s over,” Art said, standing.
  12.  
  13. And all at once, the referee was there, raising his hand, while another man was attaching something heavy around Art’s waist: the championship belt. Attendants fluttered around the fallen man, reviving him, checking his vital signs, his reflexes.
  14.  
  15. Art stood tall, paying no attention to those around him. His hands were raised in the victory salute, while the crowd surrounding the arena chanted his name, louder and louder.
  16.  
  17. Then it was indeed over. Art shrugged on his robe, black with scarlet trim, and climbed between the ropes. Head high, he strode toward the dressing room.
  18.  
  19. A massage would sure feel good right about now, he thought. A massage, a shower, and about twelve hours of sleep. The door to the small dressing room banged shut behind him.
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