Chapter 2 – Extract 12 from The Paradise Induction!
Seconds later, Mattox burst in.
“Don’t go on like a pussy!” he said as he took a seat at the top level.
“I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Look at you, puffing your chest like you’re Superman.”
“Mattox, I’m not puffing my chest.”
“Look, I tell you what, you wanna squash this? We’ll finish it outside.”
“Outside blood!” he shouted and then calmed his voice, putting his hands up as if telling an invisible friend to behave. “I just wanna talk to you outside.”
“What do you mean talk outside?”
“I mean talk outside. You and I need to squash this beef like men. Or do you think you’re better than me? Too much to talk to me outside? Can’t give me that time?”
My mouth hung open in sheer shock. “Have you lost your mind mate?”
“What? Look, we’re gonna talk outside now, come on.” He stepped down from the top level.
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
I left the sauna and Mattox followed me out, putting his hand on my shoulder.
“Let’s step outside, come on. We’re just gonna talk, that’s all.”
I shook his hand from my shoulder. “Okay. Fine.”
In our swim-trunks, we both stepped out of the changing rooms into the the corridor of the centre, and parked ourselves in a small alcove where nobody was around.
Mattox reached his hand out and grabbed me by the throat.
“Now listen here and listen good,” he said. “Who are you to talk to me like this? Dýou think you’re bad? I should clock you in the jaw right now you know.”
“You’ve gone mad mate,” I said as I wrestled his hand from my neck. “You’ve gone absolutely insane.”
“Yeah? Yeah? What? You think I’m mad? You think I’m mad? You think your some kind of Superman, with your big chest.”
Two young, average-built passersby intervened. “Break it up lads!” the guys said.
I walked back toward the changing rooms and Mattox, who broke free of the guys’ hold, gave chase, running up and punching me in the chest. The bystanders watched in surprise.