American Savages by J.J. McAvoy

Description : American Savages
“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”

—John Steinbeck

ORLANDO

FOURTEEN YEARS AGO

His fist collided with her face, sending her to the ground so quickly that her hair whipped around her face before she hit the mat. She stayed there for a moment, frozen on the boxing ring’s floor, almost dead, before she tried to push herself up. Her arms wobbled, and her chest rose and fell as she desperately tried to get the air back into her lungs. She managed to get to one knee before crumbling back onto the mat.

Pitiful.

“Get up, Melody,” I said to her, as I leaned back against the wall of the old boxing gym outside of the city. It was just as run down as the town itself. No one but our people came over here anymore—sweat of sweat, hot blood of hot blood, we were Italians; one people. And she was disgracing herself in front of the very people who needed to respect her the most.

She didn't move, she just lay there like a dead thing. Neither a human nor an animal.

“I said get up, Melody!”

With a small, frustrated cry, she pushed herself to her feet, and threw herself onto the ropes of the ring in order to stand, as Gino held on to her.

“Miss? Miss Giovanni? Are you alright?” Gino asked her, glancing at me, wide-eyed when she did not answer.

“Let her go. And I swear to God Almighty, Melody, if you fall again…”

“I’m fine.” She pushed the loose strands of her dark hair behind her ear and stood straighter as she raised her wrapped fists. She shook her head a few times, and tried to maintain herposure.

“See? She’s fine. Now start again,” I said to him.

“Sir, it’s been two hours—”

“I...
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