More time passed with no promotion for Fabian. The harder he worked to model crime scenes in 3D, the more he might as well have been doing it in 2D. He felt himself tense up every time Malcolm Landgraab walked into the lab.
It just wasn’t fair.
Fabian wasn’t getting any younger. Plenty of men younger than he had retired to lives of leisure. Except Fabian didn’t know what he’d do with a life of leisure try to find more work.
The choice was quit so close to his goal or try something new.
“All right then,” he decided in one of his moments of quiet contemplation. “I’ll start acting the part of the hero.”
That’s how he found himself outside the Sample Spirit Dojo one evening after work.
Charles was outside, cooling off from a sparring match and looking at the stars. He looked up as Fabian approached, leaning on his glittery lama-head cane. “Fabian! What are you doing here?”
Fabian puffed up his chest. “It shouldn’t seem THAT strange that I would want to learn a thing or two about fighting,” he said. “Let’s go inside and see what you can teach me.”
“So this is the place,” Fabian said, looking around at the bamboo furnishings and artifacts from his stepson’s travel. “I’ve never been here before.”
Charles’s phone chirped, and he snatched it to put it on mute. “That’s right,” he said. “You haven’t.”
“It looks nice,” Fabian said. His voice sounded pathetic even to his own ears.
“So let me get this straight,” Charles said. “You want to learn how to fight?”
“What?” Fabian demanded. “You think I’m too old?”
Charles chuckled. “You wouldn’t be my oldest student. We get all kinds here. All right then, if you’re serious, let’s see what you can do.”
“What does that mean?” Fabian asked.
“This is a training dummy,” Charles said patiently. “Give it your best shot.”
Fabian took a deep breath. He’d never worked out more than Sunset Valley’s Finest required of him, and that had been when he was a beat cop half a lifetime away. He knew he was going to like an idiot. Backing down now would make him look even more like an idiot.
He dropped his cane and let it clatter on the polished floor. “Here goes!” he cried.
It was like opening up a cage and letting out Fabian the Animal. The dummy became Malcolm Landgraab, and he let the bastard have it!
Charles knew what he was doing, and Fabian found himself gently directed to strike in ways that hurt less and made the dummy make much more satisfying noises.
Finally, Fabian stopped and leaned on his knees. “I have to take a break,” he wheezed. Sweat dripped down his back and soaked into his shirt.
“That was a lot better than I expected,” Charles admitted. “You qualify for a white belt. Let me get you a gi.”
Fabian grinned. He qualified for a belt!
He was a one man martial arts machine, that’s what!
I was desperate for anything to get Fabian’s job performance up, and he got an Opportunity to learn Martial Arts. Then he turned out to love it!
Finally got something out. Hopefully I can continue rolling before I drown myself in backposts.
The poll is officially closed, and I think we all know what I’m doing!