“You broke my nose,” wheezed Snake as he stumbled back. He was clutching his nostrils as blood gushed down into his mouth. He spit out viscera as he pointed at Marin Le Tiec. “Why the fuck-” He reeled back again as the smaller Frenchman lunged past his accusation like a dog unleashed. A straight punch from Marin’s left drilled into Snake’s ribcage. It broke a few lower rib bones and elicited second, shallower gasp from Snake as his bulk crumbled onto the gravel parking lot of the Silver Bar. “What- what do?” The beleaguered ranch hand uttered between desperate gasps. Marin tossed something the size of an unfolded wallet to Snake. Under the pall of the Bar parking lot’s dim lamppost, Snake squint and tried to make out what it was. The pain kept the answer just out of reach despite its alarming familiarity.
“Don’t recognize your handiwork?” Marin asked in his best Midwest impression. He grabbed the birch-core, Lousiana Slugger from his back. He choked up on the grip as he saw the American batters do just before stepping up to the plate. He tested it with a swing above Snake’s head. The sound it as it cleaved through the air reminded Marin of a whooshing plane taking off next to him.