The boxer sits on his stool in the corner of the ring. He sits hunched over, eyes closed. He can’t hear the crowd, though they must be near. All that his ears register is the thunder-boom of his own heart and the rasp in his throat.
The boxer’s arms lie heavy across his legs, and the legs tremble as if from the weight. He wants the shaking to stop but the legs are past the point of listening to such commands. He thinks about water then, and wonders for a moment where his manager is. Those thoughts soon fade to be replaced by more important ones.
How long until the bell sounds again? How long until I have to get up? Again.
It can be only seconds now. The interlude between rounds isn’t long. It’s never long enough. He wishes the bell would never sound, that he could sit here until time itself turned to amber around him. That boon is not to be his.
The bell rings.