Mr Blackwell:Teacher Student Romance

By: S K Quinn

Behind the door is a large, dark room with a rubber floor.

There’s a boxing ring in the centre edged with gnarled rope.

‘Boxing?’ I mutter, raising an eyebrow. ‘You know I’ve never boxed before don’t you?’

‘Don’t say I never give you nothing.’ Baz grins at me.

By the ring stands a girl in a bikini. She’s in her twenties, with bleached blonde hair and a hardened face. A stack of signs lean against her splotchy, tanned leg.

The barman puts his meaty arm around the girl’s shoulder and pulls her close.

‘Ready for some action darlin’?’ says the barman.

She pulls away from him. ‘Stop it Tony.’

Tony slaps her backside, and she yelps again, ‘Stop it!’

Before I can rush forwards, Baz’s fingers tighten on my arm. ‘Leave it son. That girl can handle herself. Take it out in the ring.’


Manly roars fill the room.

Tony the barman slaps his hands together and bellows, ‘Who’s up first?’

Baz grabs my fist and pulls it into the air. ‘Marc Blackwell.’

I feel adrenalin surge through my muscles. ‘Baz, these guys will tear me apart.’

‘They will if you let them.’

The eyes of the crowd are on me. There are jeers as they take in my clean-cut appearance. The barman is shaking his head, a sneer on his scarred lip.

‘What are you gonna to do?’ Baz asks. ‘Fight or not?’

‘I’ll fight.’

‘Good on you kid! I knew you had it in you.’

A beefy, red-headed teenager shouts, ‘I’ll take him!’ and a cheer goes up.

The redhead swaggers towards me. His hair is clipped short and he has a deep scar on his lip. He’s taken his shirt off and his pale body is covered in snake tattoos. I’m guessing he must be eighteen – maybe a few years older.

He eyes me up. ‘I’m Jaden. And I will be beating the shit out of you today.’ His accent is British – Manchester to be precise.

The men around us roar with laughter.

‘Marc might surprise you,’ Baz mutters.

‘Tony says he’s an actor,’ says Jaden. ‘What does he know about fighting?’

Baz gives me a shove. ‘In you go son. Show him what you’re made of.’

I climb into the ring, take off my shirt and hand it to Baz.

‘Listen,’ Baz hisses. ‘Three rounds okay? Best of three. Anything goes, and I mean anything.’

Jaden glances at my torso. ‘You’re fit at least. Hope you’ve got plenty of makeup back on set to cover the bruises.’

More laughter.

I wait for a bell, but there isn’t one. Instead, Jaden smacks me so hard in the jaw that I stagger back and nearly fall over.

While I’m still reeling, Jaden delivers punch after punch to my jaw and torso.

I’m knocked down, and Jaden kicks me hard in the ribs over and over until the world spins.

I hear someone shout, ‘Give it to him!’

Dimly, I see the bikini girl hold a sign that says ‘Knock Out’.

But I’m not knocked out.

I stagger to my feet.

Baz shouts, ‘That’s it! Get up! Get the fuck up Marc Blackwell and start fighting back.’

Just as I get my footing, I walk straight into another punch.

There are a few laughs and jeers as I fall backwards again.

‘Jaden started before the fucking sign went down!’ Baz yells.

‘Do that again and you’re out,’ the bikini girl tells Jaden.

I rub my jaw and find my feet.

Jaden barks, ‘Put the sign down bitch and let me finish him off.’

Bitch. I can’t stand men talking to women like that. My fury is intense. I can barely see.

I land a punch so hard and fast that even I’m surprised by it. But not as surprised as Jaden, who staggers back and falls to the ground.

Knock out.

One punch. That’s all it took.

I look at my fist in disbelief.

When Jaden hits the floor, there’s an eerie silence.

After a few minutes, it’s clear Jaden isn’t going to get up.

‘He’s fucking out cold,’ Tony shouts.

Baz grabs the Knock Out sign from the bikini girl, holds it up and pulls my fist into the air. ‘Winner!’ he yells.

But there are no cheers. I think the crowd are still in shock.

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