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Names - a short story

He dodged the kick that would’ve landed between his eyes, pivoted around his opponent and swept his leg. The young man’s breath went out of him as he came down hard. That small instant was all it took to plant a foot firmly on his windpipe. Control your opponent’s air supply and you control the battle.

“It’s over, son,” the old fighter said. “Now give me your name.”

All the boy returned was a defiant look. No matter. A little more pressure made him see sense. “Hensley,” he wheezed, and with the small expense of breath something much larger left him.

“Hensley.” The man tasted the name that now belonged to him. It was a good one. Names held power, and this one would sustain him for a long time. He lifted his boot and walked away, leaving his challenger alive, but as a mere shadow of what he had been.

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