The Squared Circle

Jacob’s eyes dance in their sockets to the tune of fear. His back lays flat on the grass, legs up in the air, pointed to the sky speckled with clouds readying for the downpour. I hold both of his shoes in each of my hands.  

“Don’t do it,” Jacob whispers. “Please!”

But I can do whatever I want because I’ve got Jacob—a.k.a. the Spine Buster—a.k.a. my championship opponent—at my mercy. This week’s neighborhood backyard wrestling main event is about to end in style. I spread his legs in the shape of a V. 

Right now, I’m Bret Hart about to slap on the Sharpshooter.

Right now, I’m Chris Jericho about to twirl into the Lion Tamer. 

But really—right now—I’m me, the Texas Ranger, about to hit Jacob with my signature move: THE BALL STOMPER.

Dozens of fans in attendance shout for me to finish the match. 

“Do it!” shouts Randy, my neighbor who wears the only white shirt he owns, complete with a pitter-patter of grease and mustard stains. The everlasting aroma of his chronic masturbation permeating the air. 

“That boy is headed for the emergency room!” Earl holds his beer high up into the air. Wipes drool off the corner of his mouth. “Time for the castration!”

Being the great big heel that I am, I tease the fans witnessing my greatness. Build up more anticipation. I raise my foot over Jacob’s crotch. “Is this what you weenies want?” 

The handful of Texas Ranger fans seated in their tri-colored lawn chairs let out guttural roars. 

I lower my foot back to the ground, allowing Jacob’s sphincter loosen momentarily. I play with the crowd. Egg them on like the true wrestling superstar that I am. “I can’t hear you!”

They return in kind, reaching a feverish pitch that hits a fraction of a decibel. 

“If the Ball Stomper is what my acolytes want, the Ball Stomper is what my acolytes get!” I raise my foot back above Jacob’s quivering testicles. He closes his eyes and mumbles to God. 

“Here it comes!” 

Just as I start to bring my boot, decorated with a decal of the Texas state flag, down on my opponent’s nether-regions, cold steel in the form of a folded chair cracks the back of my skull. I roll over, grabbing my head, checking for blood. The referee scurries over to the corner of our makeshift ring. Our beloved “squared circle.” He signals for the bell. Jessie-Ray, the timekeeper, bangs a hammer into the ring bell three times, indicating a stop to the match. Jessie-Ray, also the ring-announcer, alerts the crowd to the outcome.

“This match has been ruled a no-contest due to outside interference. There is no winner!”

A chorus of boos drowns Jessie-Ray out. Beer cans and trucker hats are tossed into the ring and in the direction of the Backyard Federation superstar that caused the disqualification—Iceman Riggs. The son of a bitch is my true rival and hadn’t made an appearance since “Backyard Brawl IV.” He hovers over me. Steel chair cocked for another shot. “You didn’t think you could start the party without me?” he growls. 

I roll over onto my back, giving him a new target. The chair claps my spine and I fall into a broken heap, acting out an unconscious state. The crowd hisses and boos—the poor marks just being set up for another classic Texas Ranger vs. Iceman Riggs confrontation at next month’s event, “No Turning Back.”

We might have to put it on pay-per-view.

Omar Hussain is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area, transplanted to Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jellyfish Review, X-R-A-Y Magazine, The Cabinet of Heed, Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, Lunate, and Dream Noir, among others. Omar’s beta-test novel, The Outlandish and the Ego, debuted in late 2017. It received some praise, remarkably. Follow him on Twitter @oryanhussain.

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