A Most Violent Incident (A Short Story)

If you were like them, as I was telling you this – if you were beside me in person – you’d be bleeding and in a coma. Let’s watch. 



I am writing from above the town. From a hill beside a leafy plant, I sat. It is a small town.  The small main street is splattered with dots and puddles of red and burgundy, the new and the old. I am watching them go about their daily business, everyone of them is very happy. 

The Woman of the Red House, I am not sure of her name, or anyone’s name, but I know her combination – she is walking with a basket on her arm to get eggs. She passes the Man in the Black Hat, he’s an uppercut – just a plain uppercut – he must be old to have such a simple combination. Both of them are black and blue, bleeding, cut, their hair out of place, she is missing a shoe. 

The Man in the Black Hat walks toward the Woman of the Red House, and with two fingers jabs her in the right breast, while with the left hand slaps her hard, rakes her face, and knees her in the stomach. She then, with two fingers, jabs him in the right breast, and uppercuts him! 

All the punches are thrown very hard, but are only met with soft laughs and giggles. 

Let me translate: 

The two finger jab is a hello, and then the other blows are their names.  



There is much joy in this town from what I see. There is a small Townhall gathering and the governor is addressing the people. How does this work? 

As the Governor speaks, he is signaling the moves to the people, which they then perform on themselves. I watch as an entire mass of people strike, bite, and gouge themselves. It seems just watching the moves does not work, there must be physical contact, or they can’t really understand what is being said. 

Oh! I should also note some are using a stick as well, and rocks. Everyone carries a stick and a pocket of rocks at all times, this seems to give much more variety to their expressions. 

I will translate what has been said by the governor so far: “This small town is the hope of the world. This place is so beautiful and peaceful, that it is hard to fathom how the rest of the world lives with so, so much violence.”  

If you could see it, it looked like this, the first sentence anyway: Bite the right arm just below the right elbow until teeth break skin, poke in left eye, with one nail scratch your own neck, strike yourself in the genital (male or female didn’t matter here), poke in the left eye, elbow to right knee, pull hair out.”  


It is the next day. I know their language now, but I am obviously scared to talk to them. I have questions like: Do they think in combinations? How do they dream? 

I have one hint to the latter – I see in a window at night an old woman. She has beautiful dreams, very beautiful. She does combinations in her sleep, and wakes up each morning more bruised and bleeding than the night before. She has only three teeth left, but they did not fall out – they will not fall out, some teeth apparently do not fall out. 

The town is full of beautifully ruined people, but they are all happy, and they all smile mostly toothless. I tell you they are upbeat and jolly! They are in very good shape. 


It is later the same day. I watch as two men on the street approach each other. One of the men is the Man in the Black Hat. Their faces are different than I have ever seen, they are unhappy. Very unhappy. They do not strike each other in the chest. 

Instead of giving the two finger jab of hello, I am startled that the Man with Red Hair, says aloud! “Hello!” He spoke with words! Real words!

“Hello,” echoes through the town and up the hill toward me! I notice that the other people on the street seem to be hit in the crossfire – or something like that. They duck and hide. The sound, the words, seem to hurt them. They run inside and cover their ears, stuff them with cotton. 

The Man in the Black Hat – nearest to the word hello – falls to the ground in pain, agonizing pain it seems. He looks up from his crumbled state, and says, “Hello to you!” And the Red Haired Man falls down, screaming in agony himself. Their screams echo through the air. 

I watch the Woman in Red appear outside at this moment from the grocer. She sees the two men lying in fetal position. She runs to them and starts kicking both of them, and jabbing them, pleading for peace. 

But the men do not stop shouting at each other. And as they shout, she falls down in wrenching pain – but they do not notice, they keep talking to each other! “Hello!” “Hello to you!” Each word, seems to be inflicting damage inside them, the Man in the Black Hat starts coughing up black blood. 

As they yell, the Woman in Red slowly begins bleeding profusely from every orifice. I watch this go on. I want to stop it, but do not know what to do. I would shout but… After thirty minutes, the conversation ends. Still, there is a tiny sea of blood, all three are on the ground, and the blood rolls from each and connects them… 


I wake from an uneasy sleep from hearing various thumps and thwacks – that I know to be the combinations for tears and laments. 

At the bottom of the hill below me, the next day, the Woman in Red, the Man and Black, and the man with red hair were buried. 

I watch as their Priest goes around slapping and elbowing the attendees. Warning them of the dangers of violence in a small town, after this most violent incident.