"How many muscles in the butt?" he says, swinging his kali sticks towards me.
Our sticks collide with each other, making a solid wood on wood sound.
"Three main muscle groups. The gluteus maximus," I parry his attack on my right side, "gluteus medius and gluteus minimus." He strikes towards my unprotected face. If his attack lands, I could be disfigured or even lose an eye.
"You're missing one!" he says, his left stick inching closer to my face every nanosecond.
"Nope!" I reply, intercepting his attack. "The gluteal sulcus is supporting the butt, not in the butt, dad." I add, bringing my knee to his stomach. My unprotected face was a feint, and he'd fell for it. He was now within striking distance, and I took my shot.
"What's our magical number?" he grins while asking me this question. It seems it had taken my feint of his own accord, as his right leg, now outstretched, reaches behind me and sweeps me off my feet.
"Zero point— Cough-cough" I try to say, as I fall on my back. Hard. "Zero point seven." I grunt, dejected. He keeps his right kali stick under his left arm, and stretches his hand towards me.
"Correct. You've passed the test. Congratulation!" I catch his hand, and he pulls me back up.
"I passed? You kicked my ass, again. I've never won once against you in any martial art form!"
"But you've made tremendous progress in all of them. I almost got caught by your little feint at the end."
"But you didn't," I say, frowning and trying to understand his words. We've been practicing since I was 9. I'm almost eighteen. In those nine years, we've practiced Judo, Jiu-jitsu, Wing Chun, Muay Thai and recently Arnis. We've had literally thousands of 'fights' and while I've managed a hit or two sometimes, I've never actually won.
"Alex, sometime, a test is not just about winning or losing a fight. Today, you actually managed to direct the entire battle toward that one feint, and if I hadn't been fast enough, you would have put me down. This plus the fact that you answered all of my questions correctly, is a passing grade for me. So, what do you want to eat for breakfast today?" It was just five past eight in the morning, we'd been at it for about forty-five minutes. As we start stretching, I tell him I want pancakes, like mom used to make, with fruits. His smile lowers for a few seconds and a sad light flashes in his eyes before he acquiesces.
This has always been a touchy subject for him, but those last couple of years dad seemed to have made great strides towards accepting her death as a fact. She died during a mugging about eleven years ago. My dad had left me with my grandad for two years, before coming back and starting to train me in martial arts. He had learned them to avenge the love of his wife, but during his travel understood that vengeance would not bring her back. Instead, one of the mugger was sent to jail, and the other died of an overdose a couple of months before my dad came back. Teaching me martial arts as well as our family heritage had been therapeutic for him, and a very violent experience for me.
After stretching for another twenty minutes and a short five minute shower, we head for the kitchen. As he prepares the pancakes, I skin and cut the fruits in dices, before putting them in a bowl. Before we eat, we sit, close our fingers in perfect circles, bring our left hand against our right to form a nice figure eight, and recite the family mantra.
"Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember that nothing is true. Where other men are limited by movies or magazines, remember that the feel is the only answer. We work in the dark to search for the light. We are ass~assins."
My family, the Lucas, has been butt-obsessed for generations, since one of our ancestors got into a fight with the Breckans, a rival family obsessed with boobs. Yes, the premise of the fight was being an ass
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