Flash FIction Friday -- On the Mat

I’m doing some scene sketching. This scene required some research since I haven’t watched any scholastic wrestling since I was a scorekeeper in the 8th grade. Feel free to comment if I made mistakes. Little bro’s too busy being a doctor to give me pointers, lol. Enjoy and happy weekend!

On the Mat
© 2009 Suzanne Lazear

It was second period in the match. Having lost the toss, I was in the bottom position. In most cases this was ideal because the only way to earn points from the top position was to turn your opponent on his back for a near fall. Unfortunately, my opponent was not only undefeated in his weight class, he was also a Werewolf.

The ref blew his whistle.

“Up, Kat, get up,” Coach Harris yelled from the sidelines. The mat mates, the wrestling cheerleaders, in their maroon, white, and black uniforms, started a cheer. Unlike the regular cheerleaders, these girls were good. And nice.

If I wanted any chance at winning I had to escape—by standing up, switching, or rolling. Dom Hernandez might be stronger, but I was faster.

No sooner had the whistle blown then I grabbed the thick brown wrists resting on my stomach. At the same time, I rotated my body, getting up onto one foot. Then, before he had a chance to grab my ankle, I popped up, peeling his wrist off my maroon singlet.

The entire Cactus Grove High School Varsity Wrestling Team went wild.

“That’s a girl,” Coach yelled.

We weren’t done yet.

For a moment we circled each other on the maroon mats in the CGHS gym. Sweat dripped down my face as I summed up my opponent. Like his brother he was stocky, though being only a sophomore, he was still several inches shorter than me. Even though Dom was strong enough to throw me, like the heavyweights, I saw in the first round that he wouldn’t.

For a moment we grabbed at each other as he looked for an opening on my legs, or to clinch arms and head. Not only was I faster than Dom, but I worked out regularly with my boyfriend, Aaron, the Vampire.

Taking a page from the featherweights, before he could grab my upper body and take me down, I shot in on his legs. I grabbed his left foot, my small, pale hand contrasting with his brown, meaty ankle. Using the captured leg as leverage, I tripped him. Darting under his hands, I clasped one of his beefy wrists to his chest, then lifted and turned to force him down to the mat. We struggled for a moment, as he tried to overtake me. But in a burst of adrenaline, I succeeded.

And the take down goes to Kat. Two points.

More cheers for me.

“Good job, Kat,” Bobby White, my friend and team captain shouted.

“Get up, Dom,” Manny Hernandez, Dom’s big brother and one of my best friends yelled from the Tempe High side. “Stop being a gentleman. It’s just Kat.”

Just Kat?

Seriously?

Manny would pay for that “just Kat” comment later. But for the moment I kept my mind on the match and the Werewolf in the blue singlet that I currently had in a single-leg takedown.

As expected, Dom pancaked, throwing his legs backward, forcing all his weight onto my back. Now we were wrestling 125–not featherweights, but not heavyweights either. Still, Dom, being a Wolf was strong and that was a lot of force.

Staggering force.

I’d only wrestled Wolves in practice, being new to the team. My usual practice partner was human—hence doing speed drills with Aaron in my spare time.

“Come on, Dom, pin her,” Manny screamed from the THS side.

“Take Dom down,” Bobby returned. CGHS and THS had a friendly rivalry–especially between Wolf packs.

Dom flattened me down to the mat, knocking the wind out of me.

Reversal. Two points to Dom.

Ow. That would leave bruises. The Wolves tried to be gentle when playing human sports, since humans had no idea what walked among them. But wrestling was a rough sport, and well, I wasn’t a Wolf, but I wasn’t exactly human either.

“Get up, Kat, up, up,” Coach shouted.

If only it were that easy. I hadn’t realized exactly how strong Dom was. Blocking my arm, he spun behind attempting to pin me. He got one shoulder of mine down to the mad, but I was not about to let him get both.

Near pin. Two points.

The THS side cheered.

“You can do it, Kat,” Bobby encouraged.

I had to get up. Escape. I had to win this match.

No one would blame me if I lost—not even the humans. After all, sophomore or not, Dom was undefeated this season made all-city as a freshman. I’d been wrestling since Christmas break. I was also a girl and not a Wolf. Even my Wolf friends expected me to lose.

Even more reason to win.

A switch would be the best, since not only would I be able to escape, but take him down. I just wasn’t strong enough to do that. No against him.

That meant speed.

Seizing his right wrist, I rolled across his shoulders towards that hand, ending up on the right side, and behind my attacker.

Escape. One point.

Breaking my grasp, he sprung up. So did I.

How much longer did we have?

I hadn’t been wrestling that long and was still having endurance issues. Especially when my opponent wasn’t human.

“You’re doing good, Kitty,” he whispered softly, as he circled me. He lunged at me. I sidestepped.

I wasn’t doing good enough.

Dang it. I wanted to win.

I was also tired.

If I pinned him, the match would end.

I smiled. “Thanks, Dom. But you’re going down.” If I took him down, he’d never hear the end of it from his brother. I feinted to the left, then went to grab him.

His baby face smiled back. “Sure, Kitty.” He knocked away my reach easily.

After all, I’d only been wrestling for weeks. Not years.

However, I’d watched a lot of scholastic wrestling.

Five years of scholastic wrestling actually.

Lunging at him, I tried to get a good grip on his wrists. Bobby told me right before the meet that I should try to get him in a half-nelson then in to a reverse headlock. That was Bobby’s favorite move.

“That’s it, Kat, keep going,” Coach shouted.

As I struggled to hold one wrist immobile, he fought. There was no way I could hold that wrist and force his other arm behind his head, getting him down onto the mat.

But as I slipped into a back to belly position, I had a good opening to do something else.
Wanting that win so bad I could taste it, I repeated a move that I’d watched over and over again for five years, but never actually tried.

Well, not really.

Gritting my teeth, I wrapped both arms around Dom’s middle, pressing his back to my front. Then, I lifted Dom up from the mat. As I lifted him, I bent backwards, still holding him, taking him with me. The idea was for me to go into a backbend while still holding him. He’d end up in a pin, both shoulders squarely on the mat, legs in the air.

Only, my body decided that it was to hard to arch back like that while holding a 125-pound Wolf. Just as I felt his head make contact with the mat, my butt hit the mat.

Crap.

But I didn’t let go.

“She didn’t just do that.” That was the assistant coach.

Uh oh.

I felt his legs fly over his head, but I held on, trying to keep him in the pin.

One shoulder. Two shoulders.

The crowd went wild.

Dom struggled to get out of the pin.

“Get up, Dom, roll out of it and take her with you,” Manny yelled.

The ref counted. “One, two...”

I struggled to hang on, determined to take this match.

“Hold on, Kat,” Coach called.

“Three, four.”

And the pin goes to Kat.

My whole team cheered. “That’s it, Kitty!” Bobby cried.

It was a spectacular takedown, even if I did it wrong.

The refs and coaches however…

It was also grey area. Back at my old school the coach always got in fights when Tyler took someone down like that.

For the moment, the match was over.

“You okay, kids?” The ref asked worriedly.

I helped Dom up. “You okay?” I don’t think I’d ever try it on a human.

“I’m fine.”

The ref went to go confer with the coaches.

“Madre de dios, Kat, what was that?” Brown eyes filled with shock and awe.

I shrugged. “Not sure.” At my old school they called it a TTS–Tyler Takedown Special. Hopefully he wouldn’t mind if stole it. Or did it wrong.

Not that I’d heard from him since I moved to Arizona.

“Teach it to me? Please?”

The razzes about being beaten by a girl already started. But it was all in good fun—from the Wolves at least.

“As long as you help me prank Manny for that just Kat comment.”

Just Kat my butt. What a dorkwad. How long had Manny known me?

Dom grinned. “Deal.”

The ref and coaches had come to a decision. The ref announced that I won. Dom and I shook. “Good job, Kitty.” He grinned, not hurt that I beat him. “Don’t worry, they will be a rematch.”

I grinned back. “Of course.” I couldn’t wait.

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