Lily was walking past this door for the past couple of years. "Martial arts", said the simply advertisement. She could never make herself come in, even though she really wanted to - the door was always firmly closed. Today it was different - she was sure she heard sounds from behind the door. She pushed it open and came in.
It was an old loft, left untouched by the owner over the course of years. About 10 people - both guys and girls were doing the push-ups - the training session began not too long ago.
- "Ichi, ni, san, chi, go, roku, sichi, hachi, ku, ju, ju ichi, ju ni .." - the counting of sensei was hypnotizing her. Suddenly it stopped.
- "..." - he looked at her, keeping the pause.
- "I would like to ..." - she started, but did not have the time to finish.
He turned back to the group - "Yasme!" - and, pointing to a guy who seemed just a bit too tall to be doing any martial arts, and to Lily: "Jiyu! We see what you are worth".
Smith looked at the girl. Strange feeling struck him. Something of an electric shock. It was hard to explain - this was as if he saw these eyes somewhere, sometime long time ago, when he was much younger and could be just overwhelmingly happy, without a shadow of any other thought. He shook his head but the sensation persisted. He was used to knocking the hell out of newcomers that manage to slide into the door, and sensei liked his style - after the test fight, noone was bleeding, but very few of the newcomers returned, and those that did, were very good students afterwards. But this fight promised to be different. He felt he could not kick the hell out of her. Not in the presence of this itchy feeling. He decided to try to discount the itching as a hunger. He did fight a couple of times like that, and, even inconvenient, it was doable. If he can fool himself that it is a feeling of hunger, that is.
Lily was ready. She was doing martial arts in the town where she lived before moving - and kept her in shape by self-training. This club looked like what she wanted. As soon as she can prove herself in the fight with this guy. In other circumstances she might have found him sexy. The only detail in his looks that was disturbing, was a scar on his face - just above the eyebrow. But it did not matter - today she came for martial arts, not for the dating.
Smith was always careful at the start of these trial fights - testing the other party. And today was not an exception. He was defense-only, and only after a minute started attacking. She did know at least something - his kicks were blocked. And boy, did she move well. Contrary to his attempts, the itching did not want to get disguised. He had to look into these eyes - and it did not help. It did not help at all. This has got to stop, I can't fight this, he thought - this was going through his head almost the same split millisecond as he got distracted and missed the upward movement of her fist, that made his head abruptly go up and backward. "Damn, this way it is as stupid as it gets" - was the last thought before the whole world turned completely black.
He did get unconscious once, back in the childhood. It was funny - you are halfway in your body, halfway out, and can wander around the room. He thought it was pretty cool back then, but for some reason he saw all those people in panic, running around and pushing, squeezing his body, so he had to return. And he never had this experience since. Until today.
He saw the group gathering around his corpse. Hold on, he was not dead yet, was he ? So, it was the body that the group was gathering around. But they were worried nonetheless.
If it could, Smith probably would have sighed - the girl that knocked him out was not part of the frenzy. She just stood aside. And he took the advantage of it. To look again in these sparkling eyes and get a gulp of that old feeling of the overwhelming, worldly childish happiness. How can a bodyless piece of ether even look at things, let alone feel ? We will never know. But he did see these sparkling eyes and felt the itching stronger than before. It was a nice sensation. Worth being unconscious...
...Terribly strong headache. This is the first and the only feeling. Overwhelming, just about bearable. No, it's not. Hopefully the head is still one piece. And all these people around. Who are they ? Where am I ? The head hurts. Can't move. Is it really in one piece ? Move the right hand to check. Yes it is. Thinking long sentences hurts. I was hungry, give me some food. Raise the left hand to ask. Can't. There's no left hand. The left part of the body is gone. Damn. Where it is ? It it was a cut, it'd hurt. But only feel the head. This terribly loud whistling noise. Like an airplane. Who brought me to the airfield ? Stop it, please! What was that hunger feeling ?
Ah, these brown eyes. Sparkles. Sparkles got me on fire. That's why no left side - it has burned off. Need to look what's left. Can't move. But the itching is no more. This is good. Means I can skip the dinner. It's getting dark. Finishing way too late today. Mom's gonna be worried.