Fury by Robert Tanenbaum

Fury by Robert Tanenbaum

Author:Robert Tanenbaum [Tanenbaum, Robert]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-02-10T09:10:26.774000+00:00

That night was the weekly intramural “gangsters” basketball game at Auburn State Prison. The games were the brainchild of one of the counselors, who felt that the various gangs in the prison might be persuaded to work out their differences in a less-than-lethal way in the pursuit of athletics.

“A healthy way for them to take out their aggression and establish their pecking orders,” he’d explained to the warden, who’d rolled his eyes. However, the counselor had been awarded a substantial grant—not all of which would find its way to the prison athletic fund—from some dumb bleeding-heart prisoners’ organization in Washington, D.C.

The last game of the night was supposed to be between the Bloods and the Aryan Knights, but at the last minute the Knights bowed out, claiming that they were all suffering from food poisoning after eating the Turkey Surprise (“What’s the surprise?” “That ain’t no turkey, unless turkeys got tails and teeth”) for lunch. They were replaced by a team composed of Russian gangsters.

As the game began, Lonnie “Monster” Lynd found himself pitted against the hulking Sergei Svetlov. Once he got over his nervousness, it didn’t take long for Lynd to realize that Svetlov was no basketball player, and he used the opportunity to make up for the humiliation in the exercise yard. He grew so bold as to start talking smack.

“Come on, you Russian cracker, show me something,” Lynd said, dribbling the ball outside the three-point line. “You can’t touch this.” With that Lynd drove and dunked the ball while Svetlov looked on helplessly.

Running back down the court, Lynd wagged his finger at Svetlov. “This my house, baby. Come on, Moby Dick, you big dumb white whale, come get you some of this.”

The Russians turned the ball over and one of the Bloods fed the ball long to Lynd, who again slammed it home and then ran back down the court wagging his finger. However, the next time Lynd drove the lane, Svetlov fouled him hard, raising a red welt on his back. “Damn muthafuckin’ cracker,” Lynd said. He missed both of his free throws.

The same thing happened the next time. In fact, it seemed that Svetlov was purposely letting Lynd see an open lane to the hoop only to hack him as he went by.

“What the fuck, peckerwood. Keep that shit off the court,” Lynd yelled, but the Russian just smiled and wagged his finger.

The third time Svetlov fouled him, Lynd was knocked to the ground. He got up and pushed Svetlov, which was about as successful as pushing against one of the prison’s walls. Svetlov grinned but then spat on Lynd.

In a rage, Lynd swung at him and connected with Svetlov’s nose. The Russian put his hand to his face and looked unconcerned at his bloody fingers. He took two steps toward Lynd, ignoring another hard right as he waded in, and shoved Lynd so hard the black man was launched into the spectators. The gym erupted into pandemonium. Both teams came off the bench, and the inmates who’d been watching poured onto the floor, where a dozen fights and scuffles ensued.


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