A story by Eric Rampson (Fiction ’16) appears in the Summer 2017 edition of MATADOR REVIEW.


My dad crippled a guy on TV last night. Broke his neck with a snap so loud the mics picked it up. He was howling, my dad, when he did it—an animal sound from somewhere high up in his chest. The guy twitched a few times and then laid still while my dad stood over him, all heaving breath and crazy eyes, hair wild and wet with sweat.

Across the ass of my dad’s shiny red spandex trunks it read “Señor Sinister” in Gothic script black as his leather boots and wristbands, his hair, his thick goatee. The guy with the broken neck was in a silvery singlet, waves and waves of thick blonde hair, a pair of aviator shades, skewed from impact, across his eyes, his robe fluttering like a flag from the post in his corner, “ALL-AMERICAN ALAN” on the back in star-spangled letters.

Those aren’t their real names. My dad is Vito. All-American Alan is actually Albin. He’s Polish. My dad’s Italian, mostly.

The crowd was silent for a full minute, waiting for All-American Alan to get up and when he didn’t, the booing and hissing started, scattered here and there at first but pretty soon everyone got into it, plastic beer cups sailing from the cheap seats, and my dad ran off like a frightened coyote.

Read the rest of the story here:  Villains

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