But the gods were listening.
So they approached him, surrounded him. Thought to contain him. Their first mistake.
So it began in earnest. Taunting came first, it always does. What was it this time? “Ginger”? “Fatty”? Whatever it was, we know it now as “Their Second Mistake.”
The gods were listening.
“Step it up to violence,” they thought. A foolish youth came forward and grabbed him by the collar. More taunting. A strike to the head.
The youth displayed supreme confidence. He could taste his victim’s humiliation. He even toyed with his victim when they had the audacity to raise a hand to ward off blows. His friends, out of sight, jeered and cheered on their youthful champion. Their golden child.
The camera was running, the youth was giving a show. He danced a little, jabbed at his victim. He wanted more than physical dominance, he wanted to break him down psychologically. It was cruel. It was vile. It was hubris.
It was their last mistake.
With a speed born of many torturous years, Casey lunged. Catching the bully off guard, he closed the gap between them and encircled him with his mighty hands, hefting the arrogant youth and holding him aloft in the sky, completely helpless.
With the might and wrath worthy of Zeus did Casey hurl his malefactor back to the earth like a thunderbolt, burying him in a pile of his own shame and arrogance.
The gods heard.
The ground trembled. The youthful arrogance that rang out only moments before became stunned silence. This hallway was Casey’s arena. His opponent lay defeated in the sand. The silence was his great cheering mob.
It was deafening.
As he circled his defeated abuser, Casey displayed a restraint that convinced one and all that this was not beginner’s luck. If his opponent didn’t thank the gods for their mercy, he should. Casey could just have easily laid waste to his face with a mighty boot at any time.
It would have been justified.
Casey faced what remained of his tormentors, hands at his sides. Casey was no longer a victim. With a look that promised them all destruction and a trip to the underworld, they knew the fight was done.
Casey, the only man present, walked away.