Standing Tall

Staggering under the torrent of blows, he struggled to keep steady, to keep standing. Despite being the dominant competitor, the Champion refused to let up, continuing his savage attack. Finally, a powerful uppercut ended it. Rising a full few inches upwards, he flew back and landed in the corner of the ring, in a crumpled heap. The match was over.

For a long moment, there was absolute silence. The whole world looked fearfully as their hero fell, beaten down by the Champion. Faint sobs rose from various parts of the crowd. There was no cry of jubilation, no cheers for the winner. They looked on as the referee checked the fallen hero for any signs of recovery. Satisfied that the fallen hero was in no condition to get up, he turned to the champion who stood in full anticipation of the victory.

Time seemed to slow down as the impassive referee slowly walked towards the champion, to proclaim him victor and winner of the grand prize. Despite the presence of millions gathered to watch this fateful match, there was almost absolute silence. With each step the referee took, the silence deepened. Suddenly, a cry broke out, soon joined by many. In mere moments, the whole crowd was in uproar. Bewildered, the referee turned around.

It was a awe-inspiring sight to behold. The fallen hero was pulling himself up by the ropes of the ring. Despite cuts, bruises and broked bones, he was trying to stand. His broken leg was buckling under the weight. His whole body was screaming with the effort, yet he pulled himself up to a fighting position through sheer willpower. His eyes were swollen shut and his lip was puffed and bloodied. When he spoke, his voice came out as a hoarse whisper.

“You may have broken my body, but my will is indomitable. As long as there is breath in me, I will get up and I will fight you.”