A journey through the bowels of Hell
with The Devil as your guide.


This is a preview to the chapter Eleven from the book Hellbound by Tim Hawken.
Please note this text is copyright protected.

Covering my head from the view of the crowd, I crouched in my corner and pulled a small bag of cocaine out of my shorts’ pocket. I placed it beneath my left nostril and inhaled sharply, sucking the powder into my lungs. I felt instantly charged. This had become my pre-fight ritual, the only time I used the drug, lest it not affect me in the desired way. It made me feel invincible, capable of anything.

I stood back up to my full height. I felt fit, lithe, fast and strong. I’d trained hard to get rid of my beer-addled body, to hone it into a sleek weapon. I rubbed my bare hands over my ribbed stomach and back up again. The enhanced sensation from the drugs made my skin tingle.

I’d flown to Thailand a month previously to compete on the underground fighting circuit in Bangkok. It was reputedly the toughest in the world and very lucrative. Since my realization that I’d wasted three years of my life behind slot machines and drowning in beer, I’d become obsessed with becoming the best fighter I could. I trained incessantly, day and night, using the skipping rope that Dante had left in my fridge as my first tool for getting back to a proper weight. Completely neurotic about my diet, my only vice had become the toot of white powder I took before my fights. I was focused and ready. I believed strongly that I had become one of the best fighters in the world, all by myself. I’d been too proud to go back to my old coach and ask for his help. I wanted to stand on my own two feet for once.

I danced into the ring, holding my arms out to the crowd, soaking in their applause. I would put on a great show for them. I would toy with this local favorite before crushing his spirits and his body. I hadn’t lost a fight since coming to Thailand. I had been pushed on several occasions, but never really challenged. I hoped in my heart that I would be this time. I was ready for the fight. I began to sweat, not just from the humid Thai climate and cocaine, but also from anticipation of the challenge my opponent posed. He was much taller than me, with long legs and arms. He was fit, with quick hands and lethal feet. His name was Seuua Khrohng, which meant ‘huge tiger’. Seuua’s head was shaved bald, but he had thick black eyebrows that framed his Asian eyes. He smiled. He had a full set of teeth, which was rare for a Thai fighter. It was a sign of great skill.
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