Shirtless Cousins

Shirtless Cousins

Posted on May 13, 2020 at 2:21 pm by Hughie Freeman

Councils up and down the country have done everything to hound them out. They called it a social cleansing to rid the communities of the riffraff in society. Breaking all of the rules that if normal people committed, would immediately land them in front of a magistrate court.

They don’t pay rent, nor taxes. They don’t contribute to society, nor do they read.. or write.

And if you pay the buggers to fix you up with a new bathroom.. be prepared for a sink hanging off the wall and a full-human sized log left unflushed.


Abandoned cars; scrapped for parts. Seagulls the size of infant children; feasting on litter remains. A fly-tipper’s paradise in what seems to have been a well kept location once upon a time.

Stood in front of a dumpster are a gang of twelve travellers… shirtless. The man in the middle is HOW debutant Hughie Freeman. Hughie lights a cigarette before stepping forward to address his audience.

Hughie: Stop fucking about. This starts and ends now, right.

The men in line start to become agitated.

Hughie: This is going up on YouTube so there’s no bullshit. No middle man. If you got yourself a middle man he’s gunna get straightened too. I’m telling you now, right.

The tension is bubbling with particular mannerisms linked to violence; pacing, head-shakes and scowls.

Hughie: HOW, me and my cousins are sick of hearing your bastard excuses, now here.

A more large and out of shape gypsy starts to become more animated than the rest. Hughie notices this and decides to give him the floor.

Hughie: Tell em’ Cresswell.

Cresswell: We’ve got you shite-ing in a bucket scared. Shite in a bucket!

Cresswell Freeman bashes his head like Yul Brenner off of Cool Runnings.

Hughie: Ya got me a fight now? Heard of contract breakdowns but this is taking the Michael now. Ya talk more than my lass with a full sink of dishes. All talk a good game but really you’re all a bunch of shithouses. Look here now, ya can’t dress this up now. Slip into your little Robin Hood costumes cos I’m the real fighting man, see. The glitz, the glamour.. all of that bullshit. Don’t mean nothing. Ya all manufactured, see. They don’t make men like Hughie Freeman no more. I’m cut from a different cloth.

Hughie legitimately spits on his hand and offers it out to the camera, signalling a proposed handshake.

Hughie: Put it there HATE. I signed with you and you’ve got me a fight. No pissing about. You say what you mean and mean what you say. Gotta love HATE for that.

Creswell: God bless you, Woody. All the best to you and your family, ya hear.

Hughie: HOW wonna bring in Hughie Freeman, put me on the tele to make me like some cartoon character. No cheers. I’ve come here to put fists in faces and I’m all full of piss and vinegar. I’ll start from the bottom and bash everyone up on the way to the top. I don’t need your HOW rub. I’m no shite-hawk. I’m right in your face and ugly. All Hughie Freeman needs is HATE.

Freeman’s: HATE!

Collectively the Freeman family shout: HATE. With passion and conviction. Like a band of brothers, hooligan firm.. or even the cult off of Dude Where’s My Car shouting: ZOLTAN!

Hughie: All of this talk of HOW being burnt to the ground when it’s all said and done, here now. All talk with no trousers. That message has been sent around caravan parks for the last five years and we’re still waiting for the second coming of Guy Fawkes.

Why fuckin wait? I’ll go up to the offices right now with my cousins and petrol bomb the fucker. It don’t bother me. Not like you’ve given me the lickings of a bastard dog.

Cresswell: Burn the babies!

Hughie: Ya one week too late. I’m ready to fight now. Not tomorrow, not Christmas eve and not on our day to celebrate our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. You bunch of political bastards won’t keep Hughie Fury from reaching the top of the mountain. Reclaiming, you hear. Reclaiming my place as the number one, pound-for-pound–

Cresswell: Shuffle, lad. Show em’ the shuffle.

On command, Hughie demonstrates his boxing footwork.

Hughie: –Gypsy Warrior from the best mother!

A rallying roar from The Freeman’s as they cheer on their blue-eyed boy.

Hughie: Some pikey on a hill ain’t gunna make an easy fight for any of you lads. I’m no punching bag ya hear. But that’s not cos I’m no team player, now. No B.S. I’ve been straight up with you from day one. Happy to play ball. But I won’t fetch it back every time HOW throw the fucker. You’re keeping me hanging like mongrel bollocks now. I’m a patient man, alright. Very patient man. But I’m no fool either. I didn’t smell a rat. I smelt microwaved skunk. And I don’t like it, now. Naw, not one bit.

Hughie puts the cigarette in his mouth, gets the bit between his teeth and proceeds without removal.

Hughie: HATE are men of their word. Strike me as proper fighting people. That’s why I chose HATE. It took me five seconds to grab it and it’s a match made in HATE. No false pretence, now. I can look at Woody in the eyes and he isn’t here to play fantasy booker. He promises a route to the top and that’s what we’ll do. Starting with Hollywood.

Hughie removes the cigarette and puffs out the smoke.

Hughie: You got a home, haven’t ya? Looks all fucking nice here now, don’t it? All of the title belts and trophy cabinets. Looks shiny. Looks legit. Looks real fucking special. I hope this caravan you all call HOW keeps you all warm at night. That’s good. We’re so fucking happy for you… aren’t we boys.

Deadly silence, with a deep underlining resentment consuming the atmosphere.

Hughie: HOW is no home for Hughie Freeman, ya hear? Snakes in the grass, not men. And Hughie Freeman will never break his back for them. Stick all of your free house and car bonuses up your arse cos The Freeman’s don’t play the game that way.

Freeman’s: HATE!

Hughie: Well it’s nice you’ve got a place you call home. Where your pal Hughie rests his head at night changes as much as you’re changing your mind about this fight, Hollywood. My voice, now. You recognize it? Naw, don’t have a Scooby. It’s a mix between Ireland and Wizard of fucking Oz. You don’t know me at all, fella. But I promise you, when the Fatality Punch lands you’ll be speaking foreign to me as well. Try Swahili.

Cresswell: Big up you Swahili warriors!

Hughie: Look, I’m not here to take cheap shots at the size of your big fat wallet. Too easy, gaffer. Not to mention that huge cemented caravan you got yourself up there on Hollywood drive.

Off record, fella.. Only mentioning this cos I’m a good honest man, now. But your in desperate need of new felt around your guttering. Luckily for you my son, I’m the best roofer this side of anywhere you hear. But hold your horses, big man.. mates rates now. I wouldn’t rip your eyeballs out. I gotta heart my man.

But here’s the thing. You trusted the wrong people down the line.. Few cowboy builders in your time and it’s got you up shits creek without no armbands. You call em’ cowboys. The Freeman’s call them.. The Order.

Cresswell: Hughie!

Cresswell Freeman then calls for what is presumed to be his young cousin, Hughie.

Hughie: Business matters.

Hughie looks shifty as he enters a huddle with his cousins. As a quiet conversation progresses, the Irish travellers look about, sporadically. This only reaffirms how paranoid they’re coming off.

Hughie then approaches the camera again as the huddle disbands back into a line.

Hughie: I’ll trade you for it.

Hughie almost looks like he’s awaiting a reply.

Hughie: Naw, straight up. Trade ya the caravan for the big boy home.

The squawking of obese greedy seagulls fill in the long silences.

Hughie: Lads make a good point, now. You’re out training like Rocky. Try living like the fucker. Offers there, gaffer. The novelty will wear thin, you’ll be sick of your life in no time. You’ll grow to HATE it.

But trust me now, cos where your man Woody is drove by HATE. Hughie only has HATE coming from these bad boys.

Hughie Freeman admires his clenched fists.

Hughie: When they hit you flush in the face, Bri. You’ll have a forever hangover. Not a happy dance after a little harmless victory.. but cos Hughie landed and it was goodnight fucking Chicago.

Don’t David Haye on me. There’s nothing wrong with your pinky toe. You’ve signed up to fight and there’s no sparring session or over-training that’s gunna stop this happening at Refueled XXVI. Not all of the rowing machines or kettlebells can save you now. You can be as fit as two fiddles.. Don’t make a chicken lay. This is no running race. Cos you can’t treat a slack-arse-jaw at the end of the day. You got a soft spot right on the tip of the iceberg. An achillies-jaw that’s begging to be touched. And that big Matt Damon head of yours is gunna bomb like a huge Hollywood film straight into bargain bins across the whole damn country, see.

Hughie Freeman takes a mighty drag from his cigarette and then blows.

Hughie: Solid foundations. But you ain’t gunna stop the leaking roof until you face facts. Heart? We’ll see, wont we? I’ll take you into the stretch. I’ll take you past time limits and we’ll just test that trusted ticker of yours. If your jaw is glass. What material is your heart, son… plastic? You tell Hughie.

Fact is, I can respect a man that puts in the hard graft, now. And aye, you have enough money to buy every Golds Gym in the land twice over, but you’re still out there grinding. Fucking Hughie has heard you’ve been back in the gym busting a gut and bullock. Takes a lot for a man of luxury who doesn’t need to go out to still fight for his bread. You still have a look of a man that is still chasing his first pay cheque. Respect, fella. But if I didn’t know any better. No, come on now, Bri. Level with me here.. Hughie wasn’t born yesterday. Isn’t it kinda strange you putting in the hard graft in only when the cameras are rolling? Whoa, easy girl. I’m just spitting with you here. Free country.

The thought of War Games forces you to do eleven push ups instead of ten. You talk a real good game, Bri. I just hope you’re chopping up wood and shouting Drago from a mountain top for real, mate. Cos that looks good. That looks real good. But let me tell you, Billy.. your fight is not with your win/loss record, its not with how it all looks on the tele; your fight is with Hughie fucking Freeman. Make no mistake, cos it only takes one, and your right back crying into your cornbeef sarnies from the winners buffet.

Your silence is deafening. You’re worried about what Hughie Freeman is gunna do, son. Forget all that. Worry about putting one foot in front of the other and making it down that rampway, lad. Trust in your rotten-egg drinking and come full force. I’m a true fighting historian, ya hear. I know everything there is about you and I want that Brian Hollywood former HOW World Champion form. I know you were once the underdog.. it’s just a kicker that Hughie knows your tricks. But maybe that’s why you’re sleeping in gyms cos you’re desperate to teach the old dog new ones. Maybe you’re best trick of all is taking The Fatality Punch and through no fault of your own.. playing dead my man.

Creswell: Stay down you cunt!

Hyperthetical venom is spat in the shape of human saliva. It doesn’t do much in the respect of preventing Hughie from proceeding however.

Hughie: I never had Hollywood down as a counter-fighter. Have you looked at that? Maybe that’s where it all went wrong for you superstar. Get out of your cinema room in your big boy home, Hollywood.. the fight is right here. Game plans are all great until you get one straight down the middle of your guard, Billy. You’ll not want to know. And if I didn’t know any better then maybe you’re making things more difficult then they need to be. It’s just a fight. You don’t need to HATE me and I don’t need to HATE you. But trust me, big man… I’m a different animal to any cartoon bullshit you’ve faced before. My fists don’t go ‘BANG’ and ‘KAPOW’ when they connect with your fathead.

If I didn’t know any better then I’d say you’re trying to pull the wool over the eyes, aye? I’d say you got one eye on War Games and the other still on the buffet table. I’m your man, I’m your test. You want to live, breathe and dream about me fuck-boy. Cos I’m doing the exact same thing for you. I just don’t sing about it stood on the top of my caravan. I don’t need no rotten news report on every time I eat a piece of you and shit it out the other end. Just trust your local traveller that what I say is gospel, now.

Your words don’t mean shit today. It’s too late. You’re fighting backwards and your boy Hughie just so happens to be the best pressure fighter this game has to offer. Muhammad Ali says he’s the greatest. Well he was, until it was time to say goodbye.

Creswell: God rest your soul, Mohammed Ali. Condolences to your family.

Hughie: Lock your gym, barricade the door and don’t come out. You see you, you gymnast from California; it’s gunna take a lot more than fancy dancing and leotards to put me away. So call me out, call me any names, and you are getting it. I’ve just decided right now, its become personal between me and you.. and I’m going to do you some serious harm you big stiff idiot.

Creswell: I’ll do his private chef! I’ll shite in his wok!

HATE consumes Hughie Freeman and his shirtless cousins. The HOW cameras hold their shot with a menacing final shot of Hughie.

Suddenly, a gigantic seagull swoops down into the shot and misses Hughie’s head by mere milometers. Hughie does not budge whilst holding the crucial final shot for the HOW cameras.

Hughie: Had it hit me, I’d of punched it.