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He stood in front of the mirror, the pale light from a single bulb shedding over the bruise spreading beneath his left eye. He twined the skein of balbriggan around right his hand, once, twice, three times, until it was a thick, firm wad of fabric that would protect his knuckles. He flexed his fingers and folded them into a fist around the padding. He punched the heel of his left hand, a sharp jab to make sure the wrapping was tight and secure. Then he looked at the mirror again. "Never again," he whispered, and with another sharp jab, punched out the glass.


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balbriggan (bal-BRIG-uhn) noun
A knitted, unbleached cotton fabric, used in hosiery and underwear.
[After Balbriggan, a town near Dublin in Ireland, where it was first made.]

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