“He slogged me in the gut,” Mike said, bent halfway over.

Tommy asked, “He what?”

Mike coughed slightly, holding his middle with his arms wrapped around. “He slogged me. Man that hurt!”

Tommy glanced over to Jerry. “What’d you do to him?”

“He was bein’ obnoxious so I tapped him in the gut,” Jerry shrugged.

“You hit him?” Tommy asked.

“Yeah,” Jerry shrugged again. “But not that hard.”

Tommy looked back to Mike. “What’d you call it? You said he slogged you?”

Mike stood and inhaled deeply. “Yeah, I can feel my intestines bruising right now.”

“I thought slog was like a swamp,” Mike squinted.

“No, that’s a bog,” Jerry piped in, looking at Mike with a grin.

The corner’s of Mike’s mouth turned down. His shoulders moved back, preparing to pounce on Jerry.

“Now wait just a second,” Jerry said, giggling. “You kept movin’ the box of nails and I nearly fell off the platform reachin’ for ’em.” He pointed at Mike with the hammer in his right hand.

Tommy, still confused, asked, “What does that word mean?”

“What word?” asked Jerry, taking a stance to defend himself.

“Slog. Where’d you get that word from, Mikey?”

Nostrils flared on Mike’s face as he breathed heavily. “It’s just a word. I dunno.” He never took his eyes off Jerry.

“I swear it means somethin’ else,” Tommy shook his head. “You sure it’s not a swamp, or a creek or somethin’?”

Jerry was inching backward around the platform, delaying Mike’s attack. “Hey you two!” Tommy shouted, snapping back to reality. “We’re ten feet in the air, don’t be jackasses.”

“Well if he hadn’t slogged me this wouldn’t be a big deal!” Mike shouted back. Jerry chuckled.

“Stop using that word, Mikey. Jerry, apologize for punching Mikey in the gut.”

“Sorry man,” Jerry said as he stood up from his defensive stance. His chest shook, trying to contain his laughter. Mikey took a step forward.

“It’s fine,” he said, reaching his hand out. As Jerry reached out in kind, Mike quickly shifted and landed his fist in the middle of Jerry’s stomach. He doubled over, “OOOF!”

Mike laughed. “See, not so fun to get a slog in the intestines, is it?!”

“Jesus, Mikey!” Tommy exclaimed. “Fine, now you’re even. Get back to work, this treehouse isn’t gonna build itself. And for Christ’s sake stop using that stupid word!”

Slog