Miles tilted his head down and towards Coach Dan again, eyes glaring past the tip of the foil that was pointed directly at his opponent.
“Fight — back,” Miles said, emphasizing each word tersely. Coach Dan offered no reply.
Uttering a noise that sounded like a combination of grunt and battle cry, Miles lunged again. Coach Dan parried. Miles attacked again. And again. And again. Miles was evidently exerting far more energy than he had before, while Coach Dan remained cooly passive, parrying each thrust with assurance.
Miles stepped back, clearly exhausted. He threw his foil down onto the cafeteria floor, making a sound that foils were not supposed to make. He yelled, swore, and glared at Coach Dan.
“This is wrong!” Miles screamed. “The only reason I took up this dumb sport was that there was always a winner or loser. It’s simple, it’s pure. All the other sports, there’s all kinds of stupid rules — football, basketball — baseball’s the worst. But when you fence, it’s straightforward. You either hit, or get hit.
“Oh no, but you,” he said, pointing to Coach Dan — “you’ve got to make a lesson out of this, like you do with everything else. There always has to be a moral, doesn’t there. Always has to be some unwritten rule you have to follow. And when someone comes along and breaks the rules, you have to set them straight. You’re just another member of the morality police, aren’t you?”
Coach Dan, who had lowered his foil, said nothing.