All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The clashing of swords rang through the air like clanging church bells. Cold sweat fell down my face. The burly man who was my executioner came at me with his sword harder than any man I had ever faced before. All I could do was back up and try to parry his blows. Fear was seeping its way into every part of my body. As I backed up, I lost my footing and fell on my back helplessly. I looked up and saw the man standing over me with all his muscles bulging as he grasped his double edged sword with both hands. He lifted the sword above his head. As he brought the sword down atop of me, I shed one single tear drop that stung worse than the sword in my chest.
I woke up dazed and frightened. I thought to myself, “Am I dead……?” I dared not open my eyes to check. I rubbed my fingers through my straight, brown hair. I felt hot, and I was even sweating.
“Get up! Breakfast is here, or would you like me to eat your last meal for you?” a man’s voice said.
I opened my eyes and saw a retched looking man who was missing a front tooth. He was holding a biscuit and a glass of dirty water. He threw the biscuit on the black floor of my jail cell and then set the water down just out of my reach.
“Could you actually hand me the water?” I said critically. I regretted saying that because he then picked the water up and tossed the cold substance on me. I was thirsty too, I really needed that water. I picked the biscuit up, but it was as hard as a rock, so I didn’t eat it.
The man looked at me. “For a thief you are a real picky one.”
I just ignored him and sat hungrily till he left. Well you are probably wondering how I got here. Yesterday I was going through my daily thieving duties. I was quite happy with what I had stolen that day. I was walking along the streets of the kingdom and passed by a meat shop. Then I saw it - a giant roasted ham that was just sitting on the table of the shop.
“I could feed myself for two weeks with that ham,” I thought to myself. I decided I needed to have it. I have no family to feed me, so I have to eat somehow. Well I devised a plan to wait till someone bought the ham, then I would steal it from them. I didn’t want to run into the butcher like last time, but that is another story. A man, who I believed was rich, found the ham and bought it. I walked right on up behind the man to grab the ham, but before I was even in reach of the ham, a man with a strong grip grabbed me and pinned me to the ground!
“Sire, what shall we do with this thief?” The man I was trying to steal from turned around. I saw his face. It was the king!
“Is this the boy who has been stealing from everyone in the kingdom?”
“Yes sire. This boy’s name is Daniel.”
“Well then, Daniel will regret stealing from me and my people. Bring him to the castle dungeon.”
So that’s how I got here, about to be executed for stealing a ham. I guess my own greed caused this. You know, I really am scared. I don’t want to die.
I stood up and looked out my little window with bars out to an arena and I could see people filling in seats. As I was looking outside, wondering how I was going to be executed, the ugly man from before opened the jail cell door.
As the man turned the key he said, “It is time. Did you enjoy your last meal?”
“Well thanks to you I’m gonna die thirsty.” I got up and walked out of the cell where he started putting handcuffs on me.
“I……” He tightened the cuffs. “Don’t……” He tightened them more. “Like the way you talk back to me.” He tightened them one last time and I yelped because they were hurting my wrists. I sighed and knew I should keep my mouth shut, but if I was going to die I at least wanted to fight back.
“Now I know why they gave you this job. You’re the ugliest person they know. The worst punishment for us prisoners is your face.” I chuckled to myself, but I knew it wouldn’t be funny for long. He shoved me against the wall. He had his hands on my neck pinning me.
“If you say one more word, I will make sure the executioner has a day off. The crowd would be very disappointed. We don’t want that, so shut up.” He then let go of me. We started walking through dark corridors that seemed they were never ending. I don’t know how anyone could find their way around here. After we had walked for a while we stopped at a door. He pushed me forward, towards an old wooden door. He opened the door then took my cuffs off. He shoved me inside the room as soon as he got the cuffs off me.
I got up and heard the door behind me close and lock. I examined the room. It was dark and had a dirt floor covered in straw. In the center of the room was a table that would normally act as a display case, but it now was the holding place of a knife.
Beneath the knife was a note which read, “Those who take their lives before the fight to the death will save themselves from complete shame and embarrassment. Choose wisely…..”
I picked the knife up and felt it. It was dull. I was pondering the idea of committing suicide, but I shook my head and told myself, “It would be more shameful to kill myself now. That would be a disgrace.”
I sat down to think over everything. My body started getting hot and the fear of the unknown gurgled inside me. I felt sick. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down. Then some light started seeping into the room. I looked up and saw a gate opening. I could see thousands of people standing and cheering throughout the arena.
“What cold brutes they all are. They are foul beings. They all came just to see a fifteen year old boy die.”
The king and queen were also sitting separate from the crowd. I walked into the ring of the arena timidly. The king had a smirk on his face and he looked directly at me. In front of me was a short sword that looked as if it could break at any moment. I picked it up and grasped it in my right hand.
“Bring out the defender!” said the king.
A gate on the opposite side of the arena slowly lifted open. I started to see the man who would take my life and I gasped. This man must have been two feet taller than me. I’m pretty tall for my age, so that tells you how big he is. As the man walked you could see his muscles bulging. He stopped when he got to the center of the arena. Then he raised his sword, which was as long as me, and stabbed it into the ground. He lifted his arms, flexing his muscles. He grabbed his shirt and ripped it off his upper body. My eyes widened as I saw his massive chest.
The crowd chanted his name, “TORRO, TORRO, TORRO, TORRO!”
“I have a feeling this isn’t going to go well,” I thought.
“The champion will fight the offender to the death. Begin when ready,” the king announced. The crowd roared in excitement.
Torro picked his sword up as the king said this. He turned and then stared at me with cold, blank eyes. I could tell he had no problem killing a fifteen year old boy.
He started towards me and his sword flashed white, glittering lights from the sun. My mind kicked back in. I knew I had to do something, so I ran the opposite direction. I knew I couldn’t defend myself with this sword. It would fall apart at the first strike. I turned to see where Torro was. To my surprise he was running extremely fast for a man his size. Someone from the crowd threw a rock at me and hit me on the back of the head. My eyes closed and I fell over from shock, but when I opened my eyes I saw Torro standing over me holding his sword above his head. Suddenly I felt my body start to rumble. I thought this might be the feelings before death, but I saw Torro was shaking as well. The shaking grew stronger every second. The ground beneath Torro split open and his leg fell in and was pinned.
I got up on my feet, but the grond shook harder and more violently. The crowd was screaming in fear. The arena floor was breaking apart and large cracks were forming. I looked around to see if there was an escape route. By this time the arena was shaking so hard that pieces of the walls were crumbling. One wall of the coliseum had broken open and created an opening. I ran toward it jumping and dodging chasms in the floor. I made it to the opening and ran through it. There was a forest next to the arena, so I ran to it. I didn’t stop running through the forest until the ground stopped shaking. I sat on a log and breathed heavily. I knew I was safe.
I closed my eyes and really thought deep into myself, “I really should be dead right now. I was saved. I was provided with a miracle. An earthquake saved my life. I never thought a disaster would be my savior. I wouldn’t have been in this situation if I hadn’t tried to steel that one stupid ham. All stealing has done for me has been to get me in trouble. No more, no more. No more stealing. I can’t do it anymore. There are going to be some big changes. Most people would consider me lucky, but I believe something else. Someone must be looking out for me. I don’t know who, but there is someone. I was saved once. I’m not gonna waste my second chance.”
I realized today. I escaped my own death…..