New Age Gladiator

January 19, 2012
My opponent parried the sword I had aimed at his neck, and his own swung down towards me. Instinctively, I weaved out of the way, but as my head turned back to face him, I felt something heavy slam the back of my head. Dazed, my eyes watering from the pain, I didn’t see the sword until right before it pierced my eye, and I fell...

I opened my crusted eyes, and it was dark. Night, I assumed, and I saw strange torches lining the road before me. Tall and skinny, they pooled light on the ground below, yet strangely, the flames did not flicker. Where was I? I remembered falling, then nothing. I assumed I had died in the Coliseum, but no, here I was, standing and breathing. My hand touched my face in search of any wounds. Nothing. Odd.

I started walking down the road with strange torches. In the distance I could see other light, which seemed to flicker properly, as torches should, but they were moving too fast to be possible. No horses could hope to run so fast. One of my fellow fighters in the Coliseum, a muscular, dark-skinned man, had talked about spotted cats back in his homeland that could run faster than any horse. Maybe he had mentioned those cats pulling chariots, I couldn’t remember. He had died the next day, a trident through his neck.

The chariots were making an awful lot of noise. They sounded more like elephants than cats, great blaring sounds that could leave you deaf if heard too often and too close. I remembered fighting an elephant once. Not alone of course, I had two other men alongside me. Working together with our spears, we skewered its knees to make it buckle to the ground, and I scrambled quickly on top of it and drove my sword through its skull. There was thunderous applause after that fight. The memory made me smile.

This road with the strange torches seemed to stretch on forever. I strained my eyes to see farther, and spotted two pricks of light on the horizon. One of the chariots must have spotted me. They must not like outsiders in this country. There must have been at least four cats pulling the chariot, as it was already getting very close. I wondered if I should hide. Technically, even being such a glorified gladiator, I was still an escaped slave. I began to wonder again how I had survived, and how I had ended up in the strange country where spotted cats pull chariots. But the cart pulling up in front of me had no cats pulling it; it had no animals at all, not even elephants, but still the blaring noise was deafening. What was this monster? Rome was the most advanced civilization in the world, yet I had never heard of such a machine existing. No, I would not run; I would not hide. I was a gladiator, and if I was to die, I would end in a blaze of glory as good as any man could hope for. I drew my sword, and the blade shone white as freshly forged steel in the torchlight from the chariot. Screeching like a crazed animal, the chariot charged at me, as I ran forward, sword clutched tightly in my sure hands. We met, and for a second I knew what it was like to be a bird. My head struck a rock, and I fell once more.

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M1_65T said...
Jan. 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm
really cool, please write more
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