The Colosseum

March 20, 2017

Dry, my head pushed at me from my sleep. So dry, it called. Unconsciously my tongue snaked out to wet my parched lips. When that didn’t work, my eyes fluttered open. Sand flitted away from my lashes as I lifted my head only to find nothing. For further than I could see were rolling hills of sand that filled the empty expanse. I twisted my head to look behind but only found more solemn dunes.
Instantly I was thrust out of my hazy demeanor. My mind racing with questions as I tried to stand only to find the lower half of my body was immobile. Yelping in surprise my gaze darted down to find I was half buried in the dust. Hoisting myself up on top of the sand my hands shook as I attempted to recover my bearings. My memory was a misty haze as I racked my brain for answers groaning in frustration when it yielded none.
  I looked out over the desert terrain again hoping I would see something, anything; that would give me some form of solace. But only grains of sand and miles of alabaster sky greeted me.
Abandoned and helpless I knew my chance of surviving was slim to none if I were to stay. My feet pulled me forward across the sinking knolls searching for any sign of life besides my own. 
I don’t know how long I walked, but it must have been hours later when I glimpsed a tiny shimmer in the distance. Almost weeping with relief my limbs found new life as I trekked through the scorching bluffs.
   As I approached the glimmer turned into giant plates of metal, crudely bolted together to form a massive structure that seemed to span across the desert in a circular shape. I followed the ridge until a large opening revealed itself on the side of the build. Men dressed in ragged drapes stood on guard against both sides of the opening, guns strapped to their chest. They watched me as I passed by but made no attempt to stop me from entering. I thanked whatever blessings I had left that they hadn't left me out to starve in the sand.
The opening was a large tunnel that ended in a bright light that made me squint to see. When my eyes recovered, I gasped at the sight that stood before me. Rows of seats made from red sandstone piled high giving them the appearance of bleachers. They circled a large expanse of sand, the seats filled to the brim with people shouting and cheering. I looked towards whatever held their attention. Two men battled in the scorching heat in what appeared to be a large pit in the center. My eyes did a double take, and I corrected myself. No, a man and a boy, my stomach clenched nauseated. The man, clearly having the upper hand drove the boy backward towards the wall. Standing a few feet away from the fight was another man wearing a thin white cloth, noticeably not combat ready, leading me to believe he was some moderator. The ringmaster, I realized and flinched as the boy hit the wall with a sickening crunch.
“Winner!,” the master shouted into the crowd pointing at the man who stood victoriously over the boy's broken body. The people roared with celebration, while I stared on in horror at the boy's corpse.
A nudge in my back brought me out of my stupor.
“Move it,” a man from behind prodded me into the ring.
“W-what?” I gawked at him. He raised his eyebrows and gestured me towards the ring. “Wait this is a mistake,” I said quickly but another man joined the first, and they took me by the arms dragging me towards the pit. “Wait! I’m not supposed to be here,” I cried desperately, seeing the door on my life gradually shutting close.
One of the men grunted,“none of us are kid.”
They shoved me into the ring.

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