Blood on the Sand
Author's note: I started to write this piece for a history assignment but soon I really started too get into it.... Show full author's note »
Scroll I ~ RufusEver since my guardian Claudia rescued me as a young child from the dubious future of a slave in Rome and gave me my bulla – my key to freedom – I have always been enthralled when it came to the Games. When I was first led about the city, a bewildered lad on shaky legs, curious about each and every new discovery, I gasped when I first saw the magnificent Arena and from then I was hooked.
I don’t remember much about my early life. I was a Celt savage in Britain and however bewildered and frightened I was to be captured, I am grateful for my deliverance to civilization. My real name is Iowan although Claudia always calls me Rufus in public. My family, who I can no longer picture, were sold into slavery also. I doubt that any of them had the good fortune like me to be sold to one such as Claudia who made me her adopted child and transformed my future.
However, although I remember little about my early childhood, I can remember clearly the first time I went to see the Games at the Coliseum. I remember the baying of the crowd and the clink of the swords. I remember clutching Claudia’s hand and staring with goggle-eyes at the performers in front of me. I must have looked a sight: a stocky little red-head looking at the show as if I had been born yesterday!
We had front seats and I could see the sweat on the forehead of the heroic warriors fighting for glory and renown. I was then that I first saw my hero. The great, red-haired warrior fought with skill and grace and I knew that one day when I grew up I was going to be a gladiator like him.
The dread-inspiring man stood erect and proud as he challenged his opponent, cunningly dodging all his thrusts; parrying and easily deflecting his jabs. The sweat stood out on his forehead as he delivered his killer blow and the scarlet blood of the defeated seeped into the sand around the arena. He was magnificent. I would have given anything to be like him.
The only thing I had ever wanted was to be in the ring, listening to the crowds cheering my name as I stood victorious.
* * * * *
It’s my 16th birthday soon and Claudia is going to instate me as a citizen of Rome. And the first thing I’m going to do… I’m going to enroll as a fearless fighter: a gladiator!!!