tagNon-EroticThe Arena

The Arena


The cheers from the crowd, their stamping feet, the dust that falls from the rafters in my small cell.

It is time, and I rise from my simple bunk, and stand. Almost in total darkness, I walk the maze of twists and turns, occasionally hearing a whisper as I pass other cells; "Good luck Maximus", "Strength and honor, General" and the like.

Bringing me to a small chamber, on the bench lies my armor. On the other side of the room is a door. I know this door very well...the door leads to the ramp...that ramp leads to the coliseum ...and the coliseum leads to...well I don't like to think where that leads.

The guards, from behind the gate , watch as I don my armor. It doesn't seem like much but out there you use what you can. Personally though , I usually stick to the basics, but pass on the helmet.

Once properly garbed, one guard, drops a gladius, it's razors' edge catches the torch light, followed by a round shield, which kicks up the dust.

Standing, alone, I take a moment to make peace with my maker. The other doors open and I can see a light at the top of the ramp.

I start my run, every step bringing me closer and closer. Slowing as I near the opening, so that I simply walk through.

The cheers from the crowd now roar like thunder in the loudest of storms. The sunlight washes over me, turning , viewing the spectacle of the mob, as my eyes now adjust to the light.

Looking over the crowd...my eyes dart. Something ..is.. not as it usually is. There is something different. There! In the third tier , two boxes from center.

I see a face...a veiled face...but I know the eyes...I have seen them before, I have seen their sparkle before. I continue to peer up, unable to take mine from hers. Everything else stops for me, melting away, sound fading , till there is only silence , you and I.

Your eyes then grow wide...wide.....wide with alarm? Wide with panic? Why? Why panic?

Dear Heavens Above! I Am In The Coliseum!!

The sounds flooding back...the cheers, the screams, but loudest are the sound of heavy footsteps charging at me from behind. Without turning, I can tell what type of armor my opponent is wearing. By the jingle and squeaking, I know it's metal. By the sound of his labored breath, I know it's heavy. I wait and I can see the shadow nearing.

Glancing up for a moment, seeing you pull your veil away ...starting to scream a warning. Giving you a quick wink and slight half smile.

He is almost upon me, the shadow shows a downward arc of his sword.

I leap forward at the last moment....satisfied with the sound of his blade striking the dirt and the crowd laughter.

Turning to see...my goodness....look at the size of this one, he nearly blocks the sun. Holding his sword low and his shield tight to his body, northern European, pale skin....maybe a Celt, maybe a German...I don't know him but it seems he knows me.

We start our dance...slowly circling one another....studying...watching...waiting.

I can't see his eyes because of that damned helmet, but he must be roasting in that armor.

He takes a few lunges, getting his range, than a series of strikes and feints. All tests, how fast, what fighting style, what defenses, which side is stronger, all learned in those first few scant seconds. But time is the real enemy, as the crowd grows impatient the louder they get, until the roar can unnerve the steadiest of gladiators.

I hold, shooting a quick gaze to my secret spectator...and another smile. Distracted, entranced, mystified by those eyes.

Raising my shield, receiving strike after strike, blow after blow. Hearing him, grunting, gasping, and cursing in a foreign tongue. Letting him tire himself with his frenzy of stabs and strikes.

Watching his movement...knowing he can not last much longer...the heat... the armor. and then it is decided.

I lower my sword, dropping the shield and I simply wait. I am grazed and nicked over a half dozen times in this melee. Letting the blood flow, minimal as it is to enflame the crowd.

A hush falls over the crowd.

A pause

A moment...he realizes his fatal error.

He charges...nearing...closing...sword held high.

Turning my wrist , stepping in at the last second, letting the flat of my blade strike his elbow, as he harmlessly passes. The shock from the impact causes his hand to open involuntarily ....and now his sword is at my feet.

Freeing himself from his shield, to cradle his numb arm. Dumbfounded...standing there...then he drops to his knees. Head bowed....waiting.

With my free hand, I pull the helm from him. Taking a hold of a tuft of his hair I wrench back his head, eyes now up at the sun. Until it is my face that blocks the light. He has lost and he knows it, sadly he waits, sword tip, inches away.

My eyes dart...the crowd crying my name " Maximus!....Maximus!...Maximus!"

I look to her, with her hands covering her mouth, not knowing what I will do. A quick glance to the emperor. My heart is pounding, aching, begging silently for the emperor to be merciful.

It would seem that he has been amused enough for one day, thankfully his thumb points to the heavens. The crowd is not happy, but there is only one person in the crowd whose happiness I'm concerned with.

Letting go of the saved ones' hair. I walk towards the wall, watching her make her way through the mob, her smile, her wave. Seeing her mouth the word 'Syds' from a pulled back veil.

I lower my head in a knowing bow, then watch her, making her way out. I return to the doorway with the ramp. Turning one last time to the crowd, hands held high, inducing another roar as I disappear into the darkness.

Moving like in a dream, down the hallways. moments later, padding down along another corridor, one I have come to visit quite a bit of lately. Opening the door, receiving warm greetings, sounds of merriment and a look from across the room from a pair of very familiar and friendly eyes.

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byMaximus~the~great© 0 comments/ 8835 views/ 0 favorites

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