This is the first chapter of my first attempt at writing so would like to hear some feed back please.
The noise of the arena was deafening from the stands. The noise infected everyone who heard it with excitement of the promise of blood. Everyone except for those waiting beneath, waiting with me. My names James Robinson, and as I wait for my death I cannot help but think back to how my short life had come to this end far from my family, my friends, my home, and my country.
Two years before...
I lifted my axe above my head with all my speed and strength and brought it down on my target. With a loud thud my axe buried itself into the tree trunk I was cutting up as part of my chores. My body- covered in bulging muscles do to years of intense training and hard labour- dripped with sweat from working in the mid-summers sun.
With one more powerful swing I broke through the rest of the tree and dropped my axe next to it as a few of the other men picked it up and moved it to where the new defences were being built. I didn't see the point of more defences. Due to our tradition of brutal training from the age of a young child we were the most feared tribe of Celts in all of Wales. Even at the age of 16 I had already taken three lives in battle.
But what I thought didn't matter. I was still training while my father was our most feared warrior and our leader. If he wanted to add another defence post no one would disagree.
Especially since the Romans had arrived.
My mind fills with disgusted as I think of them. Since they arrived 6 months earlier they have been attacking villages, killing, raping and enslaving as they went. When we first heard of them we thought the lesser tribes would be able to handle them. But as more and more villages were burnt to the ground we realised they were not to be so quickly defeated.
Yet even as they drew closer none of the tribes were willing to work together to defeat them. If we had maybe we could have defeated them and saved ourselves. But it was too late.
I was roughly woken up by my father dragging me out my bed. Within seconds I was on my feet and swung my right hand wildly at him he quickly ducked and stepped closer getting himself into perfect position to slam me down onto the ground.
"You're getting quicker." He said with his familiar smile he wore when defeating me.
"I'll be having you soon enough old man." I replied which made him laugh.
"I do not doubt it!" then he suddenly grew serious, "We are leaving to meet the Romans before they can get to our village."
My hand went straight to my sword. "Then lead the way so I can whet my blade with the blood of those bastards."
He smiled proudly at me but shook his head. "No son. We as in me and our trained warriors. You are to stay here and protect the women and children. I do not trust the other tribes if they hear we are leaving to meet the Romans they may try to destroy our village. You are in charge until I get back." With that he turned and left to prepare for battle.
There was a lot to do before our warriors left for battle. Food had to be gathered and stored for the journey, weapons had to be sharpened and repaired, horses had to be loaded, fed, and watered, and the men said their goodbyes before arming themselves and covered their faces and bodies with war paint. Once ready they looked a fearsome fight. I smiled sadly wishing I could join them.
As they turned away and started their journey to do battle with the Romans all the young men who had been left behind gathered around me and we all gave a war cry to show our support to our friends, our fathers, our brothers, our Warriors.
The rest of the day past as normal. I held the training as all our trainers had left to fight. As I watched the young men a feeling of pride filled my chest. I'd like to see anyone try to destroy our village with us to defend it.
There was a sudden sharp slap across the back of my head and I turned angrily to find my best friend Stefan laughing.
"You actually going to do any work today?" he taunted me.
"Only if you got the guts to train with me"
He laughed at that and threw me one of the wooden swords we used to train with. I caught it and took up a strong fighting position. As soon as I was ready Stefan attacked. I blocked his blow and had to duck quickly to avoid the next. Stefan was one of our best fighters. But I was better.
As he brought his sword around to swing again I side stepped and slashed with mine. He barely had time to block it. I kicked him in the chest dropping him to the ground. He rolled backwards and was on his feet again ready to meet my attack. I fainted to the right then attacked his left side catching him by surprise.
I grazed the side of his face with the wooden sword causing more shock than pain. But I too was shocked as he kicked out at my front leg as I finished my swing causing me to lose balance and fall to the ground. Stefan, believing me defeated thrusted with his sword down towards me.
I quickly rolled out the way and his sword buried itself into the ground. While he struggled to free it I swung around on the floor and kicked the back of his legs out making him crash hard to the ground. I was quickly on him my sword at his throat.
"I win." I said breathing hard.
"I almost got you." He laughed also breathing hard.
I smiled. "Almost. Soon enough you may actually win."
"Damn right I will!"
With that I got up and helped him to his feet.
"Ready?" I asked with a sly smile.
"Come on you little bastard." He shouted back. And with that I attacked again.
Once training was over I left to go down to the waterfall to bathe. Once I got there I stripped off my sweaty clothes and jumped straight into the pool formed by the waterfall. The water was freezing but I ignored that fact as I washed my body.
From behind came a scream.
I quickly got to the edge of the pool grabbed my sword an turned to race back to the village leaving my clothes on the side as I had no intention of wasting time getting dress. I wish I had.
I'd taken no more than two steps before I heard laughter coming from behind a tree a little further up the path. Then I was embarrassed to see the shapely form of Gwen step out from behind it with a sly grin on her face.
"I like your...sword!" she said with a little wink and another laugh. I quickly turned round grabbed my clothes and started clumsily getting dressed.
"Gwen! That was not funny. I thought we were being attacked."
"Ooh yes it was." She said tears of laughter in her eyes.
"Whatever. What you doing down here anyway?"
"Am I not allowed to wash too?" and with that she walked down to the edge of the water and stripped off completely and walked into the water.
When the water was up to her neck she turned round to face me.
"Well? You going to join me or not?"
I paused for a second, then stopped getting dressed and jumped straight into the water. When I got to her she put her arms around my neck and kissed me deeply. My hands slowly slid down from her hips onto her shapely backside and lifted her up so she could wrap here legs around my waist. I was soon inside here thrusting hard and fast. She put her head back and I started kissing her neck while my hand found her firm breasts. Suddenly we both climaxed together.
Exhausted I slowly lowered her back down onto her feet but had to keep hold of her as her legs were shaking.
"I'll have to join you more often." She said with a little smile.
"Anytime." I said and kissed her again.
Later laying on the bank next to the waterfall with my arm around Gwen I sensed something was troubling her.
"What's wrong?" I asked her.
She sat up. "How do you know there's something wrong?"
I smiled. "I know you remember."
She smiled back, but it was soon replaced by a look of worry. "I got a feeling something bad is going to happen soon and I'll never see you again."
I could see she was getting very upset and I was touched by how strongly she felt for me. I hugged her tighter.
"Don't worry I promise you nothing bad is going to happen."
How wrong I was.
The next day while doing my chores they came.
I was sharpening some of the farming tools when some of the young children came running back towards the village shouting a warning.
I quickly grabbed my sword and raced over to where they were.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Romans. Lots of them, making their way straight towards us!"
This was greeted with shocked muttering.
"Why are they coming here?"
"Where are our warriors?"
"Do you think the Romans killed them?"
"Ooh my god! We're all going to die!"
"SILENCE!" I yell stopping the muttering before panic over took everyone. "You two." I said to two of the younger fighters. "Make sure the women and children get away safe. The rest of you go with Stefan and prepare yourself for battle."
While everyone started to move Gwen ran up to me.
"I want to stay." She pleaded.
"No! You know what they do to the women and I couldn't bare to think of that happening to you so please leave."
She looked at me with tears in her eyes. "I don't want to lose you." She said breaking down.
I took her hand in mine and lifted her chin so she was looking me in the eyes. "I promise you, I will find you. Now go." And with that she whipped her eyes and left.
I watched her go with a feeling of loss building. I wish I could have gone with her. But I had a duty to do. So even though it was hard I pushed all thoughts of Gwen out my mind and strode to face the Romans followed by my army of teenage warriors.
The sight of the Romans all lined up with their shining armour and long spears were an intimidating sight. However, we were not to be intimidated. We were all ready to fight to the death and take as many Romans as we can with us.
One of the Romans broke away from the line of horse riders at the back and rode towards us. He stopped half way and waited. I realised he wanted to talk.
"Stay here I'll go see what he has to say but be ready to attack if he tries anything funny." I said to the men then mounted a horse and rode out to meet our enemy.
As I approached the Roman took in my bare chest, long sword and war paint with a weary gaze. But by the time I had come closer and stopped he had composed himself.
"I wish to speak to your leader." He said with a voice full of arrogance.
I smiled. "That would be me."
A puzzled look crossed his face. "Nonsense. You're too young. Where are your men?"
"Gone. To face you in battle."
The puzzled look turned to a smile. "Ahh yes. We faced those yesterday. They were impressive fighters. It was a shame we had to kill them all; they would have brought us a lot of money as slaves."
Shock run through my body. How could the greatest warriors in the land all be dead?
"You lie!" I spit at him.
"No my young friend I do not. Now if you all surrender now we will not kill you. You will all live. As slaves." He said with a wicked grin.
"Never! We would rather die."
"Then you will." And with that he turns and rode back towards his lines.
Fear starts to spread through me but I quickly compose myself and turn to ride back. When I got back Stefan asked what had happened.
"Well, they won't leave so I think we should make them." I shout with more confidence than I feel.
Battle hungry shouts greet my words. Everyone here wants to fight. Everyone is willing to die for our people. Their courage gives me strength. I unsheathe my sword and turn towards our enemy.
"KILL THEM ALL!" I yell and everyone cheers and scream their own war cries as we charge.
Our sudden attack took the Romans by surprise. However, their commanders soon got them ready to face our charge. This didn't stop us or even slow us down. We hit their shields with an enormous force. Several of the Romans fell beneath the weight of the attack and were soon dispatched.
Yet our losses were greater. Many fell to the spears positioned through the shields. The screams of pain from my childhood friends will haunt me to the day I die. And that may not be far off.
I was lucky to break through the line of shields without being impaled. Once through I swung my sword straight into a soldier in the second rank splitting him open from shoulder to hip giving me enough time to turn and hack a bigger gap in the front line.
As the gap opened up more of our men were able to break through and more Romans fell to our sword. As I dispatched another Roman with a slash that almost detached his head I felt the sting bite of sharpened steal slash down my back. I quickly spun away and thrust my sword towards my attacker and force him back. I followed pressing my advantage only to have to quickly dodge to avoid a blow from another enemy.
As I dodged I tripped over the thrashing body of a dying soldier and landed hard winding myself. As I struggled to catch my breath a Roman stood over me, took a firm grip on his sword and lifted it high to deliver a killing blow. I watched helplessly and waited for death, but I wasn't to die then. A stray fighter crashed into my assailant and they both fell to the ground.
It didn't take long for him to untangle himself, but those few seconds were all I needed. I was straight on him. With a left hook I dropped him to the ground once again dazed. My hands took hold on each side of his head and twisted with all my strength breaking his neck, killing him instantly.
As I looked around I saw many Romans lying dead or dying. I started to believe we could win this battle, until I realised there was only a handful of our warriors still fighting. I couldn't believe how many we had lost already. Madness threatened to overwhelm me. But I fought it off. My people still needed me.
I shook myself, picked up my sword and started to charge at more Romans when I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. Stefan was trying to fight of three Romans. He was struggling though due to the deep wound in his stomach.
With a cry of pure rage I run as fast as I could towards Stefan and his attackers. When I got to them I jumped over Stefan's crouched body and brought my sword down on to the Roman in the middle, splitting his skull in two.
The other two Romans were so shocked by my sudden appearance they didn't even attack. I used their shock to my advantage. Pulling my sword from the dead body with the sound of steal scraping off bone, I swung it at the throat of the Roman to my right causing a great spurt of bright red blood to arc into the air.
I quickly turned my attack towards the remaining Roman. I brought my sword up over my head and brought it down with all my strength hoping to dispatch this Roman the same way I dispatched the first. But he had recovered from the shock and managed to get his sword up to block my blow.
As my blade met his, the force of the impact rocked his body. I pulled my sword back over my head again making him think that I was going to go for his head again. So as he brought his sword up to defend himself I kicked him in the chest causing him to crash to the ground. Before he even had time to try to get up I thrust my sword into his chest.
He let out a blood chilling scream. I pulled out my sword bringing with it a rush of blood quickening his death. I spared the Roman one last look then went to check on Stefan.
He was still on his feet trying to fight off more Romans. I rushed to his side to fight with him.
"How you doing?" I asked.
"Amazing. What about you?"
"Me? Perfect." We smiled at each other. We both knew we were in deep trouble but we were going to die bravely.
As I looked around I realised we were the only ones left fighting. The rest of our warriors were dead, dying, or captured. Soon the Romans had surrounded us. Me and Stefan took up positions back to back so we couldn't be blindsided by an attack.
As we prepared to die the Roman I talked to earlier rode up towards us.
"Take them alive, they will be worth a lot in the arena." He ordered his men.
"Fuck you!" I yelled at him. "I promise you I will kill you for this."
He just laughed and watched as the Romans enclosed us.
"How about it Stefan; slaves or dead?"
"Dead of course!" he said laughing.
"I agree." And with that I swung at the inclosing Romans. To my rear Stefan did the same. But however much we fought they would not kill us. Stefan was soon captured weakened by his injury. I tried to get to him but a shield caught me around the back of the head dropping me to the ground. I tried to get back up but collapsed unconscious.