Memoirs of a Gladiator

                My life had been the Arena for as long as I can remember, not only did I grow up in its shadow, but I fought in it from the moment I was of age.  Nothing before the Arena remains in my memory, no family, not even how I came to live there.  Yet I did, and it became my life.  Before I fought I helped in any ways I could, be it cleaning or stitching another's wound.

                My life had seemed boring - as I recall - during my younger years.  I constantly dreamt of fighting.  I watched the gladiators and the gore, and I was fascinated.  In retrospect it seems strange that a young boy such as myself would be so excited by senseless killing, but I would mention that it was the only thing I knew.  Like any boy who grew up hearing stories of knights saving maidens, I grew up hearing of gladiators surviving another day.

                I was so enticed by fighting that when I finally fought I was devastated by its brutality, I barely survived my first fight and from that day on I never wanted to fight again.  Yet I was a gladiator, enslaved to the Arena.  I could not pay my way out for I had no source of income; the only way fighters got out of the Coliseum was fighting, and winning.

                I went into every fight knowing it would be my last, that this fight would be the one that killed me.  I'll admit that I was not motivated by life, by freedom.  I was motivated purely by fear.  It was the only thing I knew.

                I spent the days that I was not fighting training, it was the only time I had to myself and I spent it making myself better.  Making my escape of death more plausible, making sure that I would last one more day in this brutal life of mine.

                Each fight a gladiator won they would celebrate.  Yet after every fight I survived I couldn't find it in myself to rejoice for my life.  My mind - immediately after the fight - was constantly working through the battles.  I could never have a moment of peace.  My life had become survival, and even my thoughts were of blood.

The End

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