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.