So, this was for a competition. Word limit: less than 1500.
OK, so Tacita's twin brother is the gladiator Marcus. One morning, Tacita finds him injured and unable to fight. I think you know what's coming... she has to fight for him. She has little experience, but, you know, love overpowers all those other little problems, like almost certain death. So yeah, she goes and fights. And will she win?
The night before my brother’s fight, he left the room with a look on his face that showed us he knew he was going to die the next day.
I followed him outside into the cool, still night. Quietly, I asked him what was wrong. He turned around suddenly, looking worried. He tried to smile, but I could feel his pain through it.
“Tacita…” he started. “I’m just…” He looked away from me. “Imagine if you knew you were not going to be here for much longer. You have to look at everything like it is the last time you will see it, you have to say goodbye to all those you love… How would you feel?” My hand went to my mouth.
“No, Marcus, you are not going to, you won’t… Promise me you will try out there in the arena, promise me you will push yourself to the very limit, and if you fail, promise me you will think of all of us.” I walked over to him and leaned my head on his shoulder.
I left him outside. My mind full of thoughts, I retired to my bedroom and lay, staring, praying my brother would do well in the fight.
The next morning, I got up, and the realisation of what was going to happen hit me. Unless he fought well, I would lose my brother forever. I had to wish him luck before he left.
As I approached his room, I heard pained groaning. I came in and screamed, tears starting to fall from my eyes.
He was lying on the floor with ragged slashes across his chest, blood trickling out slowly. He had huge gashes on his arms and cuts on his face. Who did this?
I could not bring myself to say anything but his name, repeating it as if it were a spell to heal him.
He opened his eyes, red from crying, and took my hand.
“Sister, you must fight today. They are all expecting me to be there, and I need you to take my place. Remember what I taught you.” I was in shock. I could not fight a trained gladiator in the arena! I had no experience, and I was a girl! I shook my head.
“You can withdraw from the fight, I’m sure you can…”
But I could see Marcus was in so much pain, and I could not stand to see him like this. I had to fulfil his wishes. So I agreed to fight.
Now my life was in danger.