I called for one of the slaves to see to Marcus. My vision blurred with tears, I made my way to the arena, with no clue about how I, Tacita, was going to survive this day.
When I reached it, I saw no one was here, so I wandered around to find the place where they kept the armour and weapons. I soon found it and tried to remember what kind of armour Marcus would wear, and what type of gladiator he was. I ran my hand along the different pieces of clothing.
I remembered that Marcus was a secutor,a gladiator trained to fight the trident-wielding retiarii.He carried a sword and a tall rectangular shield.
I got the correct armour: an arm guard, protective coverings on my feet and right leg and a loincloth, but instead I ripped the bottom of my longchitonoff, so I could move around while hiding my body.
Then I put on the helmet, which seemed far too big for me and very heavy. It was mostly metal with two small eye holes. The outside of it was polished until it was smooth, making it almost hard to get a grip on.
I picked up thegladiusand felt its weight. It was made of cold metal with a sharpened edge that drew blood when I ran it across my finger. I did not like this weapon I was holding- it had killed and wounded, at the hands of my own brother. This was hard to grasp; my brother had ended other peoples’ lives, just for cruel entertainment. Why did I choose to fight? I had heard that other gladiators, called thetertiarii, would take the place of any man who could not fight. I wondered whether I should ask one of them to take my place. But could I go against my brother’s wish?
Dust swirled in the air, in a slow, lazy dance. The heat made me uncomfortable in my armour. Everything was silent and still, preparing for the gruesome spectacle that would soon come. I was alone for now, my only company my thoughts.
I stood in the room for a while, until the first people came into the theatre. Some were readying the arena for the games; some were spectators who had come early. None of them knew that Marcus would not be playing, but his sister, Tacita.
Tacita, the ignored twin. Tacita, the quiet girl. Tacita, the loving sister taking her brother’s place in a gladiatorial fight.
I was always the silent child. Marcus led me through my first years, taking charge, which I didn’t mind. We were always together, but we had opposite personalities. He was brave, and showed skill in fighting from a young age. He always beat me in any competition we had. But I was small, ignored, agreeing with Marcus’ plans and ideas because I couldn’t speak up. I had no confidence in myself. And now I am the brave one, fighting for him. I will make him proud to call me his sister. I will not stop until I am victorious.