Corpe and Bloor

On the rural islands of Corpe and Bloor the annual Fight Week is about to begin in which champions are chosen and lives changed forever. The Fight is between a champion from Corpe and a champion from Bloor. Girls are chosen as prizes for the man who is crowned the winner of the Fight. Faith Rathbone is the unwilling prize of Corpe and the life she had always known is tipped upside down in the form of Alec McFadden, the champion of Bloor. She must decide if she can begin to hope for a life on Bloor but leave her family behind. But her fate is not her own.

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10. Eight - Faith

          I find it almost comical how haggard and rugged Katesby looks today. As he passes, I notice how he swaggers down the road in that hateful gaunt he’s adopted, giving every creature of the opposite sex a double, disgraceful look as they pass. Part of tradition says that the prize must wave goodbye to the champion before they are taken to the opposite island for the Fight Weeks. This champion isn’t worth a spit in the face, never mind a cheery goodbye. If the opportunity arises for me to repeat the actions which occurred in The Pig’s Head, I would gladly do it a thousand times. I hate this man more than I believe I have hated anything else in my life. He truly is the lowest of the low, and here the people waltzing down the High Street are clapping his beefy hand and wishing him well. They have the cheek to call him our champion, and I am supposed to be trusting this man to save the life I have known, the life I have built up for myself here. I hate Katesby and I draw him the filthiest dig I can manage as he approaches the little troop I’m standing with.
          Unfortunately for me, this troop consists of Jackats, Lamely Ronaldson, Dekkan Loadbar and Jeremy Ticcets. Jackats is the first to almost embrace the heaving figure of Katesby and I can’t help but call up a bung of spit to fly in Katesby’s eye. I cannot help but smile now that I can see his left cheek has swollen and is bruised terribly. Oh my, what a shame that is, his face is all bashed up before the Fight Weeks, pity.
          Ronaldson and Ticcets are both boys who have been previous lovers to Charlotte and they cannot be much older than me. They hardly say a word to me, probably thinking that if they saying anything like Katesby did, they too would have more than a few bruises and a swollen cheek. I completely ignore them, to the point of actually standing at the back, remaining where I was before and not wanting to be acknowledged. It is only Dekkan Loadbar – bless him – who actually talks to me and attempts conversation. I’ve always liked Dekkan, and I don’t know if it’s because our fathers’ are such good friends, or maybe it is because he will always try and pull the good things out of a situation. I admire him completely and respect him the most out of all the dismal men and boys standing around me.
          After Jackats and Katesby have exchanged a few words, the man with the swollen eye turns to me. I raise an eyebrow, trying to bite my tongue to stop from saying anything I’ll regret.
          “How’s the cheek?” I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself. There were several other things that are going through my mind that I could’ve said but decided not to. Katesby takes a deadly step towards me. I stay where I am, not showing him that I will be scared of a big, ugly man like him.
          “I don’t know what your problem is, girly.” He shakes his head, like I am simply a mild annoyance that he wishes he is rid of. Oh I want to punch him again, this time in the nose and mash up his face so that he can’t even see straight. That’ll level out our chances of winning this year. My fists ball at my sides, but remain at my sides, and I am even surprising myself by keeping my cool.
          “You think I have a problem,” I ask, the eyebrow still raised. I can hear everyone holding their breath in, not daring to breathe. “I’ll tell you my problem. You seem to be missing the point, Mr Katesby, that I actually like the life I have on this island and I plan on staying here. Thanks to yourself, you will either save my arse or I will end up stuck on Bloor and I will never see my family again.” I give him a level glare. “Do you understand?”
          He huffs a grunt and spits. “You think this is all about you?” He laughs and even the sound of it makes my blood curl. “Oh sweet Mother, you actually think that this whole bloody Fight is about you?” That cynical laugh again, “And they told me that you were smart. Wake up, girly, welcome to the real world which is much, much bigger than just you.” My blood is boiling in my veins and I can feel my control slipping.
          “I hate you.” I spit, before storming away, not trying to even keep up the charade of this Perfect Fight, with a Perfect champion and a Perfect prize. It takes all of my strength to not turn back and just go for him. I can hear Katesby leering behind me and for some reason I can feel tears begin to burn in my eyes. I sniff desperately, trying to hold them back and by the time I’m down by the shore, I know my life will just be like the tears; never-ending, never changing, just endless and painful and full of sorrow. How I hate tears; how I hate my life.

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