Future Gladiator

Seventeen year old Burnet is brutally taken from her home to become the face of the Government Gladitorial Division. Her story will unravel both her past and her future and force her to make decisions with both consequences and rewards. Friends will become enemies and enemies may be the exact opposite of what they appear.

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5. A Fortunate First Encounter

Even raising my hand to cover my eyes doesn’t block out the punishing light that seems to burn in every pore of my body. Squinting against the light I scan the coliseum.

I heard that coliseums used to be large stone areas that held public events such as music, like an amphitheatre I guess. That wasn’t all they showed though. Live executions, the murder of innocents, religious people eaten by lions were all shown to an audience. The gladiators were first introduced there too.

Not much has changed in that respect. People still die in places like these, innocent people will cry and scream, swords will clash and their metallic peals will ring out across the coliseum. It’s just the design of the coliseum that has changed nowadays.

 Huge wooden planks circle the coliseum, their ends sharpened to a point. Rusting wire secures them tightly and meshing completes the domed roof allowing no protection from the burning sun above but protection from birds of prey, it also means we can’t climb out or over the fences to escape. I hear a slight cough from my left and I turn abruptly, battling to keep my balance in the loose sand floor of the coliseum floor. A group of young people are stood behind me although a few who stand slightly off from the group appear to be my age. One boy in particular attracts my eye in particular, his brown hair isn’t cut short like most of the boys here, and instead it flops over softly into his face. His brown eyes seem to absorb his surroundings and show a frenzy of calculations taking place under the cool exterior. His relaxed stance doesn’t show any nerves either and I know that I need to correct the way I am portraying my feelings. I need to make sure that I don’t let on about the gut wrenching fear that seems to be catapulting around my stomach. Wiping my face of all emotion I continue to study the boy. His skin seems to radiate light, the effect overwhelming in the already well lit arena. Just as I drag my eyes away from the beautiful spectacle he nods his head towards the group, gesturing me over. And so I do.

As I place myself next to him he smiles down at me. He must be at least a foot taller than me but I smile back anyway, tilting my chin to look at him.

“Sirs” he says “Sirs Adelphos.”

“Burnet, Burnet Fitzwilliam.”

“Burnet? Like the moth?” A small smile plays around his lips as he watches me.

“Yeah, not many people know that.” I laugh.

Not many people know of my namesake really, not unless you live near our village. The moth lives there in abundance and according to my mother, on the last day my mother worked in the greenhouses one landed on her swollen, pregnant stomach. That’s when she decided to name me after it. Dad loved my name. He called me his 'little moth', but that was a long time ago.

A small laugh escapes his lips and I watch as the smile lights up his face. Nudging me gently in the ribs he turns me around to face the others behind him.

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