Natural Justice, Natural Law

Man, I love the Trifecta Writing Challenge! Not just challenging you to use a certain word in your story, but to use a specific meaning of the word. This week’s word was ‘weep’, to exude (a fluid) slowly: ooze <a tree weeping sap>. Groovy. Here it is (and definitely under 333 words):

“A fight to the death!” was the decree, a fight billed as being fair, billed as an opportunity for me to pay my dues to that barbarous civilisation. They will flood into the stadium; I can hear them coming now. “Come and see the fallen king!” The scalpers ply their trade in crowded streets, to the richest the spoils. The amphitheatre fills, as the sound of thousands echo through the concrete catacombs of the prison beneath their feet. Cheering on their champions in the arena below. I can hear their ceaseless stamping; can hear the visceral punch of their voices, a wall of sound pushing down at me from all sides. Baying for the chance to see my blood weep out slowly before them, to hear my life drain from me in my dying moments. For almost two days, they have waited, baking beneath the summer sun. Waiting, watching petty criminals and brigands die to repay the debt that society is due.

Each that dies at my hand replaced in kind until they eventually overcome me. They called me “a beast” and screamed in terror as I passed, bound but on public view, a punishment of my presumed pride. The crowd parts before my carriage, still showing me my due, as they cower before me. Shouting into my wake, “Monster! Monster!” They keep me, hungry and bedecked in chains, below the cobbled streets outside, far below the warming outstretched hand of the sun. They keep me hungry, the hawkers shout, to keep me fierce. It is only making me weak, so weak now I can barely stand.

They drag me toward the heavy oak doors, large enough for an elephant to pass through, large enough to announce the enormity of the occasion. The sunlight bounces from the sandy floor as the portal is flung open, momentarily blinding me. I see him standing before me, sword in hand. I roar and smash him into the ground, tearing at his chest. Christians 0 Lions 1.

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7 thoughts on “Natural Justice, Natural Law

  1. Tara R. says:

    It was unclear that this was from the lion’s POV until the end. I like this perspective.

  2. Sonia Lal says:

    I didn’t see it was from a lion’s POV until the end!

  3. jesterqueen1 says:

    That was fun! I expected a fantasy setting. I definitely picked up on the ‘gladiatorial’ [is that even a word] feel of the piece through the descriptions of the crowd. I particularly enjoyed the sound of the crowd’s feet echo through the floor.

  4. Satu says:

    I guessed halfway through the story that it was written from the POV of an animal – nevertheless it is interesting to see everything through the lion’s eyes.

  5. Awesome twist of perspective at the end. I had to read it twice! 🙂

  6. trifecta says:

    Thanks so much for participating in this week’s Trifecta challenge. I loved this piece. That the perspective was that of an animal’s was fun, but what made the piece successful, I thought, was the powerful descriptors and attention to detail. This is not the sort of writing I usually seek out (gladiators, etc), but by the end I was wishing it were longer. Hope you’ll come back again next week.

  7. […] Natural Justice, Natural Law by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Historical […]

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