A somewhat gritty story for Flash! Friday this week. We were tasked with including as a character a gladiator. It didn't necessarily have to be a literal gladiator. Still, you don't tend to associate those guys with rainbows and unicorns. And yet, this was the photo.
So there is "The Killing Field."
He was tired of the blood. The blood, the death, the senselessness of it all. He exited the arena to a silent roar; the cheers no longer reached his ears. This day's victory would earn Gaius considerable geld. But the emotional tax far outweighed the gain.
The Gods had graced him with strength, speed, and stamina. Yet they cursed him with the soul of a poet. Would it comfort the vanquished if they knew that in his heart he recited a brief elegy for them before he drove his sword home? Doubtful. A small measure of humanity bled from Gaius each time he washed another man's blood from his face.
As he sat in a field a furlong from the Colosseum, salving his wounds with leaves of the yarrow, a light tickle teased across his lower back. His turned to see a white kitten nuzzling his scarred skin. A soft purr rumbled in its belly. Gaius gathered the bundle of fur and innocence in his arms and stroked its back. It burrowed its head deep into his chest. Gaius allowed himself a single tear.
He wondered when would come the day he could look at his reflection and not think "Murderer."
"Not today," he said, snapping the kitten's neck. "Dinnertime."
What do you think?
PS: No animals were harmed in the actual writing of this story.