ROE - M1P1 - Chapter 4

ROE - M1P1 - Chapter 4

A Chapter by AarsalM

Chapter 4

Almost as if I had gone back in time, I was once again being led down a narrow and dark hallway. The only differences were that I didn’t have a blind fold on, and I wasn’t gagged. The handcuffs, however, were still in place.

I tried looking through the barred windows on each of the doors we passed. Surprisingly, I could see no sign of life in any of them.

After a few seconds of walking, the guard leading me stopped, and another guard beside him opened the closest door. The door opened slowly, and before it was even open halfway, I was shoved face first into the room. My elbow smashed with the door on the way in, causing me to lose balance and fall straight into the hard cold floor.

Once again I heard the sound of the door being shut, and the fading footsteps of my jailers. I hadn’t even noticed them taking my handcuffs off. No, only one thing was on my mind, the vivid memory that had happened just a few minutes ago.

No! Don’t remember!


Inside the ring, Husk kneeling before me.

NO! STOP! No matter how hard I tried, I could not force the memory back, and in just a few moments it had engulfed me…


Husk on the ground in front of me, blood gushing from the end of his arm, and him pleading for his life, begging me to spare him. I had no sympathy in my eyes and not a thought about mercy. Husk noticed this and started pleading even more, louder, for me to save his life.

I was in control.

It felt good, finally this time I choose what happens and I have the final say. His life is in my control…

His pleading had no effect on me, my mind was already set from the start. I brought my sword up, gave Husk one final stare, and then with all my strength bring the sword down onto Husk’s neck.

Husk realized what was about to happen and gave out one final shout, “NOOO-!” The sword made contact, and carnage followed. His head fell to the ground, and I was instantly splattered a dark crimson. His body soon followed with a sickening thump.

A moment of silence, then cheers erupted from the crowd. It was as if a spell had been broken and I was brought back to my senses. The noise was deafening, I could barely make out a few sentences.

“That was awesome kid! Good job!”

“Nice show!”

“Heh, no wonder you were sent here!”

I shut the cheers out, and focused on my surroundings. Guards were already dragging Husk’s body away and two of them were walking towards me. They had their swords at the ready. Once they reached me, I was quickly handcuffed and roughly pushed towards one of the two doors in the ring. I didn’t know as to whether it was the same one I had used before or the one Husk had come out of. I didn’t care, my mind was blank and I just let them push and lead me on to god knows where.



Back in the present, I was still sprawled on the ground. I cried. For how long I didn’t know, but eventually the tears ran dry and I picked myself off of the ground. I opened my mind and started to think hard.

Husk is dead and I killed him. I need to accept that and move on, especially now that he told me the way out of here. Heh, I suppose it really was lucky that I was able to fight on my first day here. But… What happened to me? What was that voice?

I sat there for an hour, pondering on what the voice I heard was and why I obeyed it without question. My thoughts were broken by my cell door being opened. I looked up and could make out a few guards holding something walking towards me. They dropped whatever it was they were holding a few paces from the door and left just as quickly as they came.

Instantly on guard, I moved towards what I could now make out as a brown package. Hesitantly, I picked the package up and opened it, I gasped with surprise as I looked at the contents. It was food, not just any food, but food that actually looked good. There were a few pieces of chicken leg, some soft nice looking bread, and a large variety of fruit. Almost instantly I set to work on devouring the food and it was only after I had eaten everything did I notice a canteen inside the package. Without even bothering to check the contents, I brought the canteen to my mouth and drank as if my life depended on it. Milk, cold fresh milk. It tasted delicious and in just moments the canteen was emptied.

A sudden wave of fatigue engulfed me the moment I put the canteen back inside the package and I crawled my way over to a small mattress in the corner of the cell. As soon as my head hit the mattress, I was fast asleep.

*****


When I woke up, it seemed as if nothing had changed. The light was still the same and I was still inside my cell. The only difference was that the package was gone and replaced by another identical one.

Yawning, I picked myself off of the mattress and made my way over to the package. Inside were a few pieces of meat and another bottle of milk, after finishing the meal I started to ponder. I wonder if today is going to be any different. Will I have to kill someone again today? Or will they kill me instead?

I brooded over these thoughts for an hour or so, until I could hear footsteps in the hallway. Once again I heard the noise of the cell doors being opened and even more footsteps. Soon I could see a guard in front of my cell opening the door. As soon as the door was open, I picked myself off of the ground and got in line with the rest of the inmates.

I was once again sitting in an empty table. It almost felt as if yesterday was just repeating. Jokingly, I waited for Husk to interrupt my thoughts"

“So you’re the kid eh?”

Startled, I noticed an inmate sitting in front of me. Looking closer, I realized that he was quite young, no older than eleven or twelve. He had messy blond hair, and his face was covered with dirt.

The kid?” I asked.

“You know, the one that done in Husk. You’re the talk of the prison right now. Anyways, it’s nice to meet ya, what’s your name?” His voice wasn’t rough like the other inmates, it was softer and seemed mischievous if anything.

I looked at him uneasily, then after a moment replied: “Didn’t know I was known already. The name’s-“

“Yeah, yeah whatever. My name’s Glen, I hope you’ll enjoy working together.” He held his hand out while saying this.

I looked at his hand suspiciously. “What do you mean working together?”

Still smiling, he replied: “Look, were both the only kids in this entire prison, doesn’t it make sense if we stick together?” Seeing as I still looked dubious, he continued, “Okay, how about this. I’ve been in this prison for eight months, I know this place much better than you do. If you stick with me I could help you out in how this place works and more importantly tell you more about the prisoners you’re going to be fighting every day.”

Seeing the truth in what he was saying, I started contemplating sticking with Glen. It’s true that I don’t know anything about this place, let alone the prisoners it holds. Glen would be very useful to have around. For now at least, I should take him up on his offer.

 

Glen still held his arm out and so in response I grabbed his hand and shook it. “Deal.” I said, “I’ll stay with you, after all us kids should stick together.” Even though I didn’t think this to myself, deep down I knew that the only reason I accepted his offer was because I needed someone with me. I was afraid of being alone and this was my way out of the depths of isolation. “Though there’s one thing I don’t understand, I know that you can help me out by giving me information, but what can I do to help you out?”

He started eating the sad excuse for food and after a while looked back up at me. “I saw you last night, those were no ordinary moves. Husk was one of the best in here and you took care of him easily. I have the feeling that you’re going to do much better and if I’m there next to you, then I also get part of the reputation. Not to mention, it’s always nice having a friend you can count on.” While saying the last part, he have me a genuine smile.

Friend, I thought. It would be nice to have a friend… Glen does seem like a nice guy. Maybe my life in prison won’t be so bad after all. Forgotten were my worries of death, Glen was my light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel, I was sure not to let him go.

“All right, it sounds good to me, so then tell me a bit about this place.” In just a few moments I had accepted Glen and had given him full trust.

“Well to be honest, I don’t really know much about the actual prison itself. When it was built is a mystery.” Glen started speaking very fast. “What I do know though, is that the prisoners themselves really aren’t all that cut out to what they’re thought to be. Most of the people sent in here are just random villagers who break the laws. It seems the king really doesn’t care about the crime, he just sends anyone who commits one straight in here. I mean hell, I was sent here for stealing a piece of bread!” He was breathing heavy now, obviously angry. “Anyways, the arena system is pretty simple. You already really know the just of it. Almost every night there’s a fight and the winner of the fight goes on. As you already know, you need a thousand wins to be granted leave from this place and seeing as how the fights are set up, this means you need a thousand in a row. That’s pretty much it really, you know that the winner of the fight gets their own dinner and breakfast which puts you at an advantage to everyone else.”

Ah, so that’s why I was sent the packages, I realized.

“Going on, for tonight you’re up against a nobody, he’s much weaker than Husk, the fight shouldn’t even be a competition.”

“So I’m going to have to kill someone again.” I sighed.

“Kill? No, no, you didn’t know you could just make them forfeit instead? Ah, now I realize why you killed Husk. Na you have the choice, killing them entices and pleases the crowd, but you can also force the opponent to give up. If the opponent falls unconscious, then it’s considered a win.”

I was shocked. I didn’t have to kill Husk. Then again, I doubt I would have been able to stop myself even if I knew the rules. It’s better if I just accept it and move on, no gain in fretting over what I’ve already done.

“It’s almost time now, I’d suggest going to the room yourself. Unless, of course, you prefer being dragged there?” He added with a grin.

Time had gone by fast while we were talking and the match was to start soon. Not wanting to be dragged away again, I got up away from the table. I gave a quick smile to Glen, “Well then, I’ll see you after the match”.

“Not likely.” He replied. Seeing my shocked look, he quickly added: “I mean you’re probably going to be taken directly to your cell afterwards, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Calming down, I gave him one last smile and looked around the room for the door I had once been dragged to. A large amount of the inmates were staring at me, with looks ranging from curiosity, to amusement, to respect. Glancing around one last time, I made my way to the door and stepped inside.

It was the same room I had been in before, with the same blood stained Cabinet and the same red door on the other side. I opened the cabinet and found the sword I had used yesterday resting on top of the mess of weapons. It had not been washed and so was stained a dark red. Picking it up anyway, I moved towards the red door and waited patiently. It wasn’t long before a similar voice spoke to me through the door: “All right then, common in. Give us a good show this time too would ya?”

The door was unlocked and for a few moments I just stared at nothing. Finally after what seemed like hours, I took in a deep breath and opened the door before me. I willingly stepped forward into a pit of death and accepted the task before me.

 

I needed to get out. I needed to win. I need to Fight.



© 2013 AarsalM


Author's Note

AarsalM
This chapter is more of a thought, than an action one. I just re-read it, but I still might have missed a few things. Its also a bit shorter, for those of you thinking the child is acting out of age, well he has been through a decent bit, and of course, hes not quite normal.

Also, if you are reading this, and you have an account, could you please post something in the review place? just so I know I do have some readers.

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Yes you have a reader:) Hello...
You're right this chapter is more like a stream of consciousness, it lets us see a character's depth and complexity; their internal, psycological dramas as well as their physical ones. Naturally there's a bit of tense swapping when you cross from the retrospective to immediate narration, e.g. 'It felt good, finally this time I choose what happens and I have the final say. His life is in my control…' 'I brought my sword up, gave Husk one final stare, and then with all my strength bring the sword down.' Better to stick with past in past tense and present in present tense; or memory in past, direct thought in present. I know memory is tricky coz realistically the memory itself is unfolding again through the character's mind, but it can look too much like the author's unconscious mistake.
'No matter how hard I tried, I could not force the memory (away)' ? - 'back' to me sounded like he was trying to recall it.
'I needed to get out. I needed to win.
I need to fight.'
I think some people don't like the jumping around but I'm all for finding whatever style you want. Keep going:)

Posted 8 Years Ago


AarsalM

8 Years Ago

ah, tbh just before I posted it, I ended up changing he memory back to past tense, like the rest of .. read more

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Added on July 12, 2012
Last Updated on May 25, 2013
Tags: friend, glen, food, inmate, door, death, fight


Author

AarsalM
AarsalM

Windsor, Ontario, Canada



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17 years old, bit of a gamer, like reading fiction novels, currently reading ice and fire, amazing series btw. more..

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