For this weeks Flash! Friday we had to incorporate a Gladiator into a story about the following prompt:

Kenya kittensKenya kittens. CC2.0 photo by Kerri Lee Smith.

Nine Lives

The hulking men stood opposite each other in the dusty corridor. Each stared with a deep ferocity, eyeing up their opponents, deciding who posed the greatest threat. In turn their gaze fell upon the quivering wreck in the corner, all skin and bones, a pathetic dagger hanging limply by his side, urine staining the ground beneath him. They sneered and moved on.

Moments after the emperor declared it, the games began and the gladiators charged, hoping to deal the killing blow. The coward ran straight for the corner.

There was grunting and screaming. Severed limbs lay twitching, still eager to fight. Finally the victor raised his bloody sword, awaiting the applause. The crowd reminded him he was not the last, one more remained. The brute strode over, keen to claim his prize. He raised his sword to strike the deadly blow, but he hesitated when he saw those tear filled green eyes. It was just enough time. As he brought the blade down with all his might, the target rolled nimbly away, jumped up onto the wall and somersaulted over the giants head, slitting his throat in the process. As the man gargled his last breath, Kittenus Maximus raised his dagger in victory. Nine lives were lost, but his remained.