Life's a Game

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Part 2

The morning comes too soon. Alec is pounding on my door, demanding I get up. He is powerful, he could easily bust my door down if he wanted to. His name means warrior, after all.

“Gaia, if you are not awake and dress in two minutes, I will throw you in that ring naked! You hear me!” He screamed as my door rattles on its hinges. I groan in response.

“Gaia, I mean it!” His voice boomed on the other side of the door. I slowly got up from my small bed and walked to my door. I swung it open in all my naked glory, surprising Alec and the guards at my door. I like to sleep naked, sue me. “This may be my last day on earth, so excuse me for not waking up on time. Give me 15 minutes, and I will be ready.”

I slammed the door in their face and went to get ready. I already had my battling outfit picked out. So I quickly changed and braided my hair as I always do. When I opened the door, Alec pushed me aside and shut the door behind him, blocking the magistrate guards in the hall.

He grabbed me and pinned me to the wall. On instinct, I flipped him so that he was pinned face down into the wall. Then, fast as lightning, he grabbed my arm and slammed me into the ground. “What the hell, Alec?” I asked with him on top of me, pinning my arms above my head.

“Shh, listen to me. I wanted the guards to hear us fight in here, so the magistrate doesn’t know that I care for you, more than just my charge. They are pissed that you are a little late for the games. Now stop being stubborn and for once listen to me. My head will be on a stake soon if you don’t do as I say.” Then he leaned down close to my ear to whisper, “I’m sorry for this.”

Alec let go of my arms and punched me in the face. Then darkness took over.

I woke up a little while later to someone slapping me across the face. “Wake up, girl. It is almost time. Since you were so inclined to be late for a debriefing of the games, let me catch you up.” A woman said, in my face. I recognized her as one of the magistrate assistance, and I could not remember her name to save my life. She was short and plump with poofy blonde hair that stopped at her shoulders. Everything about her was over the top, from her tight skirt to her annoying voice.

“You and your opponent will walk into the ring on opposite sides of the arena. Then when the magistrate elder says start, you two fight to the death. Understood?” She said in a preppy voice. I had to force myself not to roll my eyes.

“Yup understood. Its crystal clear. Kill or be killed. Got it.” I try to say calmly, but it comes out hateful and sarcastic.

“Ma’am, it is time.” A guard said at the doorway. We were in a small grey, dull room with a small cot that I was laying on next to a wall. It was only the preppy lady, two guards, and me in the room. I was hoping to see Alec so that I can punch him in the face as he did to me.

I could feel a bruise forming on my cheekbone, where he hit me—that bastard.

“Very well, sorry you won’t get all the information. But that is what you get when you’re late. If you make it out, hopefully, you will be on time next time. But I hope there is not the next time.” This preppy lady said. It infuriated me. Not only am I fighting for my life, but she also has the nerve to say she hopes I lose. In other words, die.

If this room weren’t warded against people with abilities, it would shake into oblivion. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t kill her with my bare hands, but now is not the time.

“Oh, really. Well, just for that, I hope I win. Because when I do, I hope you’re there, and let’s pray to the Gods, nothing happens to you.” I say as sincerely as I can while smiling an innocent smile. I plan on winning so that I can kill everyone. I want to crumble this place to the ground.

She doesn’t acknowledge me as she walks out, and the guards come forward, gesturing me to follow after her. I sigh and do as I am told. I follow the nasty lady down some grey, dreary halls until we meet a door. “This door leads to the ring, wait here until the door opens. When it does, you will walk out to the ring to the starting line. When you hear start, the battle begins.”

Then the preppy, rude lady walked away with her heels clicking on the cement. She left me with the two magistrate guards making sure I don’t run away. Which I totally could, but I won’t. I need to win so that I can take everything down in the end.

I stood there with my arms crossed, staring at the door. It was a double door made of iron, which is one of the few things that can hurt someone that has affinities. I cannot touch the door my self or I’ll burn. The pain alone is more potent than any regular burn. It is more like my skin is melting off my flesh, and then my flesh is melting off my bones. I experienced it once, and I rather not again.

Then suddenly, the doors opened to the dirt-filled arena. I figured I would be battling someone that has an elemental ability, maybe air or fire. If it were water, there would be a lot of water sources, and, from what I can see, there’s not. During the games, the magistrate pairs people with elemental powers together and the spiritual people together before the showdown.

I held my head up high and clenched my fists to stop the shaking. I have been training my entire life for this, and now I am so nervous. Not only worried, but I am also afraid. None of the Gifted are allowed to talk or know each other’s abilities. I have no idea what I am walking into, and for all I know, I could have been lied to all my life and enter an arena with a rabid animal.

I walked down a short hall until I met the dirt, emerging out of the hall, into the sunlight, I felt lighter and free. No warding in the arena, great. I can stretch my powers. There is so much life in this ground, and it was terrific. I can feel the earth buzzing around me, waiting for my command. I could finally breathe deeply.

I look straight ahead of me and see a blonde-haired girl. She seemed light on her feet like she barely touched the ground. She must be able to control air, which was the last person I wanted to face.

I have this irrational fear of not being able to breathe. It all began when I was first training as a child. Alec and some other guards would choke me to teach me how to get out of the hold. Of course, I would panic and forget my training. One time I actually blacked out. Ever since, I don’t let anyone get near my throat, and I have learned to hold my breath for a long time, so I don’t panic as much.

I reach a red line drawn in the soil and waited there. A hundred yards away, the Blondie also stopped. Then the world seemed to stop moving. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t want to do this, and I’m not a killer. I’m not a monster the magistrate believes me to be.

I bow my head and pray to the gods and goddesses of this world. I pray to fight and to live. I pray that when this is all over, I can stop future games because I know this is not why I was born, but I do know that I want more in my life than just blood.

Once I say my prayers, I take in my surroundings, and there are concrete bleachers all around us. A colosseum of watchers, silently waiting for the games to begin. Music from the brass band plays softly in the background. There was a section where the magistrate elders sat. They had a front-row seat to the slaughter, how sweet.

The leader of the government came forward. His name is Elder Kakios stood up from his throne-like chair and walked up to the railing. He was an aging man wearing a white robe to signify his importance. He had a full head of white hair, which is impressive considering his age. He had white stubble caressing his whole face. I remember him from when I was younger, and I never liked him. His presence even made the earth want to recoil from his steps. His voice boomed around the arena announcing the games.

“Greetings! Ladies and gents. Welcome to the Games, where we will watch men and women exercise their abilities. Today we have Gaia, a strong-willed warrior with the affinity of earth and Aura, a graceful and dangerous woman with the affinity of air. They will fight until only one is left standing. We will begin on my mark.” He paused, and I turned my attention back to the girl.

She was small and petite but had beautiful curves and an hourglass figure. Her body was full and voluptuous, and her hair was pulled back in a high ponytail. I already know what my first move will be against air. I have only ever done it once, but I need to end this quickly.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper, hoping the air carries it to her. But I know she may never hear me.

“Ready... Set... START!” The elder yelled, and with that, I was off.

Let the games begin.

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