Someone with a voice of authority and malevolence spoke from nowhere.
“Welcome, prisoners or should I call you warriors. You’re about to fight to the death anyway. Those who die, will respawn in my personal torture chamber. Let’s just say unless you’re really, really, lucky, you can forget about getting out of there. May as well be dead in the since of being dead. So I suggest staying alive.”
We were all looking around but the coliseum had no observers in the seats. I assumed nonparticipants would occupy them. “The good news is that I’m willing to grant a boon to anyone who impresses me, whatever it may be. Alone time with a female prisoner, a day off, anything. If you really impress me, I may even let go to the city, even get you a job and a place there, how does that sound?”
The prisoners did what anyone would do after being presented such a golden carrot. Cheered. I didn’t. But…this is a potentially easy shot to the city. Yeah, right, like any deal with a devil, there’s probably some catch to it. “There’s no catch,” the warden continued, his voice somehow giving off the hint of lying. “If you somehow impress me to a degree that would make me stand up, you go to the city. But, only one of you can get this boon. It’d be about ten years until I grant another one like it.”
The tension in the air spiked. Whatever he planned would end up in a bloodbath. “Sadly, only a few of you will get the chance to participate today. Today, will be reserved for someone I want dead, highest ore collectors, a few superb intimidators, and so on.”
He started calling list of prisoner numbers. I flinched a little when mine was called. So were my cellmates. When the warden finished his rollcall, he sent the moping others to watch. “Ladies and gentlemen remaining on the field, take a look at the gate to your left.”
We did, noticing for the first time the large wooden gate. Darkness shrouded what it contained, but it shook. It wasn’t shaking when we first got in here—there’s no way anyone would’ve missed it. “Behind it is something fierce, deadly, hungry, and will stop at nothing to tear each and every one of you into little pieces. I guarantee most of you will die. See you in the torture chamber, forever.” The warden laughed, almost like a cliché villain. He succeeded at losing the respect he gained, as tensions rose even more. No one probably cared about the “possible” trip to the city. It was survival now. “The rules are simple. All of you are on a team to kill the beast. Kill it and you’re off for the rest of the day. Everyone else will be going back to the mine for a few more hours. Your weapons are over there, by the gate. You may grab a sword.” No one was stupid enough to move. That obvious trap wasn’t getting any cheap shots today. The warden chuckled. “Suit yourselves. Let the games begin!”
The gate vanished. A large bear-like roar blasted from darkness. Immediately three prisoners were thrown into the air by some unseen force then torn to pieces. Literal pieces.
“Shit, this is fucked up, let’s group up,” I said to my cellmates. “Fuck the prizes, we have to fight to not be lost.”
Mack nodded then summoned his blue aura. Muscles looked as if desperately tried to locate the beast but gave up seconds later.
“I’m in,” he said. “I just want to fuck a female. I could give a shit less about some trip to the city. That’s most definitely a trap.”
I sighed. Whatever kept this guy going. We needed his strength.
“Alright,” I said. “Let’s get to the weap…”
Someone appeared in front of us, blood oozing out of her mouth, cool, calm, and collected look on her face.
A kid, with tiny bat-like wings and long black hair, grinned a bloody smile at us. Dressed in a simple black shirt and skirt, the little demon girl, who wouldn’t have been more than thirteen human years old, licked her lips.
“Oooh, now that’s amazing. You must be the special tasty treat he promised me.” She sniffed the air. “Half holy, half human.” She licked her lips again. “You smell so delicious. My mouth is watering so much.” She stepped toward me.
“Get out of here, kid, we’ve got pressing matters to worry about,” Muscles said in a dismissing voice.
“Oh shit, don’t,” I warned too late. Muscles tried to shoo her away and lost his arm.
The kid ripped it out of its socket with ease. Black blood and algae-colored liquid oozed from it slowly.
She didn’t stop there. As Muscles screamed, she tore him to shreds and ate him. Fast too.
I didn’t waste any time, making a run for it. Mack followed. A large burst of wind nearly knocked me to the ground as the demon girl appeared right in front of me, maniacal grin on her face. The other prisoners, the lucky motherfuckers were as far away from us as possible.
“And where do you think you’re going, foodie pie?” the deadly girl of death said.
Heart jackhammering against my chest, I took a fighting stance, realizing that I was the guy the warden wanted dead. Fuck. This felt like a fucked-up joke. We could’ve used Muscles, even if he got what was coming to him. He sounded like nothing more than a womanizer. Or maybe a rapist.
The girl lurched at me, dodging my punch, then leapt on top of my arm. Mack hit her with a freaking death beam of blue energy, knocking the crazy kid onto the ground. That shit had no effect on her—she broke into laughter then hopped up, knocked me onto my back, then landed on stomach, all while smiling.
I felt an overwhelming amount of fear engulf me—Mack fired beam after beam, threw punches and kicks, fired more beams. The girl didn’t so much as budge.
“I require all prisoners to participate,” the warden said. The kid froze then turned around to look at them. She waved then turned to look at me.
“You’re lucky,” she said softly then punched me in the gut. I wheezed—felt like a fucking car hit me. “I need to go take care of the cowards first. Our dinner date will be postponed.”
The girl vanished and soon the screaming and slaughter started. Geysers of prisoner blood, limbs, and all kinds of shit went flying into the air. Crunching and chewing sounds echoed throughout the place. The warden laughed.
“Miliana keep it up!” he said with glee. “You’re welcome to eat the crowd too. And they’re special.”
Chaos. So much chaos. Not even the Goraus were anywhere to be found.
“We’ve got to get the fuck out of here and quick!” I said to Mack, voice panicked. “This entire thing is a trap—there won’t be any surviving. Every prisoner here is food to that thing. Fuck the plans, let’s go.”
Mack nodded then we burst into a sprint toward the exit. Fortunately, no guards blocked it. We also weren’t locked in.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne, he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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