Friday, November 19, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday: Week #14

Amy C over at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie over at Tink's Place
have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt wi
ll be posted and if you choose to participate - you post your story on Friday.

And here is the fourteenth picture prompt:


My Story:
For the Glory
By Michelle Greathouse

He stood in the tunnel, the stench of blood and battle heavy in the air.  The ground shook with stomping feet and a fine rain of dirt and sand showered his shoulders as it fell from the rounded ceiling above his head.

Above the beating of his heart and the sound of blood rushing in his ears was the unrelieved chanting of his name: Otho, Otho, Otho.

Alone he waited.  This was to be his last battle and he wanted to savor this feeling - the feeling of accomplishment and the pride of being undefeated.

Sensing movement behind him, Otho turned and found Laelia standing a few feet away.  His woman was smart, she knew it was not safe to walk up closely behind a man of his breed.  Not that Laelia was a timid mouse - she was a warrior in her own right - and that is what made them perfect for one another.

“I’ve brought your gladius and parma.”  She hefted his sword and round shield and placed them on the raised platform that ran the left side of the tunnel.

Otho moved to Laelia and took her in his arms, careful of the galerus that covered his shoulder and right arm and the manicae on his left hand - he did not want to mar her skin with the metal and leather coverings.  “We will leave at first light on the morrow, gods willing, we will be with your family before the first snow.”  

As the horn sounded indicating time for his battle, Otho kissed Laelia and taking up his weapons excited the tunnel.  The crowd roared his name as he entered the ring and walked confidently to the center, standing loose limbed and alert like the predator he was known to be.

His opponent entered the ring from the opposite tunnel and Otho was pleased to note Vincens was in top form - no injuries or infirmities visible to the naked eye.  This would be a well matched battle and Otho was pleased to have his career end with such worthy opposition.  

The horn sounded and both men attacked, swords rang - steel on steel, accompanied by the dull thud of a blocked thrust on shield.  The crowd was frenzied, calling for blood as the men danced in the ring.

Otho held nothing back, gave no quarter and soon Vincens was winded.  Seeing an opening, Otho swung his sword and brought it, flat side down, against Vincens legs, at the same time planting his foot firmly against Vincens ass and shoving.

The crowd roared their approval and the chanting of ‘Otho’ swelled yet again.

Walking to the downed warrior, Otho placed his foot upon Vincens chest.  “Do you ask for quarter?”  With a disgusted sigh, Vincens asked for quarter and Otho helped him to his feet.

As the two men stood and clasped forearms the crowd boo’d and hurled food and insults at the warriors.

Barely discernable above the roaring disapproval of the crowd, Otho caught the sound of the western gate rising.  He quickly turned and caught sight of of the lions just as they left the tunnel.

The crowd roared, once again in a frenzy.

Otho and Vincens turned, back to back - each prepared to take a lion.  Otho took a moment and flung over his shoulder, “Today is a good day to die.”  Turning back towards the oncoming lion, Otho raised his sword and shield and charged, his hearty bellow of “For the Glory” merging with the lions roar.

The End
Word Count: 594

Don't you just hate endings like that?  LOL

I was going to go in a completely different direction with this picture.  When I first saw it I thought "offworld'.  I really liked it so I grabbed it.  Then when Dottie decided to use it this week - I took a closer look and the first thing I saw was what the woman was wearing - that made me think of Xena.  LOL  Then from Xena I went to Spartacus on Starz - and ended with gladiators.  :)

I hope you enjoyed the read.  Have a great weekend.



Blodeuedd said...

Lol, yes I do hate endings like that..then what? I guess we will never know. Great one

Michelle Greathouse said...


But one day, we may have another picture that ties in with this one - and I can continue the story. LOL


Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Love it! But I hope he doesn't kill the lion and I hope the lion doesn't kill him. Great job!

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Michelle!

Feeling a tiny bit better today... yesterday.. lets us say, it was a very icky day.... one of those, can't eat, can't sleep, can't stay awake, fever filled

I loved you story, I don't know why I didn't see gladiators, excellent use of the prompt!

Well, I hope Otho survives, but for Julia's sake, I hope he only injures the lion (it will distract the of lions.... maybe save Vincens too... can't say the other lions aren't going to make a meal of their downed companion though.... just the way my mind works..)

Dottie :)