Son of Abruzzo
I was taken from my home when I was a young boy. My gladiator dream was punishment for thievery and all around mayhem. They snatched me up and told me if I wanted to succeed in this world I must kill everyone I face.
I was only maybe fifteen, but with a spear I was deadly. I used to hunt with my Uncles in the hills of Abruzzo when I wasn’t robbing merchants in Napoli. Hunting with a spear gave me the ability to become a force of danger and power in the Gladiator arena.
Caesar threw everything he had at me. Slaves by the dozen from Sardinia, great wild beasts from the deepest reaches of Africa, Warriors from Egypt, Mercenaries from his own military, and finally the devilish Santa Twins from south Spain. The twins were beautiful dark haired Mediterranean women that dabbled in murder for hire and love for money. We had gotten to know each other well during my time in shackles, our respect for each other was deep, they loved me and I’d be lying if I didn’t love them back. We would sleep in cages next to one another dreaming of our freedom.
Their only wish was to one day ride their horses again over the hills of Spain. Naked and free. Fearless we were. I told them of my dream to be the greatest champion the Empire had ever witnessed. And with that power I would kill Caesar and take his throne. I’d force the Senate to its knees and demand they would give all to the people and after I would behead them for their good work.
We didn’t live long in that dream state. The twins wouldn’t dare dream long for too much freedom, they knew in their hearts that we would have to one day face each other.
End of a Gladiator Dream
That day happened. It was a dry summers day and the arena was packed with Romans ready to watch the blood flow. They donned me with roses and gold leafed armor. My crest the severed head of a lion gleaming in the hot sun. My spear sharpened to the finest point. I prayed to the gods to give me the strength to slew my two lovers, for they will come for me when the battle begins.
I stood in the middle of the arena alone and ready to die. The gates to the other end of the arena opened and in rode the sisters on chariot with bow and sword and blood lust. I am in the way of their freedom and them me.
We clashed under the hot sun. As they charged I used my shield to stop the spiked arrows cutting through the air. As they closed in I used my spear to fell their horse sending the beast ass over head along with the two Santa sisters. Ones legs were crushed from the chariot landing on them, while the second sprung into attack. I pulled my sword and we met steel with steel. The sunlight flashing off of our blades. The crowd roared wanting to see the blood. She was too fast for me though. She slid that nasty instrument of death between my ribs and left it there with its handle on display poking from my gut.
The citizenry gasped in astonishment. The breath left me and I saw double of the twins. She raised her hands in celebration, but as she turned she saw as I pulled the blade from my ribcage and swiped at her throat. The rose colored liquid danced in the sky landing on the face of her still crushed sister. Her victorious smile turned to astonishment as she grabbed at her throat hoping to find that she hadn’t been killed this day.
But it was done. I made my way over to the other sibling. Tears touched my cheeks, not from the pain in my gut, but the pain of savagery for survival. I loved these women, and they loved me, but the gods spoke and someone had to die for the others to flourish.
She scrambled for her bow and got off two arrows, I blocked one with my shield and dodged the other. As she loaded up a third my foot came down on her weapon pinning her and the bow the the ground. I stood over her. She didn’t cry out, she didn’t hate, she loved me…and I took her head for my freedom. In a gladiator dream all can be bloody.