Friday, May 2, 2014

Fright Fight, Part One

Jeanine awoke with a sudden jolt, scooting back from her prone position on the floor until her back met wall. Years of military experience turned on and she found herself evaluating what her situation was: it was dark, but not so dark that she couldn't see. 

She was at the bottom of a pit some forty to fifty feet deep, perhaps fifteen feet in diameter, with four other people, all unconscious.
Checking over her, she felt a knot on the back of her head and a tender rib, telling her she'd put up some form of resistance to whatever had happened that had left her here. 
Looking down at her leg, she saw it was wrapped tightly in bloodstained gauze. Looking around, she noted most of the others sported injuries that had the same gauze covering their wounds; though most of them looked worse off than Jeanine. A man with a scraggly beard and a pot belly had gauze wrapped over half his head and his whole left arm, his partially shredded clothing testament that he had endured some hard confrontation.
Slowly standing up with the support of the wall, Jeanine tested her weight on her injured leg, finding it strong enough to hold her up. Looking over herself, she they must have nabbed her while she was working out:  all she was wearing were long shorts and a sleeveless top with a black sports bra underneath. All of it had nicks and scrapes, small tears that made her wonder what had happened. A small rock fell from above, landing with a loud clacking noise next to her. Looking up, she saw a man in red robes staring down at her.
"Hey!" She shouted, causing him to jump. "Let me out of here!"
"You want out? Most of the time we have to select by lottery who goes next..." The man mumbled, his words echoing down to her.
"Next for what?" She called up to him, though he didn't respond, instead he moved away from the lip of the hole, fumbling with something up top.
"Next for the fights!" The man called down, unfurling a rope ladder that clattered down the stone wall. Jeanine moved to the side to avoid being struck in the head by the hard lumber before regarding what could be her only means of escape. "You coming up or what?"
"How do you know that you'll be safe with me?" She called out as she began climbing the ladder.
"Well I got a gun for one thing," the man chuckled. "For another, we're in a pretty remote place. What would you do if you killed me? Run around half-cocked looking for a way out?"
"The thought had crossed my mind," Jeanine mumbled.
"Well that'll just get you killed. You stay with us and win three fights, you go free. You win, we feed you and treat your wounds. You lose... well, just don't lose."
"So it's like that huh?" Jeanine asked as she reached the lip of the pit, climbing out onto her hands and knees. Looking up, the man that stood before her looked hard, as in seasoned warrior hard. He was older, with graying temples and a large nose that had obviously been broken before.
Resting in his rough hand was a large caliber pistol, with another strapped to his hip. His red shirt had a design similar to a pentagram but with a skull superimposed over the image. Looking at her through heavily lidded eyes, he waved the pistol in the direction of a long table, covered in weapons. Looking around the room, she could tell they were below ground by the way the air felt; perhaps they were in a bunker somewhere. The table was the only pieces of furniture save for the wall racks of rolled up rope ladders.
"So," Jeanine said, walking over to the table, examining all of the long weapons, from pole arms and swords, from spears to scimitars. Most were chipped or cracked, while others were in pristine condition. Lifting up a Morningstar, the heavy head with sharpened spines jutting out from the iron orb harsh even to look at. "Who exactly am I going to be fighting? Some other kidnapped person?"
The man smiled, waving the pistol for her to hurry up in her weapon selection. "You'll see when we get you into the ring. Remember, all you have to do to be free is to win three times."
"And how many people have won three times in a row?" Jeanine asked, looking at the man with a look of incredulity. "Because I imagine that the losers die, am I right?"
"That would be correct, in most circumstances." The man confirmed, nodding. "I believe we've had two or three people make it through the gauntlet before."
"Only two or three?" Jeanine asked, testing the weight of the Morningstar, holding it out in one hand to test how the wrought iron fared in one hand.
"We have harsh opponents for you all." The man said confidently. "We're running a business here for rich customers, big gamblers..."
"So who am I going to be fighting? Some ex-marine?" Jeanine asked hesitantly, finally deciding on the Morningstar.
"No, you'll be fighting a twelve year old Italian boy that has a bit of a complex."
"What kind of complex?"
"Well, he's possessed you see."

No comments:

Post a Comment