Edge, sword. Line, through. Blood, plenty of it. The crowd is screaming, their yells and hollers echoing against each other. He raises his fists together and beats down upon the plastron. Crack. But nothing. Again. And again another crack. The blood continues, and the audience bays for more. Crack. And the bones tear through the breastplate, the mail, the skin. The gallery is pleased.
He rolls over, exhaustion coming over him. Washing his face in the dirt, he picks up his Akubra to shade his eyes from the glare of the heatlamps and spotlights. The din of the crowd fades out, the ringing starts. It never stops. It's distant, it's constant, it's always a reminder. Faint to his ears, loud to his soul. Either him or them. Only one can walk away. Or at least as close as you can get to ambling.
His jaw pauses at breakfast. The toast stares back. The face of wheat and whole grains grimacing. Grasping at pareidolia at this time of the morning is routine. Everything seems significant when half your vision is clouded with a collapsed iris. Rose coloured, yellow stained, purple haze. Many filters flicker through on each blink and almost-wink.
Hooking up the straw he jacks into the blender, the only way today he's going to feed himself. It's loud, but when has a blender never sounded like grinding bones? Every apartment has got one. You'll know it. What they throw in, however, you'll never know unless it's chunky and even then it's a guess.
As he reads through the paper a classified calls to him. Wiping off the wet crumbs he re-reads it. Another game is on. Cash in hand. The best kind of payment. Slowly, he clenches his fists. His able hands are no longer; now making the rest of his body wince. But still, the rent is due, the food is sparse and salty. It's a short ride to the ren-faire underground.
Written on Thursday, 2 May 2013