she fought a lion

After her prayers in the chapel, just outside the amphitheater, she lifted her head up in pride and walked onto the field. She could hear the roars of the caged beasts. A shiver ran down her spine. There were rumours going around that this would be the last night where women would be allowed onto the field, so she wanted to do her sisters proud. If she fell, it would be with a valiant effort. It would be with her last breath. It had to be, so her family was cared for. What else could they do for a heroine’s family? No amount of money would cover the shame if she chose to be a prostitute. Her family were zealous in their old ways. She would be disowned. Even in death.
She was strong, healthy and eager. Yet she could not catch a break at any role she tried. Denied the education of the rich, she could sell herself or fight the lions. So she chose the lions.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the gate rise and took up her opening stance. Bouncing on the balls of her feet, she waited till she was sure the lion saw her. Then she waved her hands in the air and screamed till the lion roared.
Her body tensed as the lion loped toward her. As it jumped, so did she. Their bodies bounced off each other with force, then they reconnected. They seemed to be hugging each other, so close were they wrestling. She felt the lion warning her with it’s teeth, So she returned the bites. She even shook her head as the lion did as it bit harder. Finally she got her arms around the lion’s neck, threw her body weight off center, and managed to snap the lion’s neck. Her trainer had taught her that way of killing the lion, so she would be safer if she could get into position for the move. Every step led up to it. And it worked. The lion managed to get a few more bites and scratches in as it died. It made her blood run cold, knowing the lion was fighting for it’s breath, even after it was gone.
The dead beast slid down her torso then laid down on the ground near her feet. She remembered to pose as her trainer had taught her and placed her foot on the lion’s neck and raise her arms. The crowd roared.
There she stood, the victor. Covered in her blood and the lion’s. With her clothes in tatters for just long enough to claim the victory. Then she passed out cold. Was it blood loss, or fatigue? Did it even matter why?
The next thing she knew, she was being carried off the field, to the small room where they stitched up her wounds. A small smile appeared on her lips as her trainer congratulated her for her victory. Her entire future rode on whether she could fight again, but at least after tonight, she knew if they allowed her to she at least could.…

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