From fisherman's son to gladiator | The Innk Well Prompt #12



LeeZeng YongHuang Jie
Alex M5NyotaThe Multiverse

Previous stories, read them in any order.

I was a poor child, my father an alcoholic fisherman, and my mother a tormented woman. I'm only eleven years old and I know more about the cruel world than other children. Now I'm no longer the fisherman's son, with poor words and dirt even in the rags I wore, even my face was covered with filth. Now I'm a gladiator.

It all changed when one day we didn't head out to sea. My poor father was given the job of looking after a ranch in the mountains, and I went with him.

I was allowed to exploit the new world, since I was born I only saw sea and fish. My little house was next to the sea, I woke up to the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea from the moment I got out of bed until I went to bed, my dreams were of fish and huge waves. Not here, it was different, a new world of green colors and different sounds. It was the leaves with the breeze that caused silent songs, it was fun. While my father worked the land, I ran from here to there, being free, I didn't have to throw nets, cut fish, or remove scales from anything.

The ranch was just like my ugly house. Made of different woods and with a gray zinc roof, although this one was not eaten by the saltpeter. It had one room with a bed, a kitchen, and an ugly fridge. There was not much to explore in that windowless place. In the field there was. I didn't even know the name of the different plants I came across, I would reach out my hand and touch the green, blue or red one that gave off some colorful flower.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I came across another ranch, but this one was even uglier than my little house. It was unfinished, half of it was missing. In the middle was a strange machine, it looked to me like a rich man's refrigerator with multiple buttons. I was not afraid, it was a simple fridge and I pressed all the buttons quickly. The sounds that came out were the funniest. I was focused on the melodies that the machine displayed, that when I stopped the green world was over.

The multicolored world had arrived, there I became a gladiator. My eyes went from giant wheels to metallic horses that magically levitated. There was also a huge leaf full of water that never touched the ground, it went from one side to the other. The leaf resembled a beach from the inside.

But I didn't go to any of those wonderful places. An old man took me in and took me to the coliseum. He did not explain much to me, nor did I pay due attention to the place called "Futureland" I enlisted and they changed my rags. I bathed in freshwater that cleaned the dirt from my body, I had to wear shining armor glittering in the sunlight, which was made for me. I was also given my combat weapons. I always carried my shield and laser pistol, with them I fought the monsters that challenged me in the sands. The world of the sea was left behind, the blue world and the green world did not compare to the multicolored world.

I never saw the old man who welcomed me again, but I did see crowds of people shouting "the gladiator" when I shot or defeated a monster. When I wasn't fighting I was eating or sleeping, no longer eating fish but other types of food I had never tasted before. Nor did I sleep in a box with some sheets but on a mattress bigger than my parents' and alone.

The monsters were defiant and horrible, but he who has seen the troubled sea never fears anything again. I shot at their thousand eyes and thousand mouths until they fell at my feet. None was like any other. Sometimes huge three-headed cats or hedgehog pelicans, or even flying jellyfish of electricity. Not even claws, fangs, tentacles, or flares could do me in. I was a gladiator. When they fought above the coliseum were ships, balloons, and floating cars screaming my name.

I could no longer go back to my father the fisherman or my mother the tormented. No more wearing rags or being dirty all the time. I couldn't go back to the box full of sheets or lie on my parents' mattress that was on its last legs. So when I was offered to go back as a reward to return, I decided to keep playing.

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The Ink Well Prompt #12

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