TITLE: Sol of a Gladiator
GENRE: Epic Fantasy
A baby’s cry.
Grall was sure that’s what he’d heard. In the depths of the coliseum a person became accustomed to various cries of pain or despair. Prisoners, men broken physically or mentally, called out in the night. Spoils, the women given to victorious fighters to do with whatever they saw fit, cried out often. The beasts, crazed by captivity and seclusion, howled and cackled. Even Grall, though the proud young guard would never admit it, sometimes fought back the tears that came in the dark. Over time, one could learn to block out the sound completely.
But the cry of a child, an infant, a sound that had no place in this world, could not be ignored.
Grall made his way slowly down the roughly carved stone hall, unenthusiastic in his search for the sounds origin. He knew what was expected of him when he found the child. His stomach clenched at the thought.
“I don’t need this.” he thought aloud, his voice barely a whisper. “I should be in bed.” In truth, only minutes before he had lain wide awake, willing dawn to come and give him a reason to abandon his tossing and turning. With the day came his duties; blessed menial tasks he could lose himself in, briefly forgetting his loss.
Grall had come to the coliseum only a few months before. He had been a guard in the city until he refused to participate in a drill using live captives. His protests changed nothing.