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MDM (NSW, challenge, one-shot) (Complete)

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One-shot response to Ami's challenge. ("Write a fanfiction. It can be of whatever fandom you wish. The only other stipulations are: first person narration, and you have to include the words 'veridium', 'haste', and 'basket'.") I may be using "fandom" loosely here, but I hope it counts.




The sand is loose.


The other men ask how I do it. They long to know my secret. I see them talk to one another, comparing strategies, hoping to find the edge that will make all the difference. And who wouldn't? To face the monstrous unknown when life stays alight by a half-second or half-step? I remember that panic. It slithers up, coils around and squeezes the breath out of you. Everyone feels it at the beginning. Some feel it longer than others. I haven't felt it for a long time.


No, I tell them. Check your armor. Sharpen your blade. Past that, there is no preparing. You can't divine the unknown. Not until it becomes known. Not until you're there. I've seen them shudder as the gate rolls up, wondering if they'll ever walk through it again. They fear death. Is that the difference? That I wish it?


One step. That is the only advice I can give. One step tells me everything. In the moment my foot meets the earth a thousand uncertainties vanish. I look straight ahead, my eyes open wide, but I feel this before I see anything. Here, today, the sand is loose. Not the softest earth I've worked with, but softer than average. My feet sink lightly. This determines everything. My muscles tense. Each step will be deliberate and precise. Quick movements will be slowed. Lateral strides must land perfectly. Shifting sand invites false steps. How many men have I seen cut down by that terrifying slide, when the foot can't find it's hold and balance is thrown in that suspended instant?


I welcome it. My attackers have more to prove than I. When fear stirs the blood they are prone to lunge with anxious haste. One overeager swing, the fateful slide, and for a frozen moment the flesh is exposed. I dispose of them swiftly. The surface is my ally. I am so fully aware of it that after the first step it does not even enter my thoughts. It is there, it is everywhere.


My eyes sweep over the crowd. In seconds they will fade and my whole existence will be the sandy circle. I might as well glance now. Might this be where I die? Any man would be naturally curious to know the place where he will leave this world. It is one of the smaller arenas, but its size is made up for in the raucous rabble. The stands teem with spectators, unrestrained in their lustful cravings. There are no faces to me, just the hungry mob. Out of the mass I spot the vendors, and even some signs. ”œVERIDIUM”

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Nice work, COEM. As always you manage to pull something together that gets me interested and makes me want to read more. Are you going to keep this up, or was it just a one-time deal? You could continue and have a blast writing some intense gore.


EDIT: Damn it. I see the answer.


[Associate of the Illinois Mafia since November 2002.]

Member of the Four Horsemen

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That was really good!! I love the tone and the raw emotion that it eeked, and I think that you couldn't have done that without the first person narration. Interesting that he wants to die...gives a different perspective to facing your fate in the arena.


Is this based off of Gladiator?


Very nicely written.


There goes Ami's reputation of being a peaceful, nice person.
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