Last weeks prompt from Flash Friday included the photo and a reference to a gladiator.
The gladiator, scared stiff against the wall, looked for escape.
The crowd above and around him roared and he watched Caesar, rubbing his hands together, take to his feet.
Body parts strewn around him. The metallic smell of splattered blood.
The gladiator, given the name Titus, licked his lips and bared his teeth as the lion lumbered forward.
Titus was cornered, his impending end immanent.
They’d tried to gang up on the beast, but what was one to expect when Caesar tossed his captives into the arena, telling them only to fight to the death? When he fit them with flimsy armor and armed them with toy swords at best? When he’d caged and starved the monster and demanded its trainers beat it daily?
Needless to say it was a massacre and Titus wound up like the rest.
Caesar leaned back and smiled. It was a rare occasion to see Caesar smile. His parents (when they bothered to pay attention) never saw him smile.
He leaned over his custom Coliseum and stroked the orange tabby, a mouse tail hanging from its bloody maw.
This wasn’t the first time.
It wouldn’t be the last.
And in the future, the now teenaged Caesar would move on to bigger, “smarter” animals.