He closes his eyes, and for a minute, there is silence
As he walks out into the tunnel, he can feel the ground shaking. The walls are dripping and there is a dirty musk in the air. His heart pounds.
As he approaches the threshold, one that has been traveled by many, he can feel the tension grow in his upper back and neck. He tries to breathe deep…only to be choked by the feeling looming in his stomach.
He walks out into the blinding light…eyes blurred and senses dulled. There’s that deafening sound of the crowd….and the pinging in his ears. He feels the crunch of the gravel and sand beneath the worn leather on his feet. The sweat dripping down his brow and the warmth of the sun on his back. His eyes refocus.
Out walks his opponent.
There he stands, that impending figure. As dark as a moonless night. Body shimmering with decorated steel. Piercing eyes as sharp as the blade he holds. A body meant for one thing…. destruction. He lets out a roar that silences the crowd.
As the crowd watches their hands are cold and fidgeting with anticipation. The noble men look on with curiosity in the safety of their pews.
As he watches, his gut sinks, but only for a second. He kneels down, grabs a handful of the dirt beneath him, stained with sweat and blood, and lets it fall through his fingers. He runs his hand gently along the sharp blade, and grips the soft bending leather. He rises, and faces the figure across from him.
The scars on his body evoke memories of error. And as he stands there, staring into the dark eyes of the figure across from him, it comes over him. The sweeping feeling runs through his veins and into his fingertips. He digs his feet into the ground. He squeezes the handle and let’s out a cry that will be remembered for ages
His eyes snap open quickly. He takes a deep breath, slides his hands over the wood and grips the sides of the podium. He is ready.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how….
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