The Helios

Short Story

Tasum Ahamed

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Chapter 1

Fighting for my right to fight

Not that so long ago my life changed. It doesn’t really matter how long ago considering time is not real, but a fake perception for us to count days and spend our days waiting for a miracle to happen. On a peculiar day of February, as usual, I was staying in a rented home, far from our home, with my mom because she had some business affairs to take care. She said she had some work to do; this meant I was left alone most of the time doing nothing. Few days after, she called me on the phone and told me that she would not be coming back for a while. I had to stay there and not leave until she came back. But, it was about to be a special afternoon, something that will change the remaining of my life- I decided to go out for a walk.

There were many people hanging around. A lot of teenagers talking, fighting, joking, fighting, and…more fighting. How I wished I could join them! You might think that is very weird, but you see I have practiced fighting for more than five years. I never had a chance to prove myself, ‘cause my mom does not want me to, neither does my Master.  He thinks I still have a long way to go and might not survive in “this world”. What he meant by “this world” I had no clue. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to tell you my Master’s name, he never told me what it was.

In the middle of the street, two men handed me a flyer and told me to come to the event. The poster was simple, with a big white arena and it invited people to watch the upcoming fighting contest. I decided that I would go, but not as a visitor; I would go as a fighter. I was ready to show the world what I’ve learned and gained.

The place was not very far, like ten minutes away. There were many people, chatting. Some were carrying posters of their idols and many sweaters with their pictures. Many people were gathering next to a booth that sold gadgets for the events. Whoever owned the booth must have became a millionaire overnight, considering how many people were gathered around. The line to enter was very long, and made mostly of teenagers. I overheard a group of girls talking, it seems they were talking about a boy. I couldn’t hear clearly, but from their body, I could tell they had a crush on him.

Next to me, two girls were also talking about him, “Are you excited to see him? I can’t wait! I’ve been waiting for days to see him.”

The second girl replied with, “Me too! How I wish I could go on a date with him. I have been longing to see him. I wish we could be together. I really want to hold his hand and walk down the road.”

The first girl interrupted her, “Yeah, I want that too. All the girls here want that. You know that will never happen! But Ayden is soo cool!”

Whoever this guy was, I think his name is Ayden, clearly had all the girls from this place under his control, and I did not like him at all. If I ever got to meet him, I wouldn’t have fallen for him. I despise him already for breaking all these girls heart.

My thoughts were interrupted by the shouting of a man, “Get your tickets out! Tickets now!” That’s when I realized that I didn’t have a ticket. What would I do? Where could I buy some? Even if I did find the place, I didn’t have a penny with me.

“Where is your ticket?”, asked the man to me.

He was a big man, dressed in black. He looked like a bodyguard, but something told me that he was more than that, more as…I didn’t know but I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to know. I found him intimidating, not because of the scar cutting through his eyes but the vibe he was releasing.

His vibe was… wait since when I can feel people’s vibe? I looked around, and I could feel more vibe, no, it was not vibe, it was something more. Something like…their power.

I could feel people’s power for the first time, something was weird about this place. Like as if hiding secrets. Scary secrets. Dark secrets.

“I… I… I am here to fight. Yes, fight!”

“Ohhh you wanna fight, midget?” After saying this, he checked me out,  head to toe, trying to figure out how long I would last and if I were capable of surviving. My clothing, I think, was perfect for the occasion. Master forced me to fight anytime, anywhere, so I had to be ready. I was wearing a pitch black pants with a black shirt and a black sweater. I tend to wear a lot of black clothes. They are perfect to cover blood and bruises. I had straight black hair tied up in a ponytail.  I noticed him looking at my eyes; I looked at him back straight into his eyes, not giving away anything, showing him my determination.

After our long eye fight, he finally gave up. “Come with me this way.” I was not sure why he kept calling me midget or shrimp considering the fact that I was 5’2’’, which is pretty tall for my age.

He took me away from the crowd into a narrow street. I wonder if that was how my life was supposed to end. Kidnapped. Far from home. With a stranger.

He, then, opened a door. I could have sworn that I saw no handle, yet he was holding one, “Get in, shrimp, and what are you staring at? Never saw a magical door?”

I entered inside and wondered what he meant by magical?

“The next match is about to start soon, you better hurry up. The corridor leads directly to the arena. This is a secret shortcut, we use to get away from the crowd outside, saves time and energy.”

I decided that asking him more questions will just lead to a black eye, which I did not want.

I started running toward the end. The corridor was white, like very white, as if it didn’t exist. As I was moving toward to the match, my mind was moving back in time. I wondered if all of these was just a dream and I had fallen asleep on the couch, that could have been the case too. The last few days, I hadn’t slept much. My mother kept me moving from one place to another. It all started the day she opened the door and found three old ladies at the door asking to give me to them. That night, we left the house and stayed at a friend’s house. Actually she didn’t sleep, they talked all night, while I was sleeping. Since that incident, she has been calling every place unsafe. But unsafe from what I had no idea. We lived in our house since I was three years old, and everyone in the neighborhood was nice. I tried to pinch myself and “Ouch” it hurts, this wasn’t a dream. It was real and about to happen. I kept running. Turn after turn. The corridor seemed to go on forever and did not have an ending, I wondered where it led and what was there waiting for me. Suddenly, I heard cheers, people screaming and getting up. The last match must have ended, which meant it was my turn, I had to hurry. For some reason, I was sure that I had one more turn and I would be there, I had no idea how I knew it. This clearly was my first time and yet I  felt like this was where I always belonged, the missing piece of my life. I started to run and boom:

I was sitting on the ground. Next to me was someone sitting. The fall was hard, I couldn’t see him clearly first, but a few moments later, his image was reflected in my retina allowing my occipital lobe to visualize him.

He was a boy around my age. He had dark hair and was wearing a black shirt with a rock band logo on it. I am pretty sure I never heard of this band, although my knowledge in rock was very limited, I had to admit. It looked like the fall must have damaged him. Blood was on his elbows. His jeans were ripped, I wondered if they were ripped from before or the fall might have caused it. I looked more carefully, there was blood on his jeans too.

Wherever this guy came from, he must have gotten beaten up badly, or maybe he did something bad. Yeah, that must have been the case. Unless he came just from the fight. I wonder how my mom would have reacted if she saw me bleeding and my clothes close to destruction, like a tornado destroying everything on its way.

I looked at his face, he was looking at me all confused. I noticed his eyes, they were of an aquamarine color. There was something about his eyes, I didn’t like it.

He looked confused as if he wasn’t sure what was going on. He was sitting with his legs open making a rhombus and both of his palms touching the ground from each side. His legs looked long, he must have been pretty tall. After a few moments of sitting down, he suddenly rose up without bending his legs or using his hands. How he did it, it was cool, I would like to be this cool. He gave me a hand to help get up, but I decided to get up on my own. My back hurt from the fall, the floor must have been made of cement.

Something about this boy was fishy. “I don’t need your help.”, I said as I was cleaning the dust out of my clothes.

“Not even a thank you? Ah well. Just pay attention next time and don’t run.”

Who was this guy to tell me to pay attention? “Hey, you, listen! I think you should be the one who needs to pay attention, not me!”

“I was saying it for your sake. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“If you didn’t want me to get hurt, you wouldn’t have pushed me!”

“I didn’t push you! You pushed me!”

“No, you did!”

“It wa-”

His voice was interrupted by the speaker, “Next fighter please come forward. We are waiting for you.”

Oh no! I started running toward the end. I could see a bright white light coming from the end, I ran for it. What was at the end of the tunnel was nothing I expected. Thousands and thousands of people were sitting in the biggest stadium I’ve ever seen. The Colosseum was nothing compared to this. I felt like my feet were burning, the ground was made of sand. It was a very hot day. The sun was high in the sky,as I stood in the center of the arena.

“Looks like you haven’t peed in your pants yet, hahah”, said the speaker. Most of the people laughed at his joke. Lame joke.

Across the room, a huge figure was standing. He looked like a Beast. It was a man around the age of twenty four. A quick mental calculation told me that he was about five feet and two hundred fifty pounds. He had tan skin. He was nothing but muscle. Petroleum black lines were across his face and body. His 6 pack was painted in red. The only clothing he was wearing were a pair of black shorts.

My adversary looked at me. “You expect me to fight this kid? She is like 10 years old.”

“Correction, I am actually thirteen but that is okay. Plus, you have to be twelve or older to register”, I corrected him. I hated when people would get my age wrong.

“Blablabla… acting all smart, I will make you beg for that later…”, said the Beast.

“Hey girl tell me, is your insurance up to date? ‘Cause you will be paying a visit to the hospital soon.” The speaker didn’t leave any time for me to answer that. “Aaaaaand let the match begin.”

The gigantic Beast charged at me, and an unknown force moved my body to the side allowing me to dodge it. A new force unleashed my body and with full force, I punched him in the face. Red lights started sparkling from my hand. His eyes shut and gravity pulled him down. The Beast was lying on the ground as if he has passed out.

No noise was to be heard, and then the audience stood up en masse, many of them cheering and many of the yelling of anger. The bell rang and the announcer came in the middle of the arena. He brought his microphone next to his mouth, “Looks like we have a winner.” he took my right arm and raised it high toward the burning sun. More people joined the cheers and the celebration. “This little girl is very strong. Was this hard work or just luck? We will find out in three days. In the final match.”

Wait, did he just say I was in the final match? How long did this tournament last? And I was already in the final?

“Tickets are on sale now! Outside the arena, in the building to the left.” Some people started heading outside.

The announcer made a final announcement before leaving, “The final match will be between- what is your name girl?”, he asked looking at me.

“A-Arianna,” I told him. Yes, Arianna, that is my name.

“Yes, the final match will be between Arianna and Ayden”

Ay-ayden? Is he in the final match? Well, that is great news! I can, finally, kick his butt.

So much has happened today but I knew somehow that this was the first chapter of a new book in my life. And I was ready to read it ‘till The End.

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The Student News Site of Downtown Magnets High School
Short Story