I am prostrate, as is the custom, for my kind are seen as little more than animals, even when we are soaked with blood and sweat and glory.
Screams and cheers still ring in my ears as the memories of each blow received arc across my battered flesh, and the thrill of victory throbs through my muscles with every pump of my adrenaline-revved heart.
The soft scuff-thud of official-sounding feet brings me zoning back into reality, still tinged with the high of the last hour, and my focus settles on clean, soft toes just inches from my face. They bear expensive gold jewellery – jewellery on the feet, my goodness, what it must be to have such wealth – and no signs of work or dust, but instead the rich scent of spiced oils; of importance; of luxury..
A tumble of words buzz around the edge of my glory-haze; their magniloquence matching the tenor of the feet, and their cadence relayed in the mesmerising swish of the bottom edge of an embroidered ceremonial robe (the best I’ve ever seen – I’m inches from the most beautiful piece of artwork I’ve ever seen worn – it is a tapestry of absolute mastery, and I would lay bets that the owner was not the one to add each painstaking stitch).
The noise stops, and I anticipate the usual charade of award, but instead the feet step towards me, shuffle, and a gentle fingertip runs slowly, deliciously, along the length of my spine, sparking a fresh, heart-racing surge of heat-drenched invigoration, and from the corner of my eye, I see the robe fall to the ground…
The prompt this week is FALL.