Simon peered out of the car. He could hear a large anxious muttering beyond. The blacked out windows had hidden to him just how many people were waiting to see him. The door opened slowly, and then as he stuck out his leg, a mighty roar rose from the masses. Shouts of lust, of hate, of fear. He stood up to his full height, made to look even shorter by his high-wasted trousers. As he did so, he gazed out at the sea of screamers. They stretched for miles, and beyond them were prey. He could wait, he would see them again. He glanced at them for a split second then raised his hand to wave at the crowd. Suddenly a second energy filled the fans and they turned up their volume knobs and screamed. When he became bored, he headed straight indoors.
Amongst the mass stood a man and woman, they were here to do what everyone else was. They were nothing special. They wore stickers, they held hands. She was younger than him, though you wouldn’t have been able to tell - due to extensive practising the night before, she had bags under her eyes. But they didn’t matter. They knew this well, they knew their place, just two specks of the mob, just two specks moving slowly towards the door, specks.
Simon sat in his seat next to Amanda and flirted like a teenager until she felt obliged to leave. There was a young woman leaning over him, plastering his face. He was told to keep his eyes closed but it is difficult to do so when an attractive young woman such as herself was leaning over him in that position. He chuckled to himself, and not only because the makeup tickled quite a bit. Beside him now sat an interviewer, Piers, his colleague in battle. As the young woman finished her masterpiece and slowly stood up, Simon felt ready.
The man and woman were now much closer to the door, they knew it wouldn’t be long before they were called to die. After a few more minutes a man appeared; they had not seen him enter but they heard his shrill shriek. “Numbers 10640 to 10685 please!” The woman, labelled 10671, thought about standing instead pretending not to exist: it was easier that way. After all, she was nothing special. Her husband however stood abruptly up and dragged her by the arm in a sudden burst of confidence. The man led those helpless things deep into a long, dark corridor.
Simon walked down the stairs into the vibrating arena and took his seat for the battle ahead.
As the couple passed the Geordie men, they were ready.
by Oli Reynolds