Cycle of Ashes

Chapter two
Maria wakes up and discovers she is covered with mud, she looks around for Chi and doesn’t find her, and shes confused. She hears screams and jeers, and discovers she is in some sort of mud pit. She can hear screams of other people around her, some begging for help, some crying for death, she can also hear something that sounds like a celebration from afar, she screams for Chi, “Chi!!! Chi!!!! Are you here? Can you hear me? Please say something.” All of a sudden, the top of her mud prison is open and she’s dragged out and moved closer to what she thought was a celebration happening, she is pushed into a big dark hall with people cheering and jeering, in the middle was something that seemed like a phase, she sees traces of dried blood and some fresh blood on the empty phase, she is reminded of an old book she read about fight clubs in the ancient time, she is dragged to the center of the phase, a girl of about her age but busty and curvier than anyone she has ever met takes a long look at her while smirking. She reminds Maria of a seductress, the way she moves, her calculating eyes and her condescending smile makes Maria conscious of herself, the girl whispers to her, “you have one chance to make your stand in here, I wish you the best of luck.” Maria stares at her, not fully understanding what was happening yet. The girl says to the crowd “what do you think about her? Do you think she’s a predator or a prey, well, it is up to her to prove herself, you know the drill, place your bets,” to Maria, “Welcome to the sack,” she winks and moves off phase.

Maria is confused, she doesn’t understand, she notices a man sitting at the top of the seats on the hall, he looks really familiar, the man stands and there is absolute silence. “Tell us girl, your name, your crime and what you have to offer to the sack.” Maria is stunned, she can hear her heart pounding, she tries to calm down “My…. My name is Maria Enyo, my crime is my entire existence and where is my friend? There is laughter everywhere, people mocking her, the man smiles at her “little girl, you don’t understand the situation I think.”
“Oh… I get the situation, I’m here put on display like some animal, in as much as I value my life, I refuse to be subject to this kind of scrutiny, all of us are put in here for one reason or the other, why do I have to answer your questions, at the end of the day, you hold the power, there is no point to all of these,” Maria frustrated, tired and scared doesn’t really care what happens to her at this point.

The man’s eyes twinkles and laughs loudly, “Adam was right about them, I’ll tell you the point, today will determine if you are to serve, lead, protect or hunt and think about this as literal as you want,” he signals to one of the men, Maria groans loudly “where is my friend? ” all of a sudden, a very wet Chi is pushed to the phase, Maria runs and hugs her “Chi.. I thought… What happened to you? Chi smiles and hugs her back, “let’s just say I was a little bit resistant and I was taught a lesson, or so they think.” Maria takes a good look at her; Chi looks pale and has bruises everywhere, “What did they do to you?” Maria is concerned and mad, she tries to keep calm but she knows being angry won’t help them. “Just so you know, being wet while flogged hurts, all I did was defend myself, there are just so many awful things and why do you look like the sandman?” Maria knows Chi is trying to downplay her pain “well, as touching as this was, let’s get to it.” the man signals and a cage was brought down on the phase, Maria and Chi look at each other, “What do you want from us?” Chi asks.
“Since you asked, usually people are sent here in singles but once they are more than one, I mean, look at how small the sack is, do you really think with the people they send here, this place would have been overpopulated by now, thanks to the system, it boils down to the survival of the strong and willful,” he grins. Two knives and thrown into the cage. “Girls, the one who leaves that cage alive will move on to the next phase.”