A snarl released from the back of my throat and immediately we went at it. Like animals, over a piece of meat. Over territory. Over a mate. My fingers dug into his skin and ripped the flesh open. Bruises welted my stomach with each hit he landed, and my arms with each hit I blocked. I grabbed for hair – just a little too long, just perfect for me to use the momentum to slam him to the brick wall. With him dazed for a moment, I slung a foot through his ankle and forced him to the ground. His hands shot up and grabbed my throat. Tears filled my eyes and blurred my vision as sounds begged to escape my throat with no relief. Blackness filled my vision until my knee found his crotch. As he screamed in pain I rolled away to catch my breath. Slowly, I became cognizant again of the cheering crowd that surrounded us in bleachers. He seemed spent. I need only to kill him, and I had my freedom. I stumbled towards him, ready to make my final move.

He was too quick, and I fell.

And so, like animals, we continued to fight. Him for property, and me for freedom. That’s the way of it – for a slave to break free from their master, we must fight to the death. And the others – they must watch.

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