by Shlomoh Sherman
September 12, 1968
The sun began to rise early that day, earlier than usual. I gazed about the stadium to see if there were any other spectators present. I was alone. Down there in the arena the two men confronted each other. They were both enveloped in a mantel of hate which exuded itself out of every pore and ran down their naked flesh with every bead of sweat. Their faces were hard set in menacing grimaces which revealed double sets of finely sharpened fangs, and the fibres of their muscles protruded in almost distorted definition, taut, as if any minute the hardened but delicate strands might burst asunder, spewing forth green, red, orange, pink and white bits of matter in the wake of their eruption. Each tendon, ligament, nerve, vein and artery could be seen pulsating.
The two advanced, closed with each other, and with deafening screams they struck. Immediately an artery broke and a stream of red shot up into an already crimson face. The intensity of the screams became wilder now as clawed fingers buried themselves in hot grime of flesh, seeking to lacerate, to rip, to tear out. The thudding sound of fist and foot against bone was audible, and the vibrations caused by the blows landing dispersed themselves in widening ripples throughout the diameter of the arena, and beyond. The muffled curses and inhuman shrieks which emanated from the raw human throats now rose in a maddening crescendo of blind fury, of an emotion beyond hate, almost beyond emotion.
The sun was reaching his zenith now and he poured down his merciless heat. The two slashed and bloodied bodies shone in his noonday brightness. Tufts of matted hair were strewn about the arena as the contestants continued their fatal dance. Now an eye was plucked out. It landed on the arena floor, bounced once, rolled a few feet, and abruptly stopped, covered with dust. Suddenly, there was a sickening impact fallowed immediately by a lengthy tear. Viscera were visible, and hands and teeth moved in greedily, voraciously, in irrational expectation of the bloody reward. Fingers clutched at a glistening throat, slipped, clutched again, tightened, pierced flesh, drove in deep, and tore away. Arms flailed wildly now, involuntarily, seeking, thrusting, defending, weakening.
Two bodies fell heavily to the arena floor. A head shot forward teeth clenched; followed by an almost noiseless emasculation. From between the twitching, kicking thighs there first oozed and then ceaselessly dripped an amalgamation of material of undetermined color.
Suddenly, out of the midst of this malestrom of destruction, a frenzied voice cried out, half demanding, half pleading, "Die, you motherfucking bastard, die!" The cry echoed and resounded throughout the arena, and the echoes, instead of diminishing, seemed to persist in ther volume and intensity as if they might never subside, as if they might continue forever; "Die! Die! Die! Die!" The sun was beginning to sink behand the horizon now. It was setting late, later than usual as if in compensation for having risen early. A baby began to cry. The spectator sitting next to me crooned and offered it a beautiful white breast. The child began to suck and became pacified. Soon it was silent.
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