Catfight

Kenya kittens by Kerri Lee Smith

Kenya kittens by Kerri Lee Smith

Sometimes when I’m halfway through a Flash Friday story I get an idea for a different one, so this was another story that I did for yesterday’s challenge…

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For years Tinnius Mannius had been the star of the Coliseum, but over the past few months it had all gone wrong.

The Roman Empire was crumbling, as the people realised that they were, in fact, Italians, and had swapped conquest, Latin and the denarius for pasta, opera and, rather disastrously, the lira. Faced with economic ruin, Caesar had replaced the lions with cats.

You might think that this would make life easier for a gladiator. You would be wrong.

Lions lope slowly towards you. If you stand just slightly to one side, they cannot see you around their mane.

Cats leave five blood-red lines along your cheek without having appeared to have moved at all.

Lions growl as they approach. Cats are as silent as death.

And nobody has ever had to run around an amphitheatre with a lion clinging firmly to the top of their head.

Today, though, his career had ended. The silence of the crowd had told him as much.

He had stood proudly, skirt flapping only slightly embarrassingly in the wind.

He was ready for the nip at his ankle. He was ready for the talon-barbed swipe at his face. What he wasn’t ready for, though, was what actually happened.

The cat had ignored him.

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