Tim Troval watched through his living room window as the St. Patrick’s Day parade marched down his block. After grinding his teeth at a pile of returned to sender letters to the Mayor’s office, Tim shut the curtains. Even though the booze was outside, he could smell it in the deepest parts of his nostrils.
“One month sober and this is what I get.”
He double checked his door locks. Even though all three were securely in place, he tapped them anyway. The jazz he put on was still beat out by the parade goers. Shouts and laughs, bagpipes and cheers. Tim kicked over his stereo and left the room.
in the kitchen, the picture of his wife on the fridge took his attention. “I’ll just do some spring cleaning. That’s what Susanna would have done.”
Tim walked down the dusty, cobweb covered steps leading to the basement. Then before him stood sheet covered items, boxes, old records, photo albums and more. Tim went over the photo albums first. After a moment with his hand extended to grab one, Tim instead pulled out an old microwave.
“Why the hell did she keep this old thing?”
Tim dusted it off, revealing the old worn out buttons with faded lettering. Except one button was glowing and in pristine condition.
The button read.
Tim plugged the microwave in and gave it one long stare.
“Eh, why not?” Tim pressed the button and the basement around him pixelated into nothing but whitespace. Then he felt his eyes shut and breath escape him.
Tim opens his eyes and before him is a soldier in what looks to be futuristic style armor but if the man had already been through several battles.
“Tim Troval, 2019.” The Soldier said, pinning a name tag and year badge on Tim’s chest. “Welcome to the Bloodbath Coliseum, year 2319.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We’ll get you prepped for the Battle-zone in a moment.”
The soldier along with three others began to usher Tim down the hallway. Screams from men which could only be their last moments were hitting Tim’s ears, as the crowd cheered.
“Pardon the screams. Not all our battles are brutal. Some end rather quickly.” The leading soldier said, not once looking back.
“I want to go home, whatever this is please…”
Tim found himself next in a room with fighting gear and uniforms lining the wall.
“I don’t want to fight. I want to go home.”
The first soldier finally turned around. “If you don’t fight we end you.”
“Once you finish your battle, we will explain everything.” Another soldier said while resting a hand on Tim’s shoulder.
One month sober and this is what I get.
Five minutes later, after being uniformed and handed weapons, Tim is in the waiting room. On the other side is the Battle-zone. In Front of the door is an old bearded guard. His eyes are closed.
Tim sat on the floor against the wall. “I can’t stop shaking.”
“Do you want a drink? Some liquor to ease the nerves?”
The soldier opened his eyes. “Don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon. There is no winning.”
Before Tim could comprehend his words, the door opened. It was a thunderous grating noise that seemed forever followed by an unfiltered audience of thousands.
Tim was thrown into the fighting area, and before him stood someone that made him finally piss his pants.
With a chest badge that read 1995, across from Tim Troval stood himself. Ready to fight to the death.
About the Author:
Joseph Reilly is the author of the novel Vanishing Love set to be released by Adelaide Books in November 2020. He is the current head writer for ShipByMail Services Inc. Joseph’s writing has been published by Ephemeral Elegies, Monologue Blogger and Chegg.com, among others. He has also penned two self- published contemporary romance novels Hearts and Diners, and Better at Friendships on Amazon along with holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from The New School in New York. You can read all of his work and more at joereillywrites.wordpress.com