Midnight shadows dancing around
Flickering golden flames.
A single whisper said aloud:
"Here begins the games."

Men and women, young and old,
Take their given places.
They shed their elaborate costumes,
And they give their last embraces.

They know the truth behind these games;
They know it ends with death.
It's a test to see who comes out
As the very best.

The holy shaman and the priest
Begin their quiet chanting.
The first round starts to commence--
It's eerily enchanting.

Two people stand face to face
In the middle of the crowd.
A bell is heard, a fight ensues -
One now wears a shroud.

Round two starts, and it's two girls
Palms held out to another.
A twist, a shout, and a tomahawk...
Echoes the cry of her mother.

Three, and four, and five, and six
The stages blur together
Two still stand amidst the dead
The prize: a single feather.

Watchers stand holding their breaths
While the chanting still continues.
A battle of wits now begins--
For death there's no excuse.

Three stone slabs placed side by side,
One will reveal the win.
The other two are marked for death
By peeling off the skin.

A hand reaches out and touches one
Another does the same
The chanting stops, one remains...
And thus this ends the games.

Screams of pain come floating from
The one who'd chosen wrong.
The end of his life can be heard
By the ringing of the gong.

The feather is presented
To the one and only winner.
He has at last surpassed
The level of beginner.

Slowly from the distance,
The sun begins to rise.
It shines upon the pools of blood.
What will be tomorrow's prize?


A/N: Some of the rhythm is a bit off... but it should get the story across. What do you think?