How Human

I, the goddess of beauty, was trapped. Zeus had placed me, Aphrodite, in a musty enclosure until the bloodbath between the Romans and the Greeks had finished. It was obvious that my people would have won. The Greeks fruitless efforts would forever be in vain. My situation there was bad enough. I mean when I asked for green sickle fairy rain water from Mount Gaudious they came back with green sickle fairy tap water. It was despicable to do that to a goddess. The nerve of some people. Do you see how bad my situation was? I decided to ask Zeus for his permission to leave Greece in order to finish this irksome problem.

Since I was trapped I got the stubborn guards enchanted by my wondrous beauty. I broke free and walked down the cloud-like corridors I knew so well. Upon searching for Zeus (that old fart), I instead found Hermes, the messenger god. I decided that he could be trustworthy enough to bring my message to Zeus. I told the scraggly-haired Hermes to remember every word I said and deliver it directly to Zeus. He seemed in a rush, but I insisted that he would take the message immediately. It stated: "Thou Zeus, must heed my pleas for I am exceptionally bored. Let me go to Greece and finish this war." Since Hermes was saying that he needed to finish sending some other urgent messages he was gone in a flash. Quite literally.

I was roaming around the vivid gardens of Olympus for a few minutes, when I finally came upon Zeus. My scowl from before instantly became a sickly sweet smile drenched in sarcasm as we made eye contact. "I am ecstatic to see you," I cooed with ill intentions behind my words. "Same to you," Zeus replied. Zeus kept a straight emotionless face, so I quickly realized that my usual tactics would not work against him. This discovery made me so agitated that I had to clench my fists and bite the inside of my cheek so I would not start a fight. That kind of thing would have to wait until I had nothing to lose. Moving on I said, "Now straight down to the point, I'm bored, Zeus. Let me go to Greece." Zeus, a man of few words, said something astounding that lifted my heart. He said, "Aphrodite, my child, I will allow you to leave to Greece from Olympus, but under one condition. If you leave Greece's borders you will become mortal and not have a place in Olympus again." Carelessly, I accepted the conditions without another thought.

The next day I set out for Greece. Closing my eyes in anticipation my feet landed on the ground as if I was as light as a feather. Soon after I landed the delight along with the rest of the colour drained from my face. For when I had my eyes closed all my other senses grew stronger. I could hear the screaming and rage. I could smell the coppery odor rising from the fresh blood stains at my feet. I shivered at the thought of my beautiful Greece turning into a rampaging riot. I opened my eyes, still frightened of what I would see, but I had to. I had to see which side was winning. Would Greece die, or would we be triumphant? It was all too much.

Suddenly, large hands clasped my arms and dragged me backwards, for a second, everything went black. I forgot everything. I had a sudden urge to fall asleep peacefully in the midst of this commotion. So, I did.

When I awoke I felt drained. I had oozing scratches and cuts around my wrists indicating I had been tied by ropes. They looked terrible. When I glanced down I saw a shard of glass by my feet. Hesitantly, I picked it up, careful not to make any permanent scars on my skin, and looked at the dirty, awestruck reflection staring back. I was way too shocked to move. I had never been this ugly before and my godly glow was gone. That meant that I was out of Greece and had lost all of the powers I had when I was a goddess.

I suspected being in Rome because of the war going on between the two countries. I knew I was going to become either a slave or a gladiator. Personally, a gladiator would be much better than a slave. Taking orders from some stranger seemed awful. Suddenly, the steel-rusted doors opened and a stream of clear filtered through. A large man with bulging muscles came in with an evil albeit a determined glare. Without a second to waste he held my arms in a way that was next to impossible to break free from. We started marching towards whatever ditch they kept the soon-to-be gladiators or slaves in. As we walked though the city, many smells and sounds came towards me. I got the wafts of fresh bread being sold on the street markets, but mostly I saw the patricians buying everything from expensive jewels to rotting game. It disgusted me. Everything around me was so unsanitary and imperfect. I wanted to go back to Olympus.

When we came upon a small wooden door, the large man holding me captive opened it and pushed me inside. After a trip turned into a stumble and that turned into a fall, I looked up, meeting the eyes of several unhealthy-looking people. "From this day forth you are a named gladiator. You will fight twice a week to keep us entertained and you if you win, you will be fed. If you have a problem with that, be prepared to be stoned or hung," the guard sternly stated.

After the guard left me on the floor, arms throbbing and cramped from being held so tightly, I could finally pay attention to the room I was in. Okay, the markets outside were bad but this was truly torture. A pile of corpses discarded in one corner of the room reeked of decay. I heard many rodents scampering around, chasing the bugs that thrived on all those dead bodies. The oddest thing was the feeling: I felt the depressed vibes coming from the people still alive. All of these humans looked the same to me. I couldn't distinguish them because they all had the same expression: regret.

After many hours sitting in that dreadful room, a feeling washed over me like none other. I felt pains in my chest, and I was flashing back on times I was told I was in the wrong. I almost felt… sorry. No, I must have been delusional. I needed to sleep it off and rethink these unforgivable thoughts in the morning. Instantaneously, I was unconscious.

I woke up to the noises of people being dragged off to the Coliseum. I heard the screams of the smaller, frailer gladiators. The larger, more muscle-defined ones followed quietly, more eager to fight. Then, one scrawny guard, cowering in terror of the other guards, came over to me and stuttered, "H-hello, my n-name is T-T-Toro. Please f-follow me to the Coliseum." He practically cried out of pure innocence. H was so small I wondered if he was a real guard. I mean, I don't know about Rome but in Greece if you were weak you were shunned. People like him were useless.

Out of pure curiosity, I followed him. A small bit of happiness came from being so much taller than him. I almost forgot the fact that I was walking to my certain death. Even though it probably took hours to get there, it felt like days. We walked into a small room where I collapsed, exhausted by our "long" journey.

That is the story of how I got into this situation. I am about to walk into the arena. Either die or be victorious. I've written down my journey to this point so that some of my existence will still be in the world if I die. I'm not sure if I'm going to live or be murdered, for I am no longer a goddess. But I have no choice in this matter.

Even when I say these words I want to turn back now. My opponent looks large even from a distance and drying red blood streaks his body. I'm absolutely sure that this isn't his own blood; it came from his previous kill. I see the crowd's mouths moving, but no sound comes from them. I can only hear the clear clomps from the giant running towards me. Only having a sword in hand, I'm too terrified to move. He lunges forward and stabs me in the abdomen. He twists the blade as he rips his dagger from my body. I fall to the ground and dust clouds my vision, but that's okay; I'm going to die now. Goodbye Olympus and Greece. My last, unheard words: "I'm sorry."