To Measure it Empty – part 1
The Arms master thrust the pitcher into the side of my head. “Take this, boy”, he gruffed. He was big and hairy, with sweat leaving sticky trails down his sides and chest.
“I’m not a boy”, I said, ducking his cuff to the other side of my head. He glared at me with little piggy eyes.
“You’re boy unless I say otherwise, boy.”
Someone behind me dragged me to the gear side of the room and begin outfitting me with my suit. The suit was laughably small, a miniaturized, glossy version of the ones I’d seen actors playing war heroes wear.
I held it. It weighed less than my shoes.
“What is this, a toy”, I asked in pure disbelief.
“It’s enough for your scrawny ass”, someone called out .Most of the bigger kids laughed along, the younger ones looked like they were too busy trying not to puke.
I grabbed my defensive suit, prepackaged in blister plastic for christ’s sake, and headed to an unoccupied corner spot.
“What’s a matter, don’t want anybody to see that scrawny butt of yours?” I scanned the room and found the source, a grinning freckled boy – small, skinny and not more then 10 lbs on me.
I stood, waiting for the inevitable second part of his taunt.
He came closer.
“Or maybe you really are a boy, at least on the bottom part.” He tried to leer at me, his 105-lb body and oversized front teeth making it look patently ridiculous. I’d had blind lepers leer at me better then that.
I nodded and sighed, bored with it already, and laid my new gear carefully on the floor in front of me. The room was silent as I began to take off my kev lined vest, metal cuffs and ankle shods. I unwrapped my bladed necklace and snapped it to attention. I slid that in the cracked tile of the floor. Then I removed my shirt, pants and boots, listening to the gathering silence as the crowd took in my scars and most importantly my neon red tattoo. I rotated slowly so everyone could see the exploding sun etched into my back.
“Shit, she’s an Edger.” A circle of space widened around me.
I picked up my blade, wrapping it around my arm till it kissed my skin tightly.
“My name is Serrated, and today,” I locked eyes with the freckled boy, “today with me to lead most of you will not die.” I looked at them all and smiled, the blood running rivulets down my arm. “Who’s ready to win!”