This fight has been a choreographed dance of destruction for so long, tearing us where we need to heal. The time has come for some new moves. The time as come to use empathy instead of an armoury. It's time to let folks say the truths that have tortured them so that a new and better future can emerge.


I feel the tension and hear the intensity in his tone. There's a great deal of emotion behind these words he is speaking. And then I do something new; I do a pre-mortem. Instead of waiting for a disaster to unfold and then stress of the relationship post-mortem in days, weeks or maybe years to come, I calm myself and think of where my usual responses take us at these times. All I can do is try to make a new and hopefully better choice and see what unfolds. So instead of being defensive I say I can accept and understand how he came to feel this way, that in the same situation I would feel it too. He needs validation of his emotions, not some solution or apology. And things do go different, not magical fairytale-esque, but there is some healing and more damage is prevented. I'm gonna get to grips with this pre-mortem idea, apparently I can steer our lives in a better direction.


In that frozen second between stand off and fighting I see their eyes flick from me to him. Our faces are unreadable, no fear, no invitational smirk. I am banking on them making the mistake I predicted they would years ago in the cool of the old bank, and they do. In that instant they fly at me, ignoring Darwin. I am the one protecting "my servant," he has no reason to defend me. They expect it to be five on one, over in a bloody flash and then they go back to their quarry. Not to kill him, but to have him do their dirty work, he's young and strong after all. But things don't go their way, not at all. In seconds I have taken two and Darwin three. The snow stains darkly with the flow from these good looking corpses, no butchery, just expertly sliced jugulars. I look at Darwin, still impassive, his training holding up despite this being his first kill. There is no pleasure in his face, as I never expected there to be, and tonight there will be tears.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, November 27, 2014*.

Found in Darwin's Ghost - first draft, authored by daisy.


After the stadium lift reached the ground level, Centurion Lumus stepped out onto the sand and dirt, which was heavily stained with blood of the former Gladiator matches. The audience cheered wildly, even though they had no idea who Lumus was, other than he was a decorated Roman soldier. Lumus fought as a secutores. He wore a shiny, loose fitting helmet. In the center of the ring, he drew his gladius, his double edged sword and raised it skyward as his greeting to the gathered thousands. Next, attention turned to the other lift that opened. A prisoner of war from Gaul stepped off. It was Orandes, a champion retiarius. He was lightly armored, and dragged his fisherman’s net behind him. He smiled, and raised his spear trident to the sky. Wild response arose from the audience. Both men bowed to the emperor. The games-master gave the wave to start, and the retiarius faced the secutores. They circled. The retiarius cast his net quickly, but Lumas side stepped as he backed up. Missed. Lumus stepped on the net, and speeded in toward the exposed opponent. Orandes counted with his trident but Lumas bushed it aside with his sword. Orandes knew the next thrust would be to his chest, so he pushed his armored shoulder toward the oncoming Roman. Lumus’ blade glanced off the metal armor. Orandes dropped his trident, and grabbed Lumus’ throat. Lumus plunged his sword to the bare stomach of his adversary. Orandes spouted blood, and fell in slow motion. Lumus’ scores his first victory in Rome. The emperor even applauded.

By wmack99, February 26, 2015.

Bill McDonald.


A sudden gush of pain jolted throughout Thorberg’s body. His stomach ached, his arms lost tension and his legs began to weaken. "He will not get the better of me," he thought as he dropped to the ground. His tongue was soaked in the taste of blood. Bruised and winded, with a leg in agony, he grabbed the foot of the captain and pulled him to the ground. His head was pounding. He brought a fist to the captain’s face, snapping his nose into a grotesquerie.

By Toby Reichelt, January 25, 2015.

Their swords gleamed in the cool moon light. Erik knew that only one would walk away from this. His opponent's sword was stained with blood. Erik shuffled to the side and awaited in attack, and, possibly, inevitable death. His opponent charged with a mighty cry. Erik dodged to the side in one fluid move. His enemy swiveled in his direction. His menacing eyes were a blazing red and his dark hood made the rest of his features indistinguishable. His opponent thrust his sword forward, only to be met by Erik's sword. Both sword met in the air with a resounding 'clang'. The man was a master swordsman. Slowly, Erik was tiring. 'If I am to die, I shall fight to the last breath.' With renewed vigor, he slashed his blade back and forth. His wound began bleeding openly.

By Liz Newsom, March 13, 2014.

Again his agile movement was far too slow. Six pairs of rough hands tried to seize him. Johnny's right shot out. With a little gurgle, an attendant in uniform staggered backward to crumple in the sawdust. A ring-master, leaping like a panther, landed on Johnny's back. Dropping abruptly, Johnny executed a somersault, shook himself free and rose only to butt his head into the stomach of a fat clown.

By mikeb, December 29, 2012.

Found in The Crimson Flash, authored by Roy J. Snell.


The shadows are already dissolving into the nighttime darkness when I hear a footfall only two metres behind me. In this forest there is only one person who could get so close to me without detection and I know he wants me dead. It wasn't my fault Elaine loved me more, that she chose adventure with me over comfort with him. I stop, he must have too. As soon as I lay a hand on my hunting knife the fight will be on and only one of us gets to walk away - or perhaps neither. Perhaps some talk will throw him off guard.

"I have a message for you...from Elaine." A lie, but if I'm gonna see her again in one piece I think some deception is justified. His voice comes back at me, tight with rage.


"It's complicated, but if you're too scared to come talk to me man to man."

"You are not a man, you're just a girl."

"I'm a human, I think that gives me the right." I can feel the heat of temper rising in him, he wants the message but his urge to kill is rising. In that moment of self conflict I turn knife in hand and his advantage is lost. I've taken more and better down in fair fights and he knows it. Now he has a new emotion - fear. He takes a step backwards and points a shaky finger at me.

"You tell Elaine I'm coming back for her, she was promised to me!"

"She's a human too, Raiker, not a sheep or a cow. She chose me."

"You're freaks. You're unnatural. It's against God!"

"God is love, Raiker. We have peace with Him and our union is blessed." That's when he looses it altogether and launches forwards with his butcher blade. Without a quick and clean kill he could wound me and even if it wasn't deep enough to kill the infection would get me a week or two later. Then what of Elaine, he goes after her? I let my knife slide right into his heart and he stops as fast as any wild boar I slaughtered as a youth. His eyes go glassy and he falls. Now we'll have to run, Raiker was rising fast in the city council and church, he has brothers...


“Shhh!” his raw voice brutal against her ear. Maria struggled against him, shooting her right leg out but her movements were far too slow. Hands moving from her waist, the stranger seized her arms, trapping them to her side. He pushed her roughly further into the alley, the agile gesture causing Maria to stumble almost falling flat on her face.

By Sahra Hassan, December 8, 2014.

When it comes to the fight there's no honour, no code. All that matters is the win and we take nothing for granted. The boys have the exits covered, there's nowhere to run. I'll offer them peace first, a chance to surrender on my terms, something they will of course refuse. Then the first blow comes, a single sniper shot in their leader's head. Then the negotiation restarts with the second in command. Perhaps it isn't a fair fight, but isn't that a strange concept anyway? I always leant toward short and brutal to curb the fatalities, maximize the fear and thus my power base. After all, what's the point of winning if there's no-one left to subjugate?

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, September 2, 2015.

Aidann stood, folding both arms over his chest. He didn't fear a woman in the least, night elf or human. But when she approached, Aidann was close to changing that disposition when her balled fist collided with his cheekbone, flaying his neck backward like a willow caught in the wind. As he stumbled, he nearly fell over the bench, rubbing his cheek with his palm. Her action certainly took him by surprise.

“What the hell!” he cried, regaining his balance. “Do you want to get yourself arrest– ?”

“COWARD! How dare you leave us back there to die!”

By Nikki S, April 27, 2016.