This is how I die, the Writer thought. The weight of the Soldier was crushing the life out of her. Light faded to darkness.
A screeching blow horn stopped the fight.
“Point – Soldier!” shouted the Referee.
The Expectation cheered and backed away from the Box, exchanging money. Jordan released the Writer, and triumphantly pounded her fist in the air.
Jasmine sucked in oxygen which turned into violent coughing. She remained sprawled on the ground, clasping her stomach. She was sure at least one or two ribs were cracked. One swollen eye failed to open. Bruises around her neck formed from Jordan’s chokehold.
The Referee approached Jasmine, squatting beside her.
“You got two more rounds, Writer,” he warned. “Stand up! Let’s go. It’s not over.”
Out of her other eye, Jasmine saw him hold out a hand. She latched onto it desperately. He carefully but firmly pulled her up.
“I got you,” he said.
“No, I’m fine,” she winced.
“Alright,” the Referee said, letting go.
Jasmine was surprised by her own words, let alone her ability to stand.
“60 seconds!” He shouted from the center of the ring.
The Expectation went wild and exchanged new bets.
The Writer gathered every ounce of courage she had left to get through Round 2 in the Box. Glancing from corner to corner, she tried to find a way out.
She couldn’t even remember why she was in the Box in the first place.
Is it really that easy? she thought.
Jordan was pumping up the crowd for her next defeat.
The cage rattled from people pushing and pulling it. Jasmine saw cracks in the ground which sparked an idea.
I can lift it.
Jasmine glanced at the Referee who held a paper and pen in his hand.
Limping across the floor, she reached for them.
“Please!” was all she could say.
The Ref looked down at his hands and understood what she was motioning towards. Sweat dripped from her forehead, thinking he wouldn’t give them to her.
Time was ticking, and she wasn’t going to wait. Jasmine snatched the scribe from him and tested the ink on the paper. Scribbles were drawn by her shaking hands.
With great effort, Jasmine wrote one word:
A moment passed. She held her breath.
Then something miraculous happened. The Box started quivering, making a loud metallic noise.
It was rising.
To be continued…