Circus Maximus

Gaius leaned into the corner, his four horse chariot started to slide as it entered the corner. The spectators in the stands gasped. He was leading the race, but this was a race to the death. If he let anyone get ahead of him now, it might all be over.

Circus Chariot

The Emperor was presiding over this final event at the Circus Maximus. It nestled between the Palatine and Aventine hills, on the level ground in the Murcia Valley. At this moment, that was the last thing on Gaius’s mind; Pontius was edging up beside him.

Circus Maximus

Behind them the circus was littered with the carnage of fallen charioteers. Pontius and Gaius were all that remained. One would die, the other… was in the Emperor’s hands. If his thumb turned down, the Praetorian Guard would soon be upon him.

Circus Emperor 1

As they came out of the corner, their wheels touched, after a short slide with both chariots locked together, Pontius’s chariot flipped. Gaius charged ahead, with the crowd cheering. He slowed his chariot, and pulled up in front of the Emperor.

The Emperor stood, surrounded by his guards. The crowd went silent. Gaius held his breath, and waited. Slowly, ever so slowly, the Emperor lifted his arm. Would it be life, or would it be death? Gaius hoped, that if it was death, it would be quick. As if making his decision, the Emperor rotated his thumb.

Circus Emperor 2

As the spectators stood and cheered, Gaius breathed a sigh of relief. He mounted his chariot, and started his victors circuit of the circus. The crowd cheered again, and threw flowers, some of the wealthier spectators threw bags of gold, or similar treasures.

“At last, I’m on my way,” Gaius said to himself. And he completed the circuit, and headed out of the circus.

Circus

Text (c) 2016. Images courtesy of Google image search, and may be under copyright.

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About South London Journal

I am a professional writer producing Blog posts, and written articles on a range of topics. I am particularly interested in sustainable and green living, survival and emergency preparedness, and animals, especially pets.
This entry was posted in Culture, Historical, Life, Roman life, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Circus Maximus

  1. theaustraliansojourner says:

    What an interesting short story. Very enjoyable read. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. theaustraliansojourner says:

    Why not join in on WordPress Flash Fiction Prompts? I think you’d be good at it. https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/author/pricelessjoy/

    Liked by 2 people

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