The Arena

by David Reagan 5-26-2005

 

The arena was hushed in anticipation. The battle in the center seemed to finally be coming to an end. The Man in White had struck the Man in Black a mortal blow. The watchers could not remember the Man in White ever coming so close to killing the Man in Black.

This battle had been going back and forth for ages. It had started when the Friend had cut the chains that bound the Man in White to the Man in Black. With his new found freedom, the Man in White had immediately turned on the Man in Black to destroy him. But it was not to be so, for the two men were equal in strength and skill. And so the battle had raged.

Then, on this day, the Man in White finally struck a crippling blow to the Man in Black. With a feint to the left, and a swift thrust to the right, the Man in White stabbed the Man in Black's right leg, sending him to the ground. The Man in White raised his sword to finish the job, taking a moment to savor his victory. But in that short moment, the Man in Black swung his sword and struck the Man in White across both legs. He fell to the ground. The Man in Black struggled to get up, but was unable to do so. With that, the two referees, on in white, the other in black, called an end to the day's fighting.

The Friend helped the white attendants carry the Man in White to the healing rooms. Once there the Man in White asked the Friend to heal his wounds. The Friend applied a red salve to them, and bound them up with strips of pure white cloth.

There was a knock at the door, the Friend went to open it and a messenger came in. Bowing to the Friend the messenger went to the Man in White's bedside. “Sir, your expertise is desperately needed in the eastern battlefield. Please come!”

“I cannot, everywhere I go the Man in Black will follow and insist that I fight him. Until I defeat this evil man once and for all, I will be unable to do anything else,” the Man in White replied.

With that statement, the Friend turned from the window, “Then let me fight him for you! You cannot beat him, he is your equal in every way. He knows your every move, your every thought. Just as you know his.”

“No, as I have said many times. I must do this myself. If I cannot beat someone of my own strength, then how will I fare against those who are stronger than I?”

“With help. Just as you need help to defeat the Man in Black, you will need help in all your battles. That is why I am your Friend. You asked my help to free you from the chains, why is it so hard to ask for help now?”

The Man in White shook his head and stood up, his wounds already healed by the Friend's salve. Strapping on his sword, the Man in White went out to do battle with Man in Black yet again.

 

And so it went, the Man in White would fight the Man in Black to a standstill. Then, incapacitated by their wounds, they would go to the healing rooms. The Friend would heal the Man in White's wounds while pleading with the Man in White to let him fight. The Man in White would refuse, and would go out to fight again.

Then on a dark and cloudy day the Man in Black struck the Man in White a surprise blow that sliced his leg off. Collapsing, the Man in White cried out in agony, “I am sorry, you were right my Friend. Save me!”

With that cry, the Friend ran to the Man in White's aid, pulling a sword that shone with the light of the sun from beneath his robes, he blocked the Man in Black's death thrust. Then kneeling down next to the Man in White while still blocking the Man in Black's every move, the Friend cut himself and let his blood flow onto the Man in White. Every wound that that blood touched was healed. When it reached the Man in White's leg it closed over his wound, making it look years old.

The Friend stood up and said, “Go out of this arena, you are needed elsewhere. I will defeat the Man in Black for you.”

The Man in White stood up, leaned on his sword, and bowed to the Friend. Then he turned his back on the battlefield and left.