Canis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

One recalls their life experience of being a fighter, of sorts.

 

Canis

I remember killing my first fighter when I was a growing adolescent. Well, I didn’t kill him directly. I figured the injuries he sustained would do him in. He was an adolescent too, probably around a year or two older than I. I couldn’t really tell since we weren’t allowed to talk. Just to fight.

Going into the box, you couldn’t really ask the other fighter to hold back. They were never taught to do so. I know I wasn’t. It was just a feeling you picked up after fighting for so long. Some don’t get it though, and I understand. Being raised into a tough life, it’s not easy to become weaker. To care for the other fighter, not knowing what will happen when you enter the box nor when you leave. 

You’re usually put into a training course by your watcher, as they call them. They make you practice grappling and certain ways to move around the opponent. I think it’s redundant because the other opponent basically learns the same exact ways to grab you. So you need to have a good movement. Then you’re left waiting to see what happens next. Initially I didn’t know why I was there. I was only a kid being taught those things. You finally learn the purpose once you’re put into the box.

I couldn’t really understand what the watchers were saying, I assume they speak some other tongue. However, as a fighter, you do understand 3 phrases: “Stay here”, “Go in”, and “Start.” I was taught them in training, and once they said “Go in”, I knew that I was going to have to do what I did in training. It almost felt as though it was an innate thought. So I went into my first fight, unsure of what was going to happen. The watchers were looking over me in the box. It was a fairly spacious area, the ground being very grainy. I look ahead of me as I see another enter the ring. He was bigger than me, accompanied with black hair and brown eyes. He looked at me with anger. I couldn’t tell what was going through his head, but as I tried to read him, he started getting closer. I could hear my watcher say loudly, “Start, Start!” I then realized what I had to do as the other fighter striked towards me and tried to grab my neck. I ran past the fighter, towards his left and he trailed me. I tried to avoid each of his grabs as I heard the watchers all exclaiming. I can still hear my watcher yelling extremely loudly. I finally brought up the courage to attack the fighter back. It felt natural to attack him. Almost as though I needed to, for some reason. Soon enough, we tumbled on each other, trying to get good hits against one another. It was extremely difficult and in hindsight, I can recognize that he was more experienced than I. He has fought before.

He grabbed my leg really tightly but I was able to get a good hit on his head to let go. He struggled trying to walk towards me, and I saw he started growing more tired. He started to bleed from the hits I was able to get from him, and soon enough, after circling around him for a bit, he fell to the floor. Some of the watchers started to say “Boooo” while others were very happy with my win. He was still breathing, but I could tell that that was the end for him. You could always tell that in a fighter. 

After the fight, I was brought back home and I was fed greatly in addition to plenty of water. So I knew that I had done good. The watcher feeds me enough but this feast was good. It taught me that I have to do good in fights despite the concern and fear I felt. That feeling lingered within me and grew. It kept growing, after each fight. In my third fight, I remember having to break my opponent’s leg and the fight ended much sooner than my first. 

Being at home wasn’t the best though, because I was stuck in a confined area. I wouldn’t call it a room, especially since the rooms in my watcher’s home were much bigger than where I stayed. I was given a decent-sized bed, though I struggled some nights to find the perfect position to rest in. A lot of the nights were tough, and most times I tried to look through a high window. I remember looking off to nowhere, and when the window was open, I could remember the breeze that hit my face and washed through my mouth. I’d get a weird vegetable-like taste. It might’ve been the leaves. Those nights were a struggle, until I had met Bella.

Bella was a beautiful fighter. She was a bit bigger than I, with brown hair and blue eyes. I wasn’t intimidated by her presence. In fact, I think she comforted me mainly. I was perplexed when I first met her, because I assumed that she was just another fighter I had to take down. She must’ve assumed too as she tried to strike at me but the watcher held her in time. She yelled at me, asking who I was. I couldn’t really give her an answer. I didn’t know who I was at the time. I couldn’t remember my watcher calling me anything, so they’d call me over without any specific word. He still fed me at the end of the day.

Anyways, Bella automatically identified herself very roughly, and was brought away from me. I had thought that she would be given her own little area to stay. Being brought back to my room, I saw that she was placed in my room as well. The tension in the room was clear, by her snarky looks at me and the occasional sigh. She wasn’t given a bed, and I soon learned it was because she was a new fighter. She already had one fight, but it apparently had ended because of some strange noise she heard. The watchers in her fight started to scramble, including hers who had left. That was when my watcher had picked her up and brought her here. That was the first story she ever told me while not looking like she was trying to kill me. I didn’t realize it then, but she was full of heart. 

Moments dragged on as I waited for the next fights. It took a while for Bella and I to start conversing. We had been forced to share everything, from food and water to a bathroom that wasn’t very clean. Eventually we would have to start talking due to the circumstances.  Unfortunately, after her fights, she wouldn’t want to talk for a while. I could understand the feeling but, this was the first time we had ever been acquaintances with a fighter. I’m sure I was comfortable enough to talk to. Maybe I had to earn her trust in some way. 

Given that she was a female fighter, she had more fights than the guys. Quite ironic because she was bigger than me and others I have fought. But, they fought more than males for whatever reason. One night, after her fourth fight, she returned with a pretty bad hit below her head. I wanted to try to help, but I know I couldn’t. There was a white patch, presumably from the watcher trying to heal her. Struggling to speak, she told me that she had won the fight, but at the cost of the other fighter’s life. She had not seen another die right in front of her. The opponent had fallen completely limp, and Bella couldn’t process it entirely. The loudness of the watchers around her, the dead body that laid in front of her, and the sadness that washed over her body. She could only whimper about it. The watcher gave her the regular big meal, but she couldn’t eat it. Not all of it. 

To ease her night, I let her sleep on my bed for that night. She was shocked, and thought that I was playing a game with her. After moving to the corner of the space we resided in, she moved onto my bed and immediately fell to rest. I struggled to sleep, spending most of the night observing her movements as she slept. She moved a lot and I could only assume it was because of a bad sleep. I don’t know if there is a better term for it, but I know at times I can see bad stuff when I actually sleep. I remember one time being chained up, and tore apart by other fighters. That could be considered a rational fear, as it has happened to other fighters before. Just grinded to a pulp. That’s only from stories told from Bella. She always had something interesting to say when we could talk, since the watcher would try to shut us up. Her stories always seemed to have resonated with me, though I couldn’t reciprocate with any of my own. 

The mornings were boring, not much to do outside of being taken out by the watcher occasionally. That space was confined too. I was always confined. Never a time where I could actually be free. Where I could actually be who I am. An inner feeling told me what I was doing wasn’t right. The other fighters disliked the fighting just as much as I, but we lacked any other choice. What else could we do? I didn’t know.

Bella and I talked throughout the whole day, discussing our fights. She’d tell me to go for a certain body part, and I’d tell her how you can maneuver it. It was a constant back and forth between us. I started to get attracted to her, and I could tell she was into me. She’d put me in certain spots that, I guess riled me up in a good way. One day, the watcher was not in the house, as we couldn’t hear any typical sounds that they’d make. So, I randomly got the idea to just start grabbing Bella. She figured it was just practice, but I wanted it to be something more. I started to get her from behind, and she tried to fight back playfully. At a certain point, she was getting angry and after touching a certain spot and she turned back towards me and grabbed me hard, tossing me. She yelled, “Get off.” I was shocked, and she eyed me angrily. I wondered if this was how her fourth opponent felt before she died. A great fear possessed me. It overpowered any instincts I had at that moment. She walked toward my bed, and I tried to yell at her to get away. She intimidated me, however, and I backed off into a corner. I had lost my trust in her.

The next day, Bella had her seventh fight and I had my sixth fight on the same day, meaning we’d be in the same place. I wished her good luck when we got there, but she seemingly paid no mind. She was taken far from me. I wish she had been right next to me. I had entered the box, and a similar sized fighter came into the box too. I could see the other fighter had a ragged look to him, as though he wasn’t fit to fight. His eyes were widened as we walked around each other. It was a rage I had never seen before. It was almost unnatural. The watchers were particularly loud this fight. He then tried to strike at me, but I swerved to the left of him and got his body. I grabbed him and brought him down, but he brought a strength unmatched by anyone I had encountered. He got right back up and I had barely avoided his counterstrike. He started running after me and fearful of getting grabbed, I started to run from him. Looking back at him, I could see his mouth starting to get filled with something. Something foamy. Some of the watchers started yelling, and my watcher soon said a word I was also familiar with. “Stop.” It was accompanied by other words, but soon, my side’s latch to enter was opened. My watcher was calling to come towards him, and I ran from the fast crazed fighter. I was able to get out, but so did the other fighter. I don’t remember being taught to run from a fight, but I had a feeling to. The chase broke out onto the outside, where there were big obstacles in my way. As I ran, I noticed the other fighter hadn’t been directly behind me. I soon saw that the other fighter was being restrained by Bella. The other watchers that were running to catch us had stopped, admiring what was happening. Bella grabbed the fighter hard, but the other dog was able to get on top of her and loosen her grip to where he could get out. He proceeded to bite at her head and body. She tried to get up but the fighter was going crazy. She screamed loudly as the watchers tried to break up the fight. I wanted to help, but I looked in the other direction and saw open space. Unfortunately, I realized it was too late. The other fighter had taken out a piece that caused her to gush out blood. I looked at her, and saw her body become limp. I felt stuck in place, and immense sadness came over me. All I could do was whimper at the sight of her. The crazed fighter was heavily restrained while my watcher started to come towards me. That was when I decided to free myself, and ran the other direction into the free space.

I was stuck thinking back to Bella and how she died while I tried to find some path in the open space. Why did she die? Was it my fault? I could never figure it out. All we had done was talk and even so, I ruined it near the end. We didn’t talk. I got the last word in, and her last words were, “Get off”, to me. What had I done to deserve living? 

I grew weaker and weaker because I did not have food to eat. The water I was able to obtain tasted gross, coming from the puddles when it rained. I could only eat the grass on the floor I walked on. I trudged through wet dirt and remembered feeling very clean for once. I’ve dealt with blood and piss being smeared across my body in fights. I was always bathed by my watcher but I never actually felt clean. Not until I was greeted by the rain. It washed the blood that has lingered on me. 

The last night of this despair, I could barely stand up. I thought back to my first fight. The fighter stumbled towards me, barely holding himself up. All I had to do was walk around him, and he was done. Was this how I’d die? You could always tell that in a fighter. Maybe Bella was walking around me to see my end. To get what I deserved. I remember my eyes slowly closing, with the wind basking my body. 

I woke up to bright lights surrounding me, and as I could grasp my sight, I saw 3 watchers extremely close to me. I tried to get up and run but I was too weak. I wasn’t thirsty at least. The watchers touched specific spots, and I recognized the spots as being scars from fights. After some time, they took me down to the floor and presented me with a bowl. It was filled with some brown stuff, but it smelled pretty good. I ate it and it tasted better than anything my old watcher gave me. I came to realize these weren’t watchers, they were better. As they healed me, they tried to teach me what they were called. One was John, another was Betty, and the last was Max. They were not able to determine my name, and they initially referred to me as nothing. Not that I minded. I was nothing.

I was stuck in a cage, with no window. I was forced to either sit up or lay down. I struggled to eat the food they gave me because I thought I didn’t deserve it. It didn’t help that there were many around me in cages too, all complaining about how they’re alone and nothing matters anymore. I tried to talk to one who was a female. She couldn’t hold a conversation as well as Bella. She struggled to make out certain words because she was apparently hurt by something, and left alone. I told her my story, and she didn’t have any response. She said maybe I’ll get out first since I’m one of those. I didn’t know what she meant by that. I tried to say that being a fighter is constricting, but she disagreed. 

All I could do was lay and whimper. I got a better understanding of what they were saying as footsteps passed by the cages. The loneliness was all I could remember. Bella. The one who talked with me about who she was. She was somebody. I couldn’t ever be. Or so I thought. 

One day, I was taken out of the cage by John and walked down the cages. I could hear everyone yelling at how I was lucky and that I was new so I shouldn’t be out this early. Once we passed through a door, John let me free into a room. It was spacious, and I ran around it. I felt very free, and I wasn’t weak. Maybe I could escape. However, John and 3 others came into the room. There were two big ones and a little one. The little one approached me, and I started to tremble back to a corner of the room. Her eyes were blue like those of Bella’s. I felt comforted. I slowed down, and soon let the little one come closer. Watchers never harmed me, but I just felt afraid. Maybe she was crazy. She looked as though she was gonna strike me, but she wrapped herself around me. I felt her breathing along my ear, and it was nice. I had never been grabbed like that. 

I was brought to a big house, with grass spaces surrounding it.  I felt anxious and thought maybe now I can escape. It looked far different from where I used to live. I pulled back a bit against the others, but they eventually bested me and got me in. I looked around and felt a comfortable breeze. Once they let me go, I ran around. I tried to look for an escape but there wasn’t any. Maybe I didn’t need to leave. I stopped myself in a big room. Very spacious. I looked at what laid in front of me. A bed, along with food and water bowls. I looked up and saw the others. I couldn’t understand what they said but they gazed upon me with happiness. A happiness the watchers never expressed. They didn’t yell at me. They just looked at me. At that moment, I had been filled with immense joy. Maybe this is what Bella had wanted for me. Maybe she knew.

Now, I live with Gordon, Chelsea, and Brooke. I’ve been continuously fed with that good brown stuff. I get to freely walk around, with these squeaky things that sound very satisfying when I grab them. I usually sleep in a very big room with my own bed, along with food and water bowls. Sometimes I get brought up to Brooke’s room to sleep along with her, though I’m on the floor. She can tell when I’m having a bad sleep and comes to comfort me. I’ve never felt happier. I now know who I am. Canis.

 

 


Submitted: May 01, 2020

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