Chapter 3:


Giraffe Gladiatorial Combat

Two warriors prepare themselves once again to clash. The wounded combatant ignores their pain as the backpacked one readies their spear and nun chucks.

A honking bell alarms the arena. Booming bellows of sounds fill their ears as the fighters stop, averting their attention to the centre tower. The slim one stands upon it.

“Congratulations!” They say. “To the 101 of you that managed to remain, we may now proceed!”

The fighters look around, noticing their opponents collapsed on the ground—most of which uninjured.

The lone combatant turns to the backpack wearer.

“They seem heavy.” Their eyes widen. “Were they collapsed a second ago?”

“Don’t question it.”

Hearing the quiet exchange, the slim one responds.

“That is correct! Do not question anything. And to those who wish to, please refer back to the condition of those who failed.”


The figure laughs at the backpacked one’s comment.

“Don’t be silly, death is an understatement for them lot.”


“Right, right. Time to move on to your next round.”

The slim one claps their hands, metaphorically, and the arena’s floor opens in on itself. Or, in a literal sense, they clap their hooves. Whether clapping with your hooves is feasible or not, is a different matter entirely. However, this is a mysterious figure—their appearance is not final, and neither is that statement.

“Venture to your resting grounds and we will continue after this commercial break.”


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Continuing on, in the literal sense, the contestants fall down and land on a gigantic bouncy castle.

Fall down where, you ask? Were you not paying attention? The gaping hole in the arena: it is very hard to miss.

Also, no-one lands on a bouncy castle; they bounce on one.

The blinking contestants—and the not blinking, losing contestants—bounce back up. Then they fall back down. Then they bounce back up. Then they fall back down. Then the—


Attempting to stick to the springy floor, unbalance is brought to the fighters.

Their stance wobbles. Ragdolls pogo around them. Clouds take up water and send down rain. Failed fighters. Recyclable. Weather cycle. Able. Their limbs flap like wings; they hit some gnarly airtime—in their most excellent gymnastics—and score a metaphorical 10 from the judges.

With haste, the warriors sprint: for a gate takes their attention. A mile away it stands; 1.609344 kilometres it stands. A mile too far; 1.609344 kilometres too far. No matter the measurement, it is just too far.

Yet they sprint, nonetheless.

Prideful arrogance and benevolent heart. Envious eyes and glutinous hunger. Glutinous? Yes, like an allergy for wheat, it sticks with you. The tenacity of a warrior: true and unwavering. Their spirit barrels forth. Whizzing.

But the gate is shut. A wheel is to be turned.
And as the flailing, hailing weather of giraffes bounce on the contestants, they all but dash to their goal.

Yet, for only a second, the contestants bring their eyes to look above. A pit meets their sight. A massive pit. Taller than Everest massive. And hanging down from the unseeable top is a giant camera. Snow as white; not white as snow, because snow is cold. Snow as white. Yes, the sheer warmth of the room gives sweat to the warriors. That make sense? No, of course not—why would it?

100% funny comedy aside, the white camera is the only thing not red—with everything else of a sizzling, tethering heat. A sizzling, tethering heat with teeth so bleak a fridge would not save you from heatstroke.


Another thing painful: fighters are crushed by the falling giraffes. The giraffes flop down, squelching a couple fighters under their weight.

Struggle as they might, the fighters are pinned in place by the strangely heavy opponents—despite them being the exact same size and proportion.

The others canter to the gate, galloping. Breathing. Heavily.

But will they reach it? Are the crushed giraffes safe? No, they’re dead. However, you may never know in this bizarre story. Find out next time, on Giraffe Gladiatorial Combat.

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