Chapter Two

A wave of disgust shot down Micah’s spine. “Father Seth?”

Booker nodded, watching Micah’s expression with knowing eyes.

The Church of the Sacred Order had become something of a second military since Tovar’s rule over Elysian. The streets of Tartarus were often crawling with its priests, seeking to convert the sinners to lives of purity and devotion.  All the while, they taught that Axel Tovar was “the way,” that he alone could bring salvation, that he alone could separate the pure from the corrupt. His word was law with the Church of the Sacred Order. And the man at the head of the Church was Father Seth. 

“The Orphanage was able to do without him for the night, then?” Micah asked, gritting his teeth.

“Apparently.” Booker crossed his long arms in front of his chest. “Fucking bastard.”

Micah didn’t respond, his mind churning with remembered anxiety, hateful images from the past. Children’s faces, each one tear-streaked and terrified.

“Hey, Micah,” Booker’s voice cut through his silent contemplation. “Keeping it together okay?”

“I’m fine.”

A hand settled over his shoulder. “Come finish the Games with us. Get your head out of the past. No use dwelling on it. It’ll eat you alive if you let it.”

Micah swallowed, nodding. He wished he could shut the door on the past entirely. But he knew that wasn’t possible. The past had shaped him, remade him entirely. 

He followed Booker back into the main room to join the others. As they entered, one pair of bright green eyes flashed to meet Micah’s. August Wynter. He waved Micah over, a soft smile on his lips. 

Micah settled himself down next to August, welcoming his friend’s gentle arm over his shoulders. “Welcome back,” August said quietly. Micah nodded, leaning into August’s meager form for warmth. 

As his eyes fell to the screen, he observed a man with thick, dark plaited hair be run through with a spear. Blood spurted from his chest as he toppled over, falling to the arena floor, dead. The champion gladiator was then hailed and presented to the crowd before being cuffed and removed from sight. 

Copyright © 2020 – All rights reserved by Hellie Heat

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