Barnabas tosses another arm through the cage. The tigers tear each other for the morsel. “Makes them hungry for slaughter,” his master says.
Above, the horns sound. Barnabas cranks. The cage rises. Trapdoors open. The audience roars. The cage lowers.
While cats and warriors dismember each other, Barnabas squats, writing in the dust. He’d been a magistrate’s scribe before his townspeople were enslaved. Now he fed cats, an ignoble fate.
Horns sound. The master hands Barnabas a bloody gladius. “Your chance for glory, slave.”
“But I’m no fighter,” says Barnabas.
“You are now,” says master, pushing him in the cage.