A DAY AT THE GAMES
 

this is a flight of fancy. the "Colosseum" [more properly, the Flavian Amphitheater"] hadn't been built yet. -- it would be another some 38 years before anyone would "enjoy" shows there. more likely, any gladiatorial show presented by Gaius Caligula would have been in one of the many wooden amphitheaters or in the Circus Maximus. the Circus Maximus was a huge structure -- many times larger than the Flavian Amphitheater when it was built. but the Circus Maximus was built for races and had a spline down the middle -- this made it awkward for gladiatorial shows -- half of the audience couldn't see one side or the other of the combat area -- and many of those that could were too far away to be able to see any details. since this is a purely fantasy story, we are leaving this temporal error. if you're a purist, this story isn't for you anyway.

the day had started out by being cold, but the bright sun quickly warmed the air to only chilly. this was the 24th of January in the year we call 41 AD. excitement filled the air -- the "mad" first Citizen Caligula had promised to give the people a show that would long be remembered.

the crowds were now filling the Colosseum and beneath the arena floor all was being readied to insure that the audience would be pleased. the hour grew closer as the games were to start and the populace grew anxious as they awaited the arrival of their "mad" first Citizen.

Trumpets sounded as all looked toward the podium. the hour was here and Caligula waved to his subjects as they in turn hailed their "god" -- as Caligula liked to think of himself. this was indeed to be a day to be remembered and also to go down in history.

from the podium, the "insane" Caligula raised his arm for the games to begin. on the uppermost tiers stood four trumpeters who sounded the signal for the parade of the participants to begin. in front of the platform were nubile virgin women and young men tossing roses into the air; they were followed by charioteers in colorful chariots. at once the arena sounded with cheers as forty of the greatest of all gladiators entered fully nude and strutted in full pride and vanity to show off their well developed and endowed bodies to the delight of those sexually aroused by such a magnificent sight.

Caligula turned to his friend Philo and smiled; he bragged that before the day was out, golden platters would be piled high with the cock and balls of each on of these forty fine gladiators. -- these men were all ending their term in the gladiatorial schools and their three years of required service within three months -- or less. and for many, this was to be their last contest. in fast step after the gladiators followed prisoners of war, Nubian archers, red headed Britons with their clubs, Egyptians carrying axes, pygmies with boomerang knives, Germans with short javelins, and giant blonde Norsemen. these young prisoners of war were followed by the second string gladiators -- whose ages ran from well developed young men of eighteen to brutal looking men in their thirties. cages of rare animals from all parts of the Roman world followed. and bringing up the rear was a detachment of the Praetorian Guard.

after making a full circle of the arena, the several groups of fighting men marched smartly from the arena through the gate of life. a tight schedule had to be adhered to since there was such a great variety of contests for this great event -- in addition to the large numbers of prisoners and animals to be "disposed of". trumpets sounded and prisoners from all parts of the Roman world entered the arena. each man was holding weapons native to his land. trumpets sounded again and a mad melee broke out between the twelve hundred prisoners. two hundred of the second string gladiators had the pleasure of whipping back into the fray any man who tried to avoid the mortal combat. slaves carried red glowing branding irons which the gladiators jabbed against legs and backs, to push men tighter into the action. the gladiators' trainers had taught them well -- not only in how to take beatings and wounds and accept death, but also on how to administer such beatings and wounds and death to others.

such a glorious slaughter started the day. -- within the first hour over three fourths of the prisoners lay wounded or dead. trumpets sounded and the gladiators withdrew from the arena, and hundreds of lions and tigers and bears sprang out of the sands. the great carnivores quickly sprang upon the standing men, ripping out guts and snapping necks. only a few of the Huns, Norsemen, and Britons were able to continue to fight with much ability. slowly, even these giants of men fell one by one under lion's fangs or bear's claws. when only three dozen or so of the twelve hundred men were still left fighting, Nubian archers lined the ramparts and shot them through -- most arrows hitting their mark -- the left nipple -- to pierce the heart through. each man shot startled -- his face in sudden pain -- straightened, with the arrow thrusting proudly from his breast -- then twisted slowly and fell under the roil of carnivores. after the last of the men fell under the ripping fangs and claws, shrill whistles blew and the unwounded lions and tigers and bears darted back into the hidden entrances in the sands. -- fewer than a dozen of the valuable animals had even been injured! the wounded animals were hurriedly tended to and carted through the gate of life. all that remained was an arena of dead and dying men -- hacked to pieces by their comrades or mauled by the great carnivores. the gate of death flew open and hundreds of clowns dressed as the black skinned Charon danced around the field -- hot branding iron in one hand and killing mallet in the other. any man who still head his head on his body was prodded with the hot iron -- if he jerked, the Charon smashed his forehead with his mallet. the crowds were screaming and laughing as each young man's head was smashed -- as each squawked like a rabbit getting its neck broken and jolted then stilled in death. bullocks pulled cartes in, led by young women dressed in fluffy-edged yellow chitons. they danced around the cartes as the clowns threw the bodies on. the crowd was screaming in delight as several women picked up genitals hacked off in the fray and pretended to masturbate with them.

within minutes the arena had been cleared and the sands raked for the next event. and again trumpets blared, and the forty gladiators marched in through the gate of life -- the finest from the Neroniani School, the Julian school, the Ludus Magnus, and, of course, from the great school at Capua in Campania. with great pomp and circumstance, the gladiators marched onto the sands in close formation. they spread out into pairs -- ten secutors were matched against ten retiarii, while ten dimachii were paired against ten Samnites. the combatants had been instructed to show no mercy to the loser -- and around each man's thigh was wrapped a castration knife. the first few minutes were spent with each man testing out his opponent, but, as the trumpets blared again, this sham fighting turned real. the mob in the stands was suddenly on their feet as a light retiarius had thrown his net over the heavy, muscular secutor. a cruel grin flashed across the unhelmeted face of the retiarius as he stabbed his trident again and again into the writhing body of his foe. -- the retiarius vehemently hated this man because this secutor had fought his lover and had slowly played with him before killing him. -- it was time, the retiarius felt, for his revenge, and he kicked the punctured, bloody secutor after first ramming his trident into his buttocks so deeply that the handle snapped -- then he reached down and pulled the tines out -- their barbs ripping chunks of firm buttocks muscle out as they withdrew. the secutor whimpered, but only softly -- trained to hide his fear and face death bravely. but the retiarius now kicked him over onto his back and knelt down and pulled the secutor's own castration knife out of his thigh-wrapping. the secutor struggled weakly -- he had lost so much blood he could barely move his arms. he tried to cup his hands over his crotch, but the retiarius only laughed and grabbed both his wrists and held them firmly as he lifted the man's testicles with the flat edge of the knife, then shoved the point deep into the secutor's perineum. the crowd cheered and laughed as the secutor screamed and writhed weakly -- faintly echoing through his smooth helmet. the retiarius cut the leather straps on the young man's helmet, and pulled it off -- showing the muscular young man's handsome, firm jawed face for the first time -- women in the crowd cheered that such a handsome young man had just been castrated for them. they cheered and laughed even harder when the retiarius pulled the young man's two large testicles out and shoved each into one of his nostrils. as the handsome young muscle-boy weakly opened his mouth to gasp for breath, the retiarius shoved the young man's own penis into his mouth -- he gagged, trying to spit it out as women pinched their nipples and stroked their labias, laughing and cheering. the retiarius grabbed the handsome young man's head and jerked it around, snapping his neck with a loud crack. then he pulled the youth's penis out his mouth and his testicles out his nose and stuffed them back into the youth's scrotum, then stood up and proudly waved his prize to the applauding crowd. he proudly stepped over to the center of the arena where young women now stood with golden trays. he kneeled before the young women and bowed his head as he placed the young muscle youth's full genitals on the empty tray.

the crowd cheered itself hoarse as more of the gladiators began falling -- to be castrated. gradually the golden trays were filling up with their treasures -- trophies Caligula had promised to his friend Philo. laughs of derision echoed as a retiarius tripped backwards over the body of a castrated secutor -- his secutor foe ran him through as he lay on his back -- jabbing his short sword into the retiarius' taughtly stretched abdomen, then slicing down his belly so his intestines spilled all over himself and the secutor he had fallen over. -- the crowd was stunned at the easy defeat of this man who had killed thirty seven men in previous fights -- but it was soon laughing in derision again as the secutor knelt and castrated him with an exaggerated flourish. the muscle bound secutor stood and rubbed the bloody genitals over his own full, round breasts, then licked all the remaining blood from them before strolling leisurely over to the center of the arena and kneeling to the young women and offering them his trophy.

all over the stands, men and women were masturbating -- themselves or each other -- even the Vestal Virgins were eagerly rubbing their damp, virginal vulvas. and Caligula joked with his friend Philo -- saying this proved all of Rome as perverted, delighting only in castration -- just as the last of the gladiators still fighting fell and was castrated -- to the roaring approval of the crowds.

the fighting was now ended -- on the sands lay twenty castrated young men -- beautifully muscled, highly trained gladiators -- now just meat for the carnivores in their cages below. it was evident that two of the remaining twenty young fighters were so badly wounded that they would not be able to fight later in the day. it took only a tiny hand signal from the master of the games for their trainers to appear on the arena sands and castrate their students. the two young men accepted their castration and death with great dignity. -- the crowd stood and saluted the two young men kneeling so obediently, holding their own arms behind themselves as their trainers took each man's own castration knife and shoved it into his perineum -- as the trainers hacked and jabbed till the trophies were free and stood and waved the bloody treasures to the cheering crowds. the crowds applauded as the castrated young men stood, with their legs spread so their gaping wounds were clearly visible, still clenching their own arms behind their backs -- as their trainers stood behind them and placed the castration knives against their throats. the last things these young men heard was the solemn chant,

-- their trainers pulled the young men's heads back onto their own shoulders so their adams apples pointed straight up, then slowly drew the blades across their juglar veins. the trainers stood proud and tall as their young charges died so sublimely -- their knees buckling, their bodies slowly sliding down their trainers' torsos, out of their trainers' arms, crumpling into the sands slowly, as a stately sailing vessel sinks -- proudly. the crowd roared their approval -- calling for repeat performances! Caligula just waved his hands -- assuring them that even more impressive slaughter was in store for them!

the remaining eighteen hard muscled young men marched proudly off the sands, back through the gate of life as Charons danced out of the gate of death, followed by frilly yellow chitoned young women leading bullocks. the Charons assured themselves the twenty two marvelously muscled gladiators were indeed dead -- this time all were, even the two young men most recently castrated by their own trainers. the Charons jabbed hooks into the young men's ankles -- threading them behind their Achilles' tendons as the young women obscenely danced around the corpses, straddling the young men's castrated groins and dropping to their knees -- this time pretending to have intercourse with the corpses. after each young corpse was hooked to a bullock, the young women danced back up and took their bullock by the nose-ring and led him back through the gate of death, dragging their own young man's corpse behind them -- each young man staring blindly to one side or the other, fingers lifelessly dragging the sands as if they were trying to savor one last moment in the sun before being cast into the darkness of Hades -- trying to save their bodies for a few minutes more before being butchered and fed to the ravenous beasts in their cages below.

as these young men disappeared through the gate of death, thirty other young men strode onto the sands from the gate of life. -- thirty naked young fighters from the Meridiani -- the "second string" of gladiators -- chosen for their large, hard muscled bodies, their strong, young masculine faces, and their full male "endowments" -- each looked like an incarnation of the legendary muscle man-god, Hercules. naked slaves teamed as draught animals followed, pulling cages filled with huge, writhing serpents into the middle of the arena -- the slaves thighs and buttocks slowly strained, their muscles bulging hard and full, their loose hanging testicles sliding from side to side, thigh to thigh, twisting and squirming most sensuously. following these heavy testicled, hard muscled "men-oxen" were trainers from the various schools, whips in hand. -- fear showed on several young gladiators' faces as they realized that they were to fight bare handed against giant pythons -- to the death, of course. -- and pythons were too rare and valuable to be risked -- the deaths would most certainly be their own, not the snakes'! orders were given -- each young gladiator was to attack a python barehanded. -- any show of cowardice, any reluctance to dive in and attack these constrictors and the young man would immediately be burned with hot branding irons by his trainer -- but such "encouragements" would be unnecessary -- even though these men were only second string gladiators, they were well trained -- to face the most hideous death with manly courage. the "draft animal" slaves pulled their cart into the middle of the arena, and other slaves ran in and opened the cages -- poking and prodding the huge snakes till they slithered out onto the sands. each was three to four times the length of a man and just about as big around. they coiled and uncoiled slowly, sunning themselves leisurely. a signal was given and the naked young muscle-men ran forward, pouncing on the serpents like men hopping onto the backs of horses. at first the snakes tried to roll over, throwing the men off, but the men were persistent -- they wrapped their heavily muscled thighs around the snakes' bodies, clamping their knees into the snakes' sides -- they wrapped their arms around and tried to squeeze. the crowd began laughing at the comic sight -- the men attacking the snakes were massive, heavily muscled men, but they were so much smaller than the snakes it looked like rats attacking rat snakes. one by one, the snakes became annoyed, coiling and twisting, then wrapping their bodies around the men. as the snakes began tightening around them, each man realized he was now dying for sure -- he could struggle and give a show for the crowd or he could give up -- but he could not escape. some men flailed their arms and others kicked, and some began screaming -- squalking screams, like pigs being skinned and butchered alive. the snakes slowly tightened their grip -- each time a man tried to breathe, he had to exhale -- and the python just tightened, preventing him from inhaling. one by one, the men's faces turned red then purple -- one by one, each man's eyes bulged out, like a rat's crushed by a shovel. the crowd was laughing as one by one, the massive, hard muscled legs and arms fell still. there was applause as the first python uncoiled and the massive, lifeless young gladiator's body rolled out, onto the sands. they became quiet, watching in fascination, as the snake opened it mouth and began swallowing the man.

first, the snake's mouth slid easily over the young man's handsome, nordic head. then the snake paused at the young man's shoulders -- seeming far too broad for the snake to swallow. those who had never seen a rat snake swallow a rat several times bigger around than itself waited for slaves to rush in and chop the young man's arms off at his shoulders -- so the snake might at least try to swallow the rest of the meat. they watched amazed as the python moved its jaws from side to side -- unlocking its jaws -- and spread its mouth slowly over the burly wide shoulders. the snakes lips seemed to slip slowly, inexorably over his shoulders, inching slowly across the bulging muscles of his upper arm, across his full, round breasts. the snake's head grotesquely extended as the shoulders slid under its skull -- as the snake swallowed further and further down the youth, his arms straightened out by his sides and slid right into the snake's advancing, scaled lips -- as if men had been designed by the gods to be eaten by these gigantic serpents. as the young man's chest began disappearing within the snake's mouth. as the snake's lips slid over his hard nipples, sucking in his entire swelling breasts, slowly swallowing the youth's body inch by inch, a slave ran up and quickly, gingerly castrated the corpse -- and ran toward the altar in the center of the arena, quickly kneeling and offering the "trophy" to the women acting as priestesses, holding the golden platters arrogantly -- the male slaves were quite frightened, and justifiably so -- but the women were confident and assured -- they all knew that a male on the arena floor was fair game while Caligula would not allow a woman to be harmed even in the slightest. the slave quickly ran back to the safety of the gate of life, hopping over the python as it inched over the young gladiator's hard rippled abdominals, and began sawing its jaw back and forth to coax his massive buttocks inside. the other pythons were in various stages of swallowing their own men -- some were just starting on their heads while others were nearly as far down the torso as this first snake. and slaves were busy hacking the other young men's genitals off -- so they could be saved for the divine first Citizen, Caligula. now all that was left of the first young gladiator was his calves and feet -- sticking out the python's lips as it sawed its jaws back and forth, unstretching its lips so they could close down over the man's legs, then swallow the rest of him -- all that was left were the man's lower legs and the bulge within the python. the python lazily lifted its head, squatting back then thrusting its head forward several times so the calves, then ankles, then feet disappeared into the snake's mouth. the snake yawned -- the young man's feet and legs still visible inside -- and snapped its jaws back together. then closed its lips -- smiling as every snake smiles, with a glint in its eyes. the crowds watched astounded for the half hour it took for the snakes to swallow the men whole -- thirty massively muscled young men swallowed whole right before them -- two hundred pounds of finely honed meat for each snake. the snakes lounged about the arena floor -- their bellies bulging full with their dinners -- as the draft slaves pulled their cages back in. the crowd started roaring its approval as the large lethargic serpents were coaxed and prodded to slither back into their cages -- fat and satisfied with their weekly allotment of fresh human male meat. -- snakes too slow to climb back into their cages were gingerly rolled up the ramps by straining slaves. people in the crowds were asking for assurance that these magnificent animals would be saved and displayed again -- soon and often -- hopefully with thirty more beautifully bodied young men -- the only meat that befitted such magnificent creatures!

while the thirty pythons were being carted out of the arena by the naked "men oxen" -- each snake fat with two hundred pounds of freshly swallowed human meat -- and the crowds were pleading to see the pythons fed again, the next event was being readied. this would be another comic event -- a slaughter of young men fit only to be butchered and fed to the carnivores. -- the crowds would hold these men in derision as soon as they stepped through the gate of life onto the arena sands. -- these three hundred young men were scum from the gladiatorial schools -- not good enough to make first or second string -- ever. they were being whipped into the arena by second string gladiators -- who took delight in seeing how hard they could flail their bull whips into naked backs and buttocks -- relishing in the twisting contortions of the men as they struggled blindly to avoid the lashing -- they had their heads wrapped in eyeless leather helmets -- andabates -- condemned to fight against each other sightless. to make sure none of the helmeted me could see, each man's helmet was pulled off and his eyes gouged out with knives -- then the helmets were strapped back on -- so they would die most anonymously. the three hundred men were given swords and pushed into the middle of the arena -- circling the altar to the male genitals and the women priests standing aloofly regal. the men started poking and at the air -- some of them nicking one or another. the second string gladiators started lashing them again, with relish, and the andabate started stabbing the air forcefully -- here and there accidentally stabbing another through his naked belly or through his exposed breast. as more and more men began falling wounded, more and more tripped and fell over them. -- occasionally one man would fall on the upturned sword of a man squirming on the ground -- or another would fall on the hilt of his sword, ramming the blade right through the guts of a man writhing on the sands. still more than half of the andabate were still standing -- and the second string gladiators whipped them harder and harder -- forcing them closer and closer together. even so, the scum slashed away quite ineffectually. they were shoved closer and closer together, till several of them bumped shoulders. -- they began grabbing at each other's naked bodies -- grabbing onto the only handle they could -- their opponents' genitals -- holding on tight with one hand and trying to slash at the body obviously held close with the other. now blind men were castrating each other to the uproarious delight of the crowds -- the castrated andabates immediately dropping their swords to grasp their blood gushing groins. quite a few of these men fell to their knees, and other andabate bumped into them, grabbing their heads with their free hands and lopping their heads of with their swords. even so, only a few of the andabate were killed outright by the others -- most were writhing wounded on the sands -- some mortally wounded, but most only superficially injured. of the three hundred andabate whipped into the arena and then blinded, only seven still stood -- separated by too many writhing bodies to whip together to fight each other. so several of the second string gladiators -- the whip masters -- grabbed swords off the sands and trod on the writhing bodies to the uninjured survivors -- they were crouching and reaching into the air with their free hands, stabbing the air with their sword hands. the sighted gladiators gingerly stepped behind each one and grabbed his sword, then grabbed his hear and jerked him straight. as the andabates dropped their hands and stood motionless, the gladiators twisted around and dropped to their knees, grabbed each man's genitals into a ball and stretched them from his body -- then chopped them off with one swift slash. muffled screams resonated through the arena and the crowd began laughing and cheering again. the gladiators "reverently" ascended the steps and kneeled, offering the genitals of the three andabate -- still standing, clutching their blood-gushing groins -- weakly swaying as they tried to maintain their balance -- fearful of falling to the sands never to stand again. as the women placed the andabate trophies onto silver platters, the other gladiators rapidly castrated the remaining men -- and gathering up the genitals that some andabate had severed from others. while the gladiators were "piously" depositing the genital trophies onto the silver platters, black dressed Charons danced around the writhing andabates. -- most they didn't even have to poke with their red hot brands -- the men writhed and wriggled at the slightest touch. which a dancing rhythm, the Charons smashed one young man's skull after another -- as the crowd laughed and pointed. the slaves who had dragged the carts full of pythons into the arena now dragged in empty carts -- still plodding slowly -- their full, low hanging testicles sliding slowly from one thigh to the other, squirming seductively over the hard muscles, contorting through their slow movements. pairs of slaves grabbed one corpse after another -- slinging the lifeless young body onto the cart, letting arms and legs and heads dangle over the sides as they may. after all the full bodies were piled onto the cartes, the slaves went around individually and picked up pieces of the andabates -- and bits and pieces of any of the men killed earlier. as the slave-oxen slowly dragged their corpse-loaded carts through the gate of death, the gladiator whip masters proudly paraded out through the gate of life -- both to the appreciative screams and jeers of the crowd. -- the gladiators to return and fight, the andabates going to their just fates -- the charnel house -- to be butchered and fed to the carnivores in their cages -- the only useful purpose for such scum!

while this last even had been taking place, the eighteen remaining first string gladiators were being readied for their next event. -- their bodies had been washed of blood, sweat, and sand. as slaves racked the sands, removing all traces of the many men who had died during the morning, another crew of slaves hastily erected eighteen poles around the arena -- in pairs about twelve feet between the two poles in a pair. on top of the poles the slaves affixed circular platforms about six feet in diameter -- the closest the two platforms got was six feet -- just a little circle six feet in diameter, six feet from another, then lots and lots of falling-off space. fifteen or so feet up in the air. -- nine pairs of these platforms around the arena. the crowds began to buzz -- it had been years since any had seen any plagosiari -- gladiators who fought with whips from small elevated platforms. everyone was speculating what kinds of carnivores would be gathering around the poles to pounce upon any man who fell from his perch -- quite a few hoped there were more pythons -- their slow swallowing those thirty men was so sensually beautiful. others preferred to see the quick ripping fangs of tigers or lions, and some fancied the way bears grabbed a man's shoulders and ripped his guts out with his hind feet. while a number of men and women would rather see the dogs in action -- ripping and tearing flesh, pulverizing bone and sinew so quickly and rapaciously that a fallen gladiator would disappear into a spray of blood and guts and splintered bones -- leaving only tiny splinters and a mist where there had been a man. -- in a way, they didn't care -- as long as the men were spectacularly handsome and strong and skilled, and they died horribly, it didn't matter how. trumpets sounded and the gate of life flew open again -- the audience stirred in their seats as the freshly oiled first string gladiators paraded their muscular glory -- again fully nude -- without any of the traditional leg or arm wraps or belts or skirts -- completely nude -- gloriously, beautifully nude. these eighteen young men left from the forty first string gladiators were exceptionally muscular, handsome, and well endowed. each strapped his bull whip to his right wrist so he wouldn't accidentally lose it, then quickly climbed ladders up to their perches -- without even a shield -- no protection at all for his naked body. each gladiator posed on his perch as slaves took their ladders away. they cracked with air in all directions with their whips, showing off their expert control, then stood again, posing for the men and women to worship their godlike bodies. another trumpet blared and out from the gate of life came a single, monstrous Indian elephant ridden by a small brown man wearing a white turban and a flouncy white loin cloth. there was a buzz in the stands -- this was no carnivore -- what was going to devour the gladiators who fell! the gladiators were puzzled too -- the "divine first Citizen", Caligula, had to have something monstrous in mind -- something grotesque. but they had faced death before -- and whatever he had planned couldn't be any worse than being ripped apart by lions! -- or "annihilated" by dogs! the little man just drove the elephant around a full circuit of the arena -- waving. a few waved back, but most of the crowd was too puzzled. the trumpets blurted again and the fighting started -- whips flailing the air, ripping at naked flesh. one gladiator had been too curious about the elephant and didn't prepare himself well -- his opponent ripped his bull whip across his face, tearing out an eye. as he grabbed for his eye, the whip ripped at his groin, slicing his genitals half off. the proud young gladiator had been reduced in only two lashes to a quivering mass of flesh, stumbling on the platform high in the air. the crowd held its breath in delighted anticipation as he stumbled over the edge and fell -- to be snatched mid-air by the elephant -- wrapping his trunk around the falling man and waving him in the air. the crowd roared its approval, laughing and pointing and screaming. the elephant paraded around the edge of the arena waving the screaming young man in its trunk -- while the other gladiators whipped at each other -- half watching their opponents and half watching what was about to happen to their fallen comrade. -- very few in the crowd noticed the slowing of the action on the platforms -- they were too curious about what the elephant was going to do to this miserable gladiator. they didn't have to wait long. the elephant finished its parade around the perimeter of the arena and wound its way between the posts to the altar in the center -- where the women priests were waiting, knives in hands. they finished castrating the young man -- he whimpered, crying softly. many in the arena had contempt for this young man now -- reduced to a whimpering girl! others had pity -- such a beautiful, strong man now destroyed. but all were amused and delighted. as the women were putting the young man's genitals on the golden tray, the elephant unwrapped him and laid him gently across the altar floor. he squirmed a little, but then lay still -- his chest heaving and falling in pain. then, without additional fanfare, the elephant carefully placed his broad fore foot on the man's left calf and foot and shifted his weight. the young man shrieked and began roiling, thrashing his arms and other leg, throwing his body side to side. the elephant lowered his other foot and wedged the young man's other foot under it, then shifted his weight to this leg. the young man stopped flailing, just arching his back, screaming. the elephant then moved his first foot forward, onto the young man's knee and crushed that. he slowly walked up the young man's body, pressing it flat with each step. -- each time the elephant lifted his foot, the flesh he had been standing on was revealed to be pressed flat and bloody -- slimy where the young man's guts had been. the crowds laughed and applauded as the elephant crushed the young man's shoulders then carefully positioned its foot on the now lifeless head. he paused and the little man riding him looked round to the crowd. they were laughing and shoving their fists against their palms. -- even the remaining gladiators had stopped fighting and were watching. the little man gave the elephant a little kick in his side and he shifted his weight, smashing the skull with a splorp that could be heard around the quiet arena. gasps of relief then laughter echoed round the stands as the elephant pealed the squashed, bloody "pelt" from the altar floor and tossed it over his back -- the flattened young man fell to the sands like a heavy leaf -- fast but almost fluttering. before the body hit the sands, whips snapped the air again -- biting into naked gladiator flesh. but none had been caught off guard this time -- and though the whips bit hard, ripping shreds of skin off here and there, each gladiator was able to twist and curl, bend and flex side to side to make each lash less effectual. the young men were being striped with their own blood, but none was giving in, none was stumbling or falling. the crowd started shouting instructions --

almost no one noticed first Citizen Caligula give a little nod to the little brown man riding the elephant. he gave the elephant a little nudge in the right spot and he trotted up to one of the platforms where a gladiator was fighting. the elephant lowered his head and rammed the pillar -- which split, tilted over slowly, then snapped. -- the gladiator instantly grabbed the edge and held tight as his platform collapsed under him. his opponent lashed at his back and arms, but he held tight till the platform was nearly up and down. he let go and rolled away as the platform rolled over, upside down. the elephant started to charge the gladiator, but hesitated, trying to figure a way round the poles. the gladiator jumped to his feet and ran -- toward the protection of one pole then another, wending to the wooden inner wall -- running hard as the elephant charged, leaping into the air and grabbing the top edge, scurrying over the top just as the elephant grabbed his trailing whip. desperately the gladiator struggled to untie his whip -- hidden from the laughing and hooting crowd. a number of men and women were booing, but the general mood was mirth -- nearly everyone agreeing that even the bravest man would run from something like that! suddenly it became clear to the other gladiators that their only escape might be to run -- run to fight again. pulling the man's whip back with no man attached, the elephant started searching with his trunk over the top edge, but his mahout poked him just right and he turned round and charged hard against another platform, knocking it over more quickly -- snapping the pillar instantly, throwing this gladiator several feet from the falling platform. he was stunned and couldn't get to his feet quickly enough -- the elephant was upon him. he tried to flail his whip, but the elephant had stepped on it -- he tried to jump up, but his tied wrist jerked him back down. the elephant's tiny eyes were full of fire as he wrapped his trunk around the prostrate body -- around his hard muscled abdomen -- rolling the struggling man around, his arms and feet flailing -- then threw the man into the air. the powerfully muscled gladiator flopped in the air like a rag doll -- his strength and courage and training now to no avail. the elephant tossed his head up, toward the falling man -- impaling him suddenly -- as the crowds jumped to their feet, roaring with laughter and groping each other. -- the elephant's tusk pierced through the man's back -- right through his guts, out his upper abdominals. the elephant tossed his head up and down, jerking the gladiator farther and farther down his tusk as he weakly struggled to maintain some semblance of manhood -- as he desperately tried to die like a man -- like a gladiator. the elephant tossed his head side to side and lifted his feet highly as it grandly "pranced" to the altar and the awaiting priestesses -- castration knives ready. the elephant kneeled to the women, then twisted the young man round on his tusk, so that he was "right side up" -- legs dangling down -- fat, full genitals right at arm's reach for the chief priestess. she reached forward and wrapped her fingers round his genitals and squeezed. the young man only whimpered as she lined up her castration knife and jerked it through his flesh, then held the trophy high -- then dropped it several feet onto the golden tray already loaded with thousands of severed male genitals. the crowds sat back down and cheered -- a little weakly. -- they were nearly exhausted from shouting and laughing. they almost "ho-hummed" as one man accidentally fell from his platform and was quickly stomped to death by the elephant. a trumpet blared, reprieving the remaining fifteen men. the elephant perked up and was driven back through the gate of life -- stepping highly and proudly. slaves brought ladders, and the naked gladiators -- their bodies dripping with their own red blood. one gladiator slipped on the first rung, caught his foot as he fell, snapping his leg before he hit the sand. as the other fourteen gladiators assembled and paraded back through the gate of life, the elephant came back out and placed its foot of the gladiator's head and shifted its weight. the man died instantly as his skull exploded -- his brains squishing out all around the elephant's foot. the crowds were again on their feet, cheering -- this would be the last show before lunch, and they could afford one more yelp.

as this last gladiator was castrated and his genitals added to the pile, the crowds were already filing out for lunch -- pushing and shoving, trying to get to the vendors early is more like it -- trampling anyone stupid enough not to push back.

Don't you wish we had great shows like that today!