We wear masks for this. The masks are not for safety, they are for anonymity. I fight half blind but no one knows my name. I am known by the mask I wear in the ring. I would not wash away the best of my soul for this cruelty if it did not pay so well. I have yet to lose a fight. No one else’s mask hides desperation and abandon such as mine. I need the money my bloodied fists can make me from these mongrels.
This may be the lesser of no two evils but I have left myself no pure paths to take. I have debts to pay for poor decisions and there is no wage to pay them back faster than this hateful practice. Death taunts me from the ringside, betting on all others though I defy him. I can not afford the death that would take my debt to the doors of those I love. I plod the damp ground of the circle waiting for the next victim of circumstance to stand before me. Rage no longer blinds me but disgraceful destruction. I no longer have a face beneath the mask but a map of my various wounds. They will scream my pain to me if I ever have the time to head their voices.
Hours pass and bystanders tire of the endless stream of piteous opponents that are dragged from the blood red swamp the dust became. My regret sends its apologies to each victim that departs as I try to keep the balance of my victories. Three more to go, two more, one and I’m done now but do I have the life left in me to drag my corpse to my debtors? Dried blood holds the skin of my face to the muscle beneath as I hand everything I made away. The pain has found its many voices. They grow louder as my conscious dims. I was in dept where now the slate is clean and the balance set to zero just as the levels of my blood soon will be. Darkness beckons and I gladly wander into shadow that this might be the end of my earthly torment. That there is no god to punish my crimes, that I will cease to be is my final wish as I bid farewell to the land that misled me. I have no more to give or gamble, my hand is played.