The Gladiator's Deal

“And you would give up your soul, eternally, to me—give up your place in the heavens—just to go back into this wretched time?”

“I would.” I could feel a vein pulsing by my temple.

“What could there possibly be that’s important enough for you to return to the land of the living?”


“She doesn’t exist.”

For several moments I didn’t speak. “You’re lying.”

“They call me the Prince of Lies in Christianity. It’s possible.” He smiled, pomegranate juice dripping down his chin, as if he enjoyed keeping me guessing—he did.

There was a silence. “You’re really serious, aren’t you?” he said. “Fine—I’ll let you go. But know this: this era, it’s millennia ahead of yours. The world is strange; you humans are more of a virus than ever. Even your language is lost to them. You will look like something out of a storybook to them, romantic and mad.”

“Do it!” I snarled, gripping my spear.

He shrugged and ripped his finger through the air. I was sucked into the rift, into an alien time.

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