An Amazon Game

by BigGeorge

There were very few things a man could do to prove his worth in Tiresisa’s world .  A warrior or cleric, and the jungle wars were over for now, so there was no need for fighters this year.

As a boy Tiresisa learned mathematics, astronomy, meditation and most importantly, fighting.  From the south a few years ago a traveler told Tiresisa’s father Marpessa, who was also this nations chief, of a game called Pitz.  Pitz was a game played with a heavy ball, the core of which is made from the head of the captain of the losing team from a prior game.  The purpose to both keep the ball air bound by what ever means possible and to eventually move the ball into an opening high about the arena.  In those days this game, was played to please the gods and symbolize the heavenly battle fought in the sky not long ago.  The game played instead of war, with the outcome the same.

Tiresisa, because of his position as the chiefs son, was honored to be the captain of his team, but he knew, that it was not only an honor but a great responsibility and while dying for his people had great rewards in the after life, dying a loser of battle was a dishonor.  His team practiced from the sun rising to the sun setting for many summers.  At 14, manhood claimed Tiresisa and  the contest made by his people was coming close.  It was this same summer, the summer of manhood, that his father, the chief, walked into the jungle and did not return.

After the sun set for 7 days the chief was to be assumed dead and Tiresisa would take his place, so it was decided, by this Saturday, the sixth day the match would be played, before Tiresisa could be chief.  He must win or not only lose his life, but the lives of his people were at stake.  At the sunrise on Saturday, this sixth day since the chiefs disappearance and one day before his demise was decreed, the boys, now men gathered together in ritual prayer as did the team from the south.

The crowd gathered quickly in the stands both from the home tribe and a small gathering of elders from the southern tribe.  At the assigned moment, the field came to life and the ball was thrown into the field.  A smaller man from the home tribe was the first to make contact and sent the ball hurdling towards the other side, the weight of the ball almost knocking him flat on to the ground, not a loss of points but an embarrassment.  The game continued non stop until the warmest part of the day.  The sun was taking its toll on all the players, including Tiresisa, who saw his father at the end of the court, but  then doubted his vision as no one else seemed to see the chiefs specter.

A moment later Tiresisa saw the heavy ball, inches from his head.  He lunged forward hurdling the ball toward the goal and to what was no doubt a victory  the ball arched skyward, closer to the goal and Taresisa fell to the ground, from exhaustion and there he died, with honor in his death.

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