4. Calycanthus Esquivel
“Are you wearing lip gloss?”
The Ring was a sport that took place once a year and was quite popular. There was a wooden stick that was about the length of your arm and from there you had to create your own moves, combos as we called them, to beat your opponent. The rules clearly stated you weren't allowed to hurt one another; it was expected that you learned how to handle the stick properly so you managed to avoid doing any serious damage. It was all about tapping your opponent with the stick on specific body areas. The upper arms received fewer points as it was the least protected region, while a tap on the thigh or side got more points.
We called the game 'The Ring' as it took place in the gaming ring of Lithium Village. This was also where the elderly held their chess tournaments and where college cheerleaders showed their latest routines. The Ring had been invented by a couple of bored local kids nearly fifteen years back and they'd planned it as if it were a true hero’s tournament. It became big and a favorite among the LV teens. When you didn't know how to kick a ball, or pull off a pyramid, this was the sport you turned to.
Parents had protested it, saying that the adults shouldn’t be encouraging kids to participate in such violent sports, but in the end, football actually did a lot more damage than The Ring did. They’d relented when the council had agreed to give masks to protect the faces of those who entered the tournament and each wooden stick was to have rounded ends. They were made in a way that if you actually were evil enough to decide to beat someone with it, they’d break on impact. Basically, you couldn't even properly bruise your opponent.
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Genre – Fantasy / Young Adult
Rating – PG