The butterflies flap their wings like angry bees making my stomach rise and fall. The blade feels like a steel girder in my hand and my mask is suddenly turned to lead. They call my name and point to the not calming blue strip. A light flashes as the tip of the blade makes contact with my toe, it works but doesn’t relieve the butterflies.

The director shouts and my opponent lunges fast. Shit, didn’t see that coming. I circle eight, my newest ability, un-confidently and land all 750 grams of pressure onto her upper torso. Touche!

The light flashes red and my team cheers my name. But it’s not over yet. Four more to go. My stomach is doing flip flops. The same thought runs through my head. Calm down and take it easy. Time it out. Time it out. But that’s not the plan…

Three touches later and I’m up four to one. I’m sweating, but is it out of exhaustion or anxiety? My heart is thumping, my mind is racing. Fence and we’re off. We fight. Metal clashes. Then…

A red light. A flurry of red and white. Victory.

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