The Last Stand

by

Leonidas splashed water on his face and stared into the full length mirror adjacent to the sink. The year 480 B.C. had been relatively normal for him, he thought, even though he was the captain of the Spartan volleyball team. Spring and Summer were spent rigorously training for the Fall season just like the three years before, the only difference was that he led the workouts and tonight, he will be the one to lead the team onto the court. His trance was disrupted by the sound of the locker room door opening. His best friend, Stelios, and the rest of his team walked in.

“Ridiculous they made us travel all the way to Thermopylae for this match,” said Stelios.

Leonidas turned around and addressed his team. “They’re probably trying to subdue our morale so they can end our 19-year streak as reigning champions,” laughed Leonidas. “Don’t they know that will never happen? We are Spartans!”

The athletes cheered. A few playfully punched each other in the shoulder, and a few more took turns chest bumping each other. Their revelry was abruptly interrupted by the distressed calls from Daxos, whose pounding footsteps could be heard long before he made it to the locker room.

“Guys,” he mumbled as he caught his breath. “We have a huge problem.”

“What is it, Daxos?” questioned Leonidas.

“Ephialtes gave the Persian team captain a copy of our playbook.”

“That traitor!” Stelios spit as he yelled.

“We’re doomed,” sighed Daxos.

The rest of the athletes stared at each other, defeated before the match even began. Leonidas started laughing maniacally.

“So what now, my brothers? Do we retreat? We all know that isn’t going to happen. No retreat. No surrender. That is Spartan law. I hope you all ate a hearty breakfast, for tonight we dine in Hell!”

The team cheered with bestial vigor.

-RG Barton, Senior Staff Member