note: spoilers for the manga up to chapter 55. a bit of potty mouthing and some mentions of violence. nothing too bad!
disclaimer: being based on the manga, battle royale belongs to takami koushun and taguchi masayuki. as usual, i own nothing.
could have been
The sadists sitting warm at home, watching kids get gunned down, skewered, lose, they would remember: Mimura Shinji could have been everything.
He was dying.
Dying, standing at Death's door, waiting. And there was so much blood.
He had been on his way to becoming a champion. Not of the Program, hell no, but of his game. Of basketball, of love 'em and leave 'em, of dreams. He had a carved future down the road, never trodden, unblemished.
He coughed. His breathing was heavy (deadly), and it hurt everywhere. Crimson was soaking through his uniform, staining the ground beneath, spreading stretching swelling in a puddle around him.
He could have been a poet, a playwright, slinging words around in purple prose and stringing them to dance across the page like marionettes. A philosopher, weaving together the secrets to humanity's corrupted desire. A politician, even, ending poverty with a dashing, gallant grin and a steady handshake.
The pain was unbearable. It was a fire that had spread through his entire body, burning everything in its path. It seared and scorched, reducing him to nothing but ash. It took him all his resolve to heave himself up and scratch a small command, inspiration for the ones after him.
He'd been so close. So close to ending it all. But fucking Kiriyama and with his fucking machine gun showed up, and he fucking killed Yutaka. He even sacrificed his bomb to take him down, but the fucker still didn't die. And then, of all monstrosities, the clutch shot. The fucking clutch shot, he'd missed it. When it mattered most, he had missed.
It just hadn't been his day.
Those viewers, his audience, they were lucky. So lucky they weren't in his position, his class's position, stuck in this hellhole for a survival of the fittest take-all. Because he thought he handled this pretty well, and even, in a small part of what was left of him, he congratulated Kiriyama for the impressive spectacle. He knew those assholes who watch the Program would have been scared shitless if stranded here. Hell, his intestines had been falling out and he didn't even blink, talk about hard.
And that gave him some bit of twisted comfort.
But he supposed that it wasn't so bad. He thought he would have gone down sore, crying over his loss, screeching bitterness. But he wasn't. He was alright.
I'm coming, Uncle.
He could have been famous. Known around the world, a household name. Glorified and honoured, sitting atop his pedestal, longevity engraved into his throne. Never coming down.
Reflecting, he thinks he can achieve this last one. The sadists sitting warm at home, watching kids get gunned down, skewered, lose, they would remember. He'd gone with a bang, an explosion to rile the senses and emit pangs of ache for the boy whose magnificence was shattered with a mere bullet. The boy who could have been.
No one could take that way from him.