* * *
A heavy slap rang through the darkness.
Asmodeus flew through the circle of light that blazed down onto the center of the sunken arena. She hit hard. Her right shoulder plowed the dirt, followed by a sharp scream and the sickening sound of a snapping bone, then by the startled gasps of a thousand witnesses hidden in the darkened bleachers ringing the arena above.
She rolled onto her back as Satan stomped into the light. Dust shot out from beneath his feet with each heavy step. He was a massive creature—seven feet tall with red skin, dark pants, black horns, powerful arms, and a cruel smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth.