“Gladiators and Lions!” Discover MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

My Problem With Doors“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

Just finished A Jane Austen Daydream? Do you enjoy my blog? Curious to learn what else I have written?

Time travel! Thrills! Adventure! Romance!

After winning a writing competition, My Problem With Doors was  published by the new press IPublish. It is the story of Jacob who is lost in time. When he steps through a door he has no idea where he will turn up. It is an unpredictable book filled with twists and turns and excitement, and the occasional surprise cameo like Jack the Ripper. Below is one of my favorite moments in the novel. I hope you will check it out.

My Problem With Doors is available in print from Amazon via this link. The eBook is exclusively available via Google Play but it can work on any eBook reader, you can find it here (you can also read a sample). It is even available as an audiobook via the publisher’s website.

In this exclusive excerpt below, Jacob finds himself… well… in a very, very, very bad situation with swords and sharp lion claws. (Did I mention this chapter is all in second person?) Enjoy!

An Excerpt from My Problem With Doors

Picture this-

You’ve just gotten up. It’s 1968 and you’re in a fraternity house at the University of Iowa. You’ve no idea whose bed it is and you really don’t care. You grab your clothes (stolen) off the floor and put them on. They are an old pair of jeans that have been cut into long shorts, a t-shirt about a music band and a pair of tennis shoes (one size too small—you should really take the time to learn your real shoe size).

One of the girls in the bed rolls over and sighs.

You scratch your head, smile, run your hand through your hair (maybe you won’t sneak out as soon as you had intended) and head towards the bathroom with your backpack in hand.

You open the door and step through…

right into the Roman Colosseum.

A Roman Colosseum filled with spectators.

A Roman Colosseum with five gladiators all standing in a row and on the side three lions being held by servants.

The gladiators all say in Latin a phrase that you had memorized from your earliest language studies:

Morituri te salutant.They who are about to die salute you.

You say, “Shit,” and drop your backpack. (You just said ‘Shit’ a little louder than you meant to.)

Everyone is looking at you!

The gladiators, the Emperor, the crowd, and even the fucking lions are looking at you. Your desire to go to the bathroom has slipped your mind.

You pause, wondering if you should say something else.

(Is there something you can say to solve this problem?)

“Ah, hi.” is the best you can get out before you quickly turn to the door you came in through.  (Quick! Get out!)

The large entrance door to the amphitheater is being held shut from the other side.

Unfortunately, you don’t have time to swear again.

“Kill him,” the Emperor calmly orders.

Five trained killers with swords drawn are coming at you and you have nothing!


You dodge.                                         You dodge.

You dodge.                 You dodge.                                         You dodge.

You dodge.  You dodge. You dodge.

You dodge. You dodge.                                             You dodge.     You dodge.

You dodge.                             You dodge.

You dodge.

They swing, they stab and they try to grab you and you quickly realize that you need to separate these gladiators from each other before you can start to take any kind of an upper hand in the situation… Escape turns into your best option.

You flip over the head of the one to your right (the audience gets louder at the move, they seemed to like it) and run like you’ve never run before. (Sprint!)

You jump with all your strength up the walls to the spectators. Pull yourself up. Up. Up.

“No, no!” The mob pushes you back down before you can attempt an escape.


One of the gladiators is faster than the others and he’s almost on top of you! He jabs. You move so his arm is under yours. You slam your elbow down on his arm, breaking it. He screams. You keep punching down on his broken arm.

The crowd erupts with cheers!

Every punch, more cheers.

Punch scream cheer punch scream cheer punch scream cheer punch scream cheer…

You slow down your punching and look up at the bloodthirsty multitude. You punch his arm again. The crowd cheers again….

You smile evilly.

You push the gladiator away from you and then begin your true fight. (Watch the birdie.)

The other gladiators have stopped to watch. You actually start to have fun as you use all your fighting tricks on this helpless and injured gladiator.

Before you know it, he’s on the ground, bleeding.

You kick his sword up off of the ground and……… it flips up into your hands.

(Ta da.)

The crowd is ecstatic!

And you realize that if this fighter was the best the Romans have to throw at you, this might be fun. Funfunfun.

And strangely, you start to get excited for the battles to come.

You do a little fighting dance and wave for the other gladiators to come forward.

And it is at THIS moment that the lions are released.

(“Not lions again,” you quietly moan.)

Before you can run, the nearest lion has jumped on top of you! (“Wha…”)

You feel its claws rip into your side. You feel your own warm blood start to run down your arm. With all the strength available to you, you scream and stab upwards and the mass of the lion collapses down on you.

It’s heavy.

It’s very heavy.

As you begin to struggle to remove the lion from off of you, you can hear the other two lions fighting the four remaining gladiators. (“At least they are all distracted…like they would be bloody help…”)

You can’t see what is going on with the others but you can tell from the audience reaction that it must be exciting.

You’re almost free! One leg is left under the lion. The crowd cheers and many point at you. (“No, you don’t need to point at me! Look over there, not at me!”)

One of the gladiators decides to use your vulnerable position to his advantage and runs at you. (“Great, just great.”)

You grip the sword from under the lion and pull as hard as you can to dislodge it.

Almost…  almost…                                              It’s free!

You swing it up in time to stop the blade of the gladiator’s sword from splitting your skull.

You begin swordfighting. You use your right arm to fight him while struggling with your left to free your leg…it’s…it’s…it’s…it’s not working! He even gets a stab in! It’s your right shoulder. The wound is deep and will probably leave a scar, but you have no time to think of that now.

You need a new plan! THINK!

You quickly reach out with your left hand and grab his leg, pulling him off his feet. He collapses with a thud.

The crowd cheers.

You drop your sword at your side and use both hands to lift the lion completely off your body. You grab your sword, jump up, and find yourself staring down at the gladiator.

You can see the panic on his face.

You can see the fear.

You’ve seen it many times on many faces.

You sigh and knock him unconscious with the butt of the sword……………………..

and thud.

The throng applauds thunderously!

You turn to them and wave your arms up in the air.

They wave their arms back at you.

You smile and point at one part of the amphitheater and raise your arms. Just that part of the crowd raises its arms with you.

You point at another part of the amphitheater and raise your arms. Just the people in that section raise their arms.

You point at yourself and then start running around the perimeter of the Colosseum floor as the Roman audience does the “wave.”

The spectators are loving this!

You stop running and hold your hand up to your ear for more noise.

You get it!

They are all up on their seats cheering you on!

You take off your shirt and use it to clean your sword.

You throw the shirt in the audience and they fight over it. A young woman holds it above her head and swings it in triumph. The blood from the shirt speckles the people around her.

There is a roar behind you. One of the gladiators has killed one of the lions. He turns to you aggressively. He looks obsessed. He must have been the favorite before you arrived that day and stole his spotlight. He starts running at you, screaming.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.


With all your strength you throw your sword at him and it cuts right into his chest!

He looks down at his wound, bewildered, and collapses. You run up to him and take his sword from his hand. “I need that.”


You begin to wonder how much weight a lion can take on its back. (“Well, what do I have to lose?” you think) Running, you flip up onto the remaining lion’s back. As you balance on the lion, you start to jab forward at the two gladiators.

You flip off of the lion, over the heads of the two gladiators and swing hard…

  A head rolls off.

The lion’s paw hits your hand. Pain. You drop your sword.

The remaining gladiator turns to attack. You notice a glint of sunlight reflecting off a knife strapped to the greave on his right shin. You jump down onto your injured hand, while kicking up with your legs at his head. With your free hand you pull out the knife from his sandal. You fall on the ground.

The gladiator staggers back from the kick.

Without a moment’s hesitation, you throw the knife at the lion’s head.

            It enters through the eye.

The lion staggers and collapses.

It’s body twitching on the sand…

You get up off the ground and face off against the last gladiator.

He has the weapon and attacks.

You dodge. You dodge. You dodge. You dodge.

This one is smarter and more conservative in his style, he does his best to not give you an opportunity to injure him. You’re doing everything imaginable to avoid his sword blade. Finally, you see an opening. You jump to his right, take his sword from his hand, kick his legs out from under him, and grab his head.



You’re tired, you’re panting. Your injuries hurt (especially the shoulder).

You hold the sword up to the gladiator’s neck.

You can feel the pulse from his neck against the blade. His heartbeat is racing.

You look up at the Emperor.

The Emperor stands.

He wickedly smiles, holds out his right hand and…turns his thumb down. And you strike


My Problem With Doors is available in print from Amazon via this link. The eBook is exclusively Claudius was hereavailable via Google Play but it can work on any eBook reader, you can find it here (you can also read a sample). It is even available as an audiobook via the publisher’s website.

2 thoughts on ““Gladiators and Lions!” Discover MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

  1. Pingback: The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard | New for Kindle! The Time-Travel Adventure MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS Now Available! Book Giveaway!

  2. Pingback: The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard | Only a little while left! Enter to win an autographed copy of MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS!

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