Life In The Pit

I stood among chaos.

Bodies swarmed in all directions, screaming. My heart thumped, pounding erratically as if desperately trying to catch its breath. The mêlée—a whirlwind of life and death—churned around me. My clothes were spattered in mingled sweat and grime. The pit was terrifying.

I fought against the swell of sanity-breaking panic every single time I stepped into the pit and faced the sea of aggressors. It always felt like one against a thousand. It was hell. It was my job.

I enriched or ruined lives on a daily basis, my own included. As a floor trader for the New York Stock Exchange, I battled the greedy horde for a greater share of the same pool of wealth. Think of it as planned chaos brought forth by a den of thieves who were jockeyed by self-made Gods. No good would come from it and failure was never an option.

Life in the pit was intense. It was a constant physical and mental brawl. There were a few times where I felt like I was drowning in the crowd of jostling bodies, but I kept my head above water—for six years now—by moving, staying fluid, and working hard. Any moment not spent in the rough bump-and-grind of the fray, I would frantically scour through reports, analytics, predictions, news; praying for a tip that would offer the upper hand.

I can’t remember a day without barbed wired stress raking through my veins. I fear soon, either the thread clinging to my sanity will snap or a swollen blood vessel in my brain will rupture and drop me like a sack of wet concrete; just one more failed investment, one missed booming trend, or one more raw deal would be enough.

My last backfired barter came from Bryce ‘Midas’ Wentworth. You can guess why people called him that. He’d only worked the floor for eight months and was already the Trader of the Year frontrunner, earning the status through blind luck in cheap investments or twisted facts to saddle other traders with collapsing deals. He sabotaged my success on multiple occasions, each time punctuating the stolen deal with a toothy grin through the throng.

Just this morning, as I stood at the edge of the pit waiting for the bell to ring, he bumped past me, spilling coffee all over my shirt, flashing that grin.

“Pardon me,” he said, smiling. “But, I’m a busy man.”

The sight of him chilled my blood to a slow-moving slush. The hot beverage sizzled against my flesh; my pulse rising like hot mercury.

When the bell rang, it snapped my attention back to the pit.

Traders swarmed the floor, shouting and waiving paper slips at each other, and I relaxed my white-knuckle grip on the pen in my pocket.

Watching the pandemonium for a moment, I enjoyed a deep breath. For the first time, I felt calm and in control—comfortable in the chaos. Who knew that an old method, a simple decision, would set me free. I brandished a smile of my own and joined the dense crowd, weaving my way to the middle.

Wentworth doesn’t know that I served time in lock down before serving time in the pit. On the inside, we handled blatant disrespect a little differently. He’s gonna learn all about it. And, this time, I won’t even have to carve up a perfectly good toothbrush.

~ Tyr Kieran

© Copyright 2014 Tyr Kieran. All Rights Reserved.


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About Tyr Kieran

Tyr Kieran /Tie-er Keer-awn/ is a horror author from the greater Philadelphia Area. He writes vivid tales of darkness for the enjoyment of all the normal (messed up) people out there, just like him. Tyr conducts his Interactive Fiction Projects on his website and social media profiles twice a week with freshly written segments to an ongoing novel. Learn more about it here:

33 responses to “Life In The Pit”

  1. Thomas Brown says :

    Brilliant, Tyr; short, sweet and full of menace. Loved the imagery of the swarming bodies and the inhumanity of the pit.


    • Tyr Kieran says :

      Thanks, Thomas! I was really drawn to the comparison of the Stock-Exchange floor and some hell hole or violent mosh pit. I’m sure it takes more back stabbing to get ahead there than in any prison community.


  2. Thomas Brown says :

    Reblogged this on THOMAS BROWN and commented:
    Tyr Kieran’s ‘Life in the Pit’


  3. jonolsonauthor says :

    Reblogged this on Jon Olson and commented:
    LIFE IN THE PIT by Pen of the Damned’s Tyr Kiernan


  4. Joseph Pinto says :

    Perfect tale, Tyr! Nice illustration of the chaos swirling around your main character; yet he remains calm, master of it all. One never knows the background of others, and as such it seems like poor Wentworth will pay! Great job, Tyr! 🙂


    • Tyr Kieran says :

      Disrespecting others is a dangerous game! Wentworth deserves what he gets for many reasons, but mostly because he crossed a man he didn’t know well enough to understand the situation he put himself in! Tsk, tsk.
      Thanks, Joe!


  5. Brenda Lee says :

    Ok thanks for making my skin crawl 🙂


  6. christopherliccardi says :

    Reblogged this on C.A.Liccardi Author and commented:
    Tyr Kieran write – Life in the Pit


  7. Craig McGray says :

    Reblogged this on From Bright Minds Come Dark Things and commented:
    LIFE IN THE PIT by Pen of the Damned’s resident bad-ass, Tyr Kiernan!


    • Craig McGray says :

      Sorry, Tyr. My fat fingers added an extra ‘N’ in your last name. I know it’s Kieran. I shall hack off the offending finger if you so order it to be done!


      • Tyr Kieran says :

        Fgatt finmgeredf? I’nm nott suire wehat you maenb.
        No, don’t hack off your finger. At least offer it up as bet in a contest a la Four Rooms.

        Thanks for sharing, bud! And thanks for the Bad-ass title. I’ll take it!


  8. Magenta Nero says :

    I love this Tyr, the tension had me gritting my teeth. An original tale, the worst horrors are found in the most mundane places…


  9. blazemcrob says :

    Ooh, la, la! I have many toothbrushes. I know what to use them for now. Super story, Tyr! As you know, I am all about respect and revenge. 🙂



  10. jonolsonauthor says :

    Great tale, Tyr! Goes to show you never really know the type of animal you are dealing with in the corporate world!


  11. Hunter Shea says :

    Like a rabbit punch to the gut. Very nice. And since we all despise Wall Street, the tone and message were perfect. 🙂


  12. moondustwriter says :

    Great vivid words Tyr. The toothbrush the perfect fit for an ending…


  13. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Great story, Tyr! Tons of anxiety, and a worthy viper to unshackle the tamed beast on. Life is full of simple horrors, including day-to-day life. No toothbrush for you this Christmas, though – you’re getting one of those soft rubber tooth squeegee things – sans the handle!! lol 😉


  14. zkullis says :

    I really enjoyed this story, Tyr! I loved the visual I had of a stock exchange trade floor as a pit of carnage and violence. Revenge is always fun, and who doesn’t enjoy a toothbrush shank?


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