There was not much time left. I stood tall within the haze of an angelic morning and the mists around me tackled each other into waves of light and flowing white smoke. There was a dense collection of hopeflower surrounding the cavern. On the horizon, unwelcoming formations of rock sprung up like petrified men, contorted wherever the space allowed them. The air was piquant with the day’s new musk and upon its scent surrounding me the odor suddenly became an essence I anticipated my whole life. Long ago I committed myself to this bold cause and today, this very day of death and peculiar beauty, I adorned myself in black, steel armor. Against the hazy, threaded light, I became a walking eclipse. I was the darkest shade against the rising sun yet I knew an even fouler creature was going to die this morning. I was prepared nonetheless. Last night I adorned myself with the heat of a shadowy helm and last night, on my back, I sheathed the bluntest blade hewn from cracked iron. I wanted it to hurt when I smote him with a fist and a knife and a bite all at the same time. Last night and even before that, I made these my tools to draw blood’s color, the very ones I used to conjure fear. I struggled long enough for this day to come. Nobody was required to know me to see that I was undying—a seed grown through a tempest whose winds were lined with fire, swords, and most importantly, a god’s most atrocious people. It was how I saw myself and others gazed alike; I was nothing more, nothing less. Possessed by the rustic silver of my rapier I earned the title of a brute and became infamous in the lands I managed to trample. One man, especially, will see me as a soul unforgotten.
My foot stomped into the dimly lit lair and detonated echoes among the cavern ceiling. Ominous and consumed in the dim mists of darkness, the cave had reflected like ochre diamonds. That stony sheen I imagined were the glowering eyes of unrested souls suspended upon the air.
“Show yourself!” I shouted so loudly blood could be carried on the sound waves of my spoken hatred. My eyes searched the maw of the entrance as my feet moved with alacrity. So angry, yet so nervous, a burning anxiety buffeted my body. Searching the void of the cave, my eyes finally struck the gold I distinguished as my target:
It was his figure.
There, in the distance he stood; the man who forever ruined my life.
I darted closer and halted some feet away from him. His back faced me. Coward.
And I should have known he was too afraid to show his trembling face; he should have never doubted my arrival. He should have never denied it.
Not after what he had done to me.
I watched him, wide-eyed, with such an intolerant rage my gaze nearly conflagrated a hole in his back.
The brief silence broke once again.
“Face me!” I demanded, gripping my blade tighter. Blood rushed to my fingertips.
“What is it?” I said, my voice raising a little higher as if I was to baby him, berate him. “Are you too frightened to face the...