Monday, May 30, 2011

Absolution - I

The cigarette dangled off the edge of his pursed lips, scattering tiny flecks of ashes into the air. The glowing cinders died out as they flew off the edge of the rooftop that he was perched on.

He bent down to glance at the telescopes eye piece one more time.

There he was, under the crosshairs, sipping his blood red wine, with that cocky grin on his red lips. He wore a black tux with a red bow tie, and a red rose in his breast pocket. He sat opposite to a pretty girl in a glowing white dress, with flowing brunette hair. She was delicately placing the thousand dollar caviar into her soft red lips, somehow managing to flash a smile while doing so. They were talking about something. They were laughing.

James had long foregone the habit of laughter, only managing hollow smiles for his landlord or his neighbors. He could only grimace bitterly as he bit down onto his dry sandwich, watching the couple. The restaurant was a costly one. One that James had eaten in during their celebrations on their latest breakthrough.

The three of them had been there. James, Morgan and Sarah.

They had been working on the nanotech cancer treatment research for almost three years and had finally succeeded. So to celebrate they decided to dine in style for once. For a change they abandoned their take out Chinese food, eating near the test tubes and lab equipment, to put on their finest suits and gowns and tip their champagne glasses together for five hundred dollars a bottle.

But this time it was only Morgan, and his latest catch, fresh off the covers of Vogue. Sarah was gone. And James was on a rooftop, watching the two of them.

He felt a pang of pain when he realized where they were sitting. It was near the very same window that Sarah had leaned over and whispered into his ears.

“Let’s get outta here James. I think a little celebration of our own is at hand.”

He could almost smell the lingering musk that lined her neck. He could almost feel the tingling sensation, when her lips grazed his earlobe ever so slightly.

Now the only smell that he got was that of the rusted iron bearings that held the railing at the terrace. The only sensation he felt, was the burning desire for retribution.

The wind whipped his over-coat into the air, resurrecting the dying glow of the cigarette tip. He took one last look at through the telescope before spitting out the cig and turning away.

He could not do it.

He had already rigged Morgan’s car with C4 earlier. It was child’s play after their work at the lab. And yet the trigger lay in his duffel bag, untouched.

He could not do it.

So he did what he had done every day for the past two weeks. He packed the telescope in his bag, along with the M40 rifle that he dragged along, trigger untouched, and walked away.

He reached out to turn on his apartment lights, groaning as he stretched. The scar that ran up his arm was still fresh. As the tube-light flickered on he noticed the dark brown clot that had formed around the wound. He began scratching at the scabs, letting the wound bleed afresh, letting the scar remain intact, and letting the memory remain burnt in his mind.

He winced as he remembered the plexiglass shards, digging deep into his arms, as he frantically tried to reach Sarah’s writhing body. Her unearthly screams reverberated across the still and silent room. Her pale face, contorted with terror and pain, flashed across his eyes. He buried his face in his hands, rubbing his eyes weakly. This cannot go on.

He had finally managed to get himself into bed, without any violent flashbacks. The darkness of the room calmed his turbulent thoughts, soothing his distraught mind. It was almost as if the lack of anything around him made the relative emptiness inside just a little more bearable. After the first two hours, his eyes finally drooped shut.

He was back in the damned lab. Morgan was saying something that James could not hear. He was angry and frustrated.

James could hear Sarah saying, “It’s absurd! Why would they deny the opportunity to finally go into alpha test phase. The animal results were completely impeccable! We KNOW it’s going to work.”

He realized he was back to the time when they had been rejected by the board. That god forsaken day when he had doomed her.

They had stopped talking and were staring dejectedly at the bubbling bacterial canisters. James felt himself open his mouth.

“Why don’t we try it on ourselves then?” His mind screamed NO! You IDIOT! You fu-

Morgan looked up incredulously. “Why not! We know it is ready. We can do this.”

Sarah paused for a while before nodding in agreement. “The board doesn’t have to know until we hand them our positive test results.”

Again James opened his mouth, his actions sealed by the unchangeable past. “But none of us has cancer Morgan, so what now.”

Sarah smiled weakly, raising her hand like a schoolchild. “Sir, if you would recall, I was just diagnosed with an adenoma.”

Morgan clapped his hands triumphantly. “So what are we waiting for! Let’s get her prepped!”

James shot a nervous glance at Sarah. She mouthed it’s gonna be okay baby.

Her comforting smile, that beautiful reassuring curve of her pink lips, faded away.

He was now in the testing chambers. The rhythmic bleep of the machines seemed to remain prominent despite the haziness of the dream. He could see Sarah walking into the Hyper baric chamber, with the bright white spandex suit, clinging onto the contours of her slender body. She flashed him a dazzling bright smile before strapping herself onto the machine.

Morgan’s reflection appeared on the smooth plexiglass that separated the chamber and the observation room. He nodded at James. James nodded back.

He watched as Morgan entered the commands for the nano bots to be injected.

It all seemed to go smoothly for the first three minutes. The radioactive dye showed the blood deliver the bots past the liver and towards the blood brain barrier. They floated easily towards the targeted benign tumor that hung awkwardly at the edge of the gland. As they began to get to work, dissolving the mucous layer, James noticed Morgan’s nervous expression, turn from worried, to pale, to downright aghast.

James rushed over to the computer screen. “What is it?! What’s wrong!”

Morgan tapped desperately at the screen. “Look at the code! It hasn’t been programmed correctly! The specific receptors have been left empty!”

“What?! What are you talking about?”

“James! They are not going to stop at malignant cells!”

“Then shut it down goddammit!”

“NO! Relax. I could just enter the commands now. It’s alright. It’ll be okay.”

James stared at him incredulously. “Are you out of your mind?! That’s Sarah we’re talking about. That’s not some lab monkey. That’s my fiancée for god sake!”

“And that’s 250k worth of nano bots. That’s the last we’ve got. I am not going to let 250 grand just decay and come out with urine. We can still stop it. I just need time.”

“You know I cannot let you do that Morgan.”

Morgan turned away from the computer screen for the first time. His eyes had a grim determination to it. It was a look that James was familiar with.

“I’m sorry James. But I just cannot let this go.”

He shoved James out of the viewing chamber and locked the sliding glass doors, as he scrambled to his feet. James screamed at Morgan angrily, ramming himself into the hard glass. Morgan ignored him and hurried back to the computer screen. He glanced at Sarah.

That’s when the screaming started. The bots had finished with the adenoma. They had begun with her. James muffled voice managed to reach Morgan.

“Morgan please. Jesus, don’t do this.” His voice was shaking now. He could not bear to look at Sarah.

She had opened her eyes and began screaming out in pain. The bots were digging into her cerebrum. Right into her pain centers. And there was nothing James could do about it, besides plead with Morgan.

Morgan was banging at the keyboard. He looked out to James. His expression stopped him cold.

“It’s not stopping!” His muffled voice reached his ears. “ James, it’s not responding anymore!”


He gave all hope with the sliding doors and ran straight to the hyperbaric chamber. His eyes were brimming with tears. He looked around desperately through his blurred vision, looking for a sharp object. Each of Sarah’s screams made him shudder with weakness and despair as they rung in his ears. He felt helpless, like a man drowning with a dead weight tied to his leg.

Before he realized he found himself hurling a chair at the glass, creating a tiny crack as a small shard fell off. He punched it in and dug his arm into the tiny hole. The protruding edges dragged along his hands as he reached inside. If he could just get to the canisters, he could kill the bots with radio waves. But the canister was out of his reach.

Blood spilled off his ravaged arm and dripped onto the floor. Pain streaked up his arm as if his muscles were on fire, but he did not notice. He could only hear Sarah’s blood curling screams as he kept stretching farther and farther.

Almost there….just a little more….

He woke up, thrashing in his sweat and blood soaked sheets. He was breathing hard. The nauseating feeling in his stomach pushed him to stumble to the toilet as he held the rejected night’s sandwich in his throat. He retched violently into the metal sink, wiping his mouth on the towel.

Looking up at the mirror he realized that his face was wet with a blend of sweat and tears. He looked into his bloodshot eyes.

His mind was coiled with hot bands of regret and anger, a sickly red creature, holding his thoughts in an inescapable vice of pain and fury. All his guilt and repentance fueled his hate and blame on Morgan. There was a fire in his eyes.

And through the fire he could almost see Sarah’s beautiful pale face appear behind him. She leaned in close like the day in the restaurant and opened her blood red lips.

Kill him for me, James. Kill for your love.”

Absolution - II

He could feel the cold metal pressed against his unshaved cheek.

The cold gun that would never be used.

The cold barrel that will never release the wisps of smoke that succeeded a shot.

The dormant bullet that would never pierce flesh or see the light of day.

The damn trigger that would never be pulled.

The very same guilt that fueled his thirst for retribution, held him back from pulling it.

Why don’t we try it on ourselves then?”. Those were the words that had doomed Sarah. Words that came from James’ mouth, not Morgan’s.

And yet, he was standing on another rooftop, once again observing Morgan under the crosshairs of his scope.

He was dressed formally as usual. Although this time he had a red tie and a suit. He was talking animatedly to a whole conference room full of people clothed in a similar fashion.

On a screen, behind him, there were slides of the nano bots being displayed dramatically. James shook his head. He could not believe that he was going ahead with the project. After what happened. That bastard.

“We cannot report this to the board.” He had said, merely an hour after Sarah’s death. “We would be shut down, there would be no more grants.” He had been holding a handkerchief to his lips where James had punched him.

“You sonofabitch. You think I’m going to go along with this? You murdered my fiancée.”
Morgan shook his head sadly. “No James. She knew what she was getting into when she put on that suit. She knew the risks.”

“To hell with the risks. I’m not going to let you get away with this.”

Morgan leaned in closer.

“Think James. All you’re gonna accomplish by doing that is destroy everything we worked for. Everything Sarah worked for. Everything she died for.”

James growled and lunged at Morgan once again. He punched him with his one good arm and stalked off, leaving him cradling his broken nose delicately on his knees.

James could almost make out the slight bend of his nose. The place where he had made satisfying contact with his knuckles, feeling the bone breaking under his fist. The satisfaction had long since died out. He needed more.

If only he had the balls to pull the trigger. If only.

He looked back into the scope to find that the meeting had ended. The suits and waistcoats began filing out of the room in their dignified gait, shuffling around their papers. They all seemed pleased, nodding to each other as they left the hall. Only Morgan was remaining, standing near his laptop, staring at the closed doors. He remained motionless under the crosshairs for nearly five minutes. James new it was the perfect moment for the kill.

But the figure suddenly collapsed into the nearest chair, head in his hands. James frowned.

He watched as Morgan reached into his coat pocket and drew out a small cell phone. He flicked it open and quickly pushed in a couple of buttons before slipping it back into his jacket.

James felt the weak vibrations of his own phone humming in his pocket. It was a message. It read:

“James, we need to talk. Drinks. My place. 6:00 pm. Please leave your fists at the door.
-Morgan. “

He closed his cell, staring uncertainly at Morgan.

He sat in his car, watching Morgan’s house. The bright spotlights aimed at the walls of the modern villa provided enough illumination for James to observe Morgan as he paced around his hallway. It was a beautiful place, palm trees, swimming pool, the works.

He had arrived two hours earlier, making sure he wasn’t noticed. The C4 was rigged all around the compound, including the gas tanks. Now he was sitting once more in his car, still uncertain of Morgan’s motives. Finally after another twenty minutes, he drove the car closer, parking it behind Morgan’s Aston Martin. He walked slowly towards the door, both hands in his pockets. One curled in a fist, the other curled around the trigger. He was going to hear him out.

The lights brought out a green hue of illumination around the trees in the garden, creating a sinister ambience, appropriate for the occasion.

Morgan greeted him at the door with a sheepish grin and an awkward hug. He was wearing his signature black pants and purple shirt.

“Hello James, how have you been.” He said, shakily, guiding him into the hallway.

James cleared his throat, swallowing hard. He fought to maintain a steady voice as he replied mechanically.

“I’m alright Morgan. Been better.”

Morgan nodded, almost to himself, as he led him into his posh living room. He walked over to the bar in the corner and starting pouring drinks. “Make yourself comfortable. You’ll take the usual?”

James grunted in approval as he sat down on his black sofa. He gazed around, absorbing every detail of the luxuries that were paid for with Sarah’s blood and screams. The 90 inch flat screen that hung at the end of the room, shining in all its malevolent grandeur. The gold rimmed spotlights that enveloped the room in a sophisticated ochre glow. All of it would not be here, if Sarah were. Their mere presence goaded James into justifying his action of rigging the whole damn villa.

As Morgan placed the cold glass in his hands, plopping onto the black armchair in front of him, James felt a slight chill run down his neck. That was the nearest he had been to Morgan in the past month. He struggled to maintain his calm, caressing the long plastic trigger for comfort.

Morgan placed one foot onto the table in front of him, trying deliberately to seem at ease. He shuffled around uncomfortably before finally resting his eyes on James.

“James it has been too long now.” He voice almost pleading. “How long are you going to hold her death against me? We all knew what we were getting into. I am sorry for what I did, but I honestly believed I could have stopped it. There has not been a single day that has passed without me cursing myself for doing it.”

James avoided his gaze, staring hard at his glass. The cold scotch glinted golden through the reflecting light.

Morgan waited for him to show some sort of reaction. But he remained silent.

“I know all this,” He said, waving his hands around, “Might make me look like the bad guy, the guy who walked away with all the blood money.”

“But I just could not let everything we worked for, everything Sarah died for, go to waste.”

He carefully took his foot off the table and bent closer towards James, desperate to get his attention.

“James, listen to me. I want to let you know exactly how sorry I am, and what my real intentions were. The research was a success, and the bots have already been set up for mass production. I cannot continue to reap the benefits of our success whilst you burn this bridge.”

James finally took his eyes off his glass, looking up into Morgan’s eyes. He waited for him to continue.

“I’ve already used whatever money I have left, to set up a cancer research fund, in Sarah’s name. The rest I wired to a separate bank account, the details of which,” he said, tapping on a white envelope on the table, “are in here.”

“It’s yours, the original 33%. I don’t care if you think I murdered her, or if I’ve come this far only because of her death, but you are going to take this envelope whether you like it or not.”

James’ mouth formed a bitter line, trying not to look at the envelope.

“And I also wanted to make sure you know that there is no one who regrets that day, more than I do.” He finished quietly, leaning back into his armchair, waiting for James’ response.

James looked at Morgan weakly, unsure of what to do. Morgan’s desperate plea for absolution had left him disoriented and confused. The one shining beacon of hope for his growing darkness was Morgan’s death, and now the clearly defined culprit had shown remorse.

He felt weak and lost, like an abandoned child in a departmental store. The gathering darkness surrounded him completely and his one defense gave in entirely. His eyes blurred as he blinked around, sweating. He opened his mouth to utter the first words from his side. “It’s hot-“

He wiped his brow and blinked through the sweat. Poison? He thought, looking up at Morgan. No, he had genuine concern on his face.

Morgan got up to decrease the temperature. As he got up, a hazy figure took his place, sitting on the armchair.

She wore the same gown that she had on, the night of their breakthrough. Her lips, as red as ever, opened slowly, as she bore her gaze into James’.

Kill for me James.” She said yet again, her haunting memory leaving no detail to the imagination. Her eyes had the same hungry look that she had when she leaned in during their dinner. “Avenge my death.”

“But he, he is right. We all knew what we were getting into..” He muttered to himself. He wiped his eyes, letting the ghostly pale figure fade away. Morgan returned to his chair, a worried expression on his face. “You alright James?”

But James was not listening. His cursed words rang once again in his ears. Why don’t we try it on ourselves then?

He straightened out in the sofa, looking at Morgan once again.

“You were right Morgan, you did not murder Sarah.”

Morgan let out a huge sigh of relief as he took a sip of his drink, his shoulders drooping in reprieve.
James let his drink down and reached into his pocket. “We did.”

And with that he finally pressed down on the trigger, his last burst of guilt silenced as he let the darkness and torment die out in the blinding light of the raging explosion.

He closed his eyes and sank into the sofa as he heard the beep of the transmitter, as the walls collapsed and the glasses shattered. And as he drew his final breath, a faint smile formed on his lips, feeling Sarah’s gentle peck on his earlobes, her smooth skin grazing against his bristly cheek.

He heard her voice whisper one last time, “Let’s get outta here James. I think a little celebration of our own is at hand.”

And then the light consumed them both.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Messenger

He rode hard, his fixed on the journey ahead
His clinquant cloak flowing behind him
His beast was focused
Obey the Master, it had to

He was focused
His Belief was strong
He did not complain
Obey the Master, he had to

He'd been riding for years now
His message had to be delivered
There was no stopping now
Obey the Master, he had to

Men were giving up on the Master
He had to stop that, he knew he was late
But the message would be delivered
Obey the Master, he had to

Humans would welcome him
He would be their savior
But he knows, to the Master
He will always be just
The Messenger.

Monday, May 23, 2011

By The Light of The Moon

The Gibbous Moon

The Secrete lies in Insanity

The Gibbous Moon

Have you found my mind,Dear?

Stares, never ending, Hallways,everlasting
come inside,have no fear...

Do you hear the laughter,Cold and High?
Children play,with Secrets and knives.

There stands a Man in the field,
His eye are white ,his soul is Black.

He stalks you now,his Blade is Sharp,
tainted by Evil,born of Misery.

The Trees have grown Dark, Menacing,


Enveloping the Darkness.
Trapping it inside,as it Festers and grows.

The Gibbous Moon,

The Dead,entombed in Darkness, sleep Light.

The Gibbous Moon,

Dive into the NIGHT.

The Gibbous Moon,

The Haunting has now Begun...

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Author's Note: To readers of the Sandman chronicles, this story shall have much greater significance. So read the Sandman chronicles. Or die ignorant.

Our lives are brief in the reckoning of the universe. Brief quivers in the canvas of existence.
Anachronisms in the natural order of things. Things of life, intruding where there should only be darkness.
Listen well then. I shall narrate the story of your life to you. From birth to death.

The first nine months of your life, are spent in utero. Or in vitro for some. 9 months spent drifting in between dreams and reality. In the few moments you spend awake, you kick and push, unhappy at being woken from the warm embrace of the surreal, rebelling against waking into a liquid prison.
At the moment of your birth, your first act, is to breathe in, to steal a taste of this new world you have emerged into. You bawl and weep, knowing that the years of life that follow, are nothing if not cruel.
One prison traded for another.
For the next few months, as any parent or elder sibling will know, you spend most of your time crying, whenever you are not asleep. A small and futile attempt to regain the sweetness of oblivion your soul knew but a brief time before.
Fast forward through the years.
By this time your memories of the womb and the years that follow are faded. Your mind attempts to shield you. Knowing what you have lost, what you have traded in exchange for life, would drive you insane.
Let us think of the present.
School, college, work.
A schema most peoples lives follow.
Whenever you are not weighed down by the mundane restrictions life imposes, your time is divided into three things.


You seek distraction to fill the time, to take yourself away from reality. To escape from the poison of your choice. There's no dearth of them. Abusive parents, poverty, unpopularity, depression, sickness, boredom, sometimes just the sheer mundanity of life. And luckily enough, there are whole industries revolving around your desperate needs. Booze, drugs, video games, movies, prayer. A wonderful world we live in.


As a friend once told me, "it's human nature to flock into groups and companionship".
And he's right. Without other people around, you will quickly succumb to loneliness. It's why unmanageable convicts are thrown into isolation. Even the hardest of us will crack under the weight of total silence. People can be broken, shattered into myriad pieces, never to be put back together, if they are shut away from the world for too long.

But what is the point of this flocking? Why do you long so, for companionship, that often as not, rejects you? If you can learn that fire burns, why do you insist on being repeatedly burned?
It is a longing for the feeling of one-ness. A departure from the painful individuality of life. To return to the natural state of absolute harmony you knew ever so long ago. Before it was stolen from you by life.


This one's easy. You sleep because you need it. Your body cannot function without it. But there is more to it than just exhaustion. In the womb, you slept, you soul set free from it's chains. And so it remains. For a brief span of time, you are free. Oblivion once again, so pure and sweet. Free to create castles and dragons. To dream a dream of a time gone by.

And so it goes. Every day for the rest of your life. An unwilling player in this play of epic proportions, unknowing.

And finally you die.
You become old and gray. Your bones frail and brittle. Your mind dulls. All that you once loved, now no longer seems to hold any significance. All that you can think of now, is how tired you are. How weary of living you have grown. You cannot distract yourself. You cannot seek refuge in friends and loved ones, they cannot understand how your age weighs on you. They cannot empathize with you. They remain submerged in the illusions of youth and strength.

Lady Death stands over your shoulder, and waits politely for you to take her hand. Where she was once terrifying, a greedy hag, eager to steal what is rightfully yours, she is beautiful now, benevolent, waiting to guide you home. To where you truly belong.

As you breathe your last, you sigh, for in that last moment of life, all illusions are laid bare, the truth is made apparent. You think of your mother, and smile. Content in the knowledge you shall meet her again.

Lady Death takes you by the hand. Her hand is warm, comforting, a sign of paradise to come. And so, you die.
And the curtain falls. There is no applause, for there was never a play at all. No play, no theater, no actors, no audience. It was all just a dream.

And now you are awake.


And thus the story goes. For each one of us. We move between worlds, time and time again. In this life or the next. Between what is true and what is false. Between dreams and reality.
Our entire lives are spent waking.
And so the story goes. Until the end of time. And when the universe has reached it's end, Lady Death shall put the chairs on the tables, turn off the lights and lock the door to this life behind her.
And then we shall all wake, for the last time.
And so the story ends.

The hardest thing to do in this world is live in it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Forever and After

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A black cloaked figure drifted across the white plains. In the moonlight, the discerning glint of his sword shone through his robes.

He let his hood slip to his neck, revealing himself to the watchers. His expression appeared pained. He stared at the base of the tree ahead of him. His brow furrowed for a fleeting instant, yielding to the turmoil inside his head.

A silver tear slid down his cheek, trembling on his chin before plunging to the white grass below.

He knew there was no turning back and that she would be ready. But he had already set out to end this sickening task, and he would not return without her head, if he would return at all.

And so he ignored the tree of torment that guarded the citadel, quietly whispering the counter curse as he soared past. The white leaves withered and slowly floated to the ground.

He stood at the base of the gate, head lowered, hands loose. The watchers were nowhere to be seen, but he knew they would come. He took a deep breath, picturing the carnage of the village, using it to fuel his hatred. And then finally, he let his hands drop to his hilt.

With a dull numbness he danced through the guards, his sword flashing around like a third limb. The bodies fell around him, like wooden puppets released from their malevolent strings. He ducked and swiveled, twisted and jumped, ending the lives of the legendary watchers as if they were just another training dummy. He only felt a small sliver of amusement at the failure of defenses that had thwarted two whole armies before the King begged at his feet for help.

Past two more watch-posts and three flights of stairs, he finally reached the main hall. The giant doors swung open at his touch.

There she was, in all her wicked magnificence. Her red and black robes clung to her lithe body displaying her dangerously seductive curves.

There she was, the woman who had tortured and murdered an entire race.

There she was, the woman who had climbed the hierarchy of the lands, felling the leaders of yesterday before assuming her position as overlord.

There she was, the woman who he had fallen in love with a decade ago, his wife, his lover.

There were no words, there were no greetings. She bowed, her gaze never leaving his. Her face had changed since the last he saw her. Her beautiful face had acquired a malicious shade, making her look more terrible, yet even more attractive. Her pale face bore the slightest hint of a bitter smile as she flew into the air, swords appearing in her hands.

He managed to deflect the first blow, raising his hands just in time. But as she spun and lashed out furiously, he only ducked and swerved away, keeping his eyes on hers.

Perhaps he still had hope, perhaps he still believed that she would remember those words of eternal passion and lust, whispered under moonlight a lifetime ago.

Moonlight filtered in through the magnificent windows of the hall, but all she had for him were the whispers of their swords glancing past each other.

“Ella!” He gasped, out of breath. She paused for a second, contemplating his gaze.

He swallowed hard, trying to find the right words that would make everything back to normal, the magical verse that would fix everything.

He was one of the greatest casters that ever existed, but they never taught that one in the academy.

“Why?” He finally managed to blurt out.

She cocked her head.

“Why?” Her icy soft voice made the hair on his neck stand. “It is you, who have come here with you’re your sword held high, Malliken dearest.”

“No Ella, Why this?” He said, waving his free arm around the hall. “Why destroy the Ellids, why kill Lord Eru, why enslave the city?” He said, his voice almost pleading.

They let go of their locked swords, straightening out. She turned away, facing her throne.

“We both know why love. We who are the greatest of the warriors who have ever lived, we deserve all of this.”

“What? Genocide? Killing Kings?”

She turned around her face lit up with a terrifying scarlett fire of passion and rage.

“Yes! Yes!” She laughed wildly. “Immortality, power, bloodshed. It is destiny of us warriors darling. It is our birthright. Didn’t master say it himself?” She bent in closer. “’You two are destined for greatness’?”

He roared in anger, lashing out for the first time. His jab was easily flicked aside with hers. She gracefully parried the next three attacks before leaping backwards, closer to her throne.

“Greatness?” He shouted. “You call this greatness? You are a mass murdering lunatic Ella! A monster!” He took a deep breath before raising his hand in the air. “A monster that I must slay.”

He uttered a quiet incantation before lunging at her once more. His sword shot out sparks of energy on every hit, weakening her with every blow. Her bitter smile turned to a frown, and then an expression of pure rage as she realized that he had every intention of ending this tonight.

She quickened her pace, attempting to push back against his onslaught, but she failed miserably. He feigned a lower jab before twisting his wrist upwards, swatting away her left sword and nicking her waist.

She screamed in frustration. “So is this it dear?” Her voice filled with sardonic love. “Is this where ‘forever and after’ ends? Is this where ‘I’d die for you’ faces its ironic demise?”

He stayed silent, stepping closer for another blow. She sneered and swung at his head.

In an instant he disappeared from her view and reappeared behind her. He held his sword to her neck, disabling her attack.

“No Ella, dearest,” He whispered sadly, “It ended the day you left me for power.”

He turned her around one last time, planting a long kiss on her defiant lips.

“It ended the day you ended another’s life.”

Another lone silver tear trickled down his cheek as he thrust his sword between her ribs, wincing as he heard her shriek out.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered one last time.