Look at him: mesmerizing, as he moves through the motions of battle. Pivot, thrust, slash, block, parry, swing. He lunges left, he takes a slash to the shoulder, rights himself, throwing his body like a battering ram into his opponent. He moves well, I think, but...I used to move better.
Now...I can hardly talk, I am a hobbled, handicapped mess.
That man out there, it used to be me. But...I was far better. No one could touch me, I had the luck of the gods. Alas, like a starving puppy trailing hopefully behind, I paid that luck no heed. I gave it no scraps, or love, or attention, and then one day it was just: gone.
With a foot twice broken, a hand severed at the wrist—no, I had not stolen that horse—I have little to live for. Never been a friend to any. Pushed them all away. Like batting at flies—instinctual. Now, with a pittance of pay—the sad remains of pity from a commander that found some imagined value, I subsist.
Sure, it may be enough to while away the hours with a woman of the night, forgetting myself in their flesh and succumbing to the moment. But, despite the variety, even that is beginning to get old.
I am starting to wonder: What else is there for me in life? How can I continue; like a desperate man willing to do anything to stay alive—sustained by my commander’s leavening? Sitting here by the sidelines, idle, giving my comments and notes. Helping with strategy. Is that what my day and my night has come to? Because if that is it, I don’t know if I can last.
I’m THAT man right there. The one going through the motions of battle. A performer of death. Except there is one difference: I was better and now...I am nothing.
© 2012 Clifton Hill, all rights reserved.
I know, another cheery one, right? What can I say? There was an interest in the viewpoint of a warrior, full of life and unstoppable vigor, that has succumbed to age and wounds. What would they become, and how would they view life?
This was actually pulled from my voice notes file on my Blackberry. I've got FAR too many notes, stories, poems, etc. sitting idle, waiting for me to transcribe them and put them to some good (nefarious) use. Next Friday we will return to some poems of an Epic Fantasy setting that I have queued up, in companion and successor to the first one that I posted last week.
What do you think?