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2018 Apr 17

15 minutes: Blood dries slow

For me, it's been decades, and it's still not dry yet.

There was fresh blood on my sword now, blood that has been gathering ever since that spring day when I was still young. But it's different blood now. This is not the blood I'm worried about, though each new cut helped heal the original wound. For twenty three years, I've been chasing a dream. Not a dream of flowers or peace, because that dream is gone, but a dream of burying my blade in the back of those who took my life from me. Chains could not hold me. Prison walls could not contain me.

Occasionally the blood on my sword would be dry, but I never allowed it to stay that way for long. The memory of what happened 23 years ago continued to replay itself in my mind. The panic, the rage, the helplessness, the adrenaline coursing through my body. Each time that day flashed before my eyes, the blood would be as fresh and wet as ever.

I wasn't so helpless anymore. After a few years, you pick up a few tricks here and there. At first I focused on the sword, but now it was often mere distraction for death by poison or treachery.

I've been tracking my prey for two decades and they are all on the run now. They've offered peace before, money, land. But they don't try that anymore. Not after the first few who attempted it were lured into false negotiations, and were shot by hired archers. Now their numbers were dwindling. With each mark tattooed on my chest, they had one less member of their original conspiracy, one less ally to help them save themselves. The walls were closing in.

We all grew older together, and knew one another almost as well as some old friends do. But this was no friendship. The blood was not dry, and would not be until one side or the other perished.

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