On the edge of the cliff the champion stands; staring down, into the abyss. His breath is steady, his fist clenched. His sword kisses the ground as the blood drips from its edge, his grip losing and his shield fastened to his back. The hustling tree leaves wither down to his knees as they clank on the ground. His sword, now lodged in the ground, casts a shadow in the escalating dust.
Kneeling, he looks up and explores the dust for an apparition, flinging dirt at her he wails in agony, and his moist eyes tell a long tale.
“I know you are not here.” He says, “but I wish you were.”
“I have believed love to be a construct of a talentless brain. I have long thought it was the passion of a man seeking solace and accomplishment in his otherwise fruitless life. A disease for the weak of mind.”
“I have traveled far and beyond. All my life I sought excellence, and my journey is far from over. I vowed I wouldn’t die a foot soldier, and my adventure has barely even begun. I have dreamt of battle cries and honor and valor and glory, and yet, the thought of gaining limitless acclaim in your eyes and dying a foot soldier otherwise instills no fear, initiates no despair.”
“My head is not quite sane, my mind not quite stable. These voices swirl around in my head like a storm, and into corners of my brain I did not even know I had. Some were there since birth; some are the cries of those my sword has slain and some are the fruit of my relentless will. For long I have sought peace in the taste of my enemies’ blood, and in the deafening cry of the battle horn, and yet, at the sound of your voice the whole world goes silent, the voices vanish. There is no sorrow, no delight, no despair, no joy; just your voice and the tranquillity that it inspires.”
He gets up and dislodges his sword, sheathing it he turns around to the sight of his friends and enemies, impaled and gored, lying face down in the dirt. The river of blood his sword had spawned finds its way from under his feet to the other side of the cliff as he says, “I wish…”