Leaping feet, sword
in hand and a silent battle cry filling my mind with blasting rage.
I saw her coming
from the other side. Shinning white armor, determined stride, face
Overtaken by a
terrible ecstasy, my eyes blazed with glorious hatred, my arms
transformed into weapons of justice. The command had been given. The
enemy was in sight. First blood was about to be drawn.
But then, she
stopped. Right in the middle of the battlefield, she stopped. Idly
staring at me, staring at her own demise.
All the better for
me, I thought, and tightened the grip on my sword. Adrenaline pumping
in my veins and I kept running, but the more I did, it felt more like
her unmoving image floated towards me, like I didn't move at all. Or
maybe I was stuck on the ground and something else was what pushed me
forward. Someone else. I could feel the friction, the resistance,
dragging me down more and more as I closed in.
So, the moment I
reached in front of her I stopped too. Like some godlike force
outside of my realm of comprehension abandoned me to the inevitable
pull of gravity, back in my earth-bound fate and the stillness of it
I stood there
staring at her, accompanied only by the constant ticking of clocks.
Starting and stopping, dictating the war's pace.
I was looking at a
mirror. That's what it felt like. Her arms touching my things, her
hand holding my weapon, her unmoving silhouette matching my own form
in every single manner. All but one. Her color was all wrong. She
seemed like a negative image of me. Compelled by the invisible wall
in front of me, I couldn't take a step further. Frozen in place, I
only raised my eyes, until they met hers. And when I peered inside of
them, the reflection I saw was of my true self. So different, and yet
all the same. It was our role which defined us, not the colors of our
banners. We were alike because we shared the purpose our rank and
place commanded. That of the foot soldier and the first line of
attack. While looking into each others eyes, the realization I knew
we both experienced, was the reason why no one would attack. For
raising an arm against the other was to threaten oneself.
We stayed like this
for what felt so long, that the rage and hate all now seemed like a
distant memory of a warlike game. Lost in introspection about the
vanity of violence and the real purpose of existence.
But the battle was
not over, and the clocks were ticking still.
The sound of horse
hooves returned me to the battlefield. The rider galloped closer and
stopped right next to me. I didn't turn my gaze from her, but I saw
his horse hitting the ground and neighing in the reflection of her
And we were one no
Like my reflection
in the mirror acting on its own, I was taken by surprise, as she
raised her sword and cut down the horse's head. I heard the thud. I
knew one of my own was down. Ignoring my presence, she moved out from
my sight and stood beside me, above the rider's corpse. I knew she
was, but all I could see now, now that the distraction of her was
gone, was a vast battlefield stretching away in front of me.
A new sense of
purpose burned inside of me. Lying in the distance behind the enemy
lines, trough a series of unoccupied spaces, a new path led to what
was now the sole reason of my existence. There was no other way for
me now. Reroute. Reroute to remain relevant.
The battle raged on
and on, and I kept being pushed forward towards a holy grail most of
my kind will never live enough to realize. The crowning achievement.
Where I would be exalted among my people. My chance to become
The clocks kept
ticking. The slaughter and the pain was fading all around me and I
forgot about her, and her fabricated self reflecting illusion, which
had enchanted me so. My goal was coming closer and closer by the
stride, shedding its white light all around, until it became a
radiant platform. The final space.
I stepped inside. I
was there. Its burning embrace engulfed me and weightless, I was
lifted up. I reveled at the glorious moment, as my body stretched and
transformed and a black crown was set upon my head. In my new
imposing form, I stared down at the battlefield. It was not over yet,
but the board had changed.
A new queen had
Far in the distance,
I saw her again. She had seen it too. Her own holy grail. I couldn't
let that happen. I dashed through the battlefield among towers and
knights, bishops and pawns. She could not be granted the same
blessing I received. She was the enemy once again and I was set to
atone for my missed chance to show that to her. To prove to myself,
that she was mislead and stranded from the righteous path. In an
instant, I was behind her. She was almost there. Too bad. I sliced
her throat. Sorry, we are not the same any more. Maybe, we never
A hedonic chill
crept up my spine as I felt the surge of raw power flooding my veins.
The taste of blood. The superiority of my being, dominating and
awe-inspiring. With maddened eyes and drooling rage I raised my head,
looking for my next target.
“Check.” A voice
from beyond this world, commanded.
So I turned, and I
Neither his regal
white garments, nor his oversized crown could conceal the crippling
fear reflected in his eyes.
When morals were
held in hand alongside faith, and people were content to surrender to
powers beyond their mortal capability, for a divine favor.
And life is always
The people of the
village of Onslo knew it well.
Stuck like a limpet
on a sea rock, the village rooted against a steep slope, close to the
highest peaks of Mount Vunio.
On its feet, the
thick cloud blanket kept the village away from an old, forgotten
world beneath. The Cloud Gods were not remembered fondly, or
hatefully there. In such a place their names were nothing more than a
Someone else's tale.
But for the people
of Onslo, the giants carried a relentless winter on their backs. And
spring, was something that had to be earned, by blood and sweat and