“Through the darkness, I have fought, through the cold, I have battled, until, only I stand here, before you, ready to finish this war,” he says, his heart pounds in his chest, he grips the hilt of his sword tightly, and readies himself, as the gigantic beast charges towards him. He drives his shield into the beast and swings his sword valiantly, the beast whips it’s tail at him, he lunges forward, using the shield as protection, and drives the sword deep into the beast side, it screams in pain, in agony, knocking him to the ground as the beast makes it’s escape, and falls back, dropping itself to the ground a few yards away, letting out a low growl. He scrambles to him feet and grips his sword again, tossing his dented, damaged, now useless shield to the side.
“I will defeat you beast, it is my birthright, it is my destiny. I have battled my whole life for this moment, I have killed many men, women, and beasts to be here, before you. So come at me again you vile thing, for I will take your head back to the village when I remove it, and I will be a hero.”
“You have battled only to die!” The beast screams, it’s voice, like the sound of smashing glass, it leaps forward, letting out another low growl, then rushes towards him once again, only to stop a few feet from him, and, it smiles. “Tell me your deepest fears? Tell me what makes you cry? Tell me all these things, and I will take them from you, free you from their burdens, then, I will let you live, and all you need do is look, into my mirror, for it will grant all you desire, free you from your weakness, and make you, a true, hero.”
“Don’t try and tempt me beast, your mirror is as wicked as you are, what fate would befall me if I was to look into it’s depths, what foul quest would I have accomplish to be rid of the demons that inhabit it? Well beast, I chose none, I chose your head on a pike!” He says looking into the mirror, from the corner of his eyes, a twist of light flickers to life and then disappears, as his eyes widen in fright.
“I can smell the fear on you, the urine, are you scared Roman? Are you now waiting for what will be your undoing?”
“I am not scared to die, I am not scared of you, I have defeated all that you have put in my way, I have slain any vile creature you’ve summoned to protect you. I am not the one who is scared, it is you, the one who hides behind the mirror, the one who waits to pick off the scraps after all the others have done your dirty work. No beast, I am not scared, I am ready to rid this….” He feels the blade tear into his chest, he feels it pieces his heart, and then nothing, as the darkness takes him, his body collapses to the ground with a thud, lifeless, and standing over him, is the mirror image of himself, only, not, burdened by life’s fears.
You can read the original 50 Word Story HERE.
or, you can read The Grateful Dead – The Voice of the Mortals Expanded version HERE.