As I ran up the stairs of the tallest parapet of the grotesque castle that overlooked the river we called in my day the Mississippi, I was bleeding from a few minor cuts and my skin was bruised in many places, but I had never felt more alive. Nor had I felt more joyful.
Ahead of me ran Marcus, carrying his sword and with a light step as one who is running for pleasurable exercise. One might even say he carried the sword casually, though Marcus did nothing casually. All he did was carefully planned and meticulously executed. If Marcus had stopped to admire the sunset, anyone watching would have just assumed that was what he had always intended to do at that moment for those who knew him knew that none of his steps, moves or halts were in waste.
Holding my own sword in my right hand, it’s blade still flecked with black blood for I had had no opportunity to clean it, my mind went back briefly to how we had come to be there. I say briefly for it was just a matter of steps, but the mind works in overdrive when in battle and a million thoughts may rush through a mind in their completeness in less time than it has taken me now to write this sentence.