And I sink to my knees, head lowered, hands clutching at the earth beneath in despair…my entire frame shaking with antipathy.
Revulsion ripples through every fibre of my being. I look at you with unmasked hostility as you walk towards me.
Head held high, hands jammed into pockets, a natural look of indifference intermittently crossed with pity on those loathsome, perfect features…you regard me coolly, a silent reproach in your gaze at my helpless state.
But the steel lies sharply against my palm.
And you tap your foot almost impatiently, awaiting my response.
In that moment, the wind dropped, time stood still…everything froze.
Except for the blade carving your being, in an explosion of vermillion.
“Kill me, why don’t you?”
She mutters to herself more than to him, as she leans against the window-sill, conveniently turned away from him
“…I will do no such thing,” he responds, perfectly nonchalant.
She grimaces, her fingers instinctively reaching towards her left shoulder, wrapped in gauze. She glances back to notice the light bandage spread across his forearm. He catches her gaze, calmly returning the look.
She grows even more infuriated.
“Calm down. You won’t get your way if you lose track so easily.”
“Darn right. You wait.”
“Empty, meaningless threats.”
“I’d rather die than give in to you.”
And the sabre is pulled from her hands before she can strike, her hands caught behind her in a single grasp and he leans in to whisper, “Swordplay is like conversation, they say. You must learn to listen to your opponent.”
She drops to her knees and he stands before her, like the previous time.
Tower over me, your brilliance looming over my zeal like a dark shadow. And I shall always be but a mere silhouette, my sword not an expression of my spirit but an instrument of my regret.
Forever, forever burning in the inferno of my ardour…
He touches her shoulder with the sabre and she looks up, “Keep the fire alive but don’t let it consume you.”
…and so you dance and play to the same impatient rhythm, revelling in that violent upsurge of emotion before it gives way to complete stillness.