Friday, July 22, 2005

Not anymore

The archer stood on the mound. Alone.

Every man learns to be alone. In preparation. Readying himself for the final eventuality. And over the years, with every battle he had fought, the archer had learnt this lesson well.

On this day -- one of many ends -- he stood looking over a plain. A plain that had been green with grass. Now it lay red, dirtied. Dirtied or purified, depending on whose side you were on. The wind picked up. It sought the archer, whipping his ragged battle-robe about him in a frenzy, rattling his chain mail armour, his quiver, and the few arrows left in it.

The archer's eyes came to rest on the lone knight still left on the field. He saw the knight see him. At that moment, time stood, as realization played catch up. For both of them. The archer reached over his shoulder for an arrow. The knight egged his tired mount towards the hill. And time moved again, as reality caught up.

The archer moved slowly, bringing up his long-bow, his motions now resigned. The knight charged steadily up the track to the top. Sometimes Death is all that is common. It didn't matter which side you belonged to, whose oath you had taken, what colour your flag was. The archer picked up his bow for what would be the last time. At least the last time for today. He saw the knight's scimitar glint, its purpose never in question.

The arrow lined up with the bow, the archer squinted as he took careful aim. It was now like breathing, aiming was. He adjusted for the wind expertly, and then let go. Aiming and letting go had become a form of meditation for him. It was what he did. It was what he was.

He lowered his bow and heard the arrow splinter the wind as it hissed single-mindedly towards its target. The knight heard it too, though he couldn't see it quite as well. Yet, he charged, his sabre held firm, his grip on the reins unrelenting. Confronting Death was second nature to him. It was what he did. It was what he was.

The archer heard the arrow hit home. He saw the knight fall. The plain was empty once again. If the corpses were discounted, that is.

"Game over - Restart? Y/N" the window popped up abruptly, breaking my thoughts. They don't make these games like old anymore, I sighed, stifling a yawn.

8 comments:

Samudraa said...

:)

Ravi said...

Interesting. I'm reminded of the film 'Enemy at the Gates' and the vivid description of a shooting at the beginning. :)

The Man Who Wasnt There said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Man Who Wasnt There said...

damn it! Probably the first time ever I came out a cropper second guessing the end!!!!
That was mean.....

*Still berating myself for not guessing that....damn!*

thoughts said...

grrrrr... that was not fair!!!

musafir said...

@ samudraa: ;)

@ ravi: Ah, interesting connection you draw there. As for the movie, must admit I have a soft corner for it - Jude Law and Ed Harris are quite brilliant, don't you think?

@ girish...! : LOL. There, there, you don't have to take it personally! Just wanted to break away from the mood of the recent posts, that's all.

@ thoughts: Couldn't resist the twist!

. : A : . said...

:-)

Nice imagery and twist.

musafir said...

@ .:a:. : ;)