“I’m sorry I betrayed you Twila,” I whisper to my old friend as she lies on the floor, desperately gasping for air. “I’m really sorry,” I repeat, but we both know I’m lying. Our eyes meet, and the only thing I can hear is “Leave.” So I do. Just like that.
She only has seven minutes until the poison takes her life anyway.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I don’t know why. So I went outside and picked up my sword to practice by the moonlight.
I find relief in the familiar movements, my body moving without a thought. I swing, step back, and block, pretending someone is there, just as I used to when I was young. I gaze drifts from the gleaming blade in my hand and turns to the trees, the moon illuminating something moving.
I whip my head around, but see nothing. Yet, whispers seem to drift in the breeze.
A thin shaft of moonlight catches the edge of something metal, and the breath is sucked out from my lungs. Twila steps out from beneath the forest canopy, invading moonlight outlining her features in a nightmarish silhouette. Her once radiant umber brown skin is flushed with a green pallor and her wavy midnight black hair falls pin-straight and limp across her shoulders. Her pewter gray eyes however, shine as fiercely as ever, rivaling the metallic gleam of her unsheathed talwar. Ornate carvings and semi-precious stones litter the golden handle and leather sheath. I know the weight of that sword, the feel of the blade between your fingertips, the sound it makes when it cuts through the air and when it cuts through flesh. I know that sword, for I hold it’s perfect twin in my right hand.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, truly meaning it now. And as I said those words, Twila’s eyes softened. Yet, she approached me, sword drawn.
Try as I might, I could not lift my own weapon. It was lead in my hand.
But my heart didn’t race. I deserved this, I knew.
And then [name_f]Twila[/name_f] was close enough that I should have felt her breath. And she dropped the sword at my feet and faded into the moonlight.