The Day It Was Hot At Dusk

The sun is just beginning to set.

My opponent and I enter the clearing on schedule.

We stand facing each other.

I recall the countless times I have been here before.

                Metal flashes in the sunlight.

                Rapiers clash.

                Blade upon blade.

                Oh how I loved that tone.

                In an instant it is over.

                Steel pierces flesh.

                The look of surprise on his face.

                                One falls, one stands

                                One dies, one walks away

                                                                                Weeping.

So here I stand once again

The heat is unbearable.

It is so hard to breathe.

I am drenched in sweat.

It started as so many others.

An unintentional insult.

The challenge answered.

The look of fear as my identity is revealed.

I glance at my opponent.

He is calmer than before.

So easy, so young, so sure of himself.

He has resigned to let the fates guide him.

We begin.

                Metal reflects the orange tinge of a fading day.

                Rapiers clash.

                Blade upon blade.

                Oh how I have grown to loathe that clamor.

                In an instant it is over.

                Steel renders flesh.

                A look of surprise on his face.

                                One falls, one stands

                                One dies, one walks away

                                                                                Smiling.

Sometime during my junior year of high school, I pulled one of the books my mother had displayed on the previously discussed desk. It was part of a two volume set: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. As I perused the book trying to work my way through Hamlet, I would occasionally skip ahead trying to find anything that would actually catch my interest. At one point somewhere in all of that text, I came across a sword fight scene. Trying to read the scene, I suddenly had the image of two swordsman weapons in hand standing of in quiet clearing. This is the result. I have never tried to pick up The Great Bard again; unless it was an assignment.

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