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Wednesday, 14 January 2009
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My Brother, My Killer
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Chapter Nine: The Dead Are The True Heroes


Eyes vexed into the distance as the sun began to set, open to its beauty but not registering his surroundings, as a sleepwalker in a nightmare world, the young knight stumbled towards the horizon, his body shaking by overwhelming sadness. Sorrow which dominated his mind, torturing him with memories of the times they had. He felt guilt but there was gratitude there as well: his death was an end. Finally this chapter of his life filled with his most precious and most desperate moments was at an end. Following closely in his wake an equally saddened woman whose main worry was over him: she already had the time to say goodbye to her first live. Once devoted to him, now his. Looking into oblivion, a great mirror for a man’s soul, it can tell a lot about the sanity of the said person. Simon had just ended the life of his greatest inspiration, his best friend and only brother. Whatever part of the knight had enjoyed life to its fullest to this moment, had died at the same moment his sword had pierced the vein of life of that shell that had imprisoned his friend. No matter whether he’d be in the entertaining act of hunt, the righteous smiting of the enemies of the land, in the arms of his love or looking at the blissful games of his progeny, there would be a beast of darkness looking there as well, hidden right there beneath his sockets. A black despair, procreated by his own guilty mind, that consumed the perfection of happiness. An endless pit of sorrow which would suck true pleasure from such acts as marrow from a bone, consuming his sanity from within. A voiceless whisper accusing him a murderer, a soulless taker of lives, or even worse: a vile and hated slayer of his own brother. His hand would ever be stained with his blood, no matter whether he’d wash it with water, confession or life. Within that pool of grief lay the seed of corruption. If pushed too far, it could sprout its thorny bush, numbing the mind and undermining a man’s compassion. Thus the circle would be complete, a new horror born from the last breath of the previous one. Can a man find true redemption for his greatest sins? How can one fight the alluring riches of despair, the releasing touch of insanity when guilt is ever condemning him? Who can sentence a man to peace from pain that he doesn’t deserve but does inflict upon himself? The answer is simple but ever so difficult and painful: fight it every time that ugly head showed itself. Shield your heart for the eternal and lasting blame. Live a life with passion and to its fullest. Make amends by not shaming the sacrifice. Only when one can be content with his efforts, one can suppress guilt. Suppress but never conquer.


Simon Gastinois, chosen of the Lady, kin to the ducal family of Gisoreux, lord of the Pinsson lands, former companion of Nicolas the Scourge, liberator of the land and paragon of chivalry finds himself standing before a single tombstone in a sea of leaves and grass. A light sea breeze brushed his face as he could smell the salt close by. Decades have passed since that fateful day. Time that has been bound to the chains of measurement passed day after day as a dutiful servant but it ever felt shorter as the memory remains. Time is a bandage that soothes but it will never heal the scar and still he could replay those final moments. Even though his hair had grown grey and scarce, his joints weak and brittle with fatigue and his voice weak by years of use, he had dragged himself here to fulfil the last duty he owed this world. A bit further but close by, the mass grave of heroes was now covered by a tapestry of flowers and grass. A single stone marker was all that remembers the site of that legendary battle between the forces of good and evil. The ballad had conquered every hall over the years: the epic tale of struggle of Simon the Pure versus Nicolas the Tainted. The names of other pawns of that epic chessboard of war forgotten by all safe one.


“It might be the last time I can visit you, my friend. The tiredness of the world is finally gaining on me, the kiss of the Lady weakening with every passing moment. Even standing here I can feel I’ll be seeing you again soon in the otherworld. I know Agnés wants me to say hi for her. Can you give her a kiss for me?” A lone tear trailed from his wind struck cheek, a sole survivor in an empty well. “Tell her that her grandson Leon has joined the righteous in search of her ultimate blessing, tell her that her children are all fine and that they miss her as much as I do. Tell her, no, don’t let her forget I love her as much as I am sure you are by her side looking over her for me. I never had the chance, my brother, to thank you for all you have done for me and her. Even now after a lifetime spent in this world, the memories of us three are the ones I’m most fond of. The new king has finally granted the request of this tired advisor to built memorials at the sites of large battles, soon your grave will be part of a greater mausoleum to remember of this victory but also what we lost. I hope to see it finished one day but I fear it’ll be the fruit of some-one else’s labour. I’m going home now. I can’t wait to see the order once more, to exchange wisdom with Jean, to hold Agnés in my arms and to look upon you once more. Farewell, my friend, my brother.


A lone poppy saw the knight with the hanging shoulders walk away. A beam of the sun broke through the clouded sky and shone on the mound. Somewhere the sea breeze howled as if it was crying.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 31 January 2009 )
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