Forever

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I wake that night is glistening with the stars of the gods. Smiling I go outside and I smell the scent of the clean fresh breeze. My warriors are still sleeping. The scouts saw the Roman army heading our direction.They were coming to take us over. Sighing I went to the river to bath before I dressed in my armor. Suddenly I saw a woman sitting there on the bank as I neared, washing something. As I got closer, time seemed to stop. That is my armor..... No...it can't be. "Child warrior of the night this is your last night to fight, you're mortal soul is coming to wander the halls of my ebony palace," the woman said and I knew she was Morrigan, our goddess of death. Fear wanted to strike me down but I supressed it. The woman disappeared, dissolving onto mist and I felt a single tear slip down my face. I'm going to die. But my death will be honorable. I'm going to die in battle. So as the sun rose I dressed in my armor and woke my warriors for battle.

The sun rose and I sighed. My warriors are ready and dressed in my own armor, I couldn't help but think that I wasn't completely ready to just give up. And the tears that wanted to flow down my cheeks wouldn't come. And then I heard Brion call to me. I smiled at him. Brion.... I'm going to miss him. He's the only one I've ever felt so close with. "The Romans!" he yells, "They're here!" And I rise to my feet. "Men! We are the last stand against the Roman tyrants. You are the last of the great men! And though we may die today, we will live on forever in memory and history! So tell me! Do you trust me to lead you there?!" I yelled. I could see the inspiration and swelling courage and pride glowing from their eyes. And they cheered and yelled. "So let us fight!" I cried and they yelled and cried out all over again. I would miss them. It always hurt to loose a fellow warrior, but how would they take loosing a commander. Goddess I wish you wouldn't have told me that I was going to die today.

Suddenly Brion came over to me and pulled me aside. "Álmaith what troubles you?" he asks and I turn my face from him. "Brion, I'll not make it through today. I've seen the goddess Morrigan. She's coming to take me away from all of you," I said softly so he was the only one who could hear. Pain shot through his eyes and I wanted to cry all over again. "Dearling, I've wanted to say this for a while now. I've loved you for a long time now. And now that I tell you, you're leaving me. You're leaving us all. We all love an respect you like a sister or mother, but I love you like I would my wife," he says and I whisper," Oh Brion, I'm so sorry." But before I could utter any more, he kissed me, harshly and passionately. And I kissed him back. We pulled back suddenly when the horns sounded and I said softly," I love you too. But it isn't my choice to leave you. And it's not in my blood not to fight so don't even ask." And I stepped away, walking to the front line. The tears that wouldn't come earlier ran freely down my face now. I love him so much and now he'll never know.

I heard a voice as we lined up in formation, with me at the front to command. But I disregarded it. I must be hallucinating. And then as the Romans gave their battle cries, we charged them. When our forces met, the clash of armor and swords was deafening against the morning sky. And my heart cried for Brion as I charged with them, cutting down Roman soldiers, their blood running down my blade. Suddenly I hear my name being called out. I turn and see Brion falling to his knees, blood running profusely through a gash in the center of his armor. "No!" I screamed, my head swimming. I ran to him, cutting down anyone in my path. But as I was about to drop beside him, I heard my name being shouted all over. "Álmaith!" my warriors cried out just before I felt the air in my lungs escape my lips and I shivered as a metal sword drove into my heart. I fell to the ground, reaching for something, anything to stop my fall. I was inches from Brion, so close that I could feel his warmth. I saw him yell from his huddled position and I saw him trying to drag himself to me. I saw him talking, yelling but I heard nothing but my own heartbeat in the mind-numbing silence. The violent hammering of my heartbeat was fading fast and I can’t seem to concentrate. I couldn’t feel his arms around me, nor hear the soft words he was whispering. I was alone in death, just like everyone always said. With every shaky breath I could feel myself bleed out a little more, my body leaking the poisons of my existence. My first response was to panic, but then everything was becoming so lucid, so calm, so very fast. I wanted to fight it, to fight death. And I wanted to run away, not to let it catch up with me. But you can’t fight death any more than you can run away from it. Faintly I thought, “Of course, I had to die now. So close to love that I can taste it upon my tongue.” But then my mind seemed to go blank. It's so cold. Everything's so cold. But as I began to loose that last shower of life, I could feel the ocean crash, spraying tears against the shore for its fallen daughter. I could feel the rain splashing on the world that I’d never see again. And that was when I realized that I could still think. And once I figured that out, I could feel. I felt Blake’s tears fall hot and sore upon my bloody skin and I wept. I just wept. Not for me or the life I still had in me to live. No, I wept for the man I was leaving behind. I was leaving behind the only person I had ever loved more than the battle. And my pierced heart throbbed at the idea of loosing him. I looked up at his tear-stained face and I wanted just one last kiss before I passed. ‘It was never supposed to be like this,’ was all I could think. I was never supposed to fall in love. I wasn't supposed to hurt anyone but my enemies. But then I met Brion and everything changed. I fell in love. I was so reluctant and so shy about it. And somewhere along the way I got caught up in all there was to offer and I let myself let go. I let myself indulge in love. And the cost is so much more than I could bear. The cost is my death. And now I'm at it. I'm at the end.

"Brion," I whispered, blood bubbling on my lips, don’t let them kill us both.” And with those words finally said, I watched him nod in response. Goddess! This can’t be the end! Not this suffering in silence. I could see him talking and crying, yet not a single sound of it made it to my ears. It was almost as if I were deaf. And then I felt it. I was on my last breath. I lifted a tired, shaky hand and I pulled him close. And with that last shuddering breath I kissed him with all I had left in me. I pushed all my life into him and smiling softly as I fell back, limp.
And when I felt him lay down beside me I shuddered. My vision swam and the colors ran together. I hardly saw the Roman soldier come to me and pull me up to him. "Do you wish to live on?" I heard faintly, and I couldn't answer. I want to live but what is the price of living? But he didn't wait for an answer. He bent and bit me. I'm in too much pain already that I never felt the sting of the man's fangs. But I did feel the drip of blood into my mouth. Then the word swam even more in fire and in ice. Everything hurt and I screamed but no one could hear me. Distantly as I was fading, I heard the same words, "Do you wish to live on?" But I knew that they weren't directed to me. Who then? And then the word faded to black.....





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