September 29, 2008
The opal chessboard glinted in the sun, as the game wore on. Each opponent wore hard faces of determination. This game is all they had in life. For them it decides who will live and who is destined to die. He made a move and diamond blood shattered the silence. She moaned in pain as a piece of her soul was annihilated. Tears streamed down her face, but she refused to scream. She was used to the piercing, jagged ache. He’d never known anyone who had survived as long as he had, except for her. She was the ancient age of seventeen. Biting her lip she continued the game. Every move they made killed each other, slowly, piece by piece and he had no idea how to stop it.

The game was coming to an end and the decision was about to be made. He gazed into her ancient, pleading eyes. A tear rolled down his cheek. “ I’m sorry, “ he whispered. She took a step forward, already embracing her fate. “ I love you, ” was all she said and she closed her eyes. He made his move and her scream pierced his heart, stealing it away from him. Her scream would not join the echoes of the other screams that refused to leave their games, for she had accepted her fate. Instead, the memory of her scream would echo forever in his mind. He stared at the place where she had died for a long moment.

Finally, he reached down and picked up the only peace of her soul that hadn’t been destroyed. It was her King’s crown and his trophy. He gazed at its star-like beauty. He held the crown against his cheek and kissed her heart goodbye. As the tears threatened to overwhelm him, he flung it into the ocean where it would finally be free. He couldn’t suppress his emotions any longer. He fell to the ground and allowed his emotions to flow freely, as he had never allowed before. Lying there, curled up, his body shook convulsively with his sobs. He neither knew how long he lyed there nor did he care. When he could see through his swollen eyes again, he realized the sun was setting and rose quickly.

He washed his face of tears and all emotion; and walked towards twilight with hunched shoulders and without a heart. Though he was alive it was at a price. He knew that as he got older, the cost of living would only get higher. He trudged on to his next game, with more screams and higher costs. He didn’t care if his scream would be the newest scream to echo the heavens. He was beyond the point of caring, beyond the point of feeling. Nothing mattered anymore. And he suddenly realized why he had been chosen to kill her - because he was their slave. Loving her hadn’t stopped him from killing and now he knew, that nothing could.

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