by Henry Wyckoff
An odd feeling passed through me as I walked through the dojo. I picked up a shinai and felt that it was one with my hand. In the past, I could tell if a weapon was of good quality, but this was different. "This brings back memories..."
Marie raised her eyebrows, "What kind of memories?"
I realized something, "I can't put it into words..." Something I had said quite a lot recently. "A memory of feelings. A state of being I once had." But they were more than feelings.
* * * *
It was another gymnasium. A much grander one in the open air, and made of marble. They were not wooden swords, but rather, they were real ones. Short leaf-blades. Everyone used shields as well.
The young men were all the sons of the well-to-do Athenians. One of them stood out. He looked quite different. Macedonian. He had an aura and a gaze that could capture a whole room. He won all mock-conflicts and real conflicts before they even arose.
* * * *
A diluted Scottish accent drifted towards me. "Let's see how much of that is deja vu, and how much of that is you speaking?"
Marie groaned at the way it sounded. I shrugged. "Pick your weapon."
He picked up a wooden katana. If I hit him hard, he would not be hurt too much. If he hit me, I'd be bruised for quite a while. I slowly smiled, moving towards the center of the room, where he faced me. I nodded my head, my eyes locked towards his chest, my eyes narrowed a little bit.
He bowed in a more formal manner, reminiscent of the Samurai.
I had no idea what Marie might have been thinking at the moment, but I wouldn't have been surprised if she were rolling her eyes.
The Scotsman seemed to move in slow motion, or maybe it was just that he was behaving so predictably. What happened next was reflexive, and smooth as a dream.
I slammed the shinai into his right hand as he came down with the two-handed swing. He grunted a little, letting go with that right hand. I followed through by thrusting the shinai into his sternum. It was solid enough to knock him back. His hands reflexively shot forward, where I slammed his left wrist. The katana fell to the floor with a clack, but it didn't end for me there. I slammed the shinai into his throat, where he fell to his knees, choking and gasping for breath.
I stopped before I could do anything more. I couldn't believe what I was about to do. For a few moments, I stood frozen, trying to stop the pressurized depression from exploding. At last, I was able to move again. The shinai fell from my hands, "I'm sorry," I whispered, helping the man to stand. "I don't know what came over me."
But I knew what had come over me.
A voice was echoing through my mind loud enough to have been heard by my ears. It was Greek. I don't speak Greek.
* * * *
Marie handed Duncan the coffee, "I'm really sorry, Duncan... I didn't know that this would happen."
He smiled wearily, "He's even sorrier than you are, and I've been hurt worse sparring with Richie."
Marie sighed, "I know. He acts like a flock of scared birds. Just when I think I have a look at what's inside, he hides inside of himself and won't let anyone in." She looked at him. "Do you think he has the potential for immortality?"
"It's hard to say." He sighed as well. "I think that you're right that he's hiding -- or maybe hiding something, and that's what's haunting him."
"He almost killed you in a few heartbeats. I didn't think that would be possible."
Duncan shrugged, "We're immortal, but not invincible. All you need are better reflexes and a strong arm. Or maybe desperation. I've been killed by a lot of mortals in my lifetime."
"But in those days, they grew up with the sword."
"Maybe he did."
Marie looked surprised. "I didn't think of that!"
"It happens," his expression was dry.
Amanda entered the room. "I think he's ok now. I showed him how to get
to the roof."
"What?" Marie was shocked. "You should have showed him the basement!"
"He's suicidal! He might jump off the roof!"
Duncan snorted at that, "He may be disturbed, but I don't think he'd go so far as to jump off. It takes a lot of guts to kill yourself, and I don't think he has those kind of guts." He looked at Amanda, "How long did you stay up there with him?"
"Long enough to make my head spin." She shook her head, "I asked him what was on his mind, and he started spouting philosophy on me. He's kicking back with a few of the beers that Methos left and smoking his pipe."
* * * *
I felt a bit of my unease flood away with the beers. A voice out of the past repeated her concern about my drinking. She had hinted quite a bit even though she could drink a lot herself. But I knew that my physical health didn't matter a bit if my soul couldn't gain some kind of peace. If it took alcohol, then so be it.
"How are you doing?" I heard Marie's voice float towards me.
"Is my well-being relevant to the world around me? Does it matter?"
"It matters to some people in this world, at least," she sat next to me.
A voice out of the past echoed through my brain. "You have to be able to tell yourself that you're a good person. You have to know that you are."
"Why are you so sad?" she laid a hand over my hand. So soft. It made me want to do things that I shouldn't be doing.
I took another swig of beer. "Something that I ask myself every day. It's irrational. It doesn't have a cause. It makes no sense at all." I looked at her, and saw her look away for some reason I didn't know. "I don't wake up in the morning and tell myself that I want to churn my guts and shred my heart to bits. It just happens. If anything, it's God or the Fates. They decide what happens."
"Do you blame them?"
"Who else can I blame? Every time I take fate into my own hands, all is turned to ashes. When I throw away my desires out the window and allow myself to be ruled by fate... I am functional. Just that." This time, she couldn't look away from my eyes, "Isn't that what's really important in this world? That we are FUNCTIONAL?!"
I couldn't speak anymore. I was trying too hard just to hold myself together. The one thing I wanted to do was answer the questions that she asked. The questions that I asked. But there were no answers to be had.
She left sometime later. There was something that did escape me then. Something I couldn't hold inside of me. "I miss you..." The sobs broke loose like a broken dam releasing a pent-up flood. At the same time, I was an observer.
|Previous Chapter||Door Main Page||Next Chapter|
|Main Page||My Fanfiction||Henry's Fanfiction||My Favorite Links||Webrings I'm On|