Day 133 – The Hat of Destiny

Uhm. Rum?

 

 

Word count: 760

 

Jason had been waiting all his life for this moment. He swung his sword against the breeze and let it glimmer in the half light of the evening. Karl glared right back at him from the tip of his own sword. They were intertwined in destiny. For five generations their meeting had been foretold through legend, myth and bedtime stories. These heroes were men from the simple villages, who knew nothing of the greater being or the global peace. There were but warriors of their own loves and own passions; both manipulated by love and twisted by pain and grief.

 

 

They had both lost their parents to the other’s crusades. They had both suffered the loss of the other, but neither was prepared to look beyond and realise the greater good.

 

Jason bowed slowly to Karl. Karl returned. Jason slashed the air with his cutlass and launched himself in the air. Time crawled. Jason could see every cog of the world slowly churning. He could visualise each and every movement interconnect with each other. He knew how one action could affect another. He knew exactly how his decisions would impact his world.

 

Slam, clash, ting, tang. Their swords slapped off each other. Their dance was hauntingly intoxicating. If there had been any witnesses, few would have been able to steal their gaze away. But for the power of their cults, they were alone – black skies gathering in preparation for a mourning.

 

Their aim was their life. From the age of five, Jason had been instructed of little else. He was trained to be a fighting machine; no emotion, no self: only goals.

 

 

The hat sparkled in the sunshine in the middle of the lake. Dawn was breaking. A dragon swooped down low over the lake, sizzling the water to bubbling point with his fiery breath. His magnificent wings blew their hair over their faces, but still they would not remove their gaze from one another.

 

All night they had been fighting. Both were as good as the other. Neither appeared to be winning more than the other just as neither appeared to be weaker than the other. They were as if two strong souls from the same body, fighting irrationally with each other.

 

 

Karl stooped low into a graceful plea for discussion. This was not a sign of weakness in Karl’s society, but it was in Jason’s. Jason lowered his head slightly and drew a triangle in the air with his fingers. Discussions had begun.

 

 

“Are we not one?” Karl pleaded, “Are we not two halves of the same soul?”

Jason looked Karl dead in the eye, all emotion bypassing his sensors and allowing reality to go unhindered by opinion and doubt.

“My life is yours. We desire the same. We need the same. But we are not the same.”

“The hat is not ours to take.”

“Nay, it is ours to use.”

“No! We are the masters. We are the Masters of the Swords and we are the Masters of the Hat. We cannot defeat each other!”

Jason closed his eyes and remembered the words of his father. With a smooth strike, he cut through the air as if it were cutting through the blissful dreams of a childhood untouched by the cruelty of life.

 

Karl was slain, blood gushing from his sobbing wounds.

 

 

Crows dispersed into the sky from a silhouetted tree. The dragon roared in victory. The dark clouds began to rain and the hat slowly raised itself into the air.

 

It was his, it was Jason’s – finally. The straw hat rotated slowly as it hovered towards the victor, as if on display for the whole world. As Jason stretched out a hand to reach for it though, the hat slipped a few degrees into a slope towards an entirely different head. Jason could not believe his eyes. Hundreds of years of hatred and training, wasted in the final seconds. Jason was not the victor. Jason was not the champion, for the hat came to rest forever-more upon the head of the dying loser, whose body decayed into dust with a righteousness that Jason would never know.

 

The dragon swooped low over head and landed by the shore of the lake. Jason knew where it would take him. He did not need any instruction or direction. He drew a triangle once more in the air above his enemy’s body and mounted the back of the dragon, clutching on to its large, dry scales and flew off into the oblivion that was eternal failure and reflective solitude.

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~ by S.G. Mark on February 17, 2012.

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