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StarMountainKid

The Killing

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                                                                    THE KILLING

When I reached my 21st year I was eager for the first real test of my new manhood. I was well prepared, my ritual dagger at the ready, waiting anxiously for my opportunity.

Favorable circumstances alluded me, however, for many weeks, longer than I wished, being the impulsive youth that I am. Always my victim kept close association, was alert, seldom alone.

It was the first days of spring, tender buds beginning to open in the fields and gardens of the village. I think it was this innocence of the earth’s new awakening that perhaps disarmed him as we strolled one fresh morning together along a quiet forest path, the trees above beginning to flower against a clear blue sky.

We talked casually of mundane affairs of the village, then paused to view the greening valley beyond. The moment was ripe.

I reach into my cloak, my dagger feels firm and cool in my hand. I spring! I strike! Caught by surprise, he faces me, a look of startled knowledge in his eyes. He clutches his chest, hesitates, falls gently as an old tree falling silently in the forest.

Lying still in the dew grass at my feet, I stand over him. I watch him closely, dagger firmly in hand. His eyes flutter and open slowly. He stares upward as if waking from a dream. Slowly he sits, carefully rises to his feet, stands before me, his gaze peering deeply into mine.

I say, “Thank you for dying, father.”

He says, “Thank you for killing me, my son.”

We embrace. Taking my hand, we continue our walk together, sunlight filtering down upon us through the newborn branching blossoms of a fresh and new morning.

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