In the day that was a night, I had a dream that was no dream.
And through a child’s heart, into my own, came the stinging blade of a memory I was never supposed to recall.
But I’d chosen to break the barriers of the mortal mind – my soul had screamed for truth above all else, and now would bear its burden.
The pain which had long resided in my chest absent explanation was at once understood, and even cherished. I saw a past life – a failed attempt to save an innocent.
…from the hands of a man “guided by God” came the boy’s death, and my own.
Dreams were not enough – I sought understanding. For how many lifetimes have I mourned your death? How many centuries have I held fast to my vengeance? How much resentment can yet remain in my hardened heart?
More than words can ever express.
You, who kill for Gods you don’t understand. You, who send young men to their deaths over words and names which mean nothing.
Blinded, retched, vile, decrepit, poisonous men who serve only your own hearts.
All motivated by greed, lust, and power. Yet it is not the scapegoat of original sin, but your own sin! Your own choice!
And so I live the same life – the same struggle – for the thousandth time. Aware, but unwilling to accept the Master’s lesson.
A solemn sage, ready but unable to rest, though the child in my mind long ago found his place in the warming light.
Still, I see hatred in the eyes of the pale horse’s rider.
And I hear the voices of his masters crying “He needs but time!”
My conscious cries out contrarily – “He needs but time in cleansing flame.”
Each night I tame my thoughts, and awaken once more in the day for those in need of comfort or friend.
My only purpose – to help another.
My only happiness – to help another. And to slay the man who slew the child, for fear that I may yet become him!
For even as human nature is so depraved, do I not stand a human?
The one lesson so long refused – to forgive the hearts of lesser men: those who rape, murder, thieve, and lie for naught but their own amusement. A lesson I refuse even still, needing no master to guide my heart. And in each life, there is more pain – and in each pain, a greater resolution – a solemn vow – to endure, but never forget.