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a fine line Nov 18, 2011
There is a fine line between killing and being a killer. I've killed more people than I can count, more people than deserve to be remembered but I never felt like I was a killer at heart. I've killed for food, for shelter, for gold. I've killed for reasons that I cannot even recall at this moment. I've always seen myself as a good person, if not fully within the law. I value life in the way that you value food, you really miss it when it's gone. Up to now, I always thought I valued other people's lives as much as my own, but I think I'm going to put that to the test today.
I don't know what I was expecting when I joined the brotherhood. I knew I would have to kill, I was unprepared for the effect on me.
My first job was to kill a woman. A miner, a foreman, hated for this reason or that, but still a woman. Up to this point, I had only killed women when they attacked first, never for any other reason except survival. I knew where she was, I knew who she was, I knew how she would die. By my hand, one way or other.
Upon reaching the town, I scouted out my target. I keep calling her that because it's easier to think of her not as a human, but as a object. From a distance, I saw the target walking through town, minding her own business. She seems normal enough, as normal as anyone can be during times when dragons again rule the skies. Why would someone want her killed? I'm being paid to fulfill this contract, should I even care? Is it my place to decide if this contract is valid? All of these questions raced through my mind as I found a spot on a hill just outside of town. If I continue to think about these things, I may lose my nerve.
As I stood behind this large rock I had the vantage point of the whole town. As the target moved north along the path, I noticed an issue, a guard coming down from the north. They would meet at the crossroad, but this situation could get worse, two more guard to the east. If I do not make a decision I could lose my chance or worst yet, lose my nerve. Any hesitation and I could lose out to the so called good side of human nature, or what some would call the fear of imagined natural law. Why shouldn't I kill if I am the stronger? There has to be a reason why this target is wanted dead. Why does it matter when coin has always been the strongest force in my life.
Before I knew I had moved, my bow was in my hand with an arrow drawn. I had stepped to the line where a rational person would say I'm about to go to far. What will I find on the other side? Should I take another step? Would I lose all compassion for others around me, would I still be able to see right from wrong, would I forfeit my very humanity? If I let lose, would my soul also fly with the arrow, forever flying away from where it belongs.
For a brief moment, my target and the guard stopped, exchanged greetings, and turned east towards the other guards. Being the gentleman that he apparently was, he allowed my target to go first, obscuring the majority of her body from view. I pulled the arrow back to it full draw. At that moment, my mind was clear of all thought, only the baser instinct and the purity of breath and heart beat remained. Time itself seemed to slow to a halt. The arrow flew.
As a watched the perfect shot, something did fly along with the arrow, but it wasn't my soul. It was a false sense of morality and a distorted social paradigm that was holding me back from my true potential. It was the nature and the nurture, the foundation that I thought held up my world and all others. It was the man made barrier that had been forced on me and that I had erected. None of this mattered, as it was all a lie. The truth is the hunt, the truth is the survival, the truth is the will.
The arrow passed just over the shoulder of the guard, I doubt he knew what happened and then she fell. As she fell, so did all my inhibitions, doubts and fears. As I gathered myself up, the sun seemed to shine a little brighter, the snow seems a little more pure, and the air smelled a little more wild than it did mere moments ago. I never looked back to see the commotion, I didn't need too.
I would kill again because that's what killers do.
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