The Tyrant

He draws his sword; its polished steel, shimmering in the sun, shines like the clear waters of a bubbling brook. The blade races forward, stabbing at the heart of the tyrant. The old creature sneers as he leaps to one side, his boney hand stretching across himself, clasping the hilt of his own sword. The barbed blade scrapes the scabbard; the thorny sword drips with black poison. With a downward arc, he swipes at the exposed boy. The swords meet, resounding like bells struck. Their ringing blades beat faster and faster as parry follows repost. Circling in frenzied action around each other, they wander toward the cliff’s edge like a tossed coin falling through the air. The tyrant’s robes wave in the howling wind like red tendrils of fire; the boy’s dark cloak flaps like the passing shadow of an eagle. Soon, there is no more ground, and the boy steps onto nothing. His face, blank for a moment, stares at his hated enemy; then, with one final assault, he grabs at the trailing sleeve of his rival. The old man strikes the child, the poisoned barbs sinking into the pink flesh, but the dying hero holds. The little old man, for all of his speed and cunning, had not weight enough to stand. The embroidered silk of his clothes dragged him into his doom.

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