Xavid (kihou) wrote,

Dagger and Hand

Prompted by Pearls by Antje Duvekot, though I didn’t stick very close.

We all sell ourselves, in the end. Don’t have any illusions about it. I just cut a little closer to the violence, is all. Or I did, at least. Who knows what I’ll do now.

It’s not that it doesn’t matter what you do. I could be a saint the rest of my days and still not get these hands clean. But that’s true of more ov’em than anyone likes to admit. Taking someone’s roof, their medicine, they hide all that behind a wall of math and sip fancy kalch. At least a dagger’s honest.

And everyone’s gotta eat, in the end. If I lasted longer'n most, earned a nicer level of keep, I was still doin'a same as anyone.

So why am I here, with you, under this scrap heap? Well, it’s a funny thing. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something still manages to surprise you. I’m used to marks begging, offering bribes, invoking fell curses. I don’t pay such things any mind.

But this mark. A small-time warlord of a minor settlement. He was up in one of those blasted-out ancient towers. Just sitting there, by himself. Like he was waiting for me.

He shouldn’t have been able to see me, but he spoke. “Thank you.” I thought nothing would throw me, any more, but that took me aback somehow.

But I was a professional. I only paused a moment, then pulled out my gun and fired.

He lay there bleeding as I gathered my proof, but he scarcely seemed to be in pain. Must’ve been hopped up on something. Just said “I’d gotten tired. Now I can have something new.”

I don’t really know why it broke me, but it did. The world wasn’t the same after that. I didn’t want to kill, the money, to follow orders, any more. I didn’t want to be someone’s tool.

And, since my life wasn’t something you get to retire from, I had to leave, go into hiding. And now I’m here, I guess. Who knows how long I get before it catches up to me. But somehow huddling here, hungry, I don’t seem to mind.
Tags: boundless brainstorming, fiction, zan music thing

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