Shit happens. It happens to all of us. When it does, it is hard to maintain a positive attitude and continue to focus on forward movement. I have a tendency to obsess, playing and replaying self-defeating scenarios that keep me stuck and miserable.
At lunchtime yesterday, I drove to the park near work intending to read. Depressed and unhappy, reading was the most energy I could manage. Instead, I took out my Neo, propped it on my steering wheel and just began typing. Before I knew it, I was three minutes late getting back to work. I couldn’t believe all of that time flew by. And I felt a million times better. That’s why I love to write.
* * * * *
Adam shivered in the cool of dusk. He awoke to the point of a sword. He followed the blade to the gloved hand holding the hilt. He continued up the wrist to the elbow and on up to the face looking at him. The face contained the normal features placed in the normal places with the exception of a mountain range scar beginning at the hair line above the left eye and moving diagonally down the forehead over the right eye across the cheek and ending at the tip of the right ear. The top lid of the right eye was glued to the bottom lid, oozing yellowish crusty bits. The other eye flashed a bright alert blue with each blink. The mouth worked like a bass out of water, all lips and no teeth.
Adam began to speak but stopped when the tip of the sword flicked up and carved a chunk out of his chin. He felt the warm driplets of blood fall on his collar bones. He waited for the sword’s next move.
The sword wobbled slightly in the palsied hand. The head wobbled a bit on the palsied neck. The mouth opened and words came out.
“Ya ain’t got much, have ya?” The mouth closed, the lips working against each other, forming their next thought. “Course, there is something to giving the very last that ya’ve got to give.” The sword rose and etched a cross on Adam’s right cheek. Blood blossomed in petals on his skin and poured down the stem of his scrawny neck. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, holding back the squeal of pain that came up from the empty pit of his stomach.
“Come now, ya can do better than that.”
Adam released an agonized scream as the sword sliced off the tip of his right ear.
“Now we are getting somewhere.”
Adam looked into the satisfied eye of his tormentor. Drool dribbled from the corner of the man’s mouth as if he were salivating over a juicy haunch of meat.
Adam watched as the man transferred the sword to the left side of Adam’s face. He clenched his mouth shut as the man sliced off the tip of Adam’s left ear.
“Now ya head will not be lopsided.” The man giggled with a sickening pleasure. “But ya have cheated me of my joy. Perhaps we need to raise the stakes a bit in our little game.”
The man began to slice up the left leg of Adam’s ragged breaches, nicking his thigh in several places on the way to Adam’s groin. Adam tried to suppress his cries and fear but tears flowed from his closed eyes. He sobbed and begged for mercy in mumbled and incoherent phrases.
The fiend cutting off bits of Adam gave a gargled cry and Adam opened his eyes when a heavy weight fell upon him.
The man lay dead on Adam’s lap, a dagger protruding from his back. The man’s blade lay between them gouging a new injury into Adam’s thigh.
Above them sat a man on horseback calming reviewing the scene.
“I don’t think the sheriff will mind much if all of your pieces are not there, do you?”
Two men on foot came from behind the horse at a signal from the rider. One hefted the dead man off of Adam and tossed him aside. He took hold of the sword and slung it into the pack on his back. The other man went behind the tree and cut the ropes binding Adam.
Once released, Adam fell over. The two men hauled him to his feet after binding his wrists and ankles and hoisted him belly down over the horse in front of its rider.
The rider spoke to the back of Adam’s head.
“What say you? I dare say, a nice clean beheading looks pleasing about now, aye?”