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[Fiction] Long-Good Night and Amen


Hugin

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Peace.

Tranquility.

Calm.

These are the things that I search for in my current day to day existence.

War.

Anger.

Rage.

Blood.

That pounding, pulsing, overwhelming envelopment of red haze that would come over me.

These things are in the past.

Not out of repentance.

Not out of shame.

To feel shame, to feel guilt would be to continue to live that life. It would to be a continuation of that road. I must disassociate myself from that. Then is not now. That was the path of war. This is the path of life. Though the blood flows from me, this is the path of life.

I was a thing of terror at one time. Numbers beyond counting fell to dust and history due to my choices. My shadow changed man to corpse, woman to victim, child to memory. I embraced rage. I was rage. Unthinking and uncaring. As my victims lay dying I knew no peace. As I lay dying I know peace.

The Tiger within calls to be let loose. It calls for freedom once more. It wants to rise up off this dirty sidewalk and strike this man. To seize the gun in his hands and crush it. But we are beyond that. The Tiger had his day. I have today.

My chest feels heavy and wet. My vision blurs and my hearing dulls. The screams around me slow to a dull roar, more akin to the churning surf then exclamations of terror and surprise. These contrasts strike me so.

When the Tiger ruled even in moments of calm the anger seethed before the surface. A calm blue sky with white clouds was tinged red with rage. Music was not something to listen to but to listen past, trying desperately to hear hidden, seeking, hunting foes. Scents were investigated for the smell of plastique or steel. Tastes, whether sweet or savory, sour or meaty, behind each was the threat of poison.

But now as I lay here, chaos is made calm. I do not smell gunpowder. I smell the flowers dropped to the ground by a fleeing woman. I do not taste blood but the chocolate ice-cream I had been eating. My life is a mirror. All that was wrong is made right. All that was hateful is beautiful. And all I had to do was to let go.

Such a simple thing. A mugging. Handled with words, not with blood. Calm, soothing words. An attempt to connect with another being, to treat him as a living soul and not as a victim. A death that comes with no regrets is a fine death.

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