“Two shining guns
Side by side
Crown to eye patch
Aimed to the very heart of the other”
The metal reflected the cold light of the setting sun. The landscape, once beautiful, was no more. The grass on the rolling hills was brown and dead. The sky was clouded and smoggy with pollution. The air had a bitter taste.
It was all so perfect for the scene taking place.
Royalty against bandit. Tyrant against thief. King against pirate. Crown against eye patch.
“Broken beyond repair
The cruel tyrant king
Opens the Gates of Death
To all in his kingdom”
His once-elegant robes were tattered and torn, his magnificent crown askew. The soul of the king was darker than even the most clouded, moonless night. A mask of kindness is still a mask. Fake generosity is still fake. He was caring in the eyes of an outsider. He was cruel in the eyes of a subject.
“Shattered under the weight of life
The notorious pirate thief
Dances with Death
And laughs in his own crooked way”
Around his shoulders lay the threadbare flag of his ship. The pirate proudly wore his skull-and-crossbones flag, even in the face of death. One of his eyes was covered by a black eye patch. In the eyes of everyone, he was not the poor man who had been cruelly rejected by society in his youth. He was a pirate, a thief. Nothing else.
They aimed the guns at each other. Both were determined to be the last one alive.
The bullets pierce the heart
And tear away all humanity”
The blood spattered on the ground. The life drained away.
“The heart and the mind rip away
Leaving two frozen skeletons
Still aiming at each other
Crown to eye patch”
No feeling remains. No thought. No skin, no flesh. All that is left are the two skeletons of the men, still standing tall. One was great. The other was broken. One sporting an eye patch. One wearing a crown.
Along the side of the field of this event, to this day, runs an old railroad track. The bars are rusted with age. Only one train still runs on it.
“Side by side
Their souls will board the train
And be swept away by Death
Claiming his prizes at long last”
Overlooking the scene from afar, on the top of a hill, stands a young writer. Her gray eyes are shadowed with too many emotions to name. In a poem, on an old piece of parchment, she recorded the event for others to see. She knows that she is no poet. She knows she is barely a writer. But she also knows what is important to see and to learn from, even if the understanding of humans still eludes her.
She tore the last stanza from the parchment and handed it to the tall, black-hooded figure beside her.
“Pass it on for me, okay?” she said softly. The she turned and trudged down the other side of the hill.
Death nodded, not even needing to look to know what the scrap read. The wind blew in a hard gust, and then he was gone.
“Follow the crooked train tracks
Marked by the crown and the eye patch
Go ahead and hop on the next train
Save a seat for me