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Short Story Entry - Confessions of a Ganker


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At the far reaches of this universe, hidden somewhere within the folds of space and time, not quite here anymore, but still not there yet, lies Illara's domain. The End of Time, her mad followers call it. The beginning and the end.  


An infinite expanse of darkness, littered with glittering stars, cosmic dust and black holes older than Time itself. That and a tea table, carefully set with porcelain cups and saucers. Goddess Illara sits on one side, I sit on the other, a chess game in between us.  


"Your move, handsome," Illara purrs seductively, a black cat curled up around her leg.  


I toss the chess board aside in a manly fashion and promptly proceed to undress Illara. Due to personal modesty and censorship concerns I cannot quite describe the events that follow, but I trust you can take a few guesses.


And when things are starting to get really interesting, of course I had to wake up! Damn, that dream again. Every other night, I swear. I wonder if other Crows also have spicy dreams about their patron god or goddess. I mean, it's not even like Illara is a goddess of love, fertility or anything of the sort. I guess I just have a dirty mind. 


I shrug it off and get out of bed. It's time to go, there are important matters to attend to. Not the damn siege of Castle Whitecliff, who cares about that. My guild mates can take care of that issue, I've got more pressing concerns. If Illara can be an uncaring, aloof gripe so can I right?


No, I've got matters of a more personal nature. I have an ex-lover to assassinate and a son to reclaim. 


Assassin, that's who I am. It's a lifestyle, really. Knights and champions challenge one another for honorable duels to the death. Glory to the victor. Not me. I stealthily hide myself in the bushes waiting for someone who appears to be weaker or less armed than myself to walk by. And when they do, I come out of stealth in one sweeping, glorious death blow. Bam. You're dead. And all your stuff now belongs to me. It's a lifestyle, really. 


But today is not about business. Today is my day off. 


I wish I could spend this day off in a luxurious tavern somewhere, but my ex decided to live in the middle of the god damned Dark Forest. I kid you not, the place is called Dark Forest. Folks around these parts have less imagination than romance writers. 


If there's one thing to be said about exes, is that it wasn't my fault. Just because I neglected to come home for a few days while I was drinking myself to a stupor with my guild mates at the tavern, suddenly I didn't love her anymore?! Oh, please. How can she assume to know my feelings.


Worst of all, she refused to let me see my son. My own flesh and blood. I missed him dearly. Probably the most beautiful thing I have ever created in the countless lives I've lived. Well, not created really. He's adopted. But it doesn't matter, I love him all the same. And I'll have him back today, I swear on Illara's name. 


As I go deeper and deeper into the Dark Forest I begin to second guess myself on the decision of coming here. This is a really creepy place. A thick fog obscures the path ahead, the trees cast twisted dark shadows that seem to move with a life of their own, and strange whispers in a foreign language fill the air around me. What the hell am I doing here? The siege at Castle Whitecliff sounds more and more appealing now. 


But no. My will will not falter. The creepiness factor of this place is only one more reason why the kid shouldn't be allowed to stay here. He belongs with me in a cozy room in some decadent urban center. 


At last I arrive in her alcove. To this day I still ask myself why I decided to date a wood witch. Over seven feet tall, with dark red leaves instead of hair and obscenely sharp claws in her hands. My ex.


"I have come for the kid," I say, voice unwavering, "give him up or die."


Due to personal pride and censorship concerns, I cannot quite describe the events that follow. My expertly crafted vessel is torn to pieces by the wood witch and my immortal Crow soul awakens to consciousness in a different place. 


I find myself at the far reaches of this universe, a place hidden somewhere within the folds of space and time, not quite here anymore, but still not there yet. I am in Illara's domain. The End of Time, her mad followers call it. The beginning and the end.  


Illara stands before me, impassive. 


"Would you care for a chess game?" I ask, hopeful. 


In a flash of blinding white light my soul is washed away, back onto the dying worlds. I look around and see the familiar banners flying in the wind, the armies clashing on the battlefield. The bloody siege of Castle Whitecliff, of course. Before any guild mate can spot me in the fray, I find a bush to hide and wait for my next victim. 


Assassin, that's who I am. 



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