In my gushing wounds, I see the brook where the boys play on hot summer eves. Memories of silky breezes over the farm’s green pastures numb my cuts. I quiver. My vision darkens. Death is near.
Sword in hand, I rise from my knees. Battle’s cacophony of fury and fear mingles with my infant daughter’s laughter. I parry and thrust my blade through another wicked heart. The violence is sickening, but defeat would lead to worse.
My muscles grow weak. Darkness thickens. A door opens on the battlefield, lighting the gloom with paradise’s promise. A familiar song calls me closer. My heart yearns for what is ahead and aches for what is behind.
My sword is knocked from my hand. I ram the rim of my shield into a throat. A spear tears through my chest. The door is near.
I grab the spear shaft. “Not yet.”