Solitary Surrender
by eric drewes

A solitary man in a solitary castle atop a steep and dark hill stared quietly at his own reflection. Besides the dancing of the torch flame, the only movement was the rustling of the leaves blown by the chill harsh wind of the area.

He spoke, and an echo emanated from the stony recesses of his bedchamber. A shadow took form, and appeared to him in his reflection.

"Why do you go on?" The shadow asked him, merely echoing his own voice.

"I cannot surrender" He replied.

"What drives you then? Why can't you merely lay your blade down and join us in your dark sleep?" It echoed. "In your slumber you shall find peace"

"That is a lie. There is no peace. Not for me." The man shook his head. "I wish to be among the fools, i wish for love and beauty and life. My own existence is a curse, my own mind is my deception."

"Who are you then? The tyrant? The fool? Or merely a pilgrim, searching?"

"Who am I?" the man replied to the voice. "I am none of those."

"Ah, so now I understand. Without knowing who you are, you cannot surrender yourself, because you have not even discovered what you're fighting for, and what you'd be surrendering to." It said, "You must fight on."

The shadow flickered with the flame, and was extinguished by the wind. The voice coyly slid back into the cracks of the castle walls, leaving the solitary man, alone, once again.