My sword thrusted, point piercing mid-way the word ‘TRUST’ which hung taunting across the path. The ‘u’ mewed, tears seeping onto dry ground parched by years of the antonym. Each drop reformed, reared and roared a date, a time, a lover. Sounds pierced the outer coating of my shield, stuck darted on layered wood and leather, each forcing a back step in the slow stride of my denial.
Slashed right and left, letters tumbled without meaning across the musty air, voices escaping from nicked sides and surfaces, each whispering accusations and Siren symphonies of desire and deceit. Names cascaded across years, places, times, excuses, all timetabled in linear formation, each stabbing through armour to draw my guilt in coughed confessions.
The path steepened, with fogbanked slopes treacherously entreating mis-steps. Five letters swung back and forth, hide and seeking through the gloom, ‘BLAME’ pendulumed with teasing tautness, red flames of embarrassment letter licking. Shield raised to block the blaze of an accusing sun I pressed on, a single manned phalanx. Heat seared through, burning black my faults. But remember, she did not talk, she did not give time, she did not make the efforts demanded of a shared life. I pierced the ‘B’, shredding the double curves, leaving ‘lame’ a mocking commentary on my own excuses.
A soft glancing blow, a caressing killer rested on my shoulders heavyweighted with weary worries self-inflicted, ‘TOUCH’ featherlight alighted, wrapped around a body shivering to loosen itself from feared intimacy after the bed-bounced closeness of another forbidden love. I parried open-bladed, countered these tease touching accusations: for she had stepped back too, withdrew skin from contact, lips miss-kissing half hearted offered cheeks, back turned on a bed once consummated with the passion of the innocent. Who stands now in the glasshouse with stone in hand? My stab caused ‘TOUCH’ to convulse. No one-sided defeat here.
Forward stepped I deflected and bounced harsh truths into the gutters of regret, found my way blocked by ‘SELFISHNESS’, long strewn as a Cheshire cat with grinning teeth foul fetid dripping tales of familial dates ignored, commitments uncommitted to, evenings long consumed in matey orgies of alcohol and unbrave bravado. Late long working hours stretched to incredulity as slipping masks for backslapping heartiness and raucous chauvinism, chasing skirt-clad victims across glass-lined tables.
Hacked letters fell, ‘fish’ causing a rueful smile under cheekguards which chaffed with swivelled wariness. ‘S’s snaked my legs, hot forked tongues nipping infected bites into veins long since dead to empathy and sympathy. I stamped, hobnailing the vicious barbs into powdered pleas.
And lastly LOVE dangled gloss shred and abused. It flickered images thought lost in memories stored behind cold-hearted locks. The true love of first meeting, recognition of soulmated possibilities, tingles of eternity surfacing when touch touched more than skin, eye contact finding depths impossible to measure. LOVE hung, shaming my defence, drinking dry a moat of liquid lies, crumbling paper-thin walls of self deception, undermining a castellated keep of rusted excuses.
And I fell, in a final act of reconciliation and recognition, upon my upturned sword.