Not all is black and white, there are shades of grey…..


I ride, I ride in the darkest of nights with no company but my own seeking to do right the wrongs perceived in my mind, I ride with bow across my back and long sword at my side and beautiful black sleek horse between my legs riding for I know not where only aware that right needs to be done, I will strike at the fear in my heart, I will ride until I face the enemy of my mind. I know that a great battle looms before me, but in what form will this battle be, what of my foe will he be evil, will he be honorable, I feel that it will be the first that I have mentioned. Steeling myself for what may come I urge my steed on faster not knowing what waits around every turn in the forest path I take. I can feel him now; I can feel the dislike, hate even that this other has for me. I am not scared I have the fullness of right on my side.

There I see him in the clearing before me sitting astride his horse, I can barely see him for he seems to shift in the wind, sometimes there other times not, what sort of magic is this, is it the magic of lies I see before me, and still I feel no fear. 100 paces I stop before my foe, and as I raise my sword in salute he starts forward at a complete run, I can smell the foulness of him on the wind as he approaches me at a break neck speed, and still I have not moved, closer he comes and closer the smell of him reaches me as if it is pushed forward in front of him as a warning, still I sit astride my mighty steed only baring my sword and holding it in my right hand and holding my reins in my left, I watch and wait when he is half the distance to me I spur my mount forward, he lunges in a mighty leap and we hit a full run in a few strides. Racing to meet my destiny whether I live or die by this encounter I know he will not leave this clearing alive. Closer and closer we race to meet each other, he is on my left so I lean across my horse and bring my blade to the right side of me and somewhat to the rear so that I may deliver a full blow to my oppent, we are within twenty yards of each other and he opens his mouth in a silent scream but I hear it all too well it is the scream of a dead man, a man that no longer controls himself but has been taken over by another so evil and vile as to change the man’s appearance as he rides towards me, rough horns curling from the front of his forehead, coarse hair growing on his face, he grows bigger with each stride, and still I feel no fear you see I have been here before I know his kind and have defeated his like before. No matter where I travel in this world I am followed by this evil, I am almost kin to it, for I have defeated it before and in each defeat I feel myself grow more like them every day, the one difference that separates me from them is my vow, my vow to eradicate the fowl smelling wretches each and every time I meet them on the field of battle, 10 yards away and still he screams the silent scream as if he didn’t it would rip his throat out, his eyes burn with fires of hatred, flames trail from his mouth, and yet as I race towards him I say nothing, not even the war cry of my ancestors will come from my lips. Finally together we crash with me sweeping my great sword from the left and straight at the juncture where the helm and the neck cod piece come together, at the last moment he manages to block the swing of my sword, as it rebounds off his blade I reverse and bring it in from the right side to a resounding crash against the his ribs, the plate mail screeches in defiance and it bows inward at the force from my sword, not much harm there but he understands now what he faces, no a knight of the light but a knight who travels in the grey of this world doing what needs to be done to keep balance as it should be, horses circling each other blows rain and metal sings, each trying to find an opening I the other defenses, I do not stay on the defense long knowing that I play a deadly game and in losing it allows the evil in this world more of a hold and less to the balance between the light and darkness. In an instance I change tactics raining blow after overhand blow down upon my mortal enemy, forcing back and into a defensive posture, striking as hard as I can and knowing full well that if I don’t finish this fight within the next several strokes I will be tired and on the defensive myself, I swing high catching him in the helm damaging the visor so that he has to retreat to the left instead of following me round to the right, I swing again and he blocks rounding the sword from my right hand to my left from around my back I sweep in and I catch him square in the gorget guarding his throat, crushing it under the great weight of my swing, knocking him from his horse. I stop and look down at him I can see the fires of hate from his eyes I hear the gravelly voice from inside of his helm, finish me you coward of the grey, you are as unholy as I and yet you do battle with me. I simply reply I am only here to make sure the balance is kept I am neither evil nor good, I just am. With that I slip from my horse and stand over him both my legs spread to fit in the sockets of his arms, I raise my blade above my head with the tip pointed directly down at his heart, I look again and see the flames in his eyes flicker from hate to fear, I know where his soul will journey this night, and the pain it will bring him, without anymore hesitation I plunge my sword straight down into his black heart, only a groan escapes his mouth as the last breath leaves his body. Have I won another fight, I have but I will fight many more in my quest to keep the balance of this world in place.

With much love and gratitude,

Dan Kline


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