Michael R. Pitcher (Skull Dragon)

I've always been a coward.

When I left Baram there to die at the hands of the Empire, I was a coward. When I left my home and family in Thamasa, I was a coward. I was too afraid even to show emotion, for fear that it would give my enemies an advantage.

I guess it's time to stop running.

As the world collapses around me, I see my fellow fighters hurrying away. They know it's just a matter of time until it's all over. Well, for me, it is over. I'm tired of running, of evading death. I knew this madman Kefka would be the end of me. He might be the end of all of us.

"The reaper is always a step behind me." It's easy to say, but not to live. He's tried to get me more than once, and he's taken all of those I love.

I take that back. I see Relm, my daughter, running with another person on either side of her. I hear she's been pretty activce with the group, even learning some magic along the way. But was that necessary? What kind of war brings a ten-year-old to the front lines?

And that is why I decided to stop Kefka. I've been with these 'heroes' on and off for a while. I tried to get Kefka alone, when he got me and left me for dead. If they hadn't found me, what could have happened...

For one thing, I could have left the endless battle. I could have let the reaper have me, but they couldn't let that happen.

I watch them as they almost reach safety. The floor rolls under my feet, and I hear a loud snap. Above me, a rock is falling directly where I'm standing.

I've always been a coward. I guess I'll be one now.

I duck and roll away from the rock. I don't stop to look as it crashes behind me. I simply run, like I have so many times before, to the edge of the Floating Continent, to where the others still wait for me. I try to justify my actions-I left because they need me, or I had to protect my daughter. Truth is, I'm just a coward. Maybe I'll get another chance to redeem myself later, maybe the world will collapse again, but I doubt it.

Less than a minute later, the airship rips apart. As I am flung through the air to God knows where, I see how much better I would have been to die with honor, under that rock. Life doesn't grant you a second chance..

But death might.

My first fanfic. I'm so proud!