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The Final Manipulation

 By Matt Blackie

The flowers fall from my hand.
Her face is wreathed with fury.
I see the instincts move my hand.
I catch it...I move it around.
I thrust it.
Into her stomach, piercing the robes and skin...
The knife drives deep, into her body.
She slumps forward, slides off the bloodied weapon.
I take a step back...what have I done?
I look at the knife...the wicked tool.
How many times have I used it before?
How many times have I thrust it into another's body?
Why? Was it for revenge?
I wanted revenge for Teta. Ever since that day.
Was it for power?
I wanted power, so I could make peace.
What could drive me to kill the one I loved?
I do not know. I cannot answer myself.
I have used others. I have manipulated.
I even manipulated her.
I could not stand seeing her used.
I killed her. The final manipulation.
What have I done? I ask again.
Again, I do not know.
I turn from the body, look into the noon sky.
The sun blazes above me. I am reminded of him.
We parted paths. Same goal, different methods.
Was he right? Was I wrong?
We wanted peace. We both longed for it.
Where is he now? I have not seen him.
Is he happy? Did he accomplish his goal?
Have I accomplished mine?
I do not know, I answer myself.
She is gone. He is gone. I am alone.
Was it worth it all? I have peace.
The people are happy. Am I happy?
Was it worth it? I cannot answer.
I drop the knife to the stones. I raise my face to the heavens.
I need an answer. I ask.
Ramza...what did you get?

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