I knew they were coming. What I was unsure of was their number this time. It hasn't been a year since I met upwith around six similar characters in a woods. Those were not alone and in fact were surrounded by a ring of folk common to them all with arms, hands, and fingers raised in support of those who faced me. But I beat each and every one of them and left their fans in silence.
This time would be different. There was equally twice the number. I knew this day was coming inside I just didn't know the date. As I said above I have met similar groups in my past. Sometimes I had the aid of others. No matter the occasion the occasion had one thing in common: Victory for me and those supporting me.
Today it was cold. The cold that amplifies itsself between fits of rain and balls of ice bouncing off the ground. There was a harmony of wind to add to the percussion provided by the sleet. These are the cold days that invite themselves into your marrow. How fitting...
So...it turned out that today was the day of a similar calling experienced less than one passing of the Sun. I looked outside of my barn door and there they were. Just sitting there. Easily a dozen but I was not taking the time for an official counting. I just knew what task lay before me. I took a deep breath, sat down my Busch beer that I had only just started. I grabbed my axe and asked them "how shall it be today?"
And so it began.
My opponents all easily weighed as much as me. Some weighing a great deal no more. They were of various ages and sizes all grouped together.
I sized up one of their number, raised my axe in silence and struck my nemesis down. But with me it is never enough to just strike once. I have to make a point.I hacked, dismemembered, and cracked my axe against the first. I took this monster to task removing finger, limb, and disecting and redisecting torso till there was nothing left worth hacking at. Then I looked at the others and they just sat there saying nothing. Not even a word.
I moved on to the next and ignored the sheer number as they seemed content to sacrifice their comrades and simply wear me down to death.
The next fell faster.
The next, being much more stout, took many more strokes. At least eight blows beneath my seasoned axe before this beast was added to the pile of parts as well.
And on it went. They were a mixed group in terms of age and stature but I will say that not a one of them ran. I hacked and hacked, echoes falling on some blows from the sides of farms distant and adjacent to my own sacred barn.
After two hours I asked those who were left if they would mind if I took a break. Still no response from those left to the challenge. So, I picked up the Busch in one hand, never dropping the axe from the other, and finished my drink while the remainder waited in suprizing patience. If it had been me I would have taken advantage of the moment. But they were not me. They were something different.
By this time I had moved through half of the lot and the remainder were less of a challenge. The toughest of opponents had come first this time. So I dispensed with the remainder in half the time as those from the beginning with parts flying all about me. Bits of entrails sticking to my face and body as if they were glued there. Eventually their kin will come again. Eventually I will be defeated and I know that I will most likely die in the heat of such a conflict. But not today.
Epilogue: Today I won again. Admittedly I am not as young as I once was and in fact these types of fights are wearing me down. Not being one to gloat too much I only took ten minutes this time drinking down yet another beer at the end of the fray. I sat there perched upon top of of body parts contemplating my longevity. I know that at some point I will not win. There will come a day when one will fall upon me from behind and that will be that.
Out of respect to the group I began the arduous task of moving them into a part of my barn that I have converted into a morgue. But not too much respect mind you. I did not sort fingers from bellies for each who came to me. I did put them all together though so that...as they came to me in opposition...they'd meet their end...together.
Now I have been in these fights for years but I will tell you that while there is a tremendous joy in the hacking there is absolutely no pleasure in disposing of the remains. There's actually a brief feeling of sadness at the end of such fights.
But that's the way it is. If you are going to split wood for the wood burner you have to stack it somewhere....:)