This is written at roughly the same time as Blood, and I think you can see what sort of vibe I had at the point. Both were quite good for he time they were written and still my favourites.

The water closes over my head and I wonder whether I should be thankful or not. I wonder which will kill me first the lake, or the arrow that pushed me into it. Why should I live anyway? A warrior for money, nothing else matters to me, everything else is gone. I fight because its all I know, it’s right that I should die fighting.

I can’t see the light above me any more. My chain-mail drags me down. Maybe that signifies something. Fighting led me to this death, the armour always dragged down on my soul, it forced me to give up all I had.

Why is it taking so long?!

I just wish I could die. I have had enough of this life and its pain. This armour chokes me drags on me, has always done more harm than good. I struggle to pull it off, and as I do so the arrow rips itself free taking half of my flesh with it. The water darkens and the taste of metal and blood infuses it.

Why do continue to hold my breath?!

I wish to die, but yet I only make it harder for myself. I wish to give in, to breath in my last breath, a breath that will mix water with blood. One breath to end my life, but yet instead I force myself to suffer this agonising suffocation.

I break the surface and by reflex I draw a horrible life-giving breath of air. It sting in my lungs, causing horrible pain. The pain of life, am I never free of it. I hear voices above me, muffled.

“Was … him!” “Get…” “Shraga!”

A force hit me in the side and strong arms grabbed me by the shoulders. I fought and finally took the breath I wished to take. Water swamped my lungs, but it was to late. Roughly I was dragged ashore, the wound on my back from the arrow grating mercilessly on the ground. Someone jumped on top of me forcing my wound to grate even more on the rocks of the lake shore. But worse, it forced that death-giving water from my lungs.

I rise to my feet, knocking the one on my chest over. My only thought is to rip out the throats of those who deny me death. My final wish, my only wish, I wish for death.

They grab me hold me still but still I have one by the throat. My vision clears slightly, I see my victim. He’s another warrior, one I have fought beside. I snarl at him and he draws back. They fear me.

“You took away my last wish.” I told him.

He looks at me with sadness and pity in his eyes. Emotions I do not need or want. I need and I want only death. He motioned the others to let go, but they did so reluctantly.

“What did he mean?” He murmurs behind my back.

The others ignore him.

I let loose my choke-hold and the one in front of me speaks, “If death had been meant for you today, Kinthan would have taken you.”

I shrug off the last of their hands and walk away. Over my shoulder I hear that ignorant young one again.

“Will he not take his own life if his wish is to die?”

“No he is a berserker, he will die fighting.”

I am a berserker, I live to fight, I fight to die. How many times have I come to my senses surrounded by corpses of ally and enemy. How many times have I woken in the healers tent. How many times has Kinthan forsaken me, living me to live when all I crave is death.

I am drowning forever in a pool of death which refuses to take me.


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