Monday, December 30, 2013

MAZE by Ursula Sinclair

MAZE by Ursula Sinclair

The conclusion of the story of Ivy and Maze from The Ballerina and The Fighter


There are times in life when you have to make decisions that others will neither understand nor forgive. When that happens, then you make damn sure they never find out.

But no matter what, you will do anything to protect those you love. Even if it means you forfeit your soul.


He’s keeping something from me. And I’m not sure I want to know because it will forever change us.

Have you ever killed anyone?

My breathing remained steady, my heart rate even, but the chemical rush from the adrenaline had blood rushing to my head. The sound of our blades gliding off each other was not a silent one, but the thunder and lightning ensured no one would hear or be inclined to venture out into the downpour this night. We were hemmed in on both sides by the brick walls of the buildings, with just enough room to maneuver. The filthy alleyway only wide enough for a dump truck was made even worse by the torrent of water washing over the soiled ground. Nothing could clear the stench of death creeping around us.

I’d deliberately chosen the time and this place for the confrontation. This was a blind alleyway only one way in and one way out. Barely visible from the street and there were no windows on the sides of the buildings. Just one door from the back of the restaurant near the dumpster. On a night like this, the weather also helped, we would be uninterrupted. No one would step out for a smoke. But at the end of the night, the trash at the restaurant still had to go out.

Huge fat drops of rain poured down from the heavens beating at me, soaking through the clothes I wore. Trying to drive me away from the course I’d set. I ignored it. My body was ready, waiting, my mind bent on one course. It was too late for any other.
The iron door opened to the right of the dumpster I hid beside, and my breath paused for a moment—only one person could be behind it.

I moved silently out from the shadows. As soon as he saw me, he dropped the trash bags he carried and pulled a knife from his boot. He knew damn well why I was there. I stepped toward him, compensating for the slippery ground with my treaded boots but also my balance. I’d trained on many different terrains so the flat alleyway posed no issue for me, but I couldn’t say the same about my opponent. He’d already revealed his weakness to me by his crouching stance. His balance would be off if he lunged on such a slick surface.

My body ran cold at what I was about to do. I raised my own blade and beckoned him forward. The glow from the outdoor lighting reflected in his dark hate-filled eyes. We were about the same height and build and our goals were the same. But from there we differed. Jai fought better than he ever had or ever would again because he knew this time he battled for his life. As did I. But as my knife parried and slashed opening flesh, I also fought to protect the one I loved.

So have I ever killed anyone?

I walked away from the alley with that thought in my head, my heart still beat, my blood still ran steadily within my veins. With each step the water turned redder on the ground in front of me. Up until that moment my answer would have been no, I’d never killed anyone. I knew I was capable of it. I’d been trained in the different ways to take a life with my body and weapons since the age of three. I also knew how to put someone down without serious injury. That’s what I’d always done. But that was my past. Tonight I’d taken a life to protect those I loved but also out of vengeance. Oh yes, there’s hate in my heart, but there’s blood on my hands now too. While the rain might have washed the blade of blood, no amount of rainwater would ever wash me clean. Not even the tears I shed could cleanse my soul.


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