Which is stronger, love or hate?
Cal stands before me, radiant in the rays of the setting autumn sun. Bronze and golden leaves all around us cast their hues against his skin. Sweat glistens upon his brow and his collarbone. His breath hovers and vanishes like dust motes in the dying light. Everything about him shines brightly. It’s painful to stare at him for too long.
His lips curve in a grin as he catches his breath. “That was a great shot,” he laughed. A bubbling brook would be envious of the joy his laughter evokes. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, a trickle of blood streaking it before he shakes it off onto the foliage beneath our feet. His shadow stretches towards me. “How many times are we going to do this, Devlin?” His words are heavy with pity.
“As many times as it takes. Until I finally beat you.” If Cal’s voice is a summer breeze, mine is a bitter winter wind. The darkness grows behind him. I take it as a sign that this time, in this life, I will win.
We have fought this battle countless times over countless years and in countless worlds and in countless forms. This time we are human, have been before, will be again, if I don’t defeat him here. In other lives we had other forms, sometimes physical, sometimes not. But in every life we are drawn to one another.
I don’t know why it’s so important for me to fight him, to win against him. Is it because I am stronger? I know I am, we both know it, and yet, I always lose to him at the end, and the cycle begins anew. Rebirth, the hunt, the battle, the end. I need to beat him so that we can finally rest. I need to prove my strength over his.
Cal looks at me with sadness in his eyes. I don’t want him to look at me like that. “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be,” he says. “We can both live in this world, together.”
“No.” My voice grows darker as the night descends. Somehow, Cal still shines through. “This time, the world will be mine.”
He smiles at me, blinding me with his light. “Have it your way then. I can wait just a bit longer.”
Cal hovers over me as I lay panting beneath the trees a short while later. His blood-streaked face is a testament to my wasted efforts. Is our struggle really so futile? His face fills my vision as it fades and I wonder what he’ll look like in our next lives.
Notes: I went a bit literal with this prompt, personifying love and hate into two characters. I had a much grander vision for this than what I was able to churn out in a short hour or two, so this will make the list of re-works once I’m finished with all the prompts. Love vs Hate is one of my favorite tropes/themes in fiction (and in life) so I was really eager with this one. Years ago I did something similar on my old blog and thought about editing and reposting it here, but I was struck with inspiration for new characters instead. You can still read it if you want more of this sort of content.
That’s about all I have to say on the topic of the prompt tonight. Our internet cut out for a short while as I was finishing this up. I had a mini panic attack that I wouldn’t get a chance to post this before I went to bed, but whatever was going on with our service or router sorted itself out and I was able to get back online with little issue.
Anyway, it is time for bed. Hopefully I won’t have to dig out too much in the morning! Have a great night! See you tomorrow!
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