∴ An Alternate Viewpoint ∴
The carriage clatters over cobbled streets, its clangour at odds with your hammering pulse. Drawing a silver watch from your pocket, you mark with distaste your hand’s tremor.
Ten minutes to twelve. Nearly the alotted time. Nearly the alotted place. The chosen weapon sits beside you on the plush velvet seat, broad-bladed where its twin is slender. How keenly it will clash with its long-parted friend, you think. Keen where you are wretched.
Were this any other duel, the blood would run hot in your veins. You would relish the rush of impending danger, and wear pride like a red carnation as you descend the carriage steps.
Tonight, however, is one you hoped would never come – even as you knew it would. Even as you slipped into the sweet, forbidden embrace of the woman betrothed to your long-absent brother. The woman you’d loved since childhood.
As the hoofbeat staccato slows, you slip your right hand between the black-ribbon bars of the guard, then pass it to your left with a sad shake of your head. You were always the sinister twin. You will gain nothing by hiding your nature.
You brush the black bulb of the pommel to your lips.
“Forgive me, brother,” you whisper.