by Toy Lemmons

His dismembered Toledian armor faintly scarped against itself as he slowly squatted down between the men, sardonically staring at the sweaty, weary Spaniards lying down. He had time to observe them now, with their freshly torn rosy arm cloths under their greave. One of the Spaniards was a well-feed bearded man, lying slain as his blue eyefree of a small black ball looked towards the naturally splitting canopy above as it shined a flickering yellowing light on the mostly shaded wild greenery around him. The other Spaniard was man in his thirties, having somewhat of a conniving face with a mustache twirled at each end, and dimples. His slain bodywith his silver colored cabasset tilted over his eyes, and his head slightly arched up by the root of a mossy Kapok tree laid motionlessly, with one hand, slightly hued with freshly spilled blood and brown dirt, only inches away from his three foot sword. The other hand was incomplete, missing a few fingers. Still between them, he quickly ravaged through their belongings, tossing all inedible or uncollectable items aside, only taking a half eaten dried fish, and a stale piece of nutty bread out. Still squatting down like hasty ape, he tightly gripped their bread with both his dirty hands and tore into it with his teeth, chewing, desperately trying to rid the imbedded taste of a three month diet of bugs and bitter herbs from his mouth.

He continued to tear into the hard bread, only pausing to pour the drops of water from one of the Spaniards leather canteen onto his tongue. Immediately he came back to reality, turning his head left and right, watching, waiting like he watched and waited to dawn on the hopes of the resting Spaniards. No men covered in dingy eagle feathers, dried boar skins, or discolored leopard skins. Chewing and glossing at the boarders of his circumference, he saw a women standing behind a waist tall bush. Slowly he put down the bread, and began to chew slowly. The women looked native to these lands, yet undefiled wearing a tan blouse. He slowly stood up dropping the bread effortlessly. He became mesmerized, ignoring the pain of a partly satisfied stomach at the presence of her long, lush black hair. His chewing slowly ceased upon gazing at her crme skin tone. He stepped forward, squinting, scratching his eyes, trying to capture the life he saw in her eyes just under her dark, curled lashes. Her face was unlined, and her body was sculpted. Her lips were gently set as if preparing to kiss. She turned around, and walking into the dense Amazon brushes so effortlessly as if the long greenery parted in her way, and closed behind her at her entrance. Slowly, he followed behind her.

Hacking away a few impassable brushes, he finally had made his way to an old, vine covered mine, where she stood. Oh, how her beauty displaced his eyes away from her wrists and ankles locked in iron chains. His mind began to fluctuate. As the seconds matured to minutes, his mind moved more and more away from the passion of her beauty, to the rationale behind her presence, as if his mind tried to warn the self one last time against the reoccurring narrative that it was being lost again. Scratching the hard beard covering a good portion of his mouth, he became confounded by her unreadable face, and unblinking emerald eyes. What man would not begin to fear for his life as the long lost cavalryman had begun to do? For a short moments time, now the evil had become distinguishable from the appropriate, and the good had become invaluable in a land of blind eyes. He had survived much turmoil, many close calls with both man and inferior since he first stepped on the dreamy white sandy shores of prosperity and wealth he thought so naively long ago; many years ago. And yet again, like the many times before, in a moments time, he became conscious in face of a great crossroad. The sand was just sand, and the ocean was just salty and dangerous. Once, he thought them to be the untamed beast undeserving of the things they had. Many times, it was senseless killingsSpaniards vs. native. Other times, it was unjust killings between Spaniards some conquistadors and some mercenaries strictly for their own cause. But what did it matter now?

She was, just onelasttime, there, free for the taking. Slowly, he followed her trail, into the dark cave, were his tired image blurred into the darkness. Blindly, he walked through the darkness, feeling the curves and depressions of the wall, while, at times, stumbling over manmade metal. His eyes grew wider as the darkness continued to surround him. The ire thuds of water dropped to the floor amidst the paranoia-causing silence. His throat became cold, and his stomach tossed and turned. He smiled, though, at what would be at the end of this, all this.

He had finally made it to a long hall-like passage in the cave, where at the distant cornerher slim shadow slowly strutted like a goddess behind in the torch light. A long deserving smile began to form under a face full of hair. Slowly turning the corner, he saw her. Her arms her lifted, chained to a cave wall behind her. Her head was hung forward, and her legs were close together to her side like a mermaid. Her bangs, so luscious and beautiful, hung over her face. He slowly approached her, dropping the weary sword out of his hand, bracing his weary Marion on his head at what he saw. His heart began to pound joyously at what he had searched ten years for. His eyes became bug-eyed with heavy bags under his them. He could not wait to see the life he had seen in her eyes earlier.

Like a lowly, tired hero in front of an long imprisoned goddess, he kneeled in front of her in complete awe, as if all the Spanish and native blood he had spilled over the time he spent in this jungle of despair, all the nights of infection and affliction, all the days of absent mindedness, even the irrational moments and setbacks, and all the days of searching had blessed him for his journey. It was all so natural. Leaving just a thin coat of air between his hand and her body, he followed every little detailher complexion, the waves of her hairtrying to savor the moment before the timely unification of her eyes with his. His eyes absorbed every inch of her beauty, never wanting to let any of it go. But her eyes, he needed to see.

Finally, he was unable to hold the temptation any longer. He reached through her waterfall of hair touching her pleasantly warm chin with his dirty hands. As he rose her face up, from the corner of his eyes, he noticed torn armor, and broken swords, Toledian swords, lying mangled in the distance. Squinting in curiosity, he saw bones, skulls of men with deep claw marks.

Turning back towards her, his eyes perfectly aligned, like planets, with the obsidian colored coldness of her eyes. So clearly, he saw his reflection in its eyes. As she blew in his face, the slowly pulsating torch light vanished, submerging his last moments into the depths of darkness.

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