She stood on the bridge, looking forward. Her armor was hanging heavily on her shoulders now, blood streaking her face. Far below, she could see the water raging and felt a kinship with it as it smashed against the rocks. Somewhere far away, somewhere held close in her mind and her memory, there was a town and a home and a man. Reaching into a pouch stained with dirt and blood, she produced a small metal disc. Held within was a picture, a tiny painted portrait of a man and a child. That was her home, her heart, and as she took a shaky breath and winced, she knew she wouldn’t be making it back. The painting slipped from her fingers, falling to the water far below.


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