The calm after…

Maxwell slowly picked up the blood-stained hammer with his left hand – the quill gently rested in his right, its delicate white plumage still untouched by the flashing violence that had passed only moments before. He lifted himself up off his knees and shuffled over to where a thin shard of dust-filled light cut from the boarded window to invade the disordered room. He faltered slightly, the loss of blood from his leg wound making him dizzy. He turned his back against the dirty boards and sank down to the floor again. The recently disturbed dust and dirt in the small room had mixed with the sweat on his face and hands to form a layer of scum that somehow lent itself to the drama of the violence he had just engaged in. Ah, violence, sweet violence – he had instigated it and carried it out most exactly, but was at the same time quite horrified at how passively he felt he had also witnessed it. He replayed the scene over and over again in his mind, often several different portions at once. The tramp was younger and stronger than he had first anticipated, and dragging him down the corridor had taken more energy than he would have liked, but, he had to admit, this had made the battle more rewarding. It has been said that you can often tell the strength of a man by the scream he makes at the moment of death. Well, this one’s scream had showed an inner power that impressed Maxwell very much. Through the blood and the dust, Maxwell smiled a happy smile as he played the quill feather gently over the hairs on the back of his wrist.

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