8 Months, 2 Weeks, and 3 Days
Tonight, I think this chapter will be done.
I want you to imagine a needle, laced with a silver thread.
Now, imagine several different pieces of metal. These are thin; you can tell each piece has been heated, and hammered, and folded: again, and again. They do not bend in your hand, they are strong.
They have to be.
They look like patches, such as those on a quilt.
You can see me, sitting on a battlefield, a slight breeze pulling at my air, dragging the scent of death to your attention. I am sitting on the ground, needle and silver thread in hand, the various metals stacked together in front of my knees.
We watch as I sew the pieces together. The needle cuts through each piece hungrily, as if made for this very purpose.When I reach the last piece of armor, I pull the needle taught–quickly!–tightly!– syncing up every piece, until an impenetrable wall of armor stands before us, like the shields of a Roman Phalanx.
I hold the armor up, and grimace in fear.
Now, comes my enemy, marching down the battlefield. He looks just like me, except for the darkness, sweeping off his shoulders like a cape. He carries quivers, filled with arrows. Catapults follow in his wake. From where he walks, the dead rise up and follow.
You look at me, and I smile from behind my new shield. If the pieces hold, the chapter is done. But if it breaks, if the enemy finds the chink in the armor, then the thread comes undone, and the shield will fall.
And if that happens…
I will pick up the pieces, and hammer and fold them again, hammer and fold them again.