A drop of blood trickled from the last page, chased by a tear. It fell down in the sand, gone and forgotten. The Archer was standing upright, holding the manuscript in his hands. The wound on his cheek had never fully healed and his quill had often written with the ink of his own blood. The last page had been particularly bloody. Yet now, as he touched the cheek that had been scratched by the Arrow, there was no more wound. The Archer knew why. For six weeks, he had been writing in the mind of Thomas, spurred on by the whispers of the Arrow’s whizz. Feverishly, he had written a story of emotions, of places and of people. Tears and laughter, Alexandria, hope and fear, Siwa, hatred and love, Eileen. Thomas’ story in Egypt is over, so of course there was no more scratch on the cheek, as no more blood was needed to write. The Archer’s quill had stopped writing, the Arrow’s whisper was quiet, and the silence was deafening. But his work was not over. The Archer sat down and put the manuscript in front of him. He took up his quill, dipped it in the ink pot, took a random page and started scratching out words. First the shiver of a dreadful feeling. Then the mosque in Cairo. The happiness in Siwa. The dead body in Cairo. Forget forget forget, the sanity of the mind is at stake. The gaps the Archer left would be filled with edge-less feelings, formed and moulded by the imagination of the mind. More often than not, the mind would exaggerate. It would make certain experiences grander than they actually were, and strong nostalgia would kick in for those changed memories. As the mind would forget how all experiences truly were, it would believe its own imagination and tell other minds about its story. Lies, or the truth? One word at a time, the Archer scratched away memory, indifferent about whether he was erasing truth into imagination, or imagination into truth.
The first Arrow has been shot. This is the end of the beginning.