My hand scrapes hard against the surface of the ground as I pick myself up, trying desperately not to show you the sting of pain in my eyes from the hit across the face, and I rush towards you with more fervor than before, blood pumping easily throughout my veins. However, it doesn't give me strength. I am the power and strength. It's the only thing that I will ever need - I could bleed it all out, and still live on. I don't need it, so go ahead and beat me into the ground again. Kick my face into the dirt, and I'll eat it too! My strength is not my blood, but what is inside.

Muscles sing sweetly to me of their exhaustion as I plow on, striking you. You dodge most; I can't help that anymore than I can help my weary body because pressing on is crucial to my need. I pant hard, but you dodge even my breath.

Burn me with your smile, and then with that cold colored flash of heat scorching even against my vision. A heat so hot that I can see it after the light is gone, and leaves a long trail from you to me. Yet it is a trail that I can no longer tread because even if I reach you, the fire of your being will freeze me, and send me back several miles. Or do you trudge ahead on that same trail to leave me in the cold?

My face is throbbing now from the broiling pain that you sent my way. It teases me sometimes when I allow it; belittles me when I'm standing here in the frigid blight. However, I don't dwell on it in our battles, and let the sun warm my back despite the fact that I am already stewing. I hate you, but you already knew that. Basking in the brilliance of your own rays! How I loathe you beyond even utterance. The hatred that I hold for you - my total contempt is not strength though.

Strength - my strength and power is attained when I will beat you!

Don't laugh at me. Fight me instead for it's the language that I grew up knowing, walking, and breathing! It's in my very veins, and one of the only reasons that I keep this weakness streaming through me. I wonder if it's your weakness too. Will you die if I bleed you dry?

I know that you can bleed - it's there on your brow, dripping down past your cheek to splatter on the ground along with your sweat. We're both dirty, you and I - the slime of dust, blood, and sweat nearly everywhere. The stink of it reeks, pilfering my sense of smell from me, and now it's all that I can smell. And you're everything that I can see. The backdrop about us only serves to give me something to ignore. Bright skies darkening into night do not concern me, though you turn your head to the horizon more than once. So you think to escape me, but I can't allow that; not when I'm so very close, so I drag you back down into our foray of hot blood.

Though the world could be ending, I still want to duel with you. If the sun is setting that just means that we must fight harder, not sleep! The day is your time, I know, but the night beckons to me, and I recall that someone compared you once to the sun, and I the moon. How thoughtful of them to think of me as my race might have were they still with me now. It's sad, however, to mull over the fact that the moon is only a reflection. Perhaps, that is why they said that, and told us both. They were always on your side, buttressing your confidence and defenses. You would then see it in a sudden flash of insight, and laugh again. The moon has only the sun's reflection, and will never shine on its own. This does not please me though. The mere inflection that I would ever need you just tends to the fires of malice that I hold for you.

However, does that serve their purposes further?

Is the lone source of warmth in my life ...?