The First Time

I have come close many times. But I'll always remember my first time.

How can I forget?

My head feels numb. My mind feels numb. My soul feels numb.

I came close when me and my father, King Shahraman, conquered Maharajah for the sake of honor and glory.

I see nothing...I hear nothing...I feel...nothing.

I came close when I entered the underground treasury to gain a prize for my father's respect.

Suddenly I feel many emotions flooding through me.

Perhaps I came even closer when I foolishly followed the command of that accursed Vizier and unleashed the sands of time.

I feel coldness...

I continued to come closer as every man, woman, animal and insect were reborn as twisted beasts created by the sands...I continued to come closer every time I dueled with them.

I feel pain...

I suppose that you could even say that whenether I drank one from of those suspicious mystical fountains...I came closer because of my lack of caution.

I see the world in front of me blur into focus...but I can't really make sense of what I see...

You may as well say that I came close for walking into those sand vortexes's even after I became aware of how vulnerable they make me.

I still feel pain...but I can also feel a degree of warmth...the skin on my face itches where it is warm...

Since we have come this far then why don't you just say I come close every time I hang from a ledge?

The itching is gone after a while...as my lifeblood retreats into the source from which it came...

Why don't you just say I come close every time I swing from a pole?

I feel startled as I am disturbed by a loud crack...that would happen to be my bones...

Or why don't you tell me that I am close whenether I balance on a wooden beam?

I see what was once obscured...it was the floor...

Or maybe whenether I climbed up a column I came closer the higher I ascended. Maybe the higher I scaled the palace of Azad the closer I brought myself to this moment. But I would come even closer on the way down...come even closer on my decent when the stakes are higher and with less room for mistakes...

I could feel the unforgiving hardness of the stone floor...

Every leap I come close.

But I don't feel it anymore...I am now rising above the floor and looking down on it...

Every trap I come close.

I feel...fear.

The second I decided to trust Farah...I knew that I had taken the risk of becoming extremely close.

As I rise...am I going to paradise?

Close to what? Need you ask?

I continue to rise...I feel weightless...

I thought it would be obvious by now...

But for some reason...I can hear myself scream...

Every time I risk my life...every time I expose myself to danger...

Several rocks and stones fly up after me...do they seek to strike me back down to the earth again?

I come closer...

No...The debris forms a bridge underneath me...

Closer...

I step back off the bridge and onto solid ground...

Closer...

Then Farah says..."I could have sworn I have lived this moment before..."

Closer to my death.

I know that the bridge in front of me is unstable...I know it is a hazard...

I don't know where my soul is supposed to go after death...but it remains in my body...

I run across the wall and end up on the other side of the bridge.

My soul remains in my body...because the dagger waits for my command...

Farah looks at me with confusion...I order her to find another way across.

And it obeys my command to give me a second chance.

I unsheathe my dagger and inspect it...it is almost completely empty of sands...I shall have to be extra cautious. After all...I am told that sands represent a measurement of a person's remaining lifetime...in this case it may be true.

I don't know what the afterlife feels like...but I know what death feels like.

I no longer feel the pain.

I claimed that I will always remember the first time...

I no longer feel the coldness.

But this is not the first time...

But I still feel the fear.

I remember every time I die.

I fear that I will perish...then not come back...

Farah seems to be aware of the time-reversal to some degree…but I still remember every last gruesome detail of my demise…

I am scared.

If all goes to plan then I will kill that accursed Vizier...

I make a vow.

I will seal away these wretched sands of time once again...

I vow that I will never allow my permanent death until I am old with age and have done all there is to do...

Then I will no longer have the dagger of time...

I vow that I will not allow myself to die for real until all my accounts have been settled...

Then what will there be to save me?

This dagger has allowed me to cheat my death so many, many times...

Am I such an unskilled amateur of a Prince that I am unable to combat my own sins without a tool created from my sins?

I make this vow on the grounds that I have felt death so many times...I will do anything not to let it last...

But I know that as long as I possess that tool...

How ironic that possessing the ability to cheat death has given me a heightened fear of mortality...

There will never be a last time.

Run, jump, die, repeat...run, jump, die, repeat...run, jump, die, repeat...