The Fury Within

Flashes of lightening rip the sky and thunder rolls around me. Zedd is trying to lead me through the storm - a very different storm - the one that brews within, fighting for control of my soul.

"Let the power of the magic rise within you" he is saying. Does he know how impossible that is? To let the rage take root, have its way, without succumbing to the madness? The magic is strong and threatens to bring me to my knees, but I hold firm. "Don't resist it," I hear though the hazy tumult within.

"I don't want to lose control" It's as if someone else says the words…I'm barely aware that it's me who's speaking. Muscles coil. Tendons burn. Hatred flares. Consuming, glaring hatred for… What? I don't know.

"The rage is part of you, Richard. Fighting against it only makes it stronger." My hands shake, my arms tremble, fighting the will to cleave him in two. A visceral cry of fury splits the night and I realize it is me, struggling to keep my sanity. The sword knows the burn I feel. It begins to glow, like fire, mirroring my red hot fury. Through gritted teeth I try to maintain my slim grip on reality.

The wind carries his words, "What do you feel?"

"Anger!" I snarl, eager to show it.

"At what!"

My hatred turns lethal, has he not seen all I have suffered these past months? Has he not stood by my side while loved ones perished? "Everything!" I spit, jaw clenched.

He does not let me off that easy. "What are you angry at?" Again and again he demands, dragging me through the litany of all I have endured, all that I have lost, since leaving Hartland. His intent is deliberate, drawing my rage. It runs hotter, deeper than I've ever felt it before. In a cloud of fury I somehow realize what he is trying to do: to get to the heart of the matter.

"WHAT ARE YOU ANGRY AT?"

My eyes zero in on all that is painful, all that is torment. All that is beautiful. I at last find voice for what has tortured me so long. Words too painful to bear, finally spoken aloud. "I can't be with the woman I love." Her pained expression adds to my agony. Zedd is bellowing something about love and loss but I barely notice…I am too fixed on her, on the grief etched so deeply in her features.

"WHAT ARE YOU ANGRY AT BOY?"

That, I hear.

I roar to life. "I'M NOT YOUR BOY!" growling like a wild animal. Rage issues through me unabated, tremors extending head to foot.

He is unrelenting. "Who dragged you into this fight? Who are you angry at?"

And then it hits me. "YOU." My wrath is palpable. More than I have ever wanted anything, I want his blood. I'm seething with uncontrollable rage. "All those years, you lied to me about being my grandfather! You took me out of Hartland! You named me the Seeker!" In a fit of fury I spit with rage, "You're the one who gave me this damn sword!" The object of all my suffering. Because of the sword I have had to leave home. Because of the sword I have had to kill. Because of the sword, I have come to know Kahlan: The woman I can never have. And it is all...his...doing.

I embrace the rage; wanting to destroy what is responsible for destroying me. Power and wrath flood through me, rattle my bones. The need to annihilate inundates me and I let it fill me, go where it will. With my sword raised high, glowing with an ire as intense as my own, I move in for the kill. My target is unmoving as I stand ready to plunge red hot steel into a stone cold heart.

Conflict sears my soul. My steps falter. Reason seeps back into my core. By allowing the rage I have begun to conquer it. Suddenly the man before me is no longer my enemy. He is my grandfather. He is not heartless. He is my friend. Because of him I have learned so many things. Because of him I have defeated Darken Rahl. Because of him, I have come to know Kahlan: The woman I could not live without.

The sword screams for blood to calm its wrath but I will not let it have it. The magic threatens to consume me but I am stronger than the rage. By embracing it, I have allowed it in, giving it residence where it belongs and nowhere else.

Calling on every ounce of might, I thrust the sword into a patch of ground and stagger back. Realization of what I've almost done slashes through me as I collapse to the dirt, spent with the power of the struggle.

The storm outside falls eerily quiet. The man I have just so nearly killed comes close, a smile on his lips, the sword in his hands. I do not think 'my' sword, for it is a danger to me now. He turns the hilt in my direction, offering. I can't even look at the vile weapon, keeping my eyes trained on his. "I almost killed you, Zedd."

His voice is soft with understanding. "But you didn't. You were stronger than the rage."

I force myself to stand. "This time," I offer quietly, knowing how easily I could have failed.

"You will master it. As long as you have the courage to keep working at it." He lifts the blade toward me. "It's yours, Richard, and only yours."

He is right. I am the Seeker. The sword is mine and mine alone. I take it from his grasp and the hilt feels readily at home in my hand. Fury flickers the moment I touch it, though suddenly, it seems easier now – controlling the rage. Do I have the mettle to defeat it yet again? Will I have it tomorrow?

I see Kahlan over his shoulder, her steadfast gaze upon me and I know; with her at my side, I have the courage for anything.

END