Logan trudged on, the rain poured down soaking him to the skin. He wrapped his arms around himself and rubbed them vigorously in a vain effort to keep warm. He tripped on a stone in the road and fell face first into the mud.
He struck the ground with his fist and cursed loudly on the point of tears. It was not fair! Everything he had done he had done for Albion, for his people, and what was his reward? To be hated, to be shunned in favor of his younger brother, the Hero of Albion. It was he whom the people sang praises to, who they credited with saving them from the Crawler.
Just as he was getting to his feet he heard someone coming up behind him. Turning he saw the figure of a woman. She was wearing a red and white dress; but it was her blind eyes that drew Logan's eyes. It was her, the woman who had brought about his downfall.
"You…" He hissed his voice full of anger and bitterness.
"Yes, it is me." She answered simply, apparently choosing to ignore his tone of voice.
"What do you want?" He snapped, her calm tone only making him angrier. "Haven't you done enough to me?"
"And what exactly have I done to you?"
"You used me!" He shouted all of his suppressed and shame coming out at last. "You said the Crawler was coming, that I needed to prepare for its coming and I did, I did everything that I could to prepare. I made myself the most hated king in the history of Albion, I kept telling myself that it would all be alright, that once it struck people would understand why I did the things I did. That I was a good king who loved them just as much as my father did."
"But that didn't happen did it!?" He was now screaming at the top of his lungs. He knew he must look ridiculous lying in the mud screaming at a blind woman but he did not care anymore. "You told my brother that I was a tyrant who had to be stopped, so you advised him and trained him, advised him and helped him overthrow me. And after that he goes on to defeat the Crawler using the army I built, armed with the weapons forged by the industry that I built. I sacrificed everything, my reputation, the love of the people, my conscience and my honor, so why did you help my brother and not me?"
"Because you could not be what he is a Hero." This simple declaration stunned him to silence for a moment and before he could come up with anything to say she continued. "You are right to say that I used you, for I did. I knew from the start that you would be unable to prepare in time and that even had you had more time only a Hero could have defeated the Crawler. But you were needed. Having seen what was coming you made ready with a vigor your brother would not have. You made hard and terrible choices so he would not have to and so was untainted by them when the time came for him to take the throne. All the people who rallied to defeat you were needed to stop the creature but they would not have come together as swiftly as they did without a visible and immediate foe, which you provided."
"History will praise your brother, a hundred years from now they will read of how he overthrew a tyrant and stopped a shadow from swallowing the land in fear and darkness. If they write of you it will only be as the tyrant. If they do write of your efforts they will only say that you failed and will point out everything you could have done better. But, in many ways you did more to save Albion than your brother. He would have been content to live in your shadow the whole of his life. He would not have gone on that journey; he would not have seen what you saw. He has courage in the face of hardship and battle, but not the kind of courage you showed when you made the hard choices you did to prepare the country for its ordeal, he could not have done so and the country would have fallen."
She walked toward him until she stood beside him and turned her face towards his and he thought he saw a tear in her eye. "You have every right to hate me, but think of this, those who shun you now and those who will decry your deeds in the future will only do so because you saved them, even if only you and I will ever know that."
She continued to walk on but stopped again and said over her shoulder, "It may not mean anything to you but I am sorry fate was not kinder to you."
Logan got to his feet and when he looked up she was gone. He felt tired; the release of his anger had left him feeling drained. But her words had helped, he may never be remembered as a hero but in his own way he was and he would know that; and that would have to be enough. Perhaps in a reflection of his mood the rain stopped and the sun came out.