From the Jaws of Victory

***

Lying face down, bleeding, writhing, the Lord of Evil was now on its knees before Link. Wielding a huge, weighty blade called the Biggoron's Sword, Link stood like a knight before a slain dragon. Dripping with blood the blade clanged to the ground as he released his grip.

Zelda, the wall of fire around her gone, cried out to him. "Now's your chance! Use the power of the Master Sword to finish him!" Link turned slowly to face her. His face was a hideous sight. Cloaked in offal, dirt, and grime, it appeared less the visage of a hero than a mound of garbage. Taken aback, Zelda gasped, but calmed herself. "Link! Destroy him!"

Link's eyes, beacon-like, stared at her. Wiping away some of the mud on his face, he strode to her side. There was a moment of stillness, and even the screams of the dying Ganon seemed repressed.

"Why?"

Zelda blinked, mouth hanging open slightly, confused fear in her eyes. "L...Link, you must destroy him! You must save our world!"

Link gazed back at her, half condescendingly, half ranting. "Why?" Zelda stared.

"Look around you. Does this world look worth saving?"

Zelda choked on her words, and fell back. Link pressed forward.

"Look at your town. Look at your castle. It's gone." Link gestured to the smoking ruins that had once, in a happy past, been the royal castle.

"Look at the evil that plagues the land. Look at the destruction. Can it be helped?" Link almost sneered, as though proud of his argumentative force.

"People are dead. Many people. People you loved. People I loved." A tear welled in Zelda's eye, but she drove it back. Trying to calm Link she slipped, and fell to the stone.

"God, Link, please..." she whispered, gasped.

"So much death. One more won't stop it," Link whispered back.

"He's won! Don't you see?" he screamed, echoing over the black stones and through the pouring rain. "He wanted this, and he's got it!"

Zelda broke down, weeping on the ground. Link raised the Master Sword.

"It will end here for me. I've failed. It is now too late, and I've seen enough," he said quietly, his own tears blurring his vision. "It ends now for everyone, and killing him won't help."

Bending down beside Zelda, he whispered into her ear a message, one that had doomed the world and forsaken its champion.

"It can't be changed. He has won. I know it. You do too."

Zelda's shriek was cut short, and blood, not the foul blood of evil, but pure blood of innocence, flowed from a slit throat. Soon it was joined by another river, and the pounding rain washed away the blood of the struggle.