|How It Actually Happened||
Forward. Back. ‘Balance, Ned,’ I tell myself. ‘Keep your balance.’ I am calm, if not a bit apprehensive, but that’s not how I appear. Pommel of the sword shifting easily in my hand, I dart towards my adversary, then, swiftly, back and away. Sweat layers my temple, my once golden curls plastered to my dark skin. I know I am weakening, as does my opponent, but our fight is hardly fair. He is young and powerful, a man - or a lord, rather - who is thought to be the greatest swordsman in all of Westeros. Kingslayer, we call him. A murderer, a cocky lad, one who delights in the killing of those who’ve done no wrong. He hisses now, swiveling his sword in his hand, the weapon perfectly balanced. He steps towards me threateningly, but before he can even raise the blade I’m screaming, dropping to my knees as a searing pain shoots through my thigh. My adversary snarls in anger as he strides towards me, sheathing his sword, the blade thickly coated in gore. He nudges my leg with his toes, and I nearly cry out. For protruding from my thigh is the sharp end of a spear, now drenched in my blood. The soldier who stabbed me releases his weapon, smiling as the Kingslayer approaches, expecting some sort of reward. But instead he suddenly finds himself reeling backwards, the harsh pommel of his lord’s sword nearly breaking his nose. The soldier gasps, and he opens his mouth to say something, but immediately thinks better of it and keeps his mouth shut. The Kingslayer looks down at me, glaring, teeth clenched. His eyes flash, and for I moment I can see nothing, pain deadening my senses. Then I feel his hand on my shoulder, pushing me to the ground. I groan in pain, and he says something callous, but I am no longer able to hear his voice. My vision begins to blur, and I roar in frustration, thrashing blindly at him as he moves further away, his lips curled into a sneer, and what appears to be a laugh retreating from his mouth. And for the first time in my life, as I lie there in agony, I realize what it is like to be alone.