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I HAVE GRABBED THE MACE

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BE STILL, HEART! FOR I HAVE ENDED ALL DESIRE

I have done it.

I have grabbed the mace.

Oh! Some said it would not be done. Others claimed it should not be done. Almost all considered it a farce, a folly, a fantasy. It rests on the table like the hammer of Thor! That is what they said. None shall move it, much less tote it like a babe in arms across the Parliament floor.

Only a fool would even consider it, they said. It must have the weight of the earth contained in its form, and its eldritch metals must scorch the hands of mere ungloved mortals. There would be no word for those daft enough to attempt it. A new, unholy word would have to be invented for such madness.

Invent that word now, wordsmiths.

For I?

I have grabbed the mace.

AFTER YEARS OF DELIBERATION I APPROACHED IT

It was not as hard as they imagined.

I considered detailed plans before my attempt and success, yes. Pulleys, ropes, systems of support, machines of arcane and wondrous design — all came under consideration in the long hours I spent dreaming, plotting, and scheming.

Would I require assistance? Would my confederates be trustworthy? Would they, in the heat of the moment, be moved by the same passion that roiled my soul, and brazenly attempt to heft the mace alone? Would I let them spoil my dreams in the course of fulfilling them? What mayhem would the lust for the mighty emblem create among beasts turned men?

Others would surely attempt it, or were planning to try. How could one not? Surely we all dreamed the same dream: To grab the mace. It was the only possible desire of all!

Yet my realization arrived with a curse. Someone might grab the mace before me, and thus ruin the game.

I fell into a deep misery at this revelation. My world became a jungle of mistrusts and budding treasons! What had I become? A sad wretch conspiring in a closet office, wandering the break room while trying to mark my silent rivals. Where is my Moriarty! Show yourself! Hissssss!

Oh, but they were too late.

CALM AND AT PEACE AS IT FELL INTO MY HANDS

I decided on a straightforward plan of action: To simply grab the mace, and let fall what heavens may crumble in the wake of my DARING.

My rivals’ souls must have leaped to full terrified attention as I rose to my feet! I wore no special clothing, no magic garments. No sorcerer’s sleeves hung from my arms as I walked toward the mace — that blessed club! — and placed hands upon it.

I felt nothing like electricity coming from it as I grasped it. It was cool to the touch, in fact, and weighed little more than a hefty toddler. It welcomed me, as I welcomed it.

I picked it up and did not die. It did not crush me, for I was stronger than I realized. It did not burn me, for I was made of icier stuff than I even imagined. For years, I now understood the mace had possessed me. But the tables and their position in life are variable, confessor. They may, indeed, be turned.

Now I possessed the mace.

TREMBLE, FOR I HAVE GRABBED THE MACE

I paraded it forward so that all might see. The envy of my colleagues! The shock, the anger, the cries of “put it back!” What delights to my ears! What cowards I had revealed in my boldness! Now all would see their long shadows were in fact tricks of the light, mere dwarves with giant silhouettes.

The mace was made for a true giant’s hands — but did it not now rest in those? I heard them cry for order, but they did not understand. I had just given it to them.

For I? I had grabbed the mace.

AND NOW A GREAT PEACE SUFFUSES ALL

They demanded it back, and I relinquished it.

I did it happily. I had grabbed the mace. To be free, I had to release it from my hands — and from the steely grip of my heart. I understood now what a slave I had been to it, and what I had done in finally taking it.

The mace had held me. I could not allow myself long to hold it, lest others see me in my majesty and then dwell in the same purgatory I inhabited for so long.

I had grabbed the mace. And in turn, it had grabbed me, and released us both from our bonds of servitude and chains of need. Freedom is, I now understood, won by the bold. My only regret was not being bolder sooner, for that freedom is so much sweeter than imagined.

The only possible issue I can see moving forward? The only crack in this otherwise flawless, limitless crystal horizon of possibility?

I have not entertained it much for fear of conjuring it into existence. But I will confide here that there is but one thing that could break the spell of my desire-less and tranquil present happiness.

If — IF — there were an axe made for an ogre somewhere. A true giant’s hatchet, a titan’s tomahawk, a tool of such immense size and hue that even those dwelling in perpetual winter would leave the warmth of their fires behind to fight for it?

That reader, I confess would be my new undoing, and the focus of all my desires and soul-lust.

However, I believe this to be one of the few remaining specters wandering through the estate of my mind. Make no mistake: It would undo me, and set off a new cycle of plotting, envy, and infatuation so intense it might destroy what is left of me.

Fortunately, no one would create such an object, much less—

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—OH MY GOD