BEFORE THE VILLAIN, by Alexandra Seidel:

Should I give up now because it’s fate?
Should I bury the sword
handed to me through seven generations
of firstborn mages
in the watery soil of the moor?
in the coal-hot sand of the desert?
in the soft black earth behind the house?

The seer promised me a crown
and more riches than any man could spend
loyal sons and cunning daughters, everyone of them
a mage like me
should I melt the crown
before it’s forged?
drown my children
before they are born?
abandon the wife
whose face I’ve not yet seen?

Should I cast off my fate
like a torn muddy shirt
leave it on the floor
like crone’s spittle

just because the seer said that they would call me
Rich and wise and powerful
but also evil?

Should I end my life now before I take the name the seer
whispered in his trance, before
I get to kill six heroes
and wait for the seventh to finally free the world from me?

Should I?

And what am I
if I fight Fate
and win?

Alexandra Seidel was lost to the charm of myth, legend, fairy tale and dreams at an early age. She gave her heart to writing a little while later and must confess that there are few things — if any — she likes better. Samples of Alexa’s writing can be found at Strange Horizons, Bull Spec, Mythic Delirium, and elsewhere. She edits poetry for Niteblade and Fantastique Unfettered and really tries updating her blog once or twice a month:

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