L'amour Noir (Black Love)

Once there was a beautiful young woman that fell in love with an assassin, who worked for the king of the land. They soon married, but later she was horrified to discover her adulterous husband with her best friend. Jealous, heartbroken and enraged, the woman went mad, slitting their throats.
She absconded from home and, using skills she had learnt of survival and the deadly arts, roamed the lands as a paid assassin. After the betrayal of her husband’s infidelity her heart was hardened, and she went without mercy.
One day the woman returned to her homeland and purchased an inn. Her establishment was frequented by many soldiers, who had been massing in readiness for war against a neighboring kingdom. One young soldier laid eyes upon and lost his heart to the woman. No matter how cold she appeared or how cruelly she spurned him the soldier repeatedly asked to court her. Finally she relented, and in time found herself warming to the young man’s affections. They spent many a pleasurable evening together before the dreaded day arrived when he was called to war.
The soldier’s departing stirred unwelcome and bitter memories of her husband, and the woman became cross and resentful. After a terrible argument the night before battle, she drove him out of the inn, weeping inconsolably.
At dawn the army marched towards their enemies. Among them was the soldier, who, even though was broken-hearted by his love’s rejection, still nurtured hope of their meeting in future.
The army advanced, leaping forward like the surge of the waves, weapons and battle armor dazzling in the sun. The two sides clashed violently. The soldier, in front, received a fatal blow. He died in agony.
Miles away, the woman paused in her work and felt a strong urge to be with him. Immediately she saddled a horse and rode to the battlefield with all haste.
When she arrived she was shocked by the carnage. Thousands of bodies lay in the blood-soaked grass, some crying out for help, others still. With a heavy heart she searched the field, combing through hundreds of bodies, each face foreign and frightening. Finally she found him, her inamorato.
Even in death his face was handsome and kind. His last thoughts were of her. When she beheld his bloody visage and fatal wound, she gave a savage cry of grief for the death of the only man who’d truly loved her. In overwhelming anguish, she mourned the loss and regretted her coldness towards him. Life now barren, it held no more value for her. She withdrew a dagger from her cloak and thrust it into her heart.
As her life’s blood ebbed away into the earth, the spent woman appreciated the intimacy of her final position on her lover’s breast. She heard the slow, lessening beat of her heart, closed her eyes and felt no more.


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