Second in command and charged with running one step behind the leader while two steps ahead of death. Dicing with mortality on a sweet marinated bed of charisma only goes so far. And even then, the call back to reality sets in like the sauce that lingers too long and congeals into one thick glob.
Pace masters look sideways into the horizon over their shoulder and realise that there is no difference between them and the next for the bullet's zero.
And just like that, standing still is lying down, feeble and losing fluid pints by the second. No blood donor banks exist on this sordid island of despair.
Laden with the responsibility of others, it's a stunning defeat of attention and concentration that leads to another falling down in the field. This time, felled not by the enemy, but by the back hand revolt of the third looking to set some distance between the fifth.
Not realising of course, that the shift up brings the fifth into the fourth. Distance all the same.
Written on Wednesday, 21 June 2006