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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

The Protagonist

I would never have thought of myself as a protagonist. Had I even considered the possibility, I could not have suspected that my dramatic conversion to this critical and pivotal role would occur on such a day. All appeared as normal as I busied myself with the minutia of the ordinary routine. Event uneventfully followed event without deviation from their customary sequence, as if I were part of some great mechanism of gears and cogs - each fashioned by an unknown craftsman to perfectly mesh and thereby endlessly replicate my daily activities.

It was then that the inciting incident occurred - sudden, unexpected, unanticipated, unheralded. An event which was, at one and the same time, disconcerting, arresting - staggering, perhaps - but also amazing.

The ensuing conflict was, for a time, disorientating. I soon, however, began to analyse with growing apprehension what might follow. It was clear that dangers existed as a result of my present circumstances but, more critically, I could also envisage the inestimably greater consequences if a resolution could not be effected.

I focused my mind onto the formulation of a plan. It appeared that there were few options available to me, but one strategy seemed to have some probability of success. I systematically prepared my scheme, mapping and rehearsing the steps until I knew that I could do no more to maximise my chances of success.

I had given my chosen course of action its best shot, which made my failure all the more devastating. With hindsight I could appreciate why that approach could never have worked.

I knew, however, that I must not fail, so resolved to attempt an option I had previously discarded. The risks had seemed just too great, but now there were no alternatives. Once again I proceeded with meticulous attention to detail until ready to act.

That second disastrous failure heralded my darkest hours. I knew there was nothing more I could do. I was beaten, defeated, outmanoeuvred, outmatched.

It was then, perhaps at the exact moment at which I relinquished hope, that an event of revelation occurred. It was as if that external happening had flung open a door hidden deep within my mind - a portal which had been obscured for my whole life far along a darkened passageway. Yes, this was the answer!

I set to work. The risks and dangers would be truly significant but this would be the final opportunity. Exhilaration subdued my fear.

I executed the plan with all my remaining strength. At first things went well. Then the tide of events turned against me. With almost inevitable defeat staring at me, mocking me, I made my final effort.

I was exhausted - but able to register the relief and joy of victory.

Naturally, I returned to my previous lifestyle. But it was not my previous lifestyle. Certainly the pattern of day to day events continued much as before, but I had been changed. Life could never be the same again. I would never be the same again.