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Something Strange About Dying

There’s something strange about dying.

You’re in the battle, ducking and dodging and shooting. And, through it all, there’s a voice hissing in your ear: If you make one mistake, this is the end of your story.

And, when you don’t listen to it, it brings in the fear. It strangles you as you race behind the barriers; it clutches at you when you realize that that gun right there is pointed straight at you, and that the one who holds it will not hesitate. It drags at you as you squeeze the trigger, knowing full-well what that bullet will do.

But, then, when the worst happens, and you feel the pain—warm and crippling—arching across your back and know that, while you can still move, there will not be much more in your story. . . everything changes.

Because then the worst has happened. That price that you were so reluctant to pay has been ripped from your hands, and, suddenly, there is nothing more to lose.

The fear melts into a quiet dread, but you can push it aside. You can stumble to your feet and grab a gun; you can take the risk you were terrified of only moments before because, now, that ultimate cost has been paid. Having nothing left means having nothing to lose.

There’s something strange about dying.

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