I dragged their lifeless bodies across the newly leveled fields. Each one inadvertently picking up pieces from those who'd fallen before them. These two were the last. The giants among the masses. They stood tall and proud, certain nothing could harm them.
But they forgot who their master was. They took on a role they had not earned and in doing so led many others astray. Like a mutinous crew seeing only the port before them and not the ocean and its treasures beyond.
It was my job to bring things back to order. It was a task I loathed but knew had to be executed. If not I'd have been overrun and all my years of work would have been for nothing.
And so I did what had to be done.
With blades sharpened and nothing more than a thin protective shield to guard me against their allies, I went forth.
Within minutes of entering their territories, their colleagues met me. Alien in appearance, they were fast and adaptable. I knew some would make it through my shield. They are a plague on society. So their death brought me great pleasure.
As I got closer I was greeted by their children. So small and fragile, easily plucked from the earth and tossed to the side. This... this I did not enjoy. Though I knew my enemies had to be thoroughly annihilated, it brought me no pleasure to end the next generation.
I moved forwards.
Getting closer to my goal I was forced to run the gauntlet. So many of my friends turned foe, each one grabbing at me, cutting me, leaving behind bloody reminders of relationships that had spoiled from neglect. So much of it was my fault, which hurt the most.
But they fell, all of them. One by one. My blades cut through them. Yet it was no easy task. Each one bigger and stronger. My hands, my arms, my shoulders and back, they all hurt, but I could not, WOULD NOT quit.
And then I was there, standing before the last two holdouts. The giants. Taking them down would be no easy task. But necessary if I was to succeed.
But I was tired.
So many battles had already been fought and all I wanted to do was rest. However, I knew if I stopped at this point, chances are I’d never go back.
And so I pushed forward. Grabbing a larger blade, not sure if I could take them down. But not showing fear either.
They both fought long and hard. The cuts and bruises I'd sustained earlier were nothing compared to the ones they left me. They were strong, solid, unmoving. Unlike the ones before who bent easily to my will. These put up a mighty fight.
But I could not lose and so I pressed forward to victory.
Tossing their lifeless bodies into a mass grave, piled high with my enemies, who were once friends. Tears mingled with sweat as I watched the cart pull away. I wondered if I'd been a better master, maybe none of this would have happened. Perhaps I could have tried harder to work with them. But it didn't matter now. I had a plan and they refused to work with me.
Under a warm flow of water, I reflected on the day's victory. Washing away dirt and debris, I hoped to never have to fight my friends and their allies again. But I am certain that as a master, I will be forced to make these difficult decisions again.
Because the truth is my job is never done.
Tales of a Master Gardener