A Reason to Kill

Bossy looked at her with large, liquid black eyes.

Gracewondira stood in front of the cow, a gleam of helplessness in her eyes. The cow didn’t find her interesting enough to even look at, it just stood there quietly chewing on the hay. Munch-munch-munch-gulp. Tail swipe. Not like a dragon. And it smelled of cow, repugnant but somehow innocent, the familiar smell of an animal that isn’t bright enough to be scared even when its would-be killer stood right in front of it, knife in hand.

Bossy, I need to ask something great of you. I need to cut off your head to prove my loyalty to the Bloodsail Buccaneers, so they will allow me to infiltrate their ranks and hopefully discover their true intentions.
Booty Bay needs you, Bossy… now more than ever.

The cow gave her an empty, munchy stare. Gracewondira sighed and sat down, her bright eyes catching a sunbeam stealing through the door.

I’ve killed demons. Undead. My own kin, corrupted by Staghelm’s poison. Dozens upon dozens of sick and dying animals. The pain in their eyes still haunts me. I stood my ground before Illidan, I rode on Deathwing’s back, I looked at the burning madness lurking inside Ragnaros twice, I died by the Lich King’s hand… without flinching.

I was always taught that life is precious, that it shouldn’t be extinguished on a whim. That killing must be merciful, that it should have a goal. The world we live in gives us a wealth of reasons to kill. And even more reasons not to. How do we find a balance between them?

Gracewondira shifted her position slightly to avoid some of the smell coming from the cow. She had the nagging feeling that someone was watching her, waiting to see her fail at the task. A deep furrow on her forehead, she thought, “I’m not waiting for a reason to kill it, I’m waiting for an excuse not to. I’m behaving like a silly human, waiting for something to exculpate me, free me from the responsibility for taking away an innocent life.”

Sometimes it’s not enough to have a reason. Sometimes the guilt for what you have done is a heavy burden on your shoulders, heavier than plate and ebonsteel. She thought of her sister. What would Werewindra do? What did she say once?

Always remember it’s all a matter of perspective. Nothing is heavy by itself, nothing is light. When you get lost in the dance of everything, look up. I will be there.

Grace got up and looked at the cow. “Well,” she thought, “no sense in asking, Bossy doesn’t have the brains to understand. But I still need to say something for my sanity’s sake.”

How do you tell a cow it’s going to die? Ah, yes, of course…

“Moo,” she said.