This is a flash fiction piece I wrote on a whim. No place to put it, so I thought about throwing it out here for the heck of it. Sometimes practice comes in handy.
Cornellius replaced the blade in the groove of an oak tree where it was left for him. The dying soldier twitched one last time. It wasn't unexpected. Cornellius had seen many deaths at his own hand.
What he didn't expect was the soldier to smile as he exhaled this life for the last time. He didn't expect to feel remorse or guilt for killing his brother. It was his duty to dispatch traitors to the Empire. Yet, he felt betrayed.
He had waited so patiently for this moment. He had spend days preparing a story to lure his twin into the open. He lied to his own wife and children.
So why had his brother mocked him in death? Why had he not perished like other men? What had he seen in death that amused him so?
Cornellius turned away from the soldier. Beyond the valley men on horse galloped steadily toward him. Who were these men? Surely they were not traitors like his brother? Surely they would yield to his authority and let him pass?
He tried to smile, but the awakening of fear arched toward his chest. The groove quickly filled. He knelt to the ground and smiled. The sight of his brother's smile emptied all thoughts as the last stroke of metal ended his life.