This is the time. There are no comebacks. Are you nervous, are you afraid? The sun is sleeping on his bed among the stars, while the moon, his wife, takes over his kingdom with her offspring, the small and delicate stars dance on the sky, to the sound of the beautiful music the inspired poet made to his muse, the white pearl above his head. 'The midnight song', he calls it. And the stars dance to this song happily and amused. Are you still afraid? Are you sorry? Don't be, it is no better to be safe than sorry.
You can right now feel the waiting bashing you. Each 'tick' the 'tock's follow bashes you heavier to yourself. The world is growing, it is bigger. No, it is just your fear, intimidating you to the deep and cold prison of your doubts. You talent doesn't matter, your muse has run away. Now, what to do? Fear is the beast that clips the wings of our imaginations. And now, your confidence flows away on your skin, those little drops of sweat over there, right on your forehead.
Your heart is excited. He tries to nudge you, beating faster. Your brain pumps inside your head, dancing to the rhytm of the beat down there in the basement. Your chest is running out of space, give it some air, take a deep breath now! There you go, now you feel time going slower and heavier. Who put that weight on the pointers of the clock?
Do you remember, years ago, when Mr. Poe sent us a crow to speak with us? The crow said "never more", and disappeared, remaining only in your head. Today, the crow returns, but he is quiet, silent. He watches you and haunts your soul, and you want him to say. Say it again, crow, tell me. Leave my soul and return peacefully to the dungeons of my memories. You pleed him, but you can't even find him. You can see his eyes watching you everywhere, but you won't find him. Not easily.
'Tick', the clock says. The moment takes one step closer. 'Tock', he says again. Every cell on your body wants to tremble, wants to collapse and make you disappear. Father Chronos, stop the sands of time and release this poor soul from his torment. He is tired of abiding by your rules, tired of having to wait. And you, father Chronos, torment him more by rotating your hourglass and let those sands slip even slower. This is not nice.
But eventually you found your savior. Yourself. That little drip of blood, that little part of your soul, and the extra beat of your heart, they came to rescue you. They were right there, on what you did, and they came to remind you something important: they are nothing, nothing. But a small portion of you. And you can do more, better and easier than those small, insignificant shields that are still able to protect you, knight. They are your shining armor, and when everything seems to fall apart, suddenly your arms feel lighter, your body is softer, your heart stops sufocating you and your mind can get rid of that hypnotic beat that drives it towards your demons. Mr. Poe, he defeated your crow, and this time he will say right back at you: Never more.
You feel good now, I know you feel. You are stronger, faster, sharper. You can face the whole world and survive. You can suceed, you know you can. You did your best, and it was more than enough. You can't quite explain that, but you simply feel like you just carried the world upon your shoulders, and you did. Now, enjoy it and rest, tomorrow will be a new day.
This...is what we call a victory.