Edgar Allan Poe's Short Story 'The Signless'

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The night of his execution was a magnificent sight to behold The sable sky contrasted against the bright yellows and pinks of the clouds while the moons; one of red and one of green were bathed with lurid light and seemed to be glaring down on the proceedings below. Meanwhile, the shadows cast by those anchored safely to the Alternian world were dim and weak but all the more threatening for it. Were one to cast his gaze upon a shadow they’d realize the secrets and horrors they’d feared to know weren’t buried so deep after all. And those smells in the air? They were not of a fire being prepared and sweat, but instead the smell of death and blood.

The Signless, the most important troll in history for this moment and until his foretold death but not a moment longer, had been staring into the shadows of secrets, horrors, death and blood since some nameless blue blood had been given the honor of propping him to the jutting block. Would that he could he’d have looked somewhere beside the shadow cast by the ever growing crowd, but he could not. He did not have the courage or strength to lift his eyes and see just how much his destined failure had cost him.
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Since his visions of an Alternia where blood knew no meaning and all trolls were equal he’d been plagued by visions of his death. They had been insistent things, bombarding him pan night after night and day after day. There had been times he’d gone a week with no sleep just to avoid waking up screaming and drenched in sweat, tears and piss. And though that was bad enough, worse was his heart which beat too fast while feeling like it lay still as well as the burning in his wrists. The agony of both these imagined injuries had gotten so bad he’d been unable to so much as curl a toe without pain lancing throughout his entire
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