Willard looked out the window of the Great Tower. "It truly is an incredible accomplishment, you know." He glanced at the young man behind him. "Do you know it took them twenty years to build it?"
"No, sir, I didn't," said the man.
"Oh, it's true," said the Ancient. "Twenty years. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. They built it. They knew how to do such things, here in Talossa, in those times. They understood how to build a thing, slowly, surely, so it would stand for centuries." A smile touched Willard's face. "As long as the repairs were kept up, of course." He turned to glance at the young man. "That is important you know. Oh, the money we've spent keeping this pile of stones standing. It would make your head spin."
"Eyes forward, sir," said the man.
Willard turned back. "Of course. Of course. Wouldn't want to make it difficult for you."
"I appreciate that," said the young man, lifting the hammer.
"Well, I am glad," said Willard. "It's important that this be done without hard feelings on either side." He chuckled. "There's none on mine, after all."
"I... find that hard to believe," said the man, taking a practice stroke with the hammer.
"A chance occurence," said Willard. "Like being bit by a stray dog."
"That happened to my brother, when I was young," said the man.
"You're still young," noted Willard.
"Well, younger," snapped the man. "He died."
"That is a pity," said Willard, looking back again.
"Eyes forward!" shouted the young man. He took a deep breath. "Sorry. Shouldn't raise my voice."
"It's all right," said Willard, glancing out the window again.
"You can shut your eyes, if you'd like," said the young man. "It... it might make things easier."
"No, no," said Willard. "I am going to meet the Seven with my eyes open, if I can." He looked down on the ground, so far below, and focused on a small point of light, as he waited for the hammer to fall upon his skull.