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That thin line

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Today marks the end of the battle against the Ottomites in Cyprus. And a bloody and messy battle it was. I saw things that I had never seen before in wartime. The Ottomites are a ruthless bunch. I keep thinking back to that last night there. The complete darkness. Even the moon seemed to hide its glow from the Ottomites’ savagery. As I stood beside the Moor, carrying the flag, I could hear the steps of what sounded like 20,000 men approaching us. I could smell the freshly discharged gunpowder in the air. Our men were not as skilled or as numerous as those of our enemies. But the Moor kept us calm, kept us confident. Back in his land, he had killed more men with his bare hands than there were altogether in the fast-approaching military. The stories the Moor recounted to us of victory and valour were the calm in the eye of the storm. The Moor...he had not only seen things, he had done things. He was our hope, our promise.

The Moor told us that he had commandeered the Venetian's cannons because he, and only he, had a sure-fire plan. And I would be a critical part of that plan. Under the cover of darkness, we would use my flag as a red herring, covering it with cloth, my coverings, and drenching it with oils. We would plant it far from us, leaving a trail of cloth behind. The trail would be partially covered under a bridge of dirt. Then, once we heard the sound of the savages approaching us, the Moor would set fire to the trail of cloth. The savages wouldn’t see the initial fire, as it was hidden by the dirt bridge. The air holes in the bridge were too tiny to witness the flames thereunder. But once my clothes were burning, the beasts would flank what they believed to be us, and we would encircle them, and blast them with the cannons hidden under the cover of darkness.
The plan worked. Othello was our hero. And at that moment, maybe it was due to the dim lighting of the fires, or maybe it was because the moon felt comfortable in coming out, but I no longer saw Othello’s thick lips or coarse hair. I only saw glistening, sun-kissed skin bulging with impeccable muscles. I saw the brilliance of a general. I saw the protector of our great land. And as I celebrated our general, Othello told me that he could not have succeeded in this without me, from my clothing to my flag. It was the two of us that would go down as the heroes who saved Venice. It will be the two of us together to conquer the world. The two of us. Othello and Iago. Iago and Othello.