Death of a First Born Son
It started with the death of my oldest brother.We had misunderstood the prophecy. We had thought the alleged self sacrifice was supposed to end the war but, truth be told, it’s what started it. We had also thought that it was supposed to be me whom was destined to make that ultimate sacrifice. Looking back I can’t help but wonder if Zachariah had known the truth about his destiny all along?
I am Aiden, the youngest of four damned brothers. Though I have have lived for such a stretch of time that I have now lost track of it I have not aged sense my 25th birthday. I am no fabled vampire like Count Dracula (though I have a deep appreciation for the life’s work of “ Vlad the Impaler”). Nor am I some werewolf mut, a amateur witch dabbling in ancient affairs that are none of their business, and I am most definitely not some lower level demon soldier who slipped threw the cracks when some dumb witch unwittingly opened them for me. What I and my three older brothers are is something much darker and much more important than all of that. Something that I have despised myself for almost sense the birth of my existence.
Zachariah, my aforementioned recently deceased brother was first born. He was the brain of our operation I suppose. His wisdom came from ancient spirits, and when the four of us rode together long ago, it was not an uncommon occurance to to see my eldest brother in deep conversation or even heated argument with what appeared to the naked eye to be no one at all. Zac was both haunted and gifted in this way I always thought. The constant whispering in his ear seemed to make it near impossible for him to fit in in any society over the years making him the focus of many a witch hunt at one time. However, what those whispers did say made him somewhat of a prophet to his brothers. More often than not he foretold the outcome of every battle we sought ensuring many a “victory”, if that’s what you would call it. Personally I prefer the term “blood bath”.
Lucien is my second born brother, though in the grand scheme of things, he is first in all other aspects. In fact, Zachariah was only first born because his prophetic insight was meant to guide Lucien threw his most vulnerable youth and then to assist him threw the years and help prepare him for victory in the final battle. Lucien and I have a bit of a strained relationship. It’s our destiny. All of us possess gifts that have aided us dearly. Lucien is strong both physically far beyond any humans dream, and mentally far beyond any of the rest us. You could easily deduce that Lucien is Daddy’s favorite.
My favorite and most loyal brother was third born and is Damon. He was my watcher just as Zac was Luc’s watcher. He found me shortly after the fire that killed the milk maid and her husband that had held me as their own. I was 4 then, still fresh and small and new smelling of the womb but not quite innocent. Though I was born the most childlike of all of us, none of were ever truly a innocent. Damon was 8 when he took my hand as I stood in front of those orange flames, absorbing the screams of the parents whom had so adored me.
I remember how startled I had been when his hand had grabbed mine with no real urgency. I had looked up at the boy with black hair and eyes bluer than the clearest waters, eyes that matched my own though my hair was a messy mop of dirty blonde curls. The corner of his mouth lifted into the slightest resemblance of a smile as the screams of the milk maid began to gurgle out to nothing. For the briefest of moments I felt a twinge of fear thinking I was not yet strong enough to fight off even this boy if I needed to. I could make fire though. That I knew. Damon gently squeezed my hand and I felt it. That hum of power that existed within my own self and I knew who he was, I knew he had been looking for me for some time of his short life, and I knew he was to be my teacher, my protector, my friend, my brother.
Damon was never a man of many words. He was a stoic and steady pillar that I had missed over the years sense the four of us had all went our separate ways. I force myself not to think of that dark time. Instead I think of reuniting with my favorite brother and let a small smile that matches the one Damon himself likes to wear spread across my face. I look forward to seeing Damon; even if it is in the wake of a loss we could not have prepared ourselves for.
True as it was that Zac and I were never really what you could call close, he was still my brother. We were all each other had ever known. I would be hard pressed to say that of the other three had ever really loved anything but I liked to think that we all did at least hold some brick in the wall of our black hearts for one another. I knew I would be the only one to feel the razor’s edge of familiararility along side the sharp sting of loss.
Perhaps it was only the bonds of the responsibility our true father had placed on each of shoulders long before our birth into this world that some how kept us linked together no matter how far we tried be from each other. This is the prophecy…Lucien always called it fate.
As I stared at my brother in the pine box he had built himself, I kept making a loop in my mind of the time leading to this moment. Those years ago when the four of us split ways. Zac’s leather bound notebooks, countless box’s of them, which he had delivered by whatever means suited for the times to where ever he was planning to rest his weary head for a spell, that held all his prophetic knowledge most of which was scribbled in his own blood or perhaps the occasional beautiful virgin’s blood into unledgeable riddles in every language there ever was. The prophecy as it was originally written in one of his oldest notebooks and what it had said plain as day. “ The death of the last born son…End of the beginning…Begin the end…”.
Whatever Zac had learned he did not bother to share with the group. Regardless from where I stood making that loop in my mind over and over, staring at my oldest brother, first born son, there was only one thing that loop kept coming back to. Zachariah had taken my place. His own self sacrifice spared mine and in turn started the war. The toll bells were ringing and it was as if it was a actual noise ,loud, deafening. The final battle was here, Zachariah had brought our damnation and left his three younger brothers to fight. A fight to death, winner takes all. The prophecy had already decided that too though. Lucien was destined to be king…Fate.
At the time of Zac’s demise,it hit me like a shock wave. As if I had a fork dug deep into a 220V outlet and someone just flipped on the breaker. I know Lucien and Damon felt it too. Then it turned into a ache in my chest like red hot poker had just been shoved threw my chest. Though this was an unfamiliar kind communication from one of my brothers, I knew exactly what it was, we all did. Death of a son. Then Zac’s face had flashed before my eyes and the prophecy chimed in my head like a nursery rhyme you don’t want to remember but just cant forget. Though the details did not become clearer until a little later, the important part was loud and clear. “The end begins”.
Relief washed over me in a cold mist. After centuries of waiting, the home stretch had begun. For too long I had been haunted by my most basic instinct, by the blood on my hands. The stench of death was a putrid smell I could never seem to cleanse myself of. For too long I have been fighting off sleep, sleep that always finds me, and once I close my eyes and begin to drift off into dreams they turn to nightmares.
Nightmare, always the same one and its a memory…her memory. I quickly push that dark train of thought far from the fore front of my mind yet again because I can feel the presence of at least one of my brothers closing in. Looking back at Zac’s unmoving face once more I feel a twinge of guilt that I should be contemplating all the time I have spent wishing for death when he lays as he does before me steadfast in my place as prophetic sacrifice. I deflected that thought as well and silently let myself hope that it would be Damon whom arrived next to say farewell to our brother.
As if keeping time with my thoughts the icy cold chill that seemed to sometimes accompany Lucien’s presence crept up my spine and I knew my hope was lost. Lucien and I were not always the best of company for one another. Perhaps it was the history of violence we shared or maybe it was knowing that it was the two of us who were destined to fight for the glory of our father in this fast approaching final battle. Whatever the cause behind friction, the ending result was most often complete destruction.
Luc’s long, thin fingers clasped my shoulder and I let the unusual cold that clung to his skin sink in threw my blazer. “It has been too long, baby brother.”
I turn to face him and am surprised to see how different he is even though his appearance like mine own is unchanging. I remembered him being larger than myself but now standing face to face once again we are nearly a reflection of one another except his features still are much darker than mine. In fact it seemed that his hair and eyes which were always black as night had grown even darker, abysmal even. Used to it would be easy to mistake him, like the rest of us, for human but now he was different. Now I could see what lied beneath the surface of us all…beast.
“Indeed, it has.” I agree and then am cut short by Damon detached voice echoing in the distant recesses of my mind. Looking back to Lucien’s dark gaze I see he too has heard our middle brother’s call. “You heard?”
Lucien nods silently in confirmation. Damon will be later than expected. How late was left open ended meaning it could be hours or it could be weeks. I am a bit more than disappointed to say the least. Lucien looks past me, onto our eldest brother whom lay perfectly still in his resting place.
I watch from my peripheral but I see no emotion at all on Lucien’s face as he looks upon Zachariah for the last time. I remain unsurprised. Lucien reeks far worse than I of innocent blood and as I look upon him I see a fresh smudge of darkest red staining his cufflink. Zac would approve and truth be told my mouth waters a bit so i choose to pretend I haven’t noticed.
Lucien speaks first. “So it is finally upon us. I do hope you are ready Aiden, for soon, I will grant you no mercy’s. We were born for this moment. Do you feel it?”
It was impossible not to feel it. That hum of energy in the air. Like I could feel the stars themselves aligning. I could hear those demon soldiers below stomping at the gate. I could hear the heavens above weeping their for time coming to an end. Already I was high from the sensation as the Earth mourned its own dark demise. About this Lucien was right. We were born for this.
Chaos; Death; Destruction; Blood. From this point forward there would be no more denying the monster I have always been. What are we?
We are the four sons of the devil. His spon sent to open the gates so he may reclaim his rightful thrown with his one worthy son by his side. We are the four horsemen.
Revelation 6:8 -KJV
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”
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