The apartment was a tomb. The grave of his happy life, his former world. The first son knew what one did with places of eternal rest and desecrated souls. One kept such shrines clean. So he set about the task of polishing the home he once shared with his adopted father.
Some of the dust he swept free wafted towards one wall. Walls were funny things, one did not really notice them in the standard course of events. It was only when they behaved oddly that one paid attention to the mundane aspects of one's life. The first son moved to wall to investigate this disturbing occurrence.
Kneeling down he felt air being drawn in at the base. Very faintly. Sucked in like the breath of a stillborn child. He held his own breath to be sure and gently peeled away the wallpaper. At first it was gentle anyway. Within seconds he was tearing into it like he was unwrapping a gift.
When he was done a giant double door stood where the wall had been. The Thomas he was thought of it as wrought iron, the first son knew it for cold iron instead. It stood unadorned, a passage to a new world.
The son though that was wrong. It should be marked with some passage of brilliance grown stale and clichéd with overuse by hacks attempting to prove their brilliance through well disguised plagiarism. The son hoped for something like 'Abandon all hope...' or 'While I pondered...' This door though, it did not even bear a 'Nevermore' or a 'Plymouth Rock' to mark his passage into a brave new world. Hell, he might have even settled for a 'This is Sparta' but he got nothing.
He touched it and heard the hum of a choir behind it and knew this was it. This was the portal to his army. He heard the door behind him, the normal one, swing open and knew his sister had joined him. With a gentle tug the doors in front of him swung silently open.
He stood back, expecting a host of angels to fly out, flaming swords in hand, ready to do his bidding. Life did not work like that though. Not even a prophetic life. Not yet. Instead, a leather bound tome fell at his feet.
"That is your army, or the names of them. The ones the mad Peter collected for you. Mine is ready, so I will give you five years to gather yours."
"It was a sacred number, according to our grandfather."
"Five years to gather a group of killers, psychopaths, degenerates, and madmen."
"It worked for Manson."
"He got women in his though. Five years, then we battle each other."
"You had a choice. You could have left the box unopened, you could have let the traitor live. You could have denied God's plan."
"I don't feel like I had a choice."
"Men rarely do when they follow a true path. People of faith put aside free will for the greater good, and yet they have it."
"Is there no other way?"
"But you deny them."
"I will follow the path of faith, even if you shun it."
"So this is it."
"The last time we come together as a family."
"Love you, big sister."
"And I love you, little brother, but I love my duty more."
The doors closed, both before and behind him. Leaving him alone in the tomb of his former world. His only company the book of maniacs recruited for his cause. And the tears. Always the tears.
They fell for everything he had lost.
Even more for all he stood to gain.
#shortstory #novel #writer #writing #author