The Piper 41

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The night was coming and he liked that.

For once, he had been left in charge and the thrill of that control flooded his veins with a warmth that was reminiscent of his own comforts.

Flowers viewed the world from the inside of his flat. The smell of the old man had now even ceased to reach his nostrils and the revulsion that he had first felt was replaced with acceptance, indeed, celebration.

Since meeting James Harrison, life had taken on a different hue. The dead, he was sure, would inherit the earth and he would be amongst them. No, he would be leading them in the conquest of all that was good and the meek, well, they would not inherit.

He had learnt so much in these past weeks. He stopped to catch himself. Weeks, was it just weeks that had passed? For him it seemed like decades. These weeks had become eons in which he had led been led on a merry waltz through the possibilities of being. In that time he had moved from being Flowers, the boy with no hope (but who was as savage as despair), to the second in command.

He had been called him his representative on Earth. His kingdom would belong to Flowers and all of his progeny would rule from that day forth.

Hadn’t he moved the dead?

He turned to look at the dried remains in the chair and grinned.

For a moment he placed his smile onto the face of the cadaver and was pleased to see it returned. Nevertheless, he had become bored with the way he could manipulate this empty vessel. Like a puppet master, he had been capable of making the thing move; it almost seemed real. On one occasion, it had even been able to make him a rudimentary cup of tea, but he had always hated tea and threw the scolding liquid back into the face of the giver.

Yes, he could move the dead and now it was time for him to move the living.

Podrall had been easy. Podrall was an insect. Yes, there had been a time when he had liked his Podrall. He had liked the way that the boy had feared him. The way he jumped to his commands and did everything without questioning. He enjoyed the blood that he was prepared to spill. He could watch in glee, like a circus spectator, as Podrall and his crew set about some hapless victim. And he would watch, enthralled by the spectacle as they would show their chosen prey not an ounce of mercy as they set about reducing hard flesh to pulp.

And that was good. That was good for those times. Now the times they were ‘a changing’ and he would settle for no less than sacrifice. The Piper had taught him that.

Now, the night was coming and it was the time that had been promised. On this night, and it had been deemed so, there would be sacrifice. There would be a sacrifice that would light up the world to the new possibilities of a dark eve.

From his window, he watched the weak move. They were being chased along the pavements by the merest force of the feeble elements, rain, cold and darkness could do this. When The Piper’s time was at hand, they would be huddled like goats against the greatest of powers.

How had man reached this stage?

He was not saddened by the fall of man but amazed that such a creature had managed to out-think its rivals to reach such privilege. Man the half-witted inheritor. The Piper had sneered in disgust at the thought that such imbeciles had reached so high in the food chain. They had been half-bloods, neither from the dark nor from the light. At first, they had danced around feasting on anything they could capture and, if unsuccessful, each other.

Then the prophets came, bringing awareness.

Instead of devouring their young in times of need, some would sacrifice their very own lives for these useless additions. Blessed are the children. And this was the key. For them to continue their absurd existence, their children had to survive.

The store of their collective memories was kept inside these helpless sacks of lard.

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Children, the root of all goodness, and evil.

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