War and Discord

In the beginning, there were only two. My brother and I, the only children our father would ever have, a man whose face we never saw. We are War and Discord, here long before such titles existed. Long before their wise carpenter gave them a new God to follow. They came and they went, and we outlived them all.

Just as we were made, we made them. Our love child, if you will. Chaos birthed them through tears, bitterness, and discord; tears as their blood, bitter catalyzed salt to shape their bodies and nothing but pure discord within their souls. Black smoke swimming behind their eyes aching to burn anything it could. Samuel designed them, and I took care of the rest.

Our temples were built side by side in a large clearing outside what is present-day Romania. His depicting multiple images of his many forms, black beasts tearing up both land and sky, while mine showed nothing but elaborate battle scenes exaggerated in its bloodshed. They loved him more on account of his cold beauty. Black hair and black eyes on skin paler than death. The dark essence of chaos flowing from the pages of poetry. It brought out a deep-seated nyctophilia I think Samuel had covertly put in.

Vivacious art painted in his honor covered the interior, encasing a marble statue of astounding resemblance, which towered over all who stood before it. I had no such endowment. They knew what he looked like for he’d once shown himself to a pair of thieves that had stolen from our faceless father—manifested from the air and ripped out one of their hearts, holding it like a trophy as human blood dripped from his fingers. The second of the thieves drew the image of my dear brother the moment he found paper, before succumbing to insanity.

Down on Earth is where he spent most of his time, disguised as a black wolf feeding off their fury up close and personal. I wonder what would happen if they knew that the creator of chaos, father of dragons, and wielder of demons slept outside their butcher shops eating their scrap meat.

We spoke through them. Through their hate and seething rage. I watched below and would know that the riots of Black Sunday in Egypt and in Attica, New York were his doing, and such beautiful work they were. Some of his best.

We worked together. Samuel whispering in their ear: “Your wife is in the arms of another man,” “the dealer ripped you off,” “that man wants to invade your home.” Mostly lies, blurring the lines: “beware the tribe across the sea,” “they won’t negotiate,” “Alexander is coming to conquer,” or for the newer years, “Russia is not your friend.” He does the talking and I take care of the rest.

Before the start of the wars, they would fall to their knees in the house dedicated to me and they’d pray. Their musical hymns might almost be considered moving if not so silly. The black wolf, my brother’s favorite form, stared at the clouds on those days asking what kind of fun I’d have. We always decided together. My dear brother and me.

When the wars started, their blood became the paint of my canvas. Heads rolled off scrawny shoulders as the yells of glory pierced the atmosphere and the bombs of new age weaponry blew the land to bits. I watched their outline to edit the ending. My screenplay, my canvas… until the day it wasn’t. There came a day when a pair of black claws ripped it away. My dear Samuel, my twin brother who never liked being on the sidelines.

The fighting drowned the Earth. Soil went from brown to red, everywhere you stepped made a river of blood flow. He was ruining my war. Had turned it into a bloodbath where no human survived—an outcome when chaos forgets it can’t be king.

The wolf looking up from the ground shifted to smoke and rose up to me. 

“What are you doing? This isn’t your part.”

Chaos circled me, face stone as the marble in his temple.

“My dear brother, Donavon,” he said. His smile was rare and dangerous. “I’ve waited long enough. War and Chaos cannot live together. We are two kings in one kingdom that is built for one. I’m not the pauper, Donavon, are you?” 

I knew how this story would end.

“I do all the work. I am the one that makes those things what they are, not you. Why would chaos need war, when it can make its own? I am war and discord. You are pointless in this tale.”

I did not beg. I am war. It wins or loses, but it never begs.

The pale hand of discord struck me, rendering me to ash. Darkness surrounded the battlefield, erupting into chaos.

My temple collapsed.

About the author

Rachel Roth graduated from the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing. They formerly wrote film and restaurant reviews for a lifestyle magazine, CapeStyle Magazine and currently write TV/film-related articles for the entertainment website Hidden Remote.

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