“These creatures have no clue.” Said War, glaring at the humans as they brushed passed him. His colossal form was unmoving, but they tried regardless.
“They are vile.” Pestilence grimaced before plucking a fly from the air and consuming it. His cracked skin revealed red flesh, and his leaking eyes oozed pus.
“They are greedy.” Famine observed. He stood small between his brothers, his stature thin and weak.
The three horsemen walked down the street like it was a typical day and they were ordinary people. They all wore black suits and long coats, a courteous attempt at a disguise. The concrete constructs surrounding them cast a shadow over the busy town, a thousand humans crammed into shops for their next fix of consumption. Cars lined the road between, their piercing horns of impatience a nuisance to the three demigods.
“We should make them destroy each other, they have the means and more. They have the ignorance.” Proposed War. A confident grin appeared on his face, he did not expect his brother’s quarrel.
“No, that would be far too quick. Let me concoct something special. A disease that these fickle creatures and their confidence cannot cure.” Said Pestilence.
“You two aren’t being creative enough. We should remove everything that these humans crave and watch them descend into chaos. They won’t last long.” Said Famine.
A sudden screech and crash interrupted their thoughts. A red smear of gore painted the road and the car after it was crumpled. Screams and curses filled the air. The crowd that once filled the street was now formed around the scene.
“He’s here.” They said as one.
Death appeared as if from nowhere and joined them in their stride. His face was pale and chiseled as if carved from bone. He was attired as his brothers were, but aided his step with a skull topped cane. He stood a little smaller than War, but Deaths presence was dominating. The three brothers almost coward before him.
“My brothers, what brings you here?”
“Just taking a walk on this beautiful day. I see that you’re here on business?” Famine asked his Death, his voice cracking slightly.
“Yes and no. Let’s call it a convenient coincidence that this humans time was up as you were discussing the end of its kind.”
“We were just talking, Death, we meant no harm.” Pestilence pleaded.
“Silence Pestilence,” War interrupted with a roar, stopping his three brothers in their tracks. “It is their time. These creatures do not deserve our mercy.”
War drew a sword from beneath his long coat and drove it into the pavement before him. Famine and pestilence cowered away from the challenge. Death remained silent and approached him until they were face to face, almost nose to nose. Wars face revealed his rage, Deaths remained emotionless. Without breaking his gaze, Death tapped the impaled sword with his cane, a writhing tendril of darkness coiled around the giant blade and shattered it into dust.
“Yes, the seals are broken, and it is time for their end, but I choose to let them make their mistakes. They will be reaped one by one. That is destiny, not our choice. There is good among them, but they are young yet,” Death looked each one of them in the eyes and continued. “Be careful not to anger me, brothers, even you will be reaped one day.”
I hope that you enjoyed that short piece. The Four Horseman have always interested me as characters, they’ve appeared in some of my favourite T.V programmes and video games. It was originally written to practice a multiple person conversation, as I felt that this was something that I need to work on. I enjoyed imagining the brothers in the modern age and attempt a guess at what they would say about our society.
This version of them will more than likely appear in more of my short stories, it could be fun to carry this on as a series. Will War back down from the almighty Death? Will the three join forces against the one? We shall see.
Incoming very soon will be a teaser from The Dream Blade novella, as chapter 1 is very nearly complete!
Thank you for reading.