The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse

It's time. They are here.


12. --Are

Are other children, my age, suffering this? Feeling this hunger? This loneliness? I feel alone, no one seems to take much notice of me any more. It's as if I'm dead, but I know I'm not. I feel pain, longing and other sort of... feelings. I see these other figures sometimes, just standing, watching me. I've never actually seen their faces. It's strange.

Famine sat on the edge of his chair, shuffling uncomfortably. "Oh, it's nothing, War..." He gave a long sigh, the sigh of someone who has seen too much in their life.

War patted him on the shoulder, a genuine look of concern on her face. How odd, for one such as War. He held his scales close to him, for whatever comfort they brought. His threadbare clothes hung loosely around him, his dark hair looked ruffled and messy. "Strange things have been happening recently... Death found something that obviously aggravated her." A small smile flickered across her face. "Conquest told be she came to him, all skeletal and everything."

Famine chuckled. "Death has always been so edgy. She needs to loosen up a little." He muttered, standing up. His toes entwined themselves in the carpet, before he released them, looking toward the door. "I believe my own beast has a job for me..." He trailed off, his voice soft and quiet. He moved from the room and house before War could put up a protest. She would understand. He was known for his strange mood swings. Death and Conquest put it down to being a small child. Famine knew it was something else. War just went along with it all, as one like her does.

He set off at a run, his feet patting the ground with soft thumps, feeling the warmth ebb from the pave stones. The sun had not long since set. Famine ran fast, with his arms tucked in, nothing like what the professional runners thought you should be like. He had had years and years of practice, to perfect his ways. In the Victorian times, he would run away from bakeries, when the poor old maids chased him and the street urchins away.

A quiet whinny alerted him to the presence of his horse. A smile broke the ice on his face, and he ran over to caress the soft black muzzle. Her ribs were visible, just like his. He patted them carefully, before hauling himself on the horse's back. All of the horsemen, apart from Conquest, rode bareback. They felt they needed to be closer to nature, and those horrid saddles were certainly not the way they liked to do it. Years and years of riding had eased the pains away, and each horseman after the last would command his or her beast with ease.

Famine's horse ran faster than the others. If you were to put them in a race, you'd be certain Famine would win. Death's horse would come second. You had to be fast to keep up with all of those stray souls. Next would come War's. The need to catch the enemy was great in her heart. Lastly would come Conquest. In times of peace, who needs to run?

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