The Chronicle

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2. -

V - War is Deceit

Vengeance rides upon his blackened mount;

Many march behind him, no number can account;

He is coming on behalf of Lust,

Because I have brought on our family disgust.

Her name is Blood-Lust now, I hear:

Pitiable, amusing, I’m trembling in mock-fear.

Vengeance appears strong, but he is weak;

He shall not attain what he doth seek.

Vengeance is fragile, and Prone to defeat,

And I, War, am filled with deceit.

 

War is treachery, betrayal by all means.

War is killing - as it has ever been.

War is no child’s play, though many children die.

War is a result of many cunning lies.

War is a game for those who gamble and play.

War ends with those who in their graves shall lay.

War changes tide more than the vast seas.

War is the winner, it is the enemy who flees.

War shall win, Vengeance’s army will deplete;

But, most of all, War is deceit.

 

I have an army, still hungry for blood;

A strong army, if there ever was one.

I was strong when, in command, my father stood;

And strong it shall stay under command of his son.

I have my queen, able to bribe any man;

I have my hate-filled colonel, ready to strike them all;

Lust shall run again, as she once ran;

And more trophies shall be mounted on my wall!

The vultures shall feast tonight, no fresh meat.

They can’t best me, I am deceit.

 

 

VI - Fleeing Twice

The feeling of fleeing twice

Is beyond description, beyond compare.

It’s not reassuring. It’s not nice.

A coward I am because I run and am spared.

 

I have another death to mourn…

No, not one – a whole army, a whole fleet.

Vengeance is captured, but will be dead before dawn.

The rest: a little more than dead meat.

I sent them all to their miserable ends;

Like leading sheep to the slaughter: all dead or left to die;

All gone, vanquished! Nothing left to defend!

Tonight and the morrows to come – many widows shall cry.

 

No hope left, all ambition spent.

I shall reside here and shall not sleep.

All my honor, all my dignity: lent.

And never to be paid. I shall endlessly weep.

 

‘Princess Blood-Lust’. PAH! I am no such a thing!

By weakness I am stung, and I shall ever feel its sting.

 

 

0 - The Assassin

The Queen told me I was needed –

I always am nowadays, it seems.

But in my heart was a desire seeded

By the Queen’s unnatural glamour and gleams.

She deems this something of the utmost importance.

Though a waste it seems, I shall not reject the chance.

 

She offers me pearls, jewels, diamonds of the finest cut,

And a night in her bed on top of that,

So I have the door on all my doubts shut –

For who could deny a payment so fat?

But the job – and here’s the tricky part –

Is to kill Princess Lust, and bring back her heart.

 

I see no gain in the affair,

And nor does King War.

But I cannot turn down a ayment so rare;

For if not done, it shall leave the Queen sore.

She is jealous of Lust, you see,

And that is why in ‘jealousy’ she named me.

 

I am Envy, not the most beautiful of names,

But is have no objection to it.

I am an assassin, after all – and I feel no such shame.

I have a job, and a good job I shall make o’ it.

But… I remember, vaguely, Lust.

She was not envious or one to mistrust.

 

By the many and the few, I am misunderstood –

Not that I can blame anyone…

I do not murder in cold-blood.

I do it to feed my daughters and my son.

I live in Poverty’s clutches – and none seem to care;

Because of this – a harsh burden I must bear.

 

Many lives I have taken,

And many dying faces I have seen.

Many souls have their bodies forsaken

Because the last thing they saw was my sword’s sheen.

But the Queen wants the job done – by and by;

And I am in no place to ask why

 

As I walk along, hunting for my prey;

A dagger in hand and my sword beside me;

I think: Had Lust asked me, some other day

To kill Queen Desire – I would have done it for free!

She is evil, not worthy of even War’s hands,

Much less – to be Queen over his father’s lands.

 

 

VII - Oh, He Pitied Me!

He has found me, the one hired by the queen.

[No place to run now, I bitterly thought.]

He had a face that pain has often seen,

In his eyes are sorrow, yet they are well-taught.

Is this deception, or am I insane?

For, from his eyes, tears are shed.

His mouth frowns, unsatisfied, and his lips quiver and wane.

He falls to his knees, face turning red.

There is melancholy in his poor heart –

As clear for anyone to see –

He apologises, in part,

And wishes to pity me.

 

The queen wants me dead, he says,

And tells me he wishes not to strike another soul,

For he has burden enough to bear, he says,

And killing is an ordeal most foul.

He tells me I look thirsty and in need of food;

So he sits with me, and passes a water skin:

I drink it, and water suddenly tastes better than it should.

He refuses my thanks – saying, it is repentance for his sins.

I ask him why he serves such a merciless queen.

He tells me his family starves and lives on scraps,

And the queen offers him more wealth than he has ever seen –

But he pities me, and opposes my brother’s plots and traps.

 

Intrigued, I ask him for his name.

He tells me it is Envy – I am taken aback.

He continues, saying, the queen gave him this name.

His mother named him Pity – though, in it, he lacked.

I told him not to worry about it so

And put his mind to rest.

For he is forced to do what he does

And he must do his best

In order to be paid his due.

Calmed, he asks my any request.

I ponder… who do I send him to?

I tell him a name and send him on his quest.

 

He leaves, saying his polite goodbyes.

Perhaps there is hope yet –

With Vengeance’s brother, my fate lies;

And with War, he shall surely be met.

Desperately, I plead for his coming – so I may be free;

But there is another thought that fills me with glee –

Queen Desire’s plan ahs backfired,

For the assassin that she hired

Chose to pity me.

Oh! He pitied me!

 

 

VIII - Vengeance's Brother

In my court, an assassin stands before me.

“An assassin no more,” he says.

A messenger now is he.

“A message from who?” I say.

It is a message from Lust…

In a far off kingdom she stays.

She sends not word to me, except if she must:

So what does she have to say?

 

The ex-assassin sighs deeply, and tells

The words I hoped never to hear:

The old king is dead, from the noose he fell.

How grievious a torment for a king so feared!

Prince Peace takes his place

On the throne as King War,

And he wreaks havoc on the kingdom’s face –

He is never full; he only wants more.

 

Noble is dead.

The Queen is dead.

Love is dead.

Vengeance is dead.

And Lust has twice fled.

What more is there to be said?

 

Painful it is to hear how my brother had died:

In a bath of boiling oil he was fried –

Alive and still living –

By a ‘king’ so unforgiving.

He was displayed from a tower

For a whole week, he rot in the open.

The sun shone and rain showered,

After which he was not buried, even.

 

Princess Lust sent this messenger, and I

Shall answer her call.

Not for want of revenge

But so that the unjust king may fall.

Her father’s kingdom needs me

To set them all free.

 

What a merciless game War is;

But I shall rectify it – for I am Justice.

 

 

0 - The Prisoner

No crime did we commit, us prisoners.

Yet on cold floors we sit, us prisoners.

Tortured day by day, by whips and canes;

Made to live on, in agony and in pain.

Nobody cares for us, us prisoners.

Nobody bothers to fuss over us prisoners.

 

I, myself, was a farmer once.

My earnings were made by weather’s chance.

I tilled the earth and sowed the seed;

Poisoned the vermin and uprooted the weed.

But when battle broke out, I joined the Old King –

For a noble subject I was in serving.

 

My wife and daughters they ravished and killed;

Their blood in draughts they drank to their fill;

My son they slew and fixed to a cross,

To stand as a warning , in heat and in frost.

And, I, my wounds still burn in torment and pain,

And they left me to suffer alone and unslain.

 

The floors are blood-stained and cold;

The stench is of urine and gristle and mould;

The chains are strong, the shackles are tight;

Our hearts are heavy, our heads are light.

Every day I wait for Death to come –

For my family is waiting for me in Elysium.

 

Ere my coming, another man stayed –

He was a soldier, iron spears he once made.

He was tortured ‘til the executioner pitied him:

They hanged him and stole his every limb.

What an awful king now rules over us

And what an awful curse has befallen us!

 

Day feel like weeks, and weeks like years.

The streams of my eyes are now frozen tears.

My wounds still ache but my limbs are numb.

My tongue wants to speak yet my mouth is dumb.

I wish to die but Death does not come!

I am in Tartarus, I want to go to Elysium.

 

No crime did we commit, us prisoners.

Yet on cold floors we sit, us prisoners.

Tortured day by day, by whips and canes;

Made to live on, in agony and in pain.

Nobody cares for us, us prisoners.

Nobody bothers to fuss over us prisoners.

 

 

 

XI - War Begins to Worry

Curse these blasted fools!

They never give up, do they?

All I wanted was the kingdom to play by my rules

And yet they all go astray!

 

Yes, I took my father’s kingdom by force;

But what is done has been done!

And people should not decide their own course;

They should fear me and, from my punishments, run!

 

This kingsdom should be flowing like a stream:

Steady, subdued, and calm.

But it is a sea untamed. They deem

My rule unjust and so slip from my palms!

 

Many armies have come and defied me:

Vengeance’s and others too.

All fell, yet they fail to see

That I am king, and should be given rightful due!

 

They keep coming and never learn.

Now Justice marches from afar;

Making my blood boil and my anger churn;

His plans and his army I shall certainly mar.

 

Many years have passed since my sons were born:

Courage and Cowardice – brothers born of the same hour.

But Courage sleeps whilst Cowardice mutters and moans:

Useless is he, as he is of small stature and little power.

 

Justice is coming, but who am I to quake in fear?

I am War! I, whom none shall defeat!

Justice will fall like his brother, and Lust shall cry endless tears!

But Justice is a difficult opponent to best and beat…

 

My mind stirs with anger and doubt:

What if I fail and lose?

Will I be spared a single word or shout?

What harsh terms would Justice choose?

 

I have no time to think such defeating thoughts.

I have a battle to engage and fight.

But wrong I have done and evil I have wrought –

And Justice does what is fair and what is right.

 

 

 

X - Farmers in their Prairies

We are simple people, we don’t like troubles.

But we know evil when we sees it.

We don’t live under no rock, nor in some bubble.

We see things as clear as a lamp lit.

War hasn’t treated us good, like his Father once did.

War’s just a stupid spoilt kid.

 

Everyone knows he’s mental.

Now that Justice is coming, he’s in a right fix.

He’s scared as a flower and shed all his petals:

Justice will sort him out and give him some good licks.

Vengeance fell and others after him too,

But Justice will be one of the winning few!

 

I wonder what we should do…

Join Justice’s side, or War’s?

Justice is good, right and true;

But we got to think of our families and chores.

Then again… Justice is right

And by him, we should fight.

 

Besides, when Justice wins, to us he’ll be good.

Things will be better and there’ll be plenty o’ feast and food.

 

 

0 - The Child Soldier

But I don’t want to go to war, Mum,

I want to play with the ducks.

I don’t care what War has to say, Mum,

War’s like Timothy – he sucks!

 

That blade is sharp, Dad,

I don’t want to carry a spear.

I’ll cut my hands, Dad.

Dad? Dad! God, don’t you hear?

 

Has the world gone bonkers?

Or is it just me?

Bloody hell, is that blood?

Take it away! I don’t want to see!

 

I’m shivering, I’m cold,

This armors shiny and heavy,

I’m wearing a funny-looking hat,

And there’s no-one here but me.

 

I don’t want to fight.

I don’t want to… die.

(Timothy’d never know this)

But right now, I want to cry!

 

Stupid War, I hope Justice wins.

Then maybe I could go back to my ducks.

But then… if he wins, would Justice spare me?

I shrug: Like I said before – War sucks.

 

 

XI - The End of War

My father, I killed.

My mother, I killed.

My Love, I killed.

My brother, I killed.

 

What is left for me to destroy?

I’ve run out of plot and ploy.

 

Colonel Hate is dead.

Queen Desire is dead.

The Soldiers are dead.

The Prisoners are dead.

 

Who is left, yet, to die

Save the villain of this story?

 

My sons, Courage and Cowardice,

Are still too young to face Justice.

And my time is waning away,

Like a pitiful sheep gone astray.

 

The difference is, no shepherd will look for me.

I killed the shepherd, after all, see?

 

What have I done, all my life?

Killed my beloved and chose a wretched wife;

Tormented my own blood and caused them shame;

And, alone, I am left to take the blame.

 

Justice will kill me for sure

And that shall be the end of War.

 

I saunter to my bed, my chest heavy with greif.

And find a phial and sigh in relief.

Draining the phail, my eyelids fall.

The last thing I hear is Justice’s victory call…

 

 

XII - Justice Reigns

The battle is done, the war is won,

The throne is mine, The feeling is fine.

 

But

Where

Is

War?

 

The soldiers cheer, there’s nothing to fear,

The children race, loved ones embrace.

 

But

Where

Is

War?

 

Lust returns, the ashes out-burn,

Morbid she should be, yet she proposes to me.

 

But

Where

Is

War?

 

I give no response and wander away;

Looking for War, he is left to slay.

But where is he? Surely he didn’t flee.

That is not War’s way… or perhaps, maybe.

But he could not have fled, his castle was besieged.

Perhaps he’s asleep, let me see…

 

I open War’s bedroom door, it cracks open wide;

War slumbers, an empty phial by his side.

His skin is blue and his forehead cold;

His face is wrinkled, though he is not old;

His hair grays and his crown slips off his head;

Clatter!

War is not asleep… but he is not dead.

 

I brandish my sword, prepare for the coup-de-grace,

But then falter, wondering War’s strange case.

What should I do? War is not well,

But he is a villain, I should ring his knell!

Kill him! my mind says, Kill him now!

No, I cannot, he has regret upon his brow.

 

I encase him in glass, like snow-white,

His essence remains, but he can no longer fight.

Many still see him and spit at him in disgust.

But not me, for one day we’ll all turn to dust.

In a way, I respect War.

But he is gone. He is no more.

 

I am king. Justice I remain.

Lust is Queen, smiling unslain.

Love is reborn. My daughter, my charm.

Hope and Fear, her siblings – free from harm.

Cowardice and Courage, awake from their slumber –

Shall see better days, better days than their father.

 

 

EPILOGUE - The Meaning

There is meaning behind all words.

Though, perhaps, they may not always be true.

None were real: Not War or Lust, or Justice’s sword;

But the words carry meaning, even a few.

 

We people, we live in War’s reign;

Not caring, unaware of the injustice around us.

War has sat long, and many he has slain

And what a firm grip he has over us.

 

Yet we remain idle, puppets in his hands.

Love is dead, no one understands he true meaning any more;

And Nobility died long ago, buried in Crusaded sands.

All that is left it Lust, Desire and War.

 

Deception, Envy, and Hate are also present,

But it can change, can’t you see?

Blinded by Desire’s wealth, each other we resent,

But can’t we, like the Assassin, pity?

 

Justice is young and he can defeat War,

But he cannot rise if we do not raise him.

He can restore all that we’ve lost and more,

If only we had faith in him.

 

Open your eyes and you will see:

What the world has become and what it could be.

Lay down your arms and call upon Justice:

And perhaps War will regret and bring back Peace…

 

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