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And in his teeth gritting pain, Aelyn had to watch helplessly as his brother's body broke, how his bones shuddered and snapped and cracked into difference places, and most horrifically, how the boy's mouth seemed to rip inwards, like someone took a knife and ripped a ragged gash throough his lips and down to his jaw bone.

When it was done, they both laid in the snow. Their eyes stinging of tears and radiating of the cancerous ghostly light. Silver glowed painfully from their eyes.

Like mercury, it poisoned their minds, filled it with anger, lust, terror, paranoia... Despite their molested thoughts which grew dim, under greater influence were their resolve. They fought against the change, but only made things worse.

What good is a maddened mind to one whose sanity is left to rot within it?

Like a prison, their bodies trapped them in this perpetual horror. It committed mutiny against them, their thoughts left to machinations--maddening thoughts-- so diabolically animalistic, the devil would cry out at their bravado, and with their resolve quickly evaporating, both sons of no one devised to do one thing: Eat.

Or rather,  d e v o u r .

Desolate of the feelings of man, and quivering veins pumped full of the maddening waning light of the moon, both sought the food their empty stomachs desired. But then something changed.

On the cusp of the town's edge, the two stopped. Their canine figures freezing, muscles stretched to a point of desperation and hesitation, and their mouths grinned back as they beared their sharp teeth, their dripping lips twitching impatietnly.

The town was just ahead... Children, women, men... All not yet stirring in the dead of night.

Micca crawled forward, his long claws piercing the soil as he went, but Aelyn growled at him. Silver eyes glared at one another, but Aelyn won his brother over. In the dark of this insanity he found clarity: the grief that they felt had been coupled with that of the strange woman.

The angel.

Her grief was sickeningly strong, but it was strong enough to distract his splintering mind from the insanity that spread through it. And as soon as Aelyn realised what they were about to do, he stopped his younger brother.

He spoke with the new canine throat and tongue, forcing himself to ignore how heavy and porous it felt in his mouth, "Micca... we... we can't..."

Micca only argued in growls. It sounded like an animal, rather than his brother, and just that was enough to bring Aelyn to tears. The creature he was raked the ground as his and the angel's grief that lingered within his body perculated in his tears.

He cried out aloud, and his brother joined him.

In grief did they first scream, and then howl to the moon, the ghostly disk in the sky that governed their pains and sanity. Aelyn and Micca knew that it couldn't hear them, as it was as indifferent to their grief as a stone would be... But it made them feel... Better. It made them feel...


But no more than a heartbeat or two, the two halted their howling when they heard the town wake. The men's rowdy voices could be heard on the wind, and women's screams. Micca stood, but he would soon see that that was a mistake.

As he stood, a rock flew his way and smashed him in his teeth. He screeched and pawed at his mouth with his hairry grotesque hand. Aelyn headed back to the forest, away from the people with sickles, blades and sticks and stones, but when he looked back, his brother stood on two legs, towering over the tallest man there.

Ignoring how pointedly that machete was gleaming under the feathery white light that filtered down through the black of night.

Oh how Aelyn saw it. He saw how the blade seemed to wink at his brother... How it was so meticulously clean, and wanting of stain... Of the rust of the blood of monsters...

"Micca!" Aelyn's voice was hoarse, and his words were chopped off by the crackles of barks and whines. He could no longer speak. And he was useless.

So in the glow of the fire that danced atop torches, Aelyn watched in horror and fear as his brother slashed men to their knees. He screamed his name, but Micca didn't turn back.

Who would have?

Who would have responded or lighted pity, as bright as their torches, to the guttural screams of a monster?

O f   a   b e a s t  ?


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