Part Two: The Second Horseman: WarMature

War / Noon

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

Pure, searing white dripped over the view above the horizon. Where the land was once full of life and constantly noisy, now only the echoes of the past crossed paths with the rider on the red horse. Moss covered the entwining roots and jagged edges of hidden rocks that always seemed to be lying in wait for travellers. Doomsday was not so far away now, devastation following a pace behind the rider. Silence hung heavily in the atmosphere, pricked only by the occasional deeper breath from the rider, or a whinny from the red horse. Nothing could stand in the way of the force that was driving the rider forward with such determination.

The rider glanced back for a second at what used to be his hometown. The sun almost swung as it dangled in the bleak, white sky. His face was devoid of any emotion. Screams had filled the air as terror had spread wildly and uncontrollably through the small town. The rider was an outcast, a mistake. All he wanted was to be accepted. So, until he could find someone who would accept him for the way he was, ADHD and all, he would continue to travel from town to town, occasionally going back to other places in search of memories. When he found none, he would destroy the city or town in a fit of anger, only to walk or ride away in search of someone to fill the hole in his heart.

The earth seemed to quake underneath the rider on the red horse, shuddering in fear and dread. Letting the impulsive surges take their toll on anyone who crossed his path, that did not suit his specifications, seemed to be his plan. Like an old film, his memories flickered and played shakily through his mind. All the people who had rejected him, the hand he had been unable to control that had lashed out at anyone who disagreed with him or looked at him strangely. Full of remorse, just craving attention and love, the rider finally disappeared into the foliage near the city for good.

Wind blew across the desolate face of the rider on the red horse. The path through the forest was rocky underfoot and roots twisted and entwined in an attempt to stop all from passing. Trees bent and warped their branches away from the meek white sunlight. Moss covered the bark and added tones into the bleak canvas that made up the scene before the rider.

Through a hidden clearing in the unknown vegetation ahead, a man walked slowly. He did not waste time with formalities. All he did for a few minutes was stand there and stare at the rider. The rider did not know why he was doing this, or even why he did not just take out his sword and smite him where he stood, just like all the others who had looked at him in the wrong way before. Heat rose from the ground suddenly, raising with it the tenseness that could be cut with one small stab with a knife. The offending man’s feet sank slightly in the wet moss covering the earthen floor. Time stopped and the sun unmoving.

Both of the men studied each other, unsure of what to say or do.

Finally, the newcomer spoke. “Noon. I have been following you for a long time. I have seen the things that you can do, the destruction you can cause, and the fear you can inspire. Aged fourteen, you are the perfect apprentice for me. I have great plans for the future…

…Join me, The Fifth Horseman. Join me as Noon, but become War, my second horseman.”

With that, the man turned slightly and beckoned to the space behind him. Stroking the mane, his eyes seemed bent on revenge, yet his hand lovingly petted the untangled hair of the horse. The fire that burned deeply in his eyes triggered memories of Noon’s younger years.

His parents had hated him. He was a mistake. A boy who could not work for them? Useless. Finally, when he was aged 12, they made the decision that made him hate those who could not understand him. His family blindfolded him and took him to the top of a huge hill. Lying either side were the valleys filled with people who would take the boy as a sacrifice and use his death to pray to the gods, hoping for better weather or a larger yield of crops. All too soon he had worked out their plan and made his decision about what to do.

Halfway up the mountain, he got so angry that he went into the worst fits of anger he ever had. Using the strength that his condition gave him, he slaughtered his family and was forced to flee the city. Gradually his power grew, until he could command whole cities to obey him, but he never found that person that would love him like a real family.

The man, who had introduced himself as The Fifth Horseman, mounted his dark blue horse with ease. The colour of the horse was strange, mesmerising almost. The skies at dusk were not as dark or intense as this. Stars were not represented on this magnificent steed, as the coat lay unblemished and pure. Staring at him, The Fifth Horseman started on his way. He was heading towards a deeper, more dangerous terrain. Did he really trust a random stranger? Yes. Looking over his shoulder, The Fifth Horseman shot him a knowing glance before continuing at a constant fast pace towards the harsher territory.

The rider on the red horse, who gave his identity Noon away to become War, followed his new master to a promise of a rise to unlimited love and control.

The End

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