Author Topic: ◜ . black flies || writing . ◞  (Read 501 times)

Offline truce.

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◜ . black flies || writing . ◞
« on: June 18, 2019, 05:11:07 PM »
¬  A PLACE TO STORE ALL OF MY RANDOM DRABBLES - feel free to track/reply .
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 04:03:48 AM by trick-or-truce. »
HERE I AM. NOT QUITE DYING.

Offline BROCK.

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Re: ◜ . black flies || writing . ◞
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 07:21:26 AM »
¬  he shot at the sun with a gun, shot at his wily one only friend . . .

tw. gun violence, death, crime

"I am tired of the constant dissent; long tired of it, my friend!"

His words were venomous as his deep voice growled, resembling the low rumble of thunder before a storm. Brock was exasperated, but he always knew how to keep his composure in times as perilous as this. Dark eyes studied the older man stood in front of him who was frowning back towards the silver-tongued devil, nostrils flaring before finally his shoulders slumped in defeat. "I guess you right then." Leon uttered, his scratchy voice hesitant and suspicious as he searched Brock's gruff features.

Things hadn't always been so difficult. They once got along. In fact, they were once the greatest of friends. But, ever since that fateful day, relations between one another had shifted for the very worst.

"So, are you with me, Mister McKay?" Brock insisted, tipping his head to the side expectantly. Leon sighed, tipping his head upwards to stare at the ceiling in thought. "You are a man of your word - as am I - we get this goddamn money and then we are out of here! Wherever you want, we will go. Whatever you want, we will procure. I will keep you and your family safe, I always do and that is a promise!" Brock insisted, eyes intense as he watched Leon shift carefully. The older man inhaled shakily, held his breath for several seconds, and then exhaled. His blue eyes finally met Brock's. "God damn... All right then."



Things did not go according to plan. It all began with a robbery that went all wrong.

"Ladies and gentleman, this is a robbery. Nobody try and play hero and perhaps none of you will have to die!" Brock's voice barked gruffly, dark red bandanna veiled across his features. Another three men joined behind him - Leon, Matteo and Dale - pistols in their clasp, aiming towards the partying socialites who all began cowering and wailing. Panic ensued, only for everyone to drop to the ground in horror as Brock raised his revolver into the air and fired twice. Hysteria was shushed into silence, Brock's shoes clicking ominously on the deck as his thick brows knitted together. "Now that you are all quiet, we will stand resolute and insist you give us everything of value! Jewelry, money, weapons! Lets go!"

The other three masked men began waltzing around, collecting everything that they could swiftly gather before any authorities could be alerted. Jewelry clinked as they were dropped into a bag, Brock chuckling gently to himself as he watched the valuables adding up with glistening eyes. "This is- is pointless, you know." A scared voice piped up, Brock stilling before twisting his head to glare at whoever spoke those words. One of the wealthy party guests, cowering on his knees, yet so daring as he stared up at Brock. "Money is useless nowa- nowadays. We are in the New World - it's pointless. P-Please!" Brock said nothing as he sternly searched the man's gaze. And then, he snarled, "So you won't miss it when it's gone."

BANG.

A bullet suddenly was sent through the innocent man's face, body instantly crumbling to the floor. "Dammit Brock!" Matteo hissed, eyes widening as he watched Brock lower his pistol. "Who else wants to tell me that this endeavor is pointless?!" Brock's voice crackled as he barked, looking among the crowd, a woman shrieking as she held onto her dead husband. He'd lost control again.

WHOOP. WHOOP.

"We need to go, Brock!" Leon plead, beginning to take steps backwards. Brock sneered, frozen on his spot as he watched each and every petrified face in the crowd. This was what power felt like. Sweet, lethal power. But, Brock was an ambitious man - he could never be satisfied. He always wanted more. "Police!" Unfamiliar voices began to shout, striking Brock out of his power-hungry trance, whipping his head to look towards his three other comrades. And then, gunfire began to rattle through the sky, and the four men were on the run.

"Follow me, and we will all escape safely!" Brock insisted, darting away with the other three men close behind. Once they found themselves at the border of a forest, he demanded, "Matteo, Dale - you go one way. Leon, you're with me. Do not let them follow you back!" And, with that, the men made their separate ways. Men on the run. Men who had succeeded.



Leon gasped for breath as he slowed to a stop, the pair of them pulling their bandannas down around their necks. They'd reached a dead end, the only way to escape was by scaling a wall. "Help me up, Leon! I'll pull you up after!" Brock insisted, voice panicked as the two of them got into position for Leon to push Brock up. "What you did back there... You killed an innocent man!" Leon laced his fingers together, leaning down to hoist Brock up and onto the wall. "I had done what was necessary under the circumstances that had manifested!" Brock snapped, voice breaking as he placed his foot in Leon's hands, being propelled upwards. Brock scrambled on top of the wall, turning to look down at his best friend.

"You killed an innocent man, Brock! What we're doing here is wrong!" Brock's nostrils flared, gaze intense as he glared down at his friend before holding his hand out for the bag of valuables. Leon handed it over, and Brock dropped it on the other side of the wall. "You keep jumping from one side of the fence to the other, you may just get transfixed by it, my friend! Are you with me or are you against me?!" Their hands finally clapped as they grasped onto each other, Brock beginning to drag him up, and then the sound the bullets were sent through the air. Leon had been hit multiple times, choking out as he lost his hold of Brock's hand, falling back to the ground. Two men ran around the corner, racing towards Leon and Brock and shouting for them to stop running.

In retaliation, Brock whipped his two revolvers out, instantly firing shots in their direction until both man fell, deceased. And then, he lowered his gaze to look at Leon on the ground, wheezing for his next breath. But, he was still alive. Brock stilled, returning his guns to their respective holsters, dark eyes fixed on his closest friend struggling for air. In a moments time, more men would be turning that corner, chasing them down. Brock had a choice to make. Leon looked up with pleading eyes, reaching up desperately for his friend to take his hand again, yet Brock did nothing but stare stoically before pushing off the wall, leaving Leon behind.

Running away. It was a powerful instinct. He had to leave his friend behind, as Leon would only slow him down. Brock wanted to live, even if it meant sacrificing those who were loyal to his cause. And so, he began to dash away with the bag, not once looking back, even when he heard his friend crying out.



The group reunited once more, Brock grimacing as he approached Matteo and Dale. "Where's Leon?" Dale questioned, Matteo's lips parting with confusion. "I am so sorry..." Brock spoke gruffly as he approached. He looked at the two men, saddened gaze in his eyes. "I did everything I could to save him. He didn't make it." "Shit." Matteo lowered his gaze, slowly shaking his head. Brock sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose before finally asking, "Where are the goods?" He then asked, frowning at the two men. They went to collect the valuables before dropping the bags by Brock's feet.

"Leon would not want us to grieve. We must get moving! They will be hot on our heels now, so we have little time to reflect on that failure at Gallodon Manor!" He frowned, stood in silence for a moment, and then he uttered, "Tell your families to pack up. We need to leave within the hour. Go!" With that, he turned and strode out to his bedroom, eyes settling on his beautiful wife who sat cooing over their infant son. He took a seat beside her, slowly nodding his head to himself, before turning to look at her. "We need to pack up and leave this instance. Gallodon didn't go according to plan."
I HAVE A PISTOL PARTY AND I KILL 'EM ALL
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Offline GREENIE.

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Re: ◜ . black flies || writing . ◞
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 06:30:24 PM »
¬  i only wrote this down to make you press rewind and send a message,
                                                                            ❝ i was young and a menace ❞

tw. violence, threats of being thrown off a building ig?

Shoes pounded against the asphalt with each hasty step, arms pumping back and forth and nostrils flaring as Greenie ran away. Once again, getting himself into serious trouble on the streets; being homeless definitely was not easy for those in the New World. After all, supplies were scarce and people wanted all that you had. Sure, Green couldn't say he had a lot but, with what he did have, he wasn't so willing to fight for it. He'd grown up with the instinct to run. Avoid conflict and tensions if he could - in fact, running away was what he did best.

They wanted all that he had, and Green didn't have all too much. Just some food, an empty bottle which had once been filled with water, a bottle of deodorant, a blanket to keep himself warm during the bitter hours of the night and a baseball cap which had once been his foster dad's. He'd lost most of what he owned from theft or muggings from not being fast enough - a cruel way of life out here on the streets. But, he'd learned from his past mistakes. Never slow down. Never stop running. His face shriveled up as he raced, rucksack bouncing on his back, etching into his aching shoulders.

Suddenly, he began approaching a wall with little sign of stopping. Zero hesitance crossed his features as he used his momentum to scale the wall, throwing himself over onto the other side of the wall before he darted away. Nobody could catch him nowadays. Notorious around the city as the one who could never be caught, Green learned with trial and error - many sprained ankles and broken fingers later - how to use the art of parkour to good use. He sprung through an open window into a living room, an old woman sound asleep in an armchair nearby. He paused just for a moment to blow out a candle which was teetering on the side of the coffee table before he climbed through another window where some scaffolding had been set up.

He began to scale the metal structure, breathing heavily through his nose and grimacing in pain as aching arms clung on. Eventually, he scrambled up onto the roof of the flats, peeking down to see two men following him up the scaffolding with uncertainty. Green clicked his tongue with disappointment. He hoped to have lost them back when he dived through the open window, but evidently not. He wasn't free yet. And so, springing back into life, he began to sprint along the roof before suddenly skidding to a stop once he reached the edge. Sucking in a deep breath, he stared down to see just how far he was to the ground.

If he fell, it'd likely be to his death. Raising his head slowly, he looked across at the next building along. That jump was just too far away. He swallowed hard. Finally, he turned to look over at the two men pulling themselves up onto the roof in exhaustion. Things were beginning to look grim for Greenie - if he surrendered now, these people were unlikely to be kind to him especially after what he did to them. In hindsight, maybe getting into a fight with them wasn't such a good idea, even if they began it. But, Green was an obnoxious smart ass who thought he always knew best. His confidence had lurched into arrogance, a big mistake to make for a kid who was alone on the streets. He sighed before turning to face the two men.

❝ Well, you fucked up big time, Kid. ❞ One snorted through his nostrils, though otherwise stopped to hunch forwards, hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. The other began to slowly saunter over, calling across the roof towards Green. ❝ Look at you, Green. Tryna be some big guy - you're a coward. And you've fucked up so badly. You don't even wanna know what we're gonna do to you. ❞ Green stared across towards the two men stoically, though his heart jumped into his throat at the very thought. Rucksack falling to hang on one shoulder, he peeked his head down to look down the side of the building. That was a far way to fall if they were to push him, and he already learned the hard way that he couldn't take the both of them on at the same time.

❝ I'm actually embarrassed for you right now, Mate. ❞ Chortling, the man shook his head slowly in thought, Green refusing to say a word as, with his hands shoved in his coat pockets, he slowly began to walk to face the two men who chased him like a fox would chase a rabbit. With little reason other than make sure the rabbit just stopped running. They were fixated by the idea of revenge, but Green knew that vengeance was nothing but a fool's game. Green squinted as he got close to the man mocking him, releasing a short huff of laughter himself before uttering, ❝ Ohh, fuck off. ❞ Without hesitation, Green then pulled the bottle of deodorant out of his coat pocket, spraying it in the man's face before dropping the bottle and turning to run when the guy stumbled back, clutching his face.

The other guy broke into a sprint after Green, but it was to no avail. Without hesitation, Green sprung off the edge of the building, heart leaping in his throat as he soared through the air. And then, he landed, barely making it onto the other building. He gasped, stumbling forwards as his heart raced uncontrollably. Finally, he turned around to look at where he'd just jumped from, beginning to grin a smug smile through gasping breaths at the sight of one man hunched over, clutching at his eyes and cursing, with the other man at the edge of the building shouting profanities at Green.

Green began to laugh. He'd managed to escape yet again. Just to prove his point, he raised fist, throwing up his middle finger at them as he smirked proudly before shrugging his rucksack up his shoulders and turning to jog away from the sound of two men wishing death upon a kid so defiant. But, Green would never change his ways. He was born as a rebel with a cause, and he fully intended to die the same way.
SOME PEOPLE THINK I'M BONKERS
BUT I JUST THINK I'M FREE  ¬  BIOPLAYLISTPINTEREST

Offline LUCERNE.

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Re: ◜ . black flies || writing . ◞
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 06:25:47 PM »
¬  you taught me the courage of stars before you left , how light carries
                                                                       on endlessly, even after death . . .
 
tw. brief mention of childhood abuse, suicidal thoughts, death

A child who once lost everything had sat on the doorstep of a home that was no longer there. He was hunched over, crying, begging for this to be nothing more than some wicked nightmare. This house was no home but more a prison cell. Steel bars cold and merciless wouldn't let anybody through. Nobody in. Nobody out. He was afraid of what was inside, for it was the house which he grew up in, yet he felt afraid of change. What was this beautiful world around him? All he knew was the grim darkness and the pungent stench of sorrow.

Lucerne Nouvel had a loving mother, an indifferent brother and a father who could not control his anger. Growing up on the estate his parents were afforded with a large sum of inheritance money and a lineage of affluence, it should've been a life of splendor for Lucerne. And yet it was instead of a little boy, barely twelve years old, stamping on the metal grid which covered the top of a wishing well, hoping that perhaps if he stamped on it hard enough he could fall through and disappear. But, the cold steel frame was unforgiving; the dark pit at the bottom of the well would've certainly have killed him, the sweet escape from a life which scared him. But it remained unmoved, taunting him.

But, for the most part, the Nouvel family was an inconspicuous one. Father smoking a fat cigar, lounged back on his armchair in silence - contemplation - he left his two sons unsupervised as they played on a little row boat, bobbing along the estate's lake. ❝ Milton, stop shaking the boat! We're going to capsize! ❞ Lucerne screeched, on his knees as he pointed ahead of him confidently. A small terrier wobbled with uncertainty behind him, yet tail wagging with enthusiasm. Behind Milton sat a rather plump child, some years older than Lucerne, observing a homemade map on the estate's garden, messily scribbled in different colored pens.

❝ Turn to the east! There's a... A new undiscovered island! ❞ Cornelius urged as he used his pointer finger to trace along the map, brows furrowed with confusion. With a massive grunt, Lucerne began to row, albeit quite badly, following his older brother's orders to travel east of the lake. They were out on an adventure after all - Lucerne had always wanted to be something of an explorer. Like David Livingstone or Ibn Battuta. Lucerne would grow up as a big name in the world - Lucerne Nouvel, grand explorer of the world.

He always seemed to wish to be something. Someone. Little more than just the Ice Man. The human who was so inhuman. What a paradox - emotionally unavailable, apathetic and mean. How could a boy so eager to change the world morph into a addict who resented life?

The very change unfolded slowly. Almost unnoticeable until it was too late. But, Cornelius saw. He always saw things that many others would not perceive. The Nouvel brothers both shared aptitude for sheer intelligence and observational skills. A quality possessed from a father who too was born with such talent. But, oftentimes the fortune of wit and intelligence also shared qualities of torment and suffering. Sometimes ignorance was purely bliss and knowing too much could drive one insane.

Lucerne could not handle his thoughts. Normal human beings could handle themselves if they could speak about their worries and qualms - get it off their chest, as some would say - yet for somebody who was such a smart mouth, Lucerne was very much a thinker, not a talker. He was barely human; how could he follow the norms of mankind's ordinary brain if his was... superior, so to speak?

❝ So? ❞ Voice piped up calmly, and Lucerne whipped his head up to peer across the room at Cornelius. In his prime, aged twenty three, Cornelius was successful in his life so far. He'd always been the better brother of the two. More successful, more polite, a lot less messy and so much more analytical than even Lucerne. Funny that. For a man known to be so stone cold and even being compared to the likes of a robot, Cornelius would always comment that Lucerne had always been the emotional one. He wasn't wrong in saying so, however. Lucerne was the emotional type, especially compared to the heartless men that frequented the Nouvel lineage.

Lucerne had a big heart, but one he'd so readily repress. After all, just like Cornelius had once told him, ❝ Feel no emotion, feel no pain. ❞ After everything Lucerne was forced to endure throughout his childhood, perhaps he should have repressed all emotion when he'd otherwise feel pain. He'd been hurt one too many times to wish any more suffering upon himself and so, one day, he switched his heart off. Or, more so, he tried to do so, with the many chinks that were still in his armor.

❝ So, what? ❞ Lucerne returned, frowning across the room to see Cornelius watching over, raising his brows expectantly. Lucerne watched back, confused, before Cornelius finally sighed and sat back in his seat. ❝ You make it so easy to be the better brother. Smarter, more organized, remembers birthdays. ❞ ❝ I'm the smart one. ❞ Lucerne retorted, overlooking the point of Cornelius' words entirely. Cornelius blinked before groaning to himself and lowering his head to put it in his hands.

❝ Mother's birthday - do you like the idea I suggested? ❞ He repeated, Lucerne cocking his head to the side questionably before Cornelius lifted his head once more, leaning back into his seat. ❝ Oh, that's right. You were daydreaming again. ❞ ❝ I don't ❛ daydream ❜. ❞ He muttered bitterly in response, glaring over towards his older brother. ❝ You were always an imaginative kid. An abundance of play-pretend games and daydreams as you looked out of car windows. It was absolutely hateful. ❞ Cornelius added slyly with a sneering smile, a subtle ❛ I know you better than you know yourself. ❜

But, Cornelius always did understand his little brother, even more than Lucerne himself could ever comprehend. It was a tragic loss that one fateful winter. Thousands of people had died during that very season, but Cornelius had been the only one who'd mattered to Lucerne. After all, without his older brother, Lucerne felt that a huge piece of him left with Cornelius, too. After all, that man had been the only one who'd managed to dig into the parts of Lucerne's mind that even he himself could not understand. When Lucerne lost Cornelius, he also lost himself that day.

Lucerne stared over. Emotionless. Void of life. Eyes dull. Before- ❝ Right, uh- ❞ He crossed a leg over his knee, looking away quickly. ❝ Mother's birthday. What did you say again? Go back to the part where I stopped caring about your mindless ideas - which was right at the beginning, by the way. ❞
BABY, TELL ME IF I'M BEING STRANGE
*:・゚✦ AND IF I NEED TO REARRANGE MY PARTICLES, I WILL FOR YOU

Offline EDMUND.

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Re: ◜ . black flies || writing . ◞
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 05:26:52 PM »
  ¬    you're in my blood, you're in my bones, on my mind wherever i go.
                                                                     can you hear me? i miss you today.
tw. murder, death.

❝ And all I've done for want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all ...❞


A voice of an angel sang quietly, with little thought, as the words echoed throughout the kitchen. Leonora, a graceful yet fierce woman stood at the kitchen counter, quietly chopping vegetables whilst she sang the traditional tune to herself. Anything to mask the silence which hung in the air. She glanced over her shoulder to see Tara sat by the island, peeling potatoes with a knife in silence, a soft smile sat on her lips.

❝ How many potatoes have you still got to peel? ❞

❝ Just this one. ❞ Tara replied, flitting her gaze up to her future mother-in-law before she returned to peeling, Leonora's lips curling upwards before she got back to work, continuing to sing to herself whilst Julia and Lydia returned to the kitchen, this time with the three young girls of the Stirling household.

❝ Now, girls, how about you help your aunt over there with dinner? There's a lot of mouths to feed tonight, so she needs all the help she can get. ❞ Julia lectured before Lucy, Harriet and Evelyn got to work swiftly. She squinted, peering across the group of Stirling woman before walking over and nudging Leonora away with her hip. ❝ I'll finish with this. You could make us all a cup of tea. ❞

❝ Is that your way of asking nicely? ❞ Leonora questioned with a cackle.

Julia quirked a single brow as she looked down at the chopping board, beginning to chop up a carrot. Baby, it's the nicest you're gonna get. ❞

Lydia began to smile gently, walking forwards to lean on the counter comfortably before asking, ❝ Would you like me to get you mugs, Nora? ❞

Grabbing the kettle, Leonora began filling it up with water before looking over towards Lydia and tipping her head towards the cupboard. ❝ They're over there, thanks. ❞ She turned to place the whistle kettle on the stove, grabbing a match to light it up.

Men burst through the door, Leonora almost dropping the match as she gasped, only to see it was her husband along with his brothers, sons and eldest nephew. ❝ Oh my god, you scared me. ❞ Leonora smiled hesitantly, though she received no kindness on the other end.

❝ You, you, you you you, and you; get out. ❞ Alfred growled, seeing red at his poked his finger in the direction of most women in the room, Leonora frowning before quickly lighting the stove and then blowing the match out. ❝ We need to have a family discussion with you. ❞ Alfred continued, eyes unable to break away from his wife.

❝ Oh, what's it now, Alfred? ❞ She sighed, the other woman slowly filtering out, Julia giving her brother a confused look as she passed, before the men all walked in. Around the counter stood all three brothers, Alfred, Richard and Kelby, stood together in unison as they watched across the room towards Leonora. Peter stood nearby his dad, arms folded across his chest as he too watched, and along with him stood Dominik and Alfonso, Frank opting to stay nearby the door whilst Edmund leaned against the door beside Thomas.

Alfred watched his wife shifting nervously, himself expressionless for a moment before he began to laugh a slow and monotonous chuckle. ❝ Oh... You make me sick. ❞ He uttered, straightening up and cricking his neck before pointing out curtly, ❝ When Joseph and Ian Doyle are found dead just before my plan was to be executed, I begin to question whether somebody has sabotaged my plan. ❞ He began, Leonora stoic as she swallowed hard, eyes watching her husband warily.

❝ It looks like there's an informant on my hands. First was the failed heist, and now my two main hitmen were killed with a message from the Brunton Boys written in their blood across the walls... Something begins to make me question who in this family is betraying me. ❞ Alfred stalked around the kitchen, all eyes on him as he traveled across the room like a bad omen. He stopped in front of Leonora.

❝ If you think you can fool me, then think again... I decided to have someone keep an eye on you for the past few days. Funny the way coincidences work; first you're seen on multiple occasions schmoozing with Jovan Brunton, and then my people were killed by his people, foiling my plan. ❞ Leonora sucked in a deep breath, barely able to blink as she stared into the fire in his eyes.

Alfred was silent for a moment, disappointment riddling his features, before suddenly he snapped. ❝ I had a plan! ❞ He screamed in her face, spit flying. Leonora flinched, squeezing her eyes shut. Edmund held his breath, frozen in the spot. The boss shook his head slowly before turning to look at his five sons. ❝ Dominik and Thomas, I want you to make sure the women are well away from the windows. Franklin, Edmund, ensure the cars are out of the courtyard. Alfonso, I want you to get me my special revolver from my office. ❞

❝ Alfred, don't... Please. ❞ And this was when Leonora began to plead for her life. She knew the seriousness of her fate otherwise. She was a traitor and no would get away from the Stirling family alive. No one.

❝ Peter, Kelby- ❞ Alfred ordered without another word, taking a step back so that the two men could swoop in and grab her by her upper arms.

❝ No, no, no - Alfred, no! Stop it! ❞ Leonora began wailing frantically, kicking out and trying to throw herself to the floor as the men dragged her out to the courtyard, throwing her onto her knees on the ground.

Alfred followed out behind the men, hands behind his back comfortably as he glowered at his wife, footsteps ominously tapping with each step as he circled around her until standing in front of her. ❝ You knew the rules... Rule one - do not speak about the family business. You made a fucking oath swearing you'd keep your damn lips shut. ❞

He spoke, shaking his head slowly as the Stirling-Moray brothers all made their way to the courtyard. Edmund swallowed hard, heart slamming against his chest as he stood and watched in horror. His mother on her knees, begging for his father to spare her her life. He said nothing, however - he knew that it would be inauspicious to put it lightly. And so he stood like a coward, a boy at the ripe age of sixteen watching his father slaughter his mother.

❝ Richard, Kelby, Peter - piss off. This is Stirling-Moray business now. ❞ Alfred ordered, using the back of his hand to gesture the three men away. Willingly, they obliged. Next, as commanding as always, Alfred pointed to a spot where the boys all had a perfect view of their mother's face. ❝ Boys, stand here. Today I will teach you a lesson about loyalty. ❞ Ed stepped into place, a perfect line of five brothers stood, eyes all watching their mother on the ground.

Boys... ❞ Leonora cried weakly, reaching out to them. But, none of them made a move. All but one was somewhat glad to see this happen. Dominik and Alfonso had the strongest of opinions. The moment they learned of their mother's betrayal, they wanted nothing more than to be the ones to send a bullet in her head, let alone stand and watch her execution. Frank, although he wanted to bury her, he didn't wish to watch this with his own eyes. It was the way of a Stirling, however. He had to be stoic and strong-willed. Thomas didn't hate his mother, not as much as the other three brothers did, yet he knew his mother had hurt the family badly this time. It was selfish, and the consequences had to be harsh. Edmund was the only one who possessed a heart, it seemed.

They were nothing more than kids who were thrust into a cutthroat war as soldiers. Nothing was made to last forever, so when this all would finally come to an end, what would they become? What even was the point of this family at all?

❝ Loyalty is an interesting concept. Most people are loyal, not to you but to the need of you. As soon as that need goes, then so does the loyalty. But, do you know where that gets you? ❞ Alfred searched the eyes of his boys, all watching over stoically. Like statues of warriors. Alfred slowly shook his head before pointing to Leonora. ❝ That's where it gets you... Alfie, pass me the gun. ❞ He held his hand out to take the revolver before loading the gun casually, ignoring Leonora's helpless cries.

❝ A lesson to learn from this is that people aren't to be trusted. Family, however... family is different. We are all of same blood. I am a part of all of you, and you are all a part of me... But - don't you forget this - family is more determined by behavior than by blood. Stay loyal, stay with me, and you won't end up as a pile of flesh on the ground.  ❞

The saddest part about betrayal was that it never came from an enemy, but from someone Ed thought he could trust.

Alfred shifted in his spot before walking to stand to the side of Leonora. ❝ You failed me. ❞ He uttered, Ed's eyes glazing over as it shifted from his mother to his father.

Leonora, with her shoulders slumping, shriveled her nose up before spitting at Alfred's shoes. ❝ You're going to hell! ❞ She snarled, tears streaming down her face. She was always a fighter, even right until the very end. Alfred's lips curled from each end to form a smile, slowly raising the gun to aim for her temple.

❝ Well then, ❞ He began, ❝ I'll be sure not to disappoint. ❞ He cocked the gun. Silence stilled the air. ❝ And, when I go to hell, I will find you down in the pits shoveling coal, and I will even let you blacken my palm with the soot when we shake hands once again. ❞ He slowly exhaled, Leonora gasping for breaths out of terror.

Then he pulled the trigger.

Her body was thrown to the side, blood spilling across light grey stone, and still the boys stood unmoving.

Frank's breath drew heavy, deeply breathing in and out as his eyes stared down at his mother's face, her eyes still open and unblinking. Alfonso, on the other hand, released a slow sigh, rubbing the side of his face. Dominik curled a lip ever-so-slightly, eyes searching his mother's body, taking in the sight in front of him, whilst Thomas' eyes looked dark as he followed his father's movements.

Ed couldn't look at his mother, nor could he look at his father. Instead, he stared straight ahead out into the estate's perfectly manicured garden, a sickening feeling swirling in his stomach. In that very moment, he felt like a part of him had also died. He'd never feel complete again.

Still in complete shock, Ed remained still even after Alfred began to talk to them about how he would deal with the body. Eddie's father's voice seemed to drown out inside his mind, the only thing that Ed could focus on being the frantic whistling of the kettle from inside the house.

It sounded like it was screaming.
I STRUGGLED WITH SOME DEMONS.
I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD
PERMISSION TO MURDER AND TO MAIM