by M.T Lutum
Jupiter, a headstrong individual meets with what some could say a change of fate.
| Blood, a river that those in agony would watch first hand. As screams of pain rang out like pleas for something better, yet they never would. Fear would follow in suit after the pain of their screams, at least for their viewer of the murder. Only able to sit in silent fear as tears rolled down their cheeks as they, they were useless to their former friend. Whose pale skin now was black and red as blood littered their body and the paved streets. The friend whose darkened eyes were filled with such a hopeful look as his hand that was outstretched for help now laid in agony, severed from n arm that was once moving wit life. The once somber and quiet atmosphere of the backstreet alley way was now that of horror and grief for the viewer of the murder and the murderer who stood quietly. The victim never looked peaceful in this state as more blood ran down the streets as the silver blade was ripped from their spine, only able to lay on the gates of heaven or hell in silent desperation. “Examples have to be made kid….” Unwelcomed words were brought out by the man who stood before the witness, with cold eyes looking down at the man slumped against the wall. “We live in an age where we are fighting disease and when solace is found, a traitor is discovered. Am I wrong.” The man now kneeled and forced the witness to stare into the cold and unregretful blue eyes of the murderer. The witness’s brown and grief filled eyes met with the killer as he tried to force him back but was met with the taste of blood. Now laying on the cold and hard ground as he felt the stinging pain of a punch on his cheek. “Jupiter… What am I going to do to my own employee…” Came the voice of the murder who stood over him and looming over Jupiter like a wraith.
“You killed him… You killed your own son out of goddamn mercy! What monster are you to do this…?” The witness now sat up trembling in a mixture of wrath ad fear as the dusty brown hair moved slowly in the soft breeze that swept the smell of murder.
“Come on… You know the fear of the people as much as I do… Watching those black cysts form and spread more chaos to civilians… With me, their king as their only beacon of hope; who has the right to strip me of that while we search for a way to help…” The darkened and somewhat scarred face of the king now held his hand out for the witness as in the other hand, was a blood covered sword.
“No… Murder isn’t an answer sir! Especially to your own son…” Jupiter respond, now bearing his pearly white fangs as his blood covered hands searched for something to grasp onto as his short stature crawled backwards down the alleyway.
The two now stood respectively four feet apart with the cold blood touching their clothing and staining it red as they refused to move. Jupiter sat ready to get up and run while the king loomed over him with his hands b his side and scoffed. “Alexander Junior… You called him AJ as you served him, am I wrong…?” The king began to pace a bit in the alley before kneeling over his son’s own corpse and grasped a locket from around his neck. “I remember his interests in machinery, engineering, and science all from when he was so young… foolish too, but I digress…” The locket snapped and in the hand of the murder was the silver capsule tat was then thrown across the brooding atmosphere of the murder scene. “Run along now Jupiter… Just be back at the castle tonight for supper…” The king bided his farewell to the retainer in sheer silence as now he was alone, as death had already taken his friend to the gates and now he was alone. Tears had welled up in his eyes but now they ran free as he scurried onto his feet with tears cascading down his pale skin. Blood now stained his hands as he swam through the red sea and stopped at the body to roll over the lifeless body. Dusted brown eyes locked onto the half open green eyes that had already began to become dull from the sweet embrace of death, who now had left their mark on the forsworn world. In a mix of agony and regret, Jupiter released the body from his hands and pushed himself away as he stained his grey clothes with blood and slowly stood up.
Footsteps echoing away as the man walked away in a staggered motion, nearly two decades old and tragedy struck like a bell at noon. Now waltzing into the somewhat lively streets came a man emerging from the alleyway at the later hours. Shadows of long dark and mysterious shapes had drifted over the scenery of the modern metropolis. Street vendors screaming for customers and inviting them for food at the street-based shop, a competition that few dared to enter. Unfortunately, Jupiter was not on one of the so called requested patrons; instead an outcast. Walking amidst a crowd soaked in his old friend as he journeyed down the small paved roads of Ash, a city made from the embers of war. Some who survived the war that lasted a decade would recall stories of a man dressed in black known as The Arbiter to the people of the past. A legendary hero who claimed that the war would be over soon, and it was according to the tales. Before the arbiter came, the city of Ash was nothing more than a home on plateau, a home that welcomed thousands, but the species known as Anima. Ears the same color of the light brown hair that was worn proudly on the witness’s head could be seen, the people knew him all too well. A being of lesser value to the so-called Arks, who named themselves so boldly after the archangels of religious text as they were their descendants in a sense. Scoffing at the grieving Anima as he passed by, not even caring or taking time to consider the blood that covered the ash gray T-shirt or the blue jeans that turned crimsons on the back and sides of the legs.
To them, Jupiter was nothing more than an animal; a beast that lost its value after hi one friend died. Prince Alexander or AJ as the beast knew him as, was a soul some deemed tainted or corrupted with making his own legacy. A man of bold ideas and creative passion that far contrasted the simplistic and rather plain life that his father ruled under. Even breaking the normality of racial injustice to befriend a half jackal as his retainer, an act that seemed insane to the populous of the survivors. “Would they care of his death though?” Jupiter thought to himself as he gripped his arm tightly and looked down on the verge of tears.
“He can’t be dead right…” His voice came out hoarse and tired as he could no longer hold them back.
“Kid… Something on your mind…?” A gruff voice came from behind as the anima male turned back slowly to meet a man in his mid-thirties.
“N-Nothing sir… Just dealing with some… some problems.” The dusted eyes told a story different than the fractured words that came out of the jackal’s mouth.
“Let us start from the beginning, I own the noodle shop you’re in front of and dripping blood in front of… I was going to close, but you look like you need to release some steam. So how about we talk man to man?” The burly man asked as he crossed his arms across his chest and leaned against the wooden stall. In the silence of the proposition only a nod was given by the distraught man as he approached the much taller man’s stall and brushed aside the aged curtains to sit down. His dreary eyes looked onto the polished wooden counters that had barely enough space for four people to dine, the stools were metal and darkened like soot from a fire place with cushions that were as red as blood, the same blood that covered the jackal’s clothes as the ears slowly began to raise and his steps began to linger. The darkened curtains moved again from the side as the white light flickered on as the burley man stepped behind the counter and clicked a timer on as a blue flame sputtered into life. The brown eyes of the man met Jupiter’s own and the grizzled voice left his throat. “Who did you kill?”
Jupiter was only left to step back in fear as murder was being put on his door. “I-I didn’t kill anyone… I swear, I watched him die…”
“Who is he?” Came the aged voice from behind the counter as the large hands came down and the man leaned forward.
“P-Prince Alexander…” Came the slow and drawn out voice of Jupiter as his eyes hoped for solace.
“Wasn’t poisoned and the amount of blood would infer a major artery was severed, sit down. You need some time to rest and examine your scenario, you hold a truth that no one will believe.” The man turned away from Jupiter showing his sturdy back to the scrawny Jackal.
Though what felt like decades passing the trembling hand grasped the stool and pulled it back as he sat down at the counter of the muscular man who wore merely a sweaty tank top and jeans that went out of sight. Now sitting on the blood red cushion, the ash gray sleeves shifted as nervous hands rubbed the thin wrists in a skittish manner. The head occasionally glancing back quickly as if someone was watching the jackal as the solemn dining counter sit in its own silence. A thin sweep of laminated paper across the polished counter broke the dreary silence of the scenario as it drew the jackal back to life as the ears brushed against the col metal lights that swayed on the ceiling above. “Take a look at the menu kid, tell me when you are ready.” Came the aged and grizzled voice as the man investigated the dark curtains that laid behind the stove in which he stood over.
“Excuse me, what is your name…?” The young and quite voice choked out as the head pivoted to the side so one eye looked over at Jupiter in the lonely existence. No answer came after the asking of a name to be called by as the head swiveled back to the curtain and the rugged hands grasped the counter. “Call me Nicholas, no needs for formalities here, we are anima after all.” From the rugged man to darkened wolf ears could be seen coming from the black hair that matched the soot colored stools in which the witness sat upon.
“My father said he had a brother named Nicholas, said he died in the war that occurred over two decades ago…” Jupiter commented as he stared at the laminated list in front of him before slipping the order past his tongue for the man to hear.