The Incarnations: The Incarnal War (Chapter 5)

The Heart of Evil

King Evil, my lesser son, the mother’s favorite. It is high time I turn my attention towards him to gleam why it is he claims his neutrality. I cannot say if such action is uncharacteristic anymore, I’ve never wished to know his Majesty that well. It would do me no good.

My lesser son lies in his bed well into the afternoon. He lies in a circular bed surrounded by moats of blazing fire, the only relief from the flames being the bridge that leads to the door and to the bed itself.

The bed speaks volumes about his Majesty’s endeavors. How it is purposely much too large for one body, how it is covered in red satin sheets, and how it is in the exact center of the room, remaining the center of attention.

The company his Majesty keeps at least shows he has a curious mind for those different. How his company all lie with him at once, shows his lack of respect for personal relationships to instead focus on the temporary enjoyments.

He wakes first, a confident and arrogant grin across his face. Very much like his brother, he does not have an ethereal look, his power is what separates him from the rest. Not to say that most would not find him to be beautiful. He’s considered gorgeous by many. I’ve had the displeasure of hearing men and women swoon over him.

Apparently, his Majesty’s naturally gelled blonde hair looks perfect, yet feels fluid when one’s hand runs through it. As if his follicles are always wet. His chin, clean shaven so that his face shines as bright as his white dentures. His eyes as blue as Earth’s oceans, and I must admit that they would have a look of innocence if his expression wasn’t always busy corrupting them. His physique is perfect, there is no fat on his body, and due to his penchant to never being fully clothed, it is difficult, not to notice.

King Evil turns to his left to inspect the nude figure of a Regamorph woman beside him. A survivor of a failed race that he ‘saved’ for ‘historical’ purposes. The Regamorph is very similar to the human in shape and form, though her skin is a sparkling silver, and her hair a floating black liquid. She sleeps soundly as he runs a finger down her spine to her bottom.

When he tries to stand up he finds one his servants, a demon, still sleeping over his legs. Mal, his oldest servant has stubby horns on the sides of his head, and a skinny but long tail that his Majesty finds quite intuitive. His red skin is a common trait of the Demons of Evil.

His Majesty strangely and thoughtfully turns to a red snake so that he can escape from his servant’s grasp without waking him. He then slithers away to the door to shift back to his normal form.

He opens the door to look at his metropolis and steps out to let the others continue their slumber.

He bares his body to his world as he looks out upon his city. He stands on the balcony of a building that touches the sky, a building among many that overlooks the city surrounding him. A city of gray metal and glass, a prediction for the future.

I wonder what brought upon this admittedly intricate design. His demons completely liter the world, traveling in steel vehicles to complete menial and artistic tasks to maintain an economy. I don’t understand my son’s world, but for some reason it pleases him.

Now his demons are varied in their looks, ranging among several different colors and physical traits. Some have wings which let them fly, some do and don’t have horns or tails. They are generally easy to tell apart more so than any other group of servants.

Another demon flies up his sky-building with great speed and a face of annoyance, likely to speak with him. She flies over the railing as King Evil leans over to gaze outward. He turns only his eyes as the pink demoness lands with tact over grace. Her wings, which are similar to other demons with such appendages, resemble that of a bat. Her hair, a long and flowing black, matches the strange attire she wears. A white blouse, strangely hemmed pants with grey and black stripes, and shoes with high foundations at the heel.

With a devious and asinine grin, his Majesty greets her with a question before she can explain her presence. “Onheil, why aren’t you wearing the jacket that goes with that suit?”

She arches her brow, not surprised by her Majesty’s unnecessary question. She responds to him with a tone of annoyance and anger that no servant outside of Evil would dare use against their Incarnation. “Do you really think I flew all the way up here to get criticism on fashion?”

“Not in the slightest,” his Majesty admits as if it weren’t even a secret, “that’s why I asked.”

Onheil sighs heavily and holds her left arm as she rubs her temple. “There are actually important things that need your attention so if you can, can you hold off on being an arse for five minutes?”

King Evil looks up and nods his head back and forth, mockingly contemplating a simple question. “I’ll try but I can’t make any promises.”

Sarcastically the servant groans, “Great, well, the contract to build what you call a World Trade Center needs, well, an actual diagram, blueprints, something to give the actual architects.”

“Ah, that’s right, delay the construction, I cannot gleam into the future for that knowledge while Madam Honor’s shield is still up.” So this city is a reconstruction of one he saw in the future. I assume it will be a human city, but still I must wonder what this recreation represents. His Majesty continues, “Just tell the architects that constructions are going to be delayed, they can blame Madam Honor for the lacking paycheck. What’s next?”

As if reading off a list in her mind, Onheil questions her Majesty, “What do you wish to do with Lilith? Her new quarters on the 69th floor is finished, and she has moved in. She still has no position here or anything. What do you expect her to do?”

The devious grin that marks my son’s face makes me as nauseous as much as it does his servant. Swiftly, he explains, “Oh, don’t be like that, I’m joking, I am going to speak with her later. After both my father and mother threw her away, I offered her a place here. She can join my city, or lounge around. I think having one of the original humans could add to the entertaining drama of this place.”

“Hmm, right,” Onheil grumbles.

“Anything else, darling?” King Evil quips.

 I wonder if this servant’s eyes ever get stuck in the back of her head with how far she can roll them. Then sarcastically she replies, “Yes, snookums. There’s a little whore at your doorstep checking to see if you got the clap like she does.” That’s a colorful way to announce the Duchess of Desire.

Pretending to be perplexed, his Majesty wonders, “What could the Duchess be doing here?” I do find it humorous that he knew who Onheil was talking about based on her description. Then he pokes fun at his servant, “Maybe she’s here so you actually have a reason to be jealous.”

With an expression of clear but restrained aggravation, Onheil turns her back to her Majesty, and informs him, “You can retrieve her yourself. She’s at the front door of your skyscraper.” Then she takes off into a nosedive off the balcony, not looking back at my son as he waves goodbye.

Talking to himself, he says, “Let’s go find out how the Duchess plans to get me involved in my parents’ little spat.” My son must really think highly of his intelligence.

Then his Majesty takes one large step onto the railing, showing impeccable balance, and holds his arms out to the world.

“It’s always nice to reveal oneself to the world,” he comments before letting out his wings, giving me a sense of deja vu.

His wings grow outstretched slowly and methodically, as if he knows someone is watching. His wings are not that of his demons, his are like his brother’s, that of a bird. But unlike his brother whose wings resemble a hawk, King Evil has the white wings of a swan.

I do not take pleasure in complimenting my lesser son, but I must admit with complete honestly, his wings are angelic and breathtaking. They are vast and encompassing. They shine in a way nothing else in all Creation does. That is all the compliments I will admit about him.

Then he leaps off his building to nosedive with much greater speed than his servant. As he falls, he finds the violet umbrella standing next to a violet carriage in front of his home. He aims to land between the umbrella and the door.

His Majesty’s ability for flight is impeccable, as it only takes him seconds to reach the bottom from the top. With expert maneuverability that no bird can ever possess, he flaps his wings outward with uncanny control over the winds, and stops from flying at the speed of the wind to that of a falling feather on the steps.

As he picks up his head and brings his wings back into his form, the umbrella is now facing him. For her own dramatic entrance, the umbrella closes to reveal the Duchess of Desire.

She inspects his frame with hunger, and with a finger to her lips she comments, “I sometimes forget that you’re a shower, thankfully, you always remind me.”

With playful confusion upon his brow, my idiotic son looks down to remind himself that he has yet to put on clothes. He chuckles to himself, as with a snap of his fingers the Majesty’s lower half is clothed by tight red leather, and his arms clothed by a silk robe of a bright red shade, still baring his chest to her. As he walks up to the Duchess with his shining smile, he informs her that, “I completely forgot. Onheil didn’t mention it when I was talking to her not one minute ago.”

In response, the Duchess snaps her figures in a gesture over her corset and skirt to change into something that matches his attire more.

A low cut leather dress of violet color that attempts to be as tight around her frame as his pants are around his waist. It barely goes past her knees and doesn’t reach her blue shoulders. When my son looks curiously, she informs him, “I saw a demon wearing this, and I very much appreciated it.”

His Majesty chuckles and offers her his arm, and as she takes it she forms a expression of disappointment. The Duchess guesses that, “Onheil probably didn’t because she was smart enough to realize that you would put clothes on.” As he begins to lead her towards the door, she begins to make curious conversation.

“As my carriage brought me I couldn’t help but marvel at how you’ve redesigned your world. I was awestruck by the architecture, but when I noticed the strange vehicles I assumed that you had been looking into the future again. Why did you do it this time?”

“Simple,” he begins as if the answer were obvious, “I was looking for the best human representation of evil. I did the same thing when the Regamorphs were still around, though they used shinier materials than humans will.”

“That they did,” the Duchess agrees as his Majesty opens the glass doors for her. She expects the gold coloring of the doorframe before viewing the inside of the building.

King Evil explains to her that, “This is just the lobby.” What he calls the lobby is a large and grand room with many doors to elevating contraptions, furniture and plants to bring life to the room, and two counters with demons minding them. There is a statue in the middle of the room, a statue made of gold, a statue of the King himself.

As his Majesty leads her by the statue, she comments on its accuracy. “The endowment is antamoncially correct, but your chest seems a little longer than it really is. As if your upper half is stretched out.”

“Huh,” he grumbles as he inspects the statue with a face slightly and genuinely surprised. “I must admit, I hadn’t noticed that.”

“I’m assuming the sculptor was a man. More likely to exaggerate certain features,” the Duchess continues.

His Majesty admits, “It was, you have a lot of experience with nude arts, don’t you?”

With a more sly smile that he soon returns, the Duchess playfully says, “You’re not the only one who enjoys entertaining your vanity.”

As they reach this sliding door his Majesty presses his finger against the wall, where a small circular contraption caves into it. This magically prompts the sliding door to open to allow the two into a box.

The Duchess of Desire looks all around her with a child’s curiosity. She asks King Evil, “What is this contraption?”

“The humans will call it an elegantor, I think. Or maybe an elevator. I don’t remember. I think the Regamorphs had something different.” At least he remembers how it works. “Regardless, I assume that you don’t want to take the stairs to the top of this building. This will do all the work for us and bring us to whatever floor we want.”

The Duchess first compliments his Majesty, “Very impressive,” and then complains that, “castles should have these. Especially Love’s, hers is much too tall to walk up all the time. Also, does Honor’s blocking annoy you too? I can’t imagine you enjoy explaining these wondrous machinations when I should just be able to know.”

His Majesty agrees with her very much as he complains like a spoiled child. “I know exactly what you mean, I can’t even remember what this contraption is called. I can’t stand the surprise visits, not knowing when my meal is going to be ready, or whether or not she finished just by thinking of it!” Then he corrects himself, “Actually, I can still know that.”

“How the others live throughout eternity without knowing anything you want is beyond me!” the Duchess exclaims.

“I’m barely getting through the week,” his Majesty adds dramatically.    

“Oh, Evil,” she bemoans as leans her head against his arm, and places her right hand over his chest. “I don’t know what to do with myself as this bloody war goes on.” I wonder if the Duchess is putting on an act to move towards inspiring my son to join our side. It makes sense to appeal to his vanity and selfishness to convince him to join our side. As she starts to feel his chest, she asks him, “Where are we going?”

King Evil moves to face her and slip his right hand lower down her back as his left touches another place on the wall, prompting the sliding door to close. “I’m taking you to a suite, a private place in the building.”

“Yes, I like that idea,” the Duchess of Desire hums.

“Yes, my bedroom is currently occupied by some sleeping occupants. I think we’d be better off by ourselves for now,” he continues as he begins stroking her cheek. Then he offers, “Unless you want to indulge with a human, we can visit Lilith.”

The Duchess stands on her toes to bring her head closer to his as he leans down. “So this is where she ended up. As appetizing as that sounds, I don’t want to share.” Then they kiss sensuously, not holding back their tongues.

As they proceed to practically devour each others faces, their hands roam. His to her bottom to lift her off the ground, and her to spread his robe wide, revealing his chest to her hands. His lips leave hers to kiss from the corner of her mouth, around to the crook of her neck.

She moans in pleasure, but says to him, “Yes, all to myself.”

He lifts his lips from her neck for a moment to mutter, “As you wish.” Then he starts to kiss lower, allowing her to lean back, letting her hair fall towards the floor.

His Majesty’s lips leave a trail of wet kisses down her chest to her cleavage, prompting subtle moans that keep her from speaking. Still, she struggles to moan out, “I feel as if I had something important to discuss, but I can’t seem to remember.” Impossible that she could forget her task, and I believe that fact even more as she brings her hands to his head, and lifts it back to her face, his mouth partially open. Her lips moving fluidly, she asks him, “Terrible thing isn’t?”

Blatantly ignoring her question, he answers, “Assuredly.” Then he brings his face against hers as their tongues wrestle much more.

This is why I don’t like sending the Duchess to do anything.

Eventually, what we all believe to be an elevator, stops and dings, signaling for the door to open. When it does he quickly carries her into the room.

The room is quite large, a wall made of glass showcasing the city skyline. A rather extensive kitchen, fit to serve any individual with a queen-sized bed to the right, and many pieces of comfortable furniture. There are many places where these two can be lusting after each other, but no, he takes her to a large glass table in the middle of the room where someone probably eats. He wipes everything off of it, and then lays her on her back as he moves atop of her.

Duchess Desire asks him in a laugh, “Why here when there’s a bed?”

“Because a bed is boring,” he proclaims confidently as he kisses her again. She giggles as she shucks the robe off of his arms. As she does this he moves to her neck again, a place he remembers that she loves. As he does this, he moves his hands behind her to unzip her dress.

All the while she claws at his back, and nicks him with her nail. He groans in pain.

“Sorry,” she says, but something about her apology doesn’t seem sincere when she nibbles on his shoulder, and then bites down too hard.

He groans again on reflex, and he starts to slow down.

She apologizes again, telling him, “I’m sorry, really. I just can’t seem to remember who likes what.” I think I understand where she’s going.

My son ignores it, and ignorantly accepts her apology. He tells her, “Don’t worry about it.” Then when he starts to undo the zipper, she shoves him up, and flips him onto his back so she can be on top.

She grabs his hands and holds them over his head, shushing him, communicating to slow down. He looks at her with a puzzled expression on his face, and when her hands move to her back to unzip her dress in a show, he quickly regains his grin.

As the Duchess unzips her dress, she continues speaking, assuming that his Majesty is only half listening. “I’ve really run into this problem. Because I can’t know, I do things with others that they don’t like. I’m so reliant on my power, that Madam Honor is really hurting my fun.” Then when she takes down her dress, revealing the lacy bra beneath, she adds, “Our fun.”

“We don’t want that,” King Evil mutters.

Then the Duchess of Desire throws away her dress to have it dissipate in the air. As she runs her hands down her body, she bemoans that, “If only the war would end already.”

“If only,” his Majesty mumbles mindlessly.

I doubted the Duchess, but I can already tell how easily she is manipulating and controlling my lesser son as she continues, “Would you help me?” She speaks with a falsetto of innocence that no one believes she has, but she has the King mesmerized.

She leans forward pressing her breasts to his chest, kissing his neck and holding his chin in her left hand. He gasps, “Anything you need.” The Duchess smiles against his skin, and moves slightly to his ear.

She whispers, “Anything?”

“Anything,” he claims, breathing heavily in and out.

She knows she’s won, but she wants to have fun solidifying it as she kisses down his neck to his chest, slowly, beginning to say, “So if I asked,” then she kisses to the middle of his chest, “for you to end the war,” she kisses over his abs, prompting his back to arch, “for you to give us back our power,” then she kisses to his abdomen, “will you join me,” then she pokes all of her fingertips into his jeans, “and fight for Life? So I can do this right?” Her lips are mere inches away from where she knows he wants them to be, and so she waits, attaining victory. Attaining the ally we need to demand Death’s surrender. The Duchess of Desire lives up to her name, and now we both wait for him to answer.

“No,” we both hear. She freezes, and so do I. King Evil’s body stops shifting, arching, sweating, it all stops. He no longer shows any signs of arousal.

The Duchess asks plainly with shock, as if she heard something else. “What?”

His Majesty raises his arms behind his head, and chuckles to himself. He repeats, “No, I will not join you and my father. I will never join the war just for you to blow me, or just for a simple power of which I have many. Most importantly, I won’t join a war started because my father is an idiot and failure as a partner to my mother.”

That spoiled, rotten, untrustworthy bastard!

The Duchess stays where she is, shocked, absolutely shocked. His Majesty has never denied her before, and she tells him so. “But, but why? You’ve never denied my wishes before. I was so sure that-”

“That you could seduce me into fighting a war against my own mother?” he interrupts. Then he sits up, prompting the Duchess to sit up and away from him, but he grabs her chin in his powerful right hand, and makes her listen close.

“Did you honestly think that because I’m up to try all of your kinks and fetishes, that I’d fight a war for you? Are you honestly that foolish, dear Desire? I am no one’s puppet.” Then he releases her and moves to sit up from the glass table, leaving her staring into space in her drawers, contemplating where she went wrong.

King Evil stands tall with a self righteous smirk as he walks away from her to pick up his robe. He places it back on, and only then does the Duchess of Desire lift her eyes to look up at him in shock. She becomes angry, not at herself but at him. He was playing her the whole time when she was supposed to be manipulating him. He beat her at her own game.

She spews out venomously, “You manancial bastard!” Then she turns her legs off the table, and stands. She begins walking over to him as his grin finally enrages her as it does so many others. She continues to call him names. “You scheming lunatic! You truncated child! You, you, you, you asshole!” By the time she’s done she is breathing heavily, her chest rising and lowering as she has lost all sense of composure.

King Evil doesn’t even react to her insults, smiling as he looks her up and down. The Duchess of Despair is practically speechless over his lack of a reaction. She opens her mouth to start arguing again but a knock at the window interrupts her.

Both his Majesty and the Duchess turn their heads to see a familiar face on the balcony. He must have started heading this way after the Duchess of Despair.

King Good knocks on the window again before asking, “Can we talk, your Majesty?”

King Evil splays his arms out in a welcoming gesture. As he walks around the Duchess to the door, he calls out, “Brother! What a surprise!” When he opens the sliding door to allow his brother in, he clasps King Good’s hand and shoulder excitedly, and reminds him, “And please, as always forget the ‘your Majesty’ please. We’re brothers, fellow kings, what brings you here?”

With anger, King Good turns his eyes to the Duchess, and remarks, “To succeed where she failed.”

The Duchess tries to plead, “But your Majesty-!” but King Good raises his hand dismissively.

“Enough, it is time you left me and my brother to speak alone, you have done enough.” My favored son is cold and swift in his judgment. It is obvious that we put too much faith in her confidence and ability.

Embarrassed and with her feelings wounded, the Duchess of Desire’s gaze falls short, then in an unbecoming hurry her arms curl to her shoulders to materialize a less revealing dress.

She hurries towards the elevator, where she angrily tries to figure out the buttons as it opens for her to leave. When she enters, she looks back towards the brothers as the door closes, giving both an expression of spite.

The lesser son comments, “I’m gonna have a lot of kissing ass to do after your war, aren’t I?”

“Most assuredly,” his brother agrees. Then with a more dire tone, King Good turns his brother to state, “Evil, we must speak. If you only allow me to explain-”

King Evil raises his hand with a soft expression on his face to stop his brother before he truly starts. He asks of him, “We can talk all you want, but first do you mind if we change venues? My eyes keep wandering to the butt print she left on the table.” With that mention King Good turns his eyes and sees what his brother is talking about, clear as day.

“Agreed,” King Good says.

With a smile King Evil lays a firm hand on his brother’s shoulder, and takes them somewhere else in his domain.

When they appear somewhere else, King Good is befuddled, having no idea what kind of place this is.

His brother announces excitedly, “Behold, Good, a 19th century office building!”

There are a litany of demons at desks staring at the Incarnations who have graced them with their presence. The demons are understandably confused, utterly and profoundly by not only their own Majesty, but also his polar opposite.

Then one demon stands from his chair to inform his Majesty, “Actually it’s based on the 21st century sir, but 21st after this specific guy is born.”

King Evil points to that demon and yells, “Thank you, sir!” Then he whispers over his shoulder to his brother, “I have no idea what that means. I made the place as a metaphor, and I did not keep track of everything.”

King Good stares at his brother in complete befuddlement before asking, “What are we doing here?”

“We are here so I can have comedic relief, my brother. I did just have a nasty fight with a very close friend, now I need something meaningless to help me ignore my feelings.” I honestly cannot tell if my lesser son is joking, or completely serious. “Also, the room down the hall has a very beautiful view of my home and for narcissistic purposes I like to stare at it.”

King Good touches his brother’s shoulder with great concern. He asks him, “This excessive honesty is unusual. Are you alright?”

“I’m being comedically honest in a way that should make most cringe. No I am not, but I’ll get over it once you can distract me as you ask for my help.” One would think that the essence of evil would be used to being backstabbed constantly, but something tells me it’s actually a new experience for him.

King Evil gestures forward with his hand and says, “Follow me.”

As they proceed to walk down the office space with the demons staring over their desks at them, my dutiful son makes his plea. “Evil, father and I are already winning the war against our mother by most accounts, but it’s taken a heavy toll… a heavy toll that can lessened if you join us.”

King Evil brings his hand to rub his chin, and replies with a question instead of an proper response.

“A heavy toll, do you mean the Duchess of Despair?” The look his brother makes, tells King Evil all he needs to know.

The lesser son makes a grand gesture as they reach a door. He opens the door for his brother, and gestures him inward before asking, “Tell me, what happened?”

Instead of just shoving the pain deep down as he normally does, King Good shakes his head sullenly. He looks down at his hands to see that they are shaking. He clenches them before his face before looking back at his brother. He admits, “I killed her, she asked me to.”

“Explain it to me,” King Evil asks of him. “I felt it when she died, but without my complete omniscience, I haven’t been keeping up with the world. I know I can still see the past but…  maybe I’ve found some respite in not knowing everything.”

Their Majesties enter the room and the lesser shuts the door behind them. The room is simple. The fact that there is only a long lounge chair and one personal chair, both facing the windows means it is probably only for King Evil’s sightseeing.

King Evil lays back onto the lounge chair, and King Good sits in the personal chair, only to immediately lean forward and clasp his hands together. They stay there for a while in silence. One patiently waiting as long as necessary for the other to grow ready to say what he needs to say.

King Good begins with, “She was out of control. She had erupted into the vortex and was going to obliterate Madam Sadness and all of her army.”

“What triggered her?” his brother asks.

“Sir Peace, with lies of the deaths of other Incarnations so she would erupt and turn on us,” King Good explains.

King Evil shakes his head as he curses, “Clever bastard that Sir is. He took full advantage of how unwindly the Duchess’s mind was. Her mental issues keep her from connecting with the rest of us. She couldn’t sense the rest of us. She was always too busy driving herself mad to even notice if a servant of hers had died.”

King Good becomes curious as to why his brother knows so much about the late Duchess. He asks, “Were you two close?”

“Not necessarily. I am, or was, close with the Duchess of Desire, who was especially close to the Duchess of Despair,” King Evil explains.

His brother nods his head in response before getting back on task. “I went into the vortex, I told her the truth and she believed me, but she couldn’t control it. Peace,” my dutiful son now grunts as he clenches his fists. He purposely refuses to use Sir Peace’s title. He must seriously feel more towards the Sir than just blame. “He had to have known that she couldn’t save herself, that she would have to die to save Madam Sadness, and that she would ask for it. I just can’t, I can’t close my eyes without seeing the Duchess’s eyes looking back at me. Eyes filled with defeat and terror, because she knows what had to be done.”

“You killed her to save everyone, and did so with her permission. In a way that makes it worse doesn’t it?” King Evil offers as reasoning.

King Good buries his face in his hands and admits, “It does, it really does. It’s as if… as if she had hated me I could somehow internally blame her, but I can’t! She was an innocent, and I snapped her neck.”

King Evil sits up from his seat, and walks over to kneel beside his brother. He tries to convince his brother that, “You did her little harm. That poor soul suffered all her life. If anything, you’ve done her a favor. I don’t think she was afraid of dying, I think she just worried that it would hurt, and if you snapped her neck, well, then it should have been quick and painless.”

King Good tries to rationalize what his brother is telling him, seeing the sense behind it. The guilt is not going to go away, he knows that, but maybe he can find a reason to push it aside for now.

Now he uses this grief to drive him forward.

His Majesty removes his head from his hands and grasps his brother’s furthest arm to bring him closer. He practically begs of him, “Don’t you see, Evil? Why I need you to join me and our father? If you join, our mother will see that she cannot win, she will have to surrender, and no more innocents have to die.”

My lesser son expresses his disbelief with a shake of his head. He stands to his feet and brings his brother with him. He asks of him, “Good, before you begin, can you please allow me to explain myself? My neutrality? I think you’ll understand why I cannot join you.”

My dutiful son feels that after his brother allowed him to bare his soul, he owes him the same respect. He nods.

“You see, Good, I need you to understand what I’ve gathered from our mother and father,” he begins as he leads his brother to gaze out the window besides him.

“When father created humanity, when he sped up the evolution of Earth’s primates, he made them in our mother’s image. That’s why they look the way they do, like us, who are in the image of our adopted parents as all Incarnations are. But, when he did that, he tied humanity explicitly to Death. Anything Life did with or to humanity without being prompted, and even sometimes then, reflected on her. Are you following?”

“I believe I am,” King Good confirms.

King Evil continues, “Well, when he created Adam and Lilith, he tried to force Lilith to be subservient, to make humanity a patriarchy.”

“Yes but that was after the failures of Regamorphs and Dinorans,” my dutiful son defends me.

“True, but is it really that hard to see how our mother would take offense to that? How she would take such action as our father stating that she is subservient to him after being his partner since the dawn of Creation? I thought that immediately.” He came to such conclusions because he is always looking to bring me down.

My lesser son continues, “Still, one act shouldn’t turn her against him, but then he cast out Lilith, and then tried to offer her as a peace offering to Death. What kind of peace offering are the scraps you don’t want, simply because the scraps didn’t want to obey her husband’s every whim?”

I will cede that, that was a very poor decision on my part, but still this war is an overreaction.

“I cannot stand by our father as he disrespected our mother in such a way. I will not. She has always done her best to keep me from being disrespected in such a manner, even when I probably deserved it. What kind of son would I be if I tried to force to her submit when she was the first victim?”

My dutiful son proves to be the gullible one. “I believe I understand, Evil. You were always closer to our mother when I was closer to our father.”

King Evil chuckles, and underhandedly comments, “That’s an understatement. Our father never paid me any attention or respect ever since he began to think, that he knows what it means to be Evil as I am. He has never made a point to help me, if anything he has made a point to outcast me. Destroy my relationships with our brethren.”

King Good disagrees with his brother greatly. “Evil, that’s preposterous. What do you mean?”

“What do I mean?” his brother responds with sarcasm and skepticism. “I mean that with both species he failed with, and probably the humans too, he makes it seem like every bad thing that they do, or that happens to them is my doing. That I’m constantly hanging over their shoulder, pushing them to do something wrong to fuel my power. As if I care what they do to each other.” Then King Evil turns his head sideways towards his brother, with his eyes squinted in speculation. “I know from eternities of examples and experiences that everything commits Evil on its own. Everything else, Good, Desire, Dread, there are times where the mortals need to be pushed. I have never pushed anyone, and I’ll never need to.”

King Good looks away from his brother for a moment to think about what was just said. Is such a statement true, is what he is wondering. Evil is something that will always be there to fuel his brother, and his brother never has a low point. Even Good himself has had low points. What that must say about mortals altogether.

Then my once dutiful son gives up. He cedes, “I think I understand now. I understand how it would be unfair to ask you to serve our father. Now though, I do not understand why you are neutral. Why have you not gone to mother’s side?”

Now King Evil puts on his proud and devious smile once again. He jokes honestly, “While our mother was indeed wronged, a couple of grave insults are still just insults, not something someone should go to war over. I mean, you and I have had much more violent, hurtful, and spiteful disagreements over eternity than the one our parents are fighting over. We never warred though.”

His brother chuckles now, thinking about that, about how ridiculous their mother is being. Though they should not be thinking of me with the same level of ridiculousness. “This is all very true, Evil! It is a miracle that we haven’t killed each other with the fights we’ve had. I wonder why this is.”

“I think I know,” King Evil offers his brother.

King Good, now in a brighter mood, requests, “Do tell.”

“Well, think about this for a second, Good. Our childhood, do you remember?” King Evil asks him.

King Good shrugs his shoulders and admits, “Not as much as I would like. Never found the time or reason to think much of it.”

King Evil then sighs. “Okay, well, I’ve done a lot of thinking. Mainly about how we were all raised, and I mean all the Incarnations.”

“Life and Death raised the others all separately,” King Good remembers.

He remembers wrong.

“You remember wrong. Yes, Dread, Desire, Guilt, they like others were born separate, they had no opposite. The other pairs, like you and me, were actually born together,” King Evil clarifies. It’s interesting how he thought to remember all this. “Peace and War, Goodness and Sadness, Love and Hate. There were four pairs.”

I remember this time well. At first it was only Death and I, with the plants and animals we created to roam the lands we watched. Eventually across our plains the Incarnations appeared as mere children. Practically teenagers.

King Evil continues to explain, “The pairs were born together, and our parents at first tried to raise them together. Then the other three had to be separated.”

I remember this great disappointment. Death was so happy, we had been born fully fleshed and knowledgeable adults, but we have never been able to have children of our own. We’re still not sure if the Incarnations are our children in the flesh, but we tried to raise them as such.

Peace and War, they needed to be separated first. In the beginning, they seemed to care for each other just fine. Of course they had their disagreements, their rivalry, but something was always wrong for Peace. He could never accept how his brother actively sought out conflict, sought to challenge creatures, how he even once challenged me to duel, which when he was small Death found adorable. Peace could never stand that, could never accept how his brother didn’t want to work towards tranquility. Once, when we were away caring for another, we had come back to War, dying from a burning throat. We didn’t understand and couldn’t save him. Peace openly admitted that he killed his brother, that he created a poison for him. He killed him because his brother did not understand what it meant to have power. Death wept in a way I’d never seen before. Thankfully, War Reincarnated quite quickly. I think it was because of how so much empty energy was in the universe when it was just Incarnations and long dead mindless creatures. He was able to come back quickly, but we separated him from his brother, and both quickly forgot how they were brothers.

Then there were Happiness and Sadness. They were much more lively in their discussions, but neither ever showed a hint of violence. Still, after what happened between Peace and War, we paid extra attention to know whether or not they needed to be separated. Happiness harassed Sadness constantly for always worrying, for always trying to calm his highs. Sadness always worried her brother was too excited, too adventurous, too happy, and that he would hurt himself. She always tried to convince him that holding his problems inside doesn’t erase them, and he called her pointless. That she was simply pain, and that her mere existence just made everyone suffer. To him, there was no upside to being sad. He never understood the importance of Sadness, and so he bullied her to leave him alone, but she cared for him too much. Eventually, the levels of depression that Sadness felt over her brother’s constant neglect and harassment convinced Death and I to separate them. They weren’t healthy for each other. She inspired a rage in him he never had otherwise, and once she was away from him, she could be happy, strangely. She could always be happy if she really wanted to be, which conflicts with how Happiness was seemingly never sad.

Love and Hate, they were so close, which only astounds with how much they have separated from each other. Love used to frolic about, caring and playing with anything and everything, and Hate always followed, and played with her. But Hate never had the same enjoyment. She only participated because she felt she needed to. Still, whenever Love would try to befriend a fearsome creature while we were away, Hate slew it to protect her, but also because she hated anything that threatened her sister. Then Love would grow sad that Hate had killed anything. Hate would always become so angry and annoyed that Love would care for things that wanted to kill her. For many years, Hate would watch Love, watch her sister and feel something missing inside of herself. It took a long time before she realized what her sister meant, what her sister is.

Love is everything Hate is not, and feels everything that Hate cannot. Hate realized that because Love exists, Hate cannot know what it means to love, and she hated her sister for that, for stealing that from her at birth.

We did not separate them, Hate abandoned Love on her own, filled with so much pain over how Love had stolen one of the most precious things in Creation from her. Hate had disappeared as Love was frolicking. At one moment, Love was picking flowers to put in her and her sister’s hair, and the next moment her sister was gone. Love searched, and searched, and cried and wailed for her sister. We came to her, and all she asked was for us to bring her sister back. When we found and spoke to Hate rather quickly, Hate vowed, she would make Love feel what she does, and we never let them reunite until they were adults.

King Evil and King Good though, were different. King Evil begins explaining why this was to his brother. “We didn’t need to be separated. When Life and Death found us, they couldn’t tell the difference between us. They didn’t understand what it meant to be Good and Evil, we didn’t behave that differently. We reached adulthood, and were never forced to separate. It wasn’t until our personalities really formed that we realized who we were, and who interested our parents more.”

King Good asks his brother, “Are you saying that we don’t kill each other because we weren’t separated? ”

“I’m saying that we don’t kill each other because we were raised as we are. Brothers. That’s why I won’t join Death, because I don’t want to fight my brother,” King Evil admits. Then as a joke, “At least not for any reason other than to knock some sense into that head of yours.”

King Good grins and playfully shoves his brother, who shoves him back. They chuckle and laugh together and stare back at the skyline together. In all this time I had forgotten how these two are brothers before they are my children. I guess in a way I am proud of that. I guess I can accept King Evil’s sacrifice in his neutrality. His heart is not in the wrong place all of the time.

My son says to the other, “I really needed this talk. Thank you.”

“I did too,” the other replies.

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