TIME. Spring 2019 - Page 27

the sound of the third seal. He will be able to prepare himself for his ride. And last among us is Death. He is the eldest, our leader, the last rider, the rider on the pale horse. Death will follow the rest of us, Pestilence and War and Famine, reaping the bitter harvest we have sown. with protest as I donned my helm. The fiery red horse, ghost- ly crimson flames flickering about its hooves to match those blazing along the edge of my sword, reared high into the air in anticipation. I swung into the saddle, feeling the tension in my steed’s taut muscles. For once, the surrounding grasses were still. The sound of the second seal breaking pulled at me like a I can feel them all in my mind: Pestilence’s blazing impatience, lodestone, tugging me viciously towards my destination. I Famine’s tired amusement, and Death’s silent calm. We have drove my horse forward, and we were sucked through the all been waiting, we four, and will have breach in an instant. The last thing I saw This Earth is not the place it was the chilled carpet of stars, winking at no forewarning of the end time, no time to prepare, and so we must be perpetual- was meant to be, no matter me from the corner of my vision. ly ready. We will know neither the day nor how many sunrises I watch the hour, as it has been written. And when glimmer upon the open wa- I was not afraid. But I did not know what I judgement falls at last, we must be ready to ters. Something in it was would find upon Earth. I knew I must ride, enact it without hesitation. Death’s scythe and the Earth must be undone. I did not and my sword must never lose their edge. broken at the beginning. know what would follow in the days and The bow of Pestilence must have a sufficient supply of ar- nights to come. I knew nothing of damned Earth, or exalted rows, and Famine’s scales must never become imbalanced. Paradise, or divine judgement. Our steeds must never tire, must never go lame. If we falter, there will be no one to take our place. I do not wish to write of Earth, but I know that I must, or my telling will be counted false. I wonder, however, if my words We were created for this. That is the only thing we know, the will be sufficient? It is one thing to read words. It is another only thing that matters. That is why we hear our combined to have lived them. Can anyone, anything picture what we harmony, and why my sword cries out as I sharpen it. We be- saw and what we did? Can anyone feel what those people felt lieve the Creator fashioned this soulless world for our benefit, as their world ended around them? I do not believe it to be that we might wait for His call. We waited for year upon year, possible. I do not believe that this terrible judgement will ever age upon age, eon upon eon for His call. And eventually, He happen again. called. Nonetheless, this chronicle would be incomplete without the I cannot speak as to why the appointed time had come. I did events on Earth. It is for that reason I write of it. I must write not know why judgement had arrived, only that it had arrived, of it. I am War, and must be honest about my horrors. and it was time to act. How could I have known? Does an axe know why an executioner chooses to swing it? Does it need to? I brought war to earth. I am War, a red rider on a red horse. I The sound of the first seal breaking tore a hole in my world. am your barbarian, clad in skins and brandishing my wooden A circular hole of blinding light that pulsed and danced in the club. I am your steel knight, filling the air with the thunder of center of the plains. I smelled brimstone, tasted salt and cold my charge. I am your bomb and your shell and your poison iron. A flash of white light on the horizon—Pestilence urging gas. I am your shattering fire in the sky, as reality broke asun- on his mount—and I rose. The joints of my armor snarled 27