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Just another little snippet from The Fifth coming this October:


“Nergal wore the same cloak that he had worn since the very beginning. If asked why he had never changed his cloak, he could only shrug his shoulders and respond, “I have never felt the need. This one suits me just fine.” The truth, of course, was a bit more complicated than that. It usually is.

“He had taken this cloak some three and a half millennia ago while in the land now called Egypt, and he had worn it ever since. His mind wandered back to that once upon a time, but still only yesterday, and sometimes tomorrow.

“It was during a period when Father was more involved with the antics of his creations in the earthly realm. Father had sent his horsemen to confound the king of that land to see how that Pharaoh might respond to His demand that he set free the ones that Father had chosen to send forth.

“Erida, naturally, played her part superbly unleashing seven plagues upon the land. His brother, Cimeries, too, had done well. Even after the Pharaoh surrendered and allowed Father’s chosen people to leave, Cimeries persuaded the king to mount his men, draw his sword, and give chase to the fleeing slaves.

“For a reason that Nergal never quite understood, and likely never would, he had chosen this cloak — a man under the Pharaoh’s command. Unlike his siblings, Nergal found no joy in taking the cloak. This man, this soul, this cloak was just one of many that served that king, and, when Nergal took him, he felt the pain of the man’s soul as it struggled against his possession. Unlike Cimeries, Nergal did not revel in the battle. Nor did he enjoy the torment and suffering as he caged that soul deep within. Centuries passed before Nergal was able to drown out the incessant wails of the trapped soul and even longer for them to come to an understanding.

“Yes, Nergal knew that he could have left the cloak behind to languish with his fellow soldiers. They would have assumed that the man had died in battle, if not from one of Erida’s toys. But Nergal thought this soul deserved better. It deserved a little humanity, and it was easier to be humane when one was not human.”

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