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Born on the 13th
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Born on the 13th

by Ryder W. Miller

They needed for him to be scary and the parents got what they asked for, but they would also be scared. He was conceived on Halloween out of love and fear, but he was not anxious to be part of the world and was born late in mid August, on the night of the 13th. Halloween night and during the pregnancy the mother drank poisons and potions so he would be especially unusual. These substances would enhance certain natural features of his. Later they would be supernatural features if developed successfully. He was an odd boy who would not fit in. He would have birth defects and odd skin colorations.

The parents, Adelma and Rick, dressed in black, dyed their hair black, and followed the dark ways of the Old World. They were demonologists who worshipped the demon Azeroth. They had big plans for their child who they named Azeal. He could be a voice for this unknown sect of people. He would understand the importance of celebrating the old ways. He could maintain the traditions of sadism and masochism. Pain taught humility. Pain taught connectiveness.

They lived in an isolated house in a dark wood that was only accessible by a dirt road. Rick was a farmer, and Adelma was an artist and craftswoman. They sold their goods in town. Adelma cashed in around Halloween with her jewelry, while Rick sold mushrooms, odd herbs and other things that he could propagate in the forest.

Azeal was sheltered from mainstream society, he was left alone to consider the lessons he was taught by Adelma and Rick. He grew up outside of society. He would have a connection with the natural world, rather the human community. He could judge society as an outsider, as an objective individual. This would help him spread the word of Azeroth, an unfortunate loser in the battle that was waged between the forces of good an evil. He would be a general in this old fight, this travesty of history: the unrelenting battle which took precedence over daily life.

He could assert the interests of those who found meaning in the old ways, the old teachings. When he stopped thinking he could hear music in his mind. The music was from either South America or the Middle East. He was not part of mainstream American society, but he would need to speak their language. He would need to convince them that the old ways were effective. He would need to understand the shortcomings of society. He would need to understand their pain and their failings. But they were of another world, they were followers of the Christ. They had a way of life to follow, a way of life that made sense to those whose worked and struggled to be good.

He would have to teach that bad was good, that selfishness was truth. That avarice and greed, even for the right reasons, was acceptable. It was okay to want. It was okay to be bad or selfish. If people were expected to be selfish they would be more likely to be happy with leaders who understood this. He would be selfish and espouse a philosophy of selfishness. This was more honest. Do what is right for yourself. At least with this in the public mind people would be reacting to peoples needs and concerns.

Azeal was a Halloween lovechild, with the deformed features to announce it. There were dark hairy patches of skin on his mostly hairless white body. His nose appeared as if it was broken, even though it never had been. One of his eyes was blue, the other green. People were bound to be scared, but maybe they would feel relived or free of the shackles of morality. He was on a dark path, and many were free to join him in this painful, personal or selfish path. He would talk of the dead and dark ways. He would provide an alternative, dark, and maybe more truthful vision. This was his birthright. This was his mission. To be a Halloween child, to be a messenger and servant of the dark and selfish.

An “eye for an eye”, do it first, “take no prisoners”, “better it happened to them then yourself”, “that’s their problem”, and “respect the wicked”. He would be a lightning rod for the disenfranchised. He would explain and announce their pain. This was his birthright. People would think twice about crossing him because he was born on the 13th.

At first he did not know how to control or convince people, but Adelma reminded him that he needed to understand people’s needs and pain. He needed to understand their situation, so he could improve their situation. He would have a better chance to do so because he was selfish.

Selflessness was also for others. If he expected his followers to be selfless he would be unsuccessful, he would be insincere. He needed to speak to people’s needs and desires. The world had become dark and dangerous, and his parents had prepared him for this. He was born on the 13th, one who chose not to follow the unsuccessful dozen. He would provide an alternative vision. A vision which was based on mutual suffering and pain.

But how would he convince this dark swarm, this dark minion? Should he tell them that they are not part of the earth, that there was no heaven or salvation. He could understand their pain and alienation, he could sanctify their desires. His parents prepared him for this dark road.

But how could he reach the masses? How could he connect with so many others? He decided to write poetry. He decided to communicate as an artist. He would take the risk, he would send the message. He was ready to send his message in his mid twenties.

Members of the sect had been waiting many years for him to be ready to speak. They built a church in the country next to a stagnant stream. The walls were dark, and there was a painting which told the story of the demon Azeroth who fought for a more personal and selfish code of behavior. Many had read the poems of his childhood: the dark longings, the anger, the interest in feeling and inflicting pain. They would scream and break things in their services. They would initiate the newcomers in the pleasures of pain. He had become part of a larger fragile community.

Azeal would need to figure out a way to make their arguments inspirational to mainstream society. They would need to find the funding to send the message to the masses. They decided to send people books. He would write books of their dark philosophy. Azeal’s church was scorned by Christian society, but the notoriety brought interested souls to Azeal’s parish.

“They have not told you the truth. They have not shown you the way,” Azeal would say to the newcomers.

His flock grew, and there were many artists, writers and poets among them. The Azeroth Ministry tried to find members all over the world. Azeal was launching a movement, but he met someone who change him forever.

Hope, a young svelte woman with white hair, moved South to be part of his flock. Azeal noticed her and asked what her story had been. She told him that she sought to escape the hypocrisy of the north. He told her on the day that he met her that he would like to hear about her struggles, and that he wanted her to be on the path that he was taking his flock upon.

They would meet for dessert after he gave his midnight talks. They would drink chocolate wine and talk about the dark ways of nature.

“There was no future for me in the north,” Hope was telling him one evening.

“Our ways are better,” said Azeal.

“People must find the ways that suit them,” said Hope.

“Our path is suited for those who respect their own desires. For those who trust the dark side of their nature,” said Azeal.

Sometimes they would inflict pain upon each other. Azeal had small whips and pinchers.

“You know you would make a great psycho, born of the 13th and all,” said Hope.

“You think so,” said Azeal beaming with a smile.

“You have enough friends so that you would not even need to get your hands dirty. There would be plenty of people who would do it for you,” said Hope.

Hope eventually convinced him to let her explore his skin. She was planning to draw a map of its odd colorations and hairy spots.

“What happened to you?”

“My mother wanted me to be unusual. She wanted me to be odd, to be able to connect with the darkness in the natural world. She took potions and herbs while I grew in her. I can hear the wind in a closed room. I can hear the animals and trees talking amongst themselves.”

“Can you teach me how to do that.”

“I was born with the ability. Close your eyes and listen.”

Hope tried, but she could not hear the wild around her.

“It is a gift that I have.”

Hope was sad, but she smiled anyway.

“You cannot give me everything can you?”

“No, but I can give you a hickey.”

Azeal walked towards her menacingly, and Hope chose not to run. She smiled and offered her neck.

The flock noticed that they spent a lot of time together, and wondered if he would have a child with her. They called her the ghost because of her white hair and pale complexion. Azeal had changed. He no longer seemed meek, but full of warmth and fury. He also had a swagger about him.

“I have gone to the forest today. No odd rules, no unrealistic expectations. Just life surviving and taking advantage of its situation. The sun and the ground feed the plants. The plants feed on bugs which are fed on by the animals which eat eachother. This natural process to survive, to strive is inherent in all living things. It is not morality but wildness that should guide our course,” Azeal told the crowd.

“Yeah,” said Hope.

The congregation tried to hold back a smirk.

When they met later that night, Hope told him that she wished to bear him a child.

“We will be like the creatures of the forest. We will create progeny. We will continue to populate the forest with crying voices.”

“The human cry is sincere,” replied Azeal.

That night they drank deep of the chocalate wine and wrapped themselves in each other’s arms.

“You have done this before?” Azeal asked.

“Does it matter?” said Hope.

“Yes, and no,” said Azeal.

“I have experimented so that I could better please,” said Hope.

Azeal smirked, but he found her beguiling.

“Let us proceed in this sanctified act,” said Azeal.

Though they tried Azeal could not impregnate Hope. She suggested that maybe she should try with another, but Azeal grew angry.

“We need to try some more,” said Hope.

Azeal eventually grew jealous of Hope, who began being friendly with other members of the flock. He knew that she may try to get impregnated by another and say that it was his child. This did not seem so unusual, actually it was a practical solution, but Azeal kept a closer eye upon her.

Rick and Adelma let him know that this may occur. Rick would smirk. Adelma was somber and serious about the matter.

“She was your first. You may want to try with another,” advised Adelma.

“I love her. I do not know if I can love another,” said Azeal.

“Maybe you should try. If you really love her the child will still be yours,” said Rick.

“This is a indignity I will not stand for,” said Azeal.

“Try these herbs,” said the mother.

Azeal brought Hope the herbs, and she agreed to try them. For months they tried without success. Eventually Hope told him that she needed to leave the flock, and return to the north.

“But you are my life. You are my future,” said Azeal.

“I need to have a child. I cannot have one here,” said Hope.

“But there are things that we have not tried.”

“I have tried things that I have not told you.”

“Have you been with others.”

“That is my business. I must go.”

Azeal stood up angrily.

“Don’t strike me. I will leave,” said Hope.

“But I need you.”

“Your pain will pass. There are things that I need. I will return to the north.”

Without telling many people she packed up and left for the north the following week.

“I will not be in contact so the pain will not last as long,” she told Azeal.

“The pain will remind of the wonderous times we had.”

The flock noticed the change in Azeal. He was more intense and more earnest. He was in more pain. A member of the flock questioned him while he was giving a talk one day.

It was Gaspar who looked familiar to him.

“What about freedom? Why did you not let Hope have a child with another?”

Azeal grew angry.

“That is not the way children should be born. Children need to have a sense of belonging.”

“But that is against your teaching of freedom and wildness,” argued Gaspar.

“You challenge me because you are a bastard. I do not want my child to be a son of a bitch.”

The flock shuddered at the impact of his statements.

“If it was true love you will not pick another.”

“That is my decision.”

“Me and Hope, we tried to help you.”

Azeal walked towards him with a metal rod in his hand.

“We have all followed you Azeal. She left because she was carrying my child and you would not understand. We have built our lives on the frameworks of your teaching. You hurt us be not being flexible enough to understand the pain that we need to endure.”

“We are not anarchists Gaspar,” said Azeal.

“Your teachings are false,” said Gaspar.

“They are part of a continuum. I have given these teachings new voice in these times.”

“There were modern ways in which you could have had children. I will also not choose to be part of this.”

“Where would you go?”

“You are not the only one who has experienced love.”

The crowd circled around them, making a space for them to converse directly.

“We will not let you leave. You will hurt the movement. You will hurt the flock.”

Gaspar stood up as strait as he could.

“Do you think you can stop me?” said Gaspar with an angry smile.

“You are rocking the boat. We need to work together to survive.”

“She is carrying my child, not yours.”

Adelma walked towards them.

“Let him go,” she said.

“He has made a monster of out me,” said Azeal.

“I made you a monster so that you would understand others like yourself. We are all monsters,” said Adelma.

“You can do to others the things that were done to you,” said Rick.

“Everybody is cool about everybody being bad, but I am going to start doing you good. That will throw things out of whack. That will see to it that things did not go as planned,” said Gaspar.

“You will not leave this room alive,” Azeal.

The crowd moved in around them to surround Gaspar.

“She loved me. You must have forced her,” said Azeal.

One man grabbed Gaspar’s arm. Another punched him in the stomach. Gaspar fell on his knees in pain.

“I did not decide this fate. Who were you to pick this ghastly fate for me?” Garpar yelled.

“We all did. You ruined the few beautiful things we shared,” said Azeal now standing over him with a metal rod.

“We shared beautiful things too,” Gaspar laughed.

The rod came down and a pool of greyish blood formed around where Gaspar lay on the floor.

Azeal hit him again where he lay on the floor.

Azeal then screamed so loud the windows shaked.

The crowd stepped back shocked.

“I will take responsibility for the children of the flock. From now on they will all be my children,” said Azeal.

Most of the flock looked scared, but a few of the women were smirking.

“Can I say he is my kid? I want to say he is my kid,” Rick asked Adelma.

“Yes, he takes after you,” she said.

“Wild, dangerous, great! That’s my kid,” Rick said.

Copyright Ryder W. Miller 2005

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