Rumors of War - By Silver

   We are all so gay and carefree. Sophisticated, healthy and kind. We love each other and our blessed estate high atop this mountain. Below us, in the valleys, rolling hills and fruitful plains live many creatures whose lives can be affected by us, by our decisions, by our very way of being and we try to be mindful of them. 

   Father Sky commands peace, while secretly Beauty enjoys creating rivalries, Thunder cannot help but roar and flash while War paces irritably beyond Father Sky's sight, preparing both sides against the other, out of sight, he believes. Huntress watches, amused as the predators become prey in War's machinations. Ocean knows of these things, having seen their mad battles both afloat and along his shores but remains silent as does Dark, staying below, staying silent, seemingly neutral. Mother Earth does not speak at all, except in secret tongues. 

   It is said that these creatures below us, many like ourselves in form, die. That the animation of their bodies ceases with time, disease, accident or violence, and that this animation continues on as shades that dwell in Dark's nether world. It is whispered that Dark must know all of War's treacheries, seeing the numberless shades that War has sent him, but in fact, no one can tell what Dark knows or what Dark sees. No one living and not even us from whom all things flow, not even we know of these things. War knows not, nor cares, what becomes of his fallen warriors, needing only the passion and violence, the anger and madness that is warfare, feeding, drunk on vengeance and blood-lust. None of us like being around War, but he is our brother, born of Father Sky and Mother Earth, just as we all are. 

   I stay apart when there's scheming and plotting for, I am Love and naught of War's doing is done in my name. I am uneasy when I see Beauty and War together,  knowing of Beauty's desire for conflict. I find myself standing apart more often than not. Still, Fast will always find me to deliver each pronouncement, each call to attend the high throne. Now Father Sky has said he wants peace, then says no more. It is to us to deliver and War is furious, of course. We never really see Dark but his presence is unmistakable, and I know he is consoling War. Sometimes before, Thunder would join War, both enjoying their shock and awe moments, but this time, well, Father Sky has spoken and Thunder restrains himself. 

   I wonder though. Something happened at Beauty's grand soiree, something that has caused a young and foolish mortal to abscond with a king's wife, believing that I, of all people, wanted it so, promised her in fact as a reward for naming me the fairest of them all. What foolishness. I needed no contest to know that I am the fairest of them all. Everyone knows it. I took the apple and left, as was my right. I knew that shrew Whiner had sent the apple with the note, For the Fairest of Them All, because she wasn't invited to the party and she knew it'd disrupt things. So I just grabbed the apple and left. Later I asked Beauty why she hadn't invited Whiner. 

   She gave me an angry look, “I didn't invite her to my party because I could not stand the thought of hearing her whining all night. No one can, and no one blames me.” She stormed away. She was right, of course, no one can stand Whiner's whining and I for one was glad she wasn't at the party. Still, that young man making off with that king's wife, that can't be good. Got the royal treasure too is what Fast told me. Rumors abound that I helped with a magic fog. What madness! Sounds like something Thunder might do with his roiling clouds. War looks very pleased; Thunder seems poised and Huntress smiles slyly. Oh, I cannot bear these squalid deceits. I shall stand apart, for in all these squabbles there is naught of Love

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