All wars have a beginning and all wars have an end, except for one. The war between the light that illuminates the world with all that is good and the darkness which fills our hearts, blinding us with pride.
The fireplace glowed brightly as the logs of wood crumbled to ash and dust. The gray ash and dust was caught by the iron bucket under the fire place.
Both halves of the room were decorated differently. The fireplace, the table and two chairs before the fireplace and the expensive red rug, decorated with white and gray artistic designs marked the rooms change between light and dark.
Two figures filled the chairs. One wore a white robe and the other a black robe. Both smiled warmly as they examined the battle field of the chess match they played. The other examining the others moves, all the while examining their own tactics for victory.
Shouts rang out from beyond the windows. A war had waged on either side of the castle walls. A war as timeless as the two figures who sat across from each other. Neither knew which was born first, it was no longer important which had the claim of superiority in birth.
The black robed man moved his bishop from C8 to A3. “Tell me brother,” he said. “How is it that no matter how many times we have faced each other, you always seem to find the means of thwarting my designs?”
The white robed man scratched the underside of his aging chin, stretched the wrinkled skin flat and thought of his next move. “Why is it that you still think I must surrender anything unto your armies again?” he asked.
The black robed man smiled in return and as he watched his identical brother move his white knight from B1 to D2. “Do you not tire from this endless war?” he asked and then moved his Rook from D5 to E5.
The white robed man leaned forward and his chin onto the knuckles of his hands which rested upon the egg shaped sapphire stone on top of his walking stick. “Do you ever tire in your endless pursuit of eternal darkness?” The white robed man asked and moved his pawn from H1 to H3. He leaned back into his elegantly designed chair, with soft cushioning back and seat.
“Are we so different you and I?” He glanced to his brother, the white robed man. The only differences in their faces were their beards. The black robed man wore a neatly trimmed goatee of only a few days growth while the white robed man wore a full beard.
The black robed man moved his Bishop from A3 to E2 and killed a white pawn. He then sat back in his chair, while his brother leaned forward to move his own bishop from F1 to E2 and killed his brothers black bishop. “Are we that alike?” The white robed man asked.
The heavy foot fall of men in armor drew both of their attention from their game to the double wide large wood doors. “It seems that your forces are winning the battle today,” the black robed man said and moved his rook from E5 to E2 to kill his brother’s bishop.
The white robed man frowned. “But at a high cost.”
The black robed man smiled. “As it should be my brother, as it should be,” he said. “Imagine if war was without cost.” He sat back and waved his arms to his sides and fingers stretched to the sky. “Anarchy would rule and we both would be out of a job.”
The white robed man moved his knight from G1 to E2 to kill his brother’s rook and protect his king. “Anarchy wouldn’t be a problem if not for your greed and lust for power. These things are what drive the hearts of man to do such evil deeds when there are not the torch bearers to light their way to intellect and understanding.”
“Intellect and understanding?” The black robed man smiled. “Hardly. Look at what they have done with intellect? They nearly destroyed their entire species and wiped out most every nation that had ever existed.” The black robed man moved his pawn from H7 to H5.
“And whose fault was that?” The white robed man asked and moved his queen from B3 to B8. “Who gave the humans their pride and egos which started their wars?”
Resentment flashed across the black robed man’s face, he knew that the next moves were going to be automatic and that he was about to lose powerful pieces. Despite this, he forced a smile to the corners of his mouth. “Well played my brother, well played,” he said.
The white robed man nodded his head silent in his small victory. “But the game isn’t over yet,” he said. “You still have a number of moves to make.”
“That I do,” the black robed man said and then frowned. The fighting had moved to the interior of the castle. He moved his queen from D8 to B8 to kill his brothers Queen. He gave no further comment.
In the next moment, a man shouted with fury in his voice. Metal plates clanked off the stone floor with every heavy footstep he took and then silence from the man.
“Not in my castle,” a woman shouted.
The white robed man moved his rook from B2 to B8 and killed his brothers Queen. “Check.”
More sounds of metal against metal, metal against stone. Metal clashed, flesh torn and screams of pain echoed across the hallway, through the wooden doors and into the room. A woman’s scream, short lived as something slammed against the door threatening to break it down. Blood pooled before the door and seeped under it, warning of the threat before the door.
The black robed man stared silently at the chess board and considered his options. “The battle isn’t over yet,” he said.
“And it will never be over,” the white robed man said.
The black robed man turned his head towards the door and watched the crossbeam crack, splinter and shatter under the relentless impacts from the gavel of those seeking justice.
The black robes began to fade; the hood revealed a gold crown laced with jewels of amber, blue, green and yellow. A kings crown, a fools symbol of wealth and pride. The face of the black robed brother faded and revealed the fear filled expression of an old man who knew that justice had finally found him. “This isn’t over,” the black robed brother whispered without the use of the old king’s lips.
The white robed man stood and walked away from the old king and turned to bear silent witness to the sentencing of a man already convicted by his deeds. “It never is over,” the white robed man whispered. “That is our curse and our gift.” To be the guardians of the balance of power, the scales of justice brought unto those who would lean too far to either side of the scales. That is our gift.
A middle aged man stepped into the room, flanked on either side by less elaborately dressed foot soldiers that lined the walls of the bed chambers and didn’t bother stepping over the queen’s spilt blood, the wife of the king.
Two of the foot soldiers lifted the old king to his feet and forced him to face the middle aged leader of the foot soldiers.
The leader examined the king, nodded to the foot soldiers to take a half step to either side of the kings back. “In accordance with the decree of the North American Congresses and the ruling of its supreme courts. I Patrick, S Cromwell, do here by carry out your sentence of execution,” Patrick said and drew his sword from its holder on his left hip.
He closed the distance between the King and himself. The King watched, horrified that he should meet his end, gratified that it would be quick and shamed for losing to peasants.
Patrick ran the old King through and lifted him up off the ground with one thrust. “For every father, mother, brother, sister, son and daughter you nobles have murdered, for my family you murdered,” he whispered into the old Kings ear. “I hope you burn in hell.” His words were made cold by the hate which filled his heart.
The old King’s head fell forward, limp by the merciful grace of death, delivered at the hands of a present turned soldier, soldier turned general. The old Kings gold and jeweled crown fell from his head, marking the beginning of the end of the reign of kings.
Patrick withdrew his sword and gathered some of the king’s royal red robes into his left hand and wiped his sword clean. He then nodded to both soldiers who held the king and they both let his body fall to the floor without care, concern or respect for the dead.
Blood began to drain from the wound, blood pooled around the Kings face. The white robed man reflected in his eyes vanished completely unseen by the soldiers.
Patrick took one moment to glance around the room, the unfinished chess match caught his attention and a note, folded once had been left next to the captured white Queen. Patrick opened the note and read aloud the only word written in it. “Balance.” He glanced to the game board. Should have moved the black knight from C6 to B8, he thought to himself and turned to his remaining foot soldiers. “Burn it all. Let nothing of their reign survive and when the fires die out, raise our new flag so that all can see the new age which is upon us, so that they may know that the age of the Robber Kings are over.”