The Cult of Nemesis: Part 2: Tale of the Reaper…
(read Part One here)
By Donnie Casto II
The troubadour found himself troubled at the writing of the Nemeian acolyte. “How could such a cult gain such a following over the minds of mankind?” he wondered to himself. Turning around, he found himself face to face with a man whose essence and eyes burned of vengeance, revenge, and who was accompanied by the atmosphere of something far worse than Death itself. It was as if for a second, the troubadour found a kindred spirit of sorts. “You are not a Nemeian, my quarrel lays not at your feet, dark storyteller.” Weary, soaked in blood, and taking a moment’s rest in a graveyard of the blessed and the damned; the reaper asked the troubadour to record this story. If there exist something far worse than the angel of death, I submit to you the reader, an explanation of the story of a man now known as the harbinger of the Nemeians, the reaper, the one who neither the light of the One embraces nor the either of the Neme will claim.
In another time, in a life I once knew before the Nemeian’s spread their evil over the land; I was simply just a man. Dreams, hopes, and love. . . all these things I knew and believed because of the treasures of my heart. Those who held my heart and were part and parcel of my flesh were the center of my life. A normal life once was mine. Birth, childhood, becoming an adult, all the stages and stresses of life seemed pale and meaningless when the purpose of my life and existence was seeing the sole joy of the infinite shining of the sun in the laughter, love, and smiles of the children that were mine. While I wasn’t a pauper or by any means a man of material wealth; I had everything and more I ever could have wanted. Only in the defense of my home and my people would I ever have been a man of war. My hands weren’t made to inflict pain, my mind never thought of slaughter or my heart driven by the dark desire of killing everyone and everything whose breath or coin bore the mark of the Nemeians.
There amongst all civilizations through time, exist both woman and man, who simply wish to exist without conflict or joining themselves to causes. They simply wish to be, a piece of the fabric that makes up the broad cloth of humanity. They align themselves to nothing or no cause other than to be left alone. And while before the day that the betrayal led me to the Nemeian alter; I once also believed I knew a love only written in fairy tales or the dime store novels. Hindsight, it is said, is only twenty-twenty and perhaps in my utter hunger to be a man that was loved and to have a family to call my own; I, in my naïve stupidity never seen the Nemeian in the eyes of this woman I once loved. None if it matters now. People believe that death, is but an end.
Only the dead and the dying know truly it is but a new beginning. A beginning to what, you ask? Even I, the damned, the hollow specter known simply as the reaper amongst these Nemeians, that finds neither a home in the light of the One or absent in the torment of the either truly know. Not that I feared the day of my death, nor gave it much thought when life and purpose was so evident around me. While those whose hands are blessed in the arts find comfort in the expression of their beings being birthed on page, or canvas, or instrument or even singing a song; at my writing table with the children I treasured and the woman who bore them to me. . . what more was a man to ask for
Betrayal is such a funny thing to the mind of those alive. One always expects it from a stranger, a thief, or a man of cloth, or law, or a statesman. Betrayal is never expected from one in whom you have broken a meal with, shared the warmth of embrace, or built up a home. I suppose you’ll forgive me for saying on the opposite end of the stream, one never really knows the burning of vengeance either, until it has consumed your soul. There is a dark parcel, a passenger that has seed in the heart, mind, and spirit of every human being. It’s balanced by the silence of a warm smile, a firm handshake, a hearty laugh, or the thought of revenge and rage passing by as quickly as it enters one’s mind.
These people walk amongst us daily, and mercy to the One or to the either that keeps the check or balance in these souls who never go beyond the entertaining of these urges we all have inside. Be it a verbal abuser simply needing their mouth sown shut, a liar needing their tongue ripped out by the root, a rapist who perhaps would do better to have their genitals cut and seared off, you, me, all of us are guilty of meeting these reprobates one and all. Sadly, all of us are guilty in not eliminating them from the circle of society before they destroy the people or peace we have come to know and love.
There is no greater thrill, no better pleasure to the absence of emotion or compassion that I once knew as a man than to kill a Nemeian. I discriminate against none of them. Any man, any woman, or even a child; I will take in equal measure and coin the one thing the Nemeian cult has taken from me. You the reader may find me heartless or without a conscience or soul. Might I remind you, before the sacrifice which took my heart, took my life, and subjected my children to the torments, to the beatings, and the utter arrogance at which they killed the man I once was, the greatest pain. . . the greatest pain wasn’t having my bones broken, it wasn’t the beatings I endured, or the public spectacle I was made for the Neme. The greatest pain was the look of fear in the eyes of the children I loved. The failure I felt as a man in having no means or power to defend them from such abhorrent evil as the Nemeians take pride in inflicting. So spare me the compassion or mercy bit. Every Nemeian compassionately dies a quick and merciful death. A subtle luxury I was not granted.
Every day since I became this specter of a man now known only as the reaper, the harbinger of the Neme, I don’t recall my name, nor do I remember the names of the treasures I loved with all am and would ever be. I am haunted by a past that replays every idle moment in the damaged recesses of the walls of my mind. The breeze in the trees carries the screams and cries of these children whose touch and presence I have not held or known.
There is no course other than to destroy in equal measure and coin everything that the Nemeians have claimed. What cool water dripped on the tongue of a soul is to those condemned to the either, the screams and torrent rivers of blood of every Nemeian is to me now. This Cult of Nemesis and the Order of Athena, let them wage their war. The Nemeian’s made me the monster I have become, and I will not be quenched of my thirst until I have made peace with the treasures I lost, and every Nemeian.
… I will kill them all!