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The Delta

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For weeks, the man and his woman traveled the woods and fields. They discovered a river that led down a field, and followed it on the side. When they needed to, they got water to drink. Every day, the woman's womb was becoming larger. The man paid no heed, but the woman would complain of pains constantly. They wandered along one day, and discovered another animal. This one was different. Its legs were longer and skinnier. Its eyes were to the sides of its narrow head. Its tail was much shorter than the last animal, and it had long horns extending from its head. The man approached the animal quietly, spear in hand. It had started to run, and he threw the spear at it, piercing its side. When it collapsed, he ran to retrieve the spear. He pulled the spear out, only to stab again; to finish the animal off.

In the same process as before, he skinned the animal and collected whatever edible meat there was. They had run out of the lion meat from their last encounter. He left the animal's head and organs on the ground, and washed the skin in the lake. He gave the skin to his wife, and they proceeded towards the next forest. As they entered, it began to rain. The deep woods they entered protected them from the light drizzle, but it was starting to rain heavier. They followed the river to a small waterfall with a watering hole at the bottom. The river continued on from there, and they navigated down the cliff. Behind the waterfall, there was a small hollow. It would provide shelter for them overnight. As they entered, the woman began to scream. She fell the ground on the rock, clasping her stomach in pain. The man had attempted to help her, but she kicked at him. She screamed harder, and he watched a small creature come out between her legs. Its feet looked just like them. He grabbed her legs and held them apart. He had tried to convince her to do whatever she could to get the creature out.

She kicked and pushed, and the human's little head popped out. It cried and whined, much like they did when hurt. He was about to pick it up, when the woman screamed again. A second set of feet popped out. The man picked up her legs, and encouraged her to press. She retched and growled in pain, but the next one came. Two small, young, human children. She held the two in her arms, speaking two words, naming them. She said to one: "Qayin", and to the other; "Hevel". The man nodded to the one named "Qayin" and repeated his name. He did the same to the one named "Hevel", and picked his stone up. He cut the umbilical cords off, and carried the firstborn out, while she carried the second.

Years passed, and the two children grew older. They got larger and stronger. They had stumbled upon a large cave in later years, and took up permanent residence within. On a stormy night, lightning hit the ground and created fire. It provided heat, just like the fire in the garden. They discovered that cooking the meat they had hunted from animals had made it edible. So the man hunted every day, while the woman harvested. They gathered food and fed themselves and the children.

On another day, they discovered sheep. They were able to make wool clothing from the sheep, and created clothing from the wool, rather than the hides. When the woman and the man grew old, Hevel had tended sheep and made clothes, while Qayin had hunted and harvested. It was a day that the two brothers were together that they met the Beta. They were walking along the field, both conversing, when the Beta stopped them a few meters away on the path. It merely stood, its black eyes staring back at them, and they faced it. It was Qayin who initiated contact, speaking to it. "Who are you?" He asked.

It merely stood. Qayin drew his sharp stone, and backed his brother off. If the creature was hostile, he was prepared to kill it. He moved closer to the creature, stone in hand. The Beta raised its hand, pushing him back with an unseen force. It stopped them both, and spoke, not audibly, but telepathically. At the same time, it spoke two different messages. The first, to Qayin; you will gather your crops and slaughter your animals, and bring them to me. The second, to Hevel; you will gather your sheep and bring them to me.

Both performed their tasks without question, as if something simply clicked. Qayin cut his crops and killed his pigs and cattle, bringing two carts full of them. While Qayin gathered his cattle and crops, Hevel had gone to gather his sheep. He simply stood by them, and they followed him. He had mastered and trained them, and they were loyal and committed to him. Hevel had arrived first. As Qayin rounded the corner with his two carts, he had seen his brother's flock converge on the Beta. They gathered around the strange being, as if they knew him. Hevel simply stood, watching. 

Qayin, attempting to receive the attention of the being, presented his crops and animals to it. The being stared, and ordered Qayin to take them forward. Qayin placed both carts at the feet of the being, and the Beta ordered Qayin back. He ordered Hevel forward. He spoke to Hevel first, this time with a voice; "You have brought me our chosen creations. Our gift, our flock, and our sacrifice. We commend you."

He turned to Qayin, and said: "You have brought me mere substance and pitiful creatures. Go forth, bring your entire crop, and return here. Your offering is insufficient, and you shall bring your next crop and gathering of livestock to me."

He turned back to Hevel, and said: "Gather another flock, and return when your brother does." The being then disappeared, fading away, along with the brothers' "offerings". Qayin was filled with disposition. Why was his sacrifice not great enough? He did a greater amount of work, taking the time to plant seeds, to feed his animals, to slaughter them needlessly? Now his family would have no food. What gave this being the right to do this?

Hevel, on the other hand, was filled with gladness. He found a new purpose, and commendation from it. It was commendation he didn't receive, unlike his brother, constantly commended by the family. Hevel returned, relaying the events to his mother and father. Qayin, in frustration, had gone to find wild vegetables, fruits, and animals for the family to eat. 

In the passing months, Hevel had gathered a larger flock than before, ready to offer them to the being when Qayin's crops had grown. Qayin was rather careless in the cultivation of his crops, and malnourished his animals, knowing they would needlessly disappear anyway. It would be more efficient to feed them that which was only required to keep them alive. As a result, his animals were thinned. When the being returned, ready for them, a beam of light had shown across the sky. It shined down on the exact location where the Beta had previously appeared. Hevel gathered his flock, and eagerly raced to the location, Qayin slowly trudging with his gathering behind.

When he arrived, Hevel had already been commended, the sheep gathering at the Beta's feet. Qayin only waited to hear more discouragement, but instead the being had disappeared from his sight. He turned, blown back several feet. He coughed, blinking, when the being appeared, clutching his tunic tightly. Its black, abyss-like eyes gleamed at him, and it screamed "You dare offer me such a pitiful sacrifice in frustrated, careless effort?" It tossed him aside, and destroyed his carts. Hevel merely watched as his brother cried, both in pain and sadness, as his livelihood were destroyed in front of him. 

"Even if your sacrifice were to be brought to me as before, it would not measure to my flock." The being said. "You have always brought your offering to me in disposition. Leave." It told him. He lifted himself up, tears in his eyes, and anger in his heart. "You are unworthy." He said, as Qayin walked away. The being turned to Hevel, comforting him, before disappearing with the flock of sheep. Qayin was filled with anger, instead turning around towards his brother. His brother walked towards him, and Qayin reached out his arms to embrace. His brother merely stared back, puzzled. "I am unworthy of the honor you have received." Qayin told him. "You deserve it. I don't." 

Hevel reached out to embrace his brother, before saying to him; "You should give in faith, not doubt. Your offering would've been greater."

Qayin quietly whispered to him, clutching his brother's shears: "That is not true, nor will it ever be true. He simply favors you." Qayin stabbed his brother in the back with the shears. His brother screamed, falling to the ground, reaching for the shears behind him. Qayin dragged him by the legs to the cliff, his brother screaming. Qayin simply dismissed him, occasionally kicking him in the face. Hevel's nose had broken, and his face became drenched with his blood. "You are his favorite! Your sacrifice was worthless!" He screamed at Hevel, kicking him in the stomach. He tore the sheers out of his brother's back, stabbing them into his legs. His brother cried for mercy, and Qayin twisted his neck around. Hevel looked back up at him, looking into his eyes. His brother smiled, and told him: "Not anymore. I will take his beloved, as he took mine." He grabbed stones, and stood over his brother. He started to raise stones, pretending to throw them. "I'll throw one! I'll throw a stone!" He repeated the intimidation, as his brother screamed. He lifted a stone and merely dropped it on his brother's face. it fell on his eye, gashing his brow and swelling an eye shut. The next stone he threw, harder.

His brother's jaw was broken. His eyes were swollen shut, his entire body bruised and bloody. Qayin stood over what he had done or; accomplished, as he thought. His brother, still gasping for air, could not find the strength to speak. Qayin knelt down on his brother and mounted him, ripping at his hair. He gripped and pulled with all his strength, ripping his brother's hair, and scalp, right off. His brother found the strength to scream, and Qayin clasped Hevel's throat, strangling him.  Hevel retched his arms, bruised, sprained, and bloody, trying to grip his brother's hands. He could not find the strength to do so. Qayin looked into his brother's eyes and spit. He pressed his thumbs into his brother's throat, as his brother coughed and his eyes twitched. Hevel had looked back at his brother, trying to get air, but not succeeding. His vision blurred and his throat got numb. His fingers twitched a final time, and he stopped. 

Qayin removed the shears that had affixed his brother's legs to the ground. He pulled them up, and stabbed them into Hevel's throat. He ripped them out, allowing the blood to spray out into his face. He tasted his brother's blood in his mouth, lapping up the blood around his throat. He pulled the shears down his brother's throat and through his stomach, vivisecting him. He pulled his brother's body apart, exposing his torso. He pulled out organs, ribs, and his brother's intestines, and found the heart. His mother and father had just turned the corner, racing towards the cliff. They stopped, gawking at the event occurring before them. Qayin bit into his brother's heart, chewing on the piece, and swallowing. He threw the heart over his shoulder and onto the ground. He lifted his brother's body up, and carried it to the cliff. The man raced to Qayin, but was too late. Qayin had already thrown the body over. The woman had seen this all before, but it never would've occurred to her that it would be... her children.

A beam of light shown across the sky, as the man gripped his son's throat. The Beta had arrived, along with several others, just like him in appearance. The man and woman had seen them before. The Beta spoke directly to the man, telling him to unhand Qayin. The man stepped off of Qayin and moved to the side. Qayin backed up, crawling away in fear. The Beta stood over him, its eyes gleaming. "Because you have done this, the ground you will walk upon will be cursed. Your feet will burn, and you shall be marked." He told Qayin, waving his arm over the boy. Qayin's was set on fire, singing down to his scalp. A cut appeared, marking a number on the boy's scalp.

"Surely, you would kill me. I destroyed your-"

The Beta interrupted him: "You shall live as long as necessary to bring offspring upon the earth. You shall be marked, and anyone who should encounter you will know who you are, and what you have done. They will not kill you, for they will be struck down if they would. Go. Do not speak to your family, and do not ever return."

The Beta turned to the man and woman. "You will bear another son, raise him, and send him out into the world. Your sons will encounter others like you, but you shall remain here until your lives are over. You will not encounter others like you. Return to your home, and do not visit this location. Do not mourn." The man and the woman turned back home, and the Beta had faded away. Qayin had walked down the right of the cliff, and did not dare look back.




Written by Scorch933
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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