Children Of Doubt
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My sons have left me.

I was once a proud father of five boys, each with their own great ambitions and plans. As our days went by, the sound of them whispering their plans was sometimes all I could hear. My first son was an unhappy lad, with a vicious streak. He wanted to break men, and see them beg him for death. When he left, it was under the cover of night, never to visit me.

He made his home with a vicious clan of madmen, who shared his bloodlust. Used for an unimaginable number of tortures and slayings, my son made these men his friends, and grew to trust them. He was surprised then, when his blade went dull, they cast him aside for new toys.

Happily, my second son harbored no such ambition. His lot in life was simpler, as he only wished to make men beautiful. I cannot say I completely approved of his lifestyle, but can say that I was happy for him nonetheless.

Sadly, he met his end over a matter of taste. While giving his treatment to a man of different caliber, they had a disagreement over what style to use. It eventually came to blows, and this man knocked my sons teeth out. Never the same, he died broken.

The third boy to leave me was not as determined as my other kin. Spineless and weak, he let others fill him with whatever they pleased, and repeated it to whomever could hear him. His lies were completely transparent, leaving him untrustworthy and useless. The worst came with his judgemental attitude, which made him despised and contemptible. Death came to him through the carelessness of one and the carefulness of another. So I was left with only two kin.

My next child believed cleanliness was godliness. I don't have any memories of him not cleaning something, or trying to keep tidy. It seemed his whole goal in life was to wipe out the literal scum of the earth. Coming to the enemies of my first son, they found ways for him to keep the world clean.

One day, after many years of service, he looked down upon his body to find it ingrained with the very dirt and grime he had worked to wash out over the years. Taking his talents to his own body, he scrubbed and bleached until there was nothing left at all. So, I was left with one.

Now, my final boy was nobody special. All he ever wanted to do with his life was to keep people happy, nothing more and nothing less. When presented to the madmen, they found nothing worthwhile about him. So they gave him to a young man. I'm proud to say, he changed that man's life, becoming his most valuable possession and travelling companion. He saw everything that came from the man's mouth, becoming the keeper of his secrets.

Eventually, most of his bristles fell out and he became a wizened old ivory pick. The young man kept him still, despite being useless in his first path. He was given a new purpose, opening gateways and helping to make the man very wealthy. My son died happy, knowing he had made his mark. I wish I could say the same.

In my cold box, I wait for another to behold me. Although my legacy has died, I live on, sitting patiently and quietly. When the time draws near, they shall see themselves within me, and be struck down by doubt and confusion. My sons may be forgotten, but without a doubt, I will always remember them.

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