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False Prophets

False Prophets

Luther is perched in a wooden rocking-chair within his cabin. His hands, calloused and steady, glide a cloth over the metal of his spear, the wood glowing in the firelight of the cabin. The picture of his father, framed and worn, watches from the mantle.

“I have spent a good portion of my life in the woods. My father, he was a hunter, and he taught me everything there is to know about surviving in the wild. He taught me how to track, how to stay quiet, how to wait patiently for the right moment. He taught me respect for life, and the responsibility that comes with taking it.”

“What have you taught, Lionel?”

Luther’s eyes flicker to the window, the forest beyond dark and alive, before settling back on the spear, his grip tightening.

“You see, in the woods, you learn to recognize a predator. The way it moves, the way it watches. My father taught me that. And you, Lionel, you move just like a predator. You watch like one. You exploit the faith of others for your own advantage, taking their hard-earned credits with the promise of secrets, secrets to an afterlife that not even you can guarantee.”

The cabin creaks as if in agreement, the solemnity of the room a stark contrast to Luther’s growing fervor.

“You position yourself at the altar, proclaiming the path to redemption and the allure of eternity beyond. You assert that you are a guide, leading your followers. However, what I perceive is not a guide, but rather a predator disguised as the benign. For in truth, you do not bring deliverance. You are a chaser, akin to myself. Except, my pursuit is for existence. You, on the other hand? You pursue avarice and dominion. You prey upon the fragile, the susceptible, those in search of solace and a glimmer of hope. You entice them, ensnare them, and then mercilessly exploit them.”

The gleam of the spearhead catches Luther’s eye, its cold steel now a mirror to his resolve.

“But you see, Lionel, in the wild, every hunter becomes the hunted at some point. And right now, you are in my territory. Because unlike the creatures of the forest whose death sustains life, your pursuits result only in empty spirits in your path. You, Lionel, with your persuasive speech and your offering plates, represent the most dangerous type of predator. You do not take lives for sustenance; rather, your existence is predicated on destruction.”

“You weave a web of lies, each thread a false promise that ensnares the vulnerable. Your hunt is not for survival, but for the sheer thrill of power and control, amassing wealth at the expense of others’ despair. Therefore, Lionel, as the sun sets on your deceitful game, be mindful that nature has its own form of retribution, and eventually, every hunter must face their judgement. And yours is due now. The flock will no longer be the quarry, for the hunter has become the hunted, and the truth shall be the weapon that brings you down.”

Luther Grim