Path to Hell
I had a brother, Howard.
He was strong, smart, and pure of heart.
My mum and dad adored Howie because he aspired to be a hero.
They would often look at me and say, “Damien why can’t you be like your brother Howie, he’s going to be the next savior of Arcadia.”
Howie looked up to Maxwell Jackson for years, and even I attempted to emulate him.
I wanted to make my parents as proud of me as they were of Howard.
That was until the day the APD paid us a visit…
I’ve never seen my mother cry so much…
However, it was seeing my father collapse to his knees with tears streaming down his cheeks that unnerved me the most.
Howard had tried to stop a mugging…
He got a blade through the heart for his efforts.
It was this day in my life that made me change my ways.
Howie, I miss you… but you were my cautionary tale when you broke everyone’s heart.
You wanted to be the next Maxwell Jackson, but you came up short.
Like so many others in the graveyards of Arcadia, you wanted to fill shoes that were too big for you.
Now, I hear rumblings that another boy, pure of heart has taken up Maxwell’s mantle again.
What makes it even sadder is the rumor it’s Maxwell’s son that’s taken up this fool’s errand.
Unlike my brother, he has a mentor, or hopefully someone to just talk him out of making the same mistake Howard made.
Maybe the Burning Man can talk him out of being another one of those cautionary tales.
Get the boy to change his ways.
Because we all know where this is going.
He’s setting up Arcadia for another heart break.
Another failed disciple to the memory of Maxwell Jackson.
But then again it makes sense when you look at the grave markers because one of them is bound to have Maxwell’s name on it, the first to fail.
The first path to hell paved with by his own good intentions.
You should remember, James.
The one man you, Howard, and countless others patented themselves after is himself a failed savior himself, dead and buried.
James, this puts me in a position to teach you in a way the Burned Man will never be able to.
This week I will be able show you each and every gravestone the memory of your father has created…
Every tragedy that came too early…
Every broken family caused by an attempt to fill the empty shoes of a fallen savior.
And at the end of the day, you too, you’re a child playing dress-up in his dad’s closet, and those shoes are too big for you to walk in.
And you’re never going to grow into them from a grave.
Because it doesn’t matter how pure your heart is, your middle name will always mean bullshit, as no amount of Faith or purity will save Arcadia from evil that’s been allowed to flourish.
It’s nothing personal, just need to show you the path your paving will lead you right the hell back to your father.