Children of Redemption

By: J.J. McAvoy

PROLOGUE





“I am as my creator made me...”

~ Minnie Smith





WYATT

I knew exactly when it happened…

When the monster inside of me woke up.

I was different from my siblings. I’d always known that. I didn’t know how I knew, but I knew I was different from them. Whether or not they would admit it, Ethan and Dona were the real twins in our family. Yes, Dona and I were close. In fact, there were times when I had a feeling she needed me or she’d have a feeling I needed her—twin telepathy, as it’s called. But at the end of the day, no matter how close I was to her, in my mind, Dona was my sister, but she was Ethan’s twin…not mine. The reason I’d never tell her that was the same reason I knew I was different.

Ethan and Dona were children of Machiavelli, masters of manipulation, champions of cunning thoughts and actions. While I knew how to manipulate and on occasion was cunning…I hated it. They loved deceiving people, loved watching as people fell into their traps. Like the old Greek gods, they found amusement in watching people come to tragic ends. They were the eye of the storm; I was a chaos monster. Like he did with my brother, my father gave me The Prince to read as boy. Out of respect for him I read it, but once I finished, I chucked it out of the window, along with The Art of War, The 48 Laws of Power, Crime and Punishment. The list of books that had been tossed to the sky from my window before plummeting back to earth never to enter my room again was enough to fill a small library.

Why?

Too many fucking words.

And I did not mean that in the Neanderthal “I do not like reading,” sense, but in the “why the hell are there so many goddamn books on power?” sense. Why? It has always been simple to me. People want to do whatever the fuck they want to do, but can’t because they fear retaliation, so they seek a position that allows them to do just that…a position that allows them to fuck others and never get fucked over in return. It was for that reason Ethan and Dona plotted and schemed…I, on the other hand, did not like it, didn’t see the world like that.

Yes, like everyone else, whether they admitted it or not, I liked power.

And yes, I not only wanted to do whatever the fuck I wanted, but also always did whatever I wanted because, unlike other people, I did not fear retaliation; I welcomed it.

When I was younger my parents, my siblings, and even I thought there was this softness in me…that the reason I didn’t connect to power or manipulation like Ethan and Dona did was because I was kind, or merciful. In my family, that was akin to being born with a tail. So I worked hard, I pushed myself, all to prove I was just as ruthless as my brother and sister…until one day, I realized I wasn’t kind. I wasn’t merciful.

I was fucking bored with it.

Why fight people who can’t fight back?

Why manipulate people who could never do the same to me?

Those thoughts came to me when I was sixteen because that was the first time I’d ever fought a real opponent…a real chaos monster like me.

My father.





WYATT – AGE SIXTEEN


His fist collided with my nose so hard the blood came down like a broken faucet, and when I stumbled, reaching up to stop it, his foot collided with my chest. I lay on the ground with him standing over me as he kicked me…all the while screaming down at me.

“How much longer are you going to be such a little bitch?!”

I’d never heard such rage in his voice, and in that moment, I felt it. It was stronger than his boot in my rib. It sent chills down my back…it was fear. I heard someone call out to him, and he stopped, but not before bending down, grabbing me by the hair, lifting my head so he could see my bloody face.

“Your weakness will get your siblings killed one day. If your mother was alive, she’d be ashamed of you.” He steered his green eyes on me, glaring down in frustration and anger.

Tasting the blood on my face, I smiled back at him and said, “Are you trying to provoke me?”

Before he could answer, I spit the blood onto his face. Breaking out of his grasp, rushing him, charging him to the ground, pinning him under me, I punched over and over again. He raised his arms, but couldn’t block me, so he took it. And the more he took, the harder I tried to rail on him, until I suddenly felt arms around me, pulling me off him and throwing me to the ropes.