Because we were the last. The last of two pure species driven to ensure the eradication of the other in a war so bloody, both sides nearly succeeded.
Dragons and Angels were the inhabitants of a plane too small, and spare were the resources needed to sustain us. The clanless angels killed dragons, without impunity, and the militant dragons killed angels, with impassioned prejudice. While we used our agreeing species to best the opposing, having no sense of family, country, or self made empathy impossible, and all casualties unmourned. Survival was our only purpose, until a discovery was made of something more.
The accidental collisions which cause the realizations of Self that are so common in this world had never happened before, but just so accidentally, an angel collided with a dragon. Their fundamental chemistry having been altered, these special two affected all the rest with which they came in contact. Had there been more living, this epidemic might have spread through the ranks of both armies, but instead, we were separated and found ourselves alone and isolated from the remainders of the war.
We were struck. On a battlefield empty of any beings but those with which we would come to form this Gang, alone in the world that would have to die before this one could be seed, we were shocked and wandering children. Unsure in the new consciousness we possessed, the impetus to fight was washed away from our hands when the rain began. We would not be rescued, we would not be killed, so the only option we had left was to accept this doom.
We were reborn to each other.
Family is begot of necessity. Theater kids, a rock and roll band on the road. Orphans. We were the deserters of the war that ended the universe, and it was our deserting that ended them, the universe and the war at once. We became a family because we were the first humans, and all that condition implies created inside us the need for each other. Our survival here depended on one another, where before, it was dependant on genocide.
It was those of us surviving who saw a possibility of a concept so foreign and radical that such an abomination had never been conceived by even the sciences that made us: We were in love.
All which had made us enemies became what we wanted most to experience about the other. Our fingers pressed into our soldier’s wounds as around us, as all that was once Reality crumbled and vanished into ash and snow. All Heavenly war was crushed to cinders by the pressure of our convergence.
Once biologically locked out of the Old World, by the mingling of our blood, we found ourselves forced onto the precipice of some terrifying vista in which what had been written of our Fate was now gone. Having thrown off our Destinies, where we had been previously defined by them, they became the solid hands in the center of each of our backs, to send us reeling into the empty canyon of an unknown future, inescapably together.
Together like fugitives.
And one by one, we fell the long distance into what would become known as the Garden of Eden.
We were lily-skinned and fresh boys in our new home, kicking the rocks and killing the fat-feathered birds of a wild youth until the garden burned, as we were left with the box of matches that is the first experience of puberty, unattended. Following the one road out of Eden, we became other things over vast reaches of time; emperors of legend and myths of primitive origin. And so like the actors who play the most roles, we rightly became the ones who haunt the theater that is Earth, most ardently.
The man of Men, with his cro-magnon brow, is Adam. His appearance is softly brown, the clean lines of his Brooks Brothers’ suits denying business-like the studious attitude he assumes toward all things. He will remain the same genteel brown for all eternity, the color of his optimistic sciences, the wood casing around his prototype telephone, the radioactive dust that will settle in his strictly parted hair.
No matter the hair color with which Evelyn is born, she will inevitably bleach it out to match the flaxen shade of Dragons. Bobbing low in the streets, shuffling with her head down but touched in sun, she, as a muse, will light up like a star closer than any others of the night sky. The center point of every flower, at it’s rare and seedy heart, and the honeyed afternoon of a summer day both hide within her nervous laughter, which has inspired us for centuries to create the artistic record of who we are.
Clyde’s own hair, of course, will be touching his broadly brutish shoulders. But it’s the smell, his thick scent of roses and crude machinery, which give this one away. Our criminal prophet, he’s always been of a more anonymous and supernatural position among us, occupying the perfumed outskirts and oilslick back-alleys of each of our lives as a dirty tool for preservation or destruction. He is the undeniable god of the underworld, and the incomprehensible master of this plane.
Tawny is our darling Dean, under the bronze of spray tan, his skin tightly pulled over his muscles, the same beige as his neatly combed hair. Resembling the eternal perfection of a dancer, of God’s creation, his form is as clean and cold as a sculpture carved from ice. The song stuck in your head and the elegance of your mother’s hands, as she powders her face, is what he’s made of. Ever in motion, both his body and the air around it exist in perpetuation of the vibrations which cause all music to exist.
Gradient would be the dark spot, and though I do mean his skin, it’s the disappearing of all thoughts in one’s head that gives us the hint of his presence. From Nothingness, he comes, and into Nothingness, he returns again. The angle of his smile belies all the considerations of price and balance he calculates, in facilitation of balance, from every Crossroad at which humanity so constantly finds themselves.
The paint from Matthew’s brush may not be speckling his clothes, but his hands will possess a clutching desperation to be sated with the smears of it, to make them languid and delicate around the curve of a groundline or the edge of a smirk. His petulant and tortured glare may not be so obvious, but he would be known by his absinthe green eyes; eyes he kept in his life as Judas, and every other beautiful suicide all artists crave and fail to deliver on.
Big, friendly men may occupy a room, but as the smile of all eternity, our Joshua will seem bigger, and as always, friendlier. An instrument of God’s folly, and the humor which compels his wisdom, Joshua’s bear-like arms surround those he comforts too tightly and too warmly. Fearlessness beams from him, in confrontation of meaning in the dramas played out by the world and the comedies poorly timed by it. His grace is found in the turning of tears into laughter, and back again.
Bonaventure is angel enough, doll enough, and whore enough to have, through painstaking efforts, tried to erase all that she might have been identified by, obscuring her permanent record like a delinquent girl in reformatory school, but the thing she possesses which she can’t undo, with time, with scarring, with fire, with self-righteous indignation, is the tattoo that is the emblem of her true self; the Rose. It peeks from behind sleeves, hemlines of dresses, and the effervescent shock of her orange hair, forever for the trained eye to see.
Brad may be the easiest of us to identify, by the boyish sense of violent revelry which he engenders. His quick philosophies and sputtering excuses endear him immediately and permanently to those which become his victims, by degrees. Whether by knife or cock, his one necessity is the penetration of the human race, with an aghast and open-eyed zeal. He is an all-American boy with a winning smile he reserves for arresting officers alone, a quick-furrowing brow that creases at the rejection of his heartfelt and mammalian poetry, and white and even teeth which gnash in the barbarism of a drag race.
The ten of us make up five angels and five dragons. Though we have not been two houses since before you, the rest of the world, were merely the glinting off the zipper of your father’s bulge, the misfit arrangement of us is easy to split, precisely, that way. The angels are Bonaventure, Clyde, Dean, Gradient, and Joshua; and the dragons are Adam, Evelyn, Brad, Nicholas, and Matthew.
We have converged together in this life, in a single house, for the first time since we fell here.