It's a Different World
Fivefold (Fredrich) Ficura
A farmer who fused with his siblings and... something else
Fredrich Abaddon was an ordinary farmer, Third child of 5. His parents, Zena Lucenna Abaddon and Reichen Abaddon, were a pair. Reichen was a rock. A lodestone. People gravitated to him, and the world seemed to calm in his presence. Zena was his counter. She was strong. She was firm. She was fierce. It was a strange match, the two of them. But a strong one. They were older than usual when their first child was born. They had been running the farm for years, of course. Zena said it kept her sharp and strong, Reichen used the work to center himself, to balance his body and soul. None of us ever figured out what it was that killed them. They just got weaker and weaker every day.
Fredrich and his siblings didn’t get along too often in their younger days, but when they worked together, they were at their prime. And after their parents passed, they worked together at every turn. There was Ivan, strong as an ox and stoic to boot, Cat, as cunning as her namesake but pleasant enough when her claws were retracted, Udane, an early bird if there ever was one and proud of it to boot, and the youngest, Robert, agile and silly, but clever enough.
Some might think they could get closer. Miss Veil always had stories of heroes, be they family or strangers, brought together by fate and galvanized by hardship. Tales of heroes after heroes, always in groups of 5, united as if they were of one mind, of one soul. Fredrich always loved her stories. They helped him through some harsh times, but Fredrich and his brothers and sisters were closer than ever, now. But apparently not as close as they could be.
Stories weren’t all Miss Veil had to offer, of course. Cat was always fond of her fortune telling, though Udane never let her hear the end of it. They were phoney, she said. Vague statements and things open to interpretatio, said in a way to trick you into making them come true. Cat never cared. If fake fortunetelling was that good, she was fine with it. Udane herself always enjoyed sharing a nice cup of tea. And, more recently, she began to take part in Miss Veil’s morning meditations as well. Fredrich always figured it reminded her of dad. Ivan always went to Miss Veil when he needed to have a chat. It seemed like there was something more between them, but Fredrich never did get that story. She even had something for Robert, as surprising as that was. He always found the most interesting herbal pranks when he paid her a visit.
It came as a shock to Fredrich when he woke up the day of the change. Yawning and scratching lazily at his head, he nearly drew blood. Claws, he found, now adorned his fingers, his nose wider, his hair longer. He found himself almost loping as he ran to Cat, who always was a bit smarter than the rest of his siblings, only to find her room empty. In a few moments of searching, it was clear no one was in the house. As Fredrich reached for the front door to look outside, he notices something. Along the back of his hand, and running up his arm, was a tattoo. A stylized tiger adorned his left hand. On his right, he found a an ox. An ink rooster strutted on his left foot, a monkey on his right. He panicked for a moment as he realized what these marks might represent, when suddenly a calm fell over him. It was clear that whatever had become of him, this is what had become of his siblings. He could almost hear them in the stillness of his mind. The five were now one, for good or ill.