One upon a time, not very long ago, a boy and his younger brother lived in a house they believed to be a magic castle. Adults know that castles are rare. Children do not. It was a prefab home in the suburbs of a Gotham. Nevertheless, the boys played snow fort, lemonade stand, hide and seek. That summer, on the walk between the tomato plants and back gate, they saw through the bright sunlight into the old world. They glimpsed the ghost boys who once played here.
Now these ghost boys didn't moan nor float in ethereal robes. No silly screaming of boos followed by cartoon laughter. They wore red body-paint, danced to a drumming persistent as a heartbeat. They listened to the chanting of starry-eyed peons, extolling old belief and ancient sacrifice. Unlike the modern brothers, the ghost boys played fort, defended tents and hunted wild beasts with play spears and toy arrows. The modern boys dreamed of old lives. The bygone boys dreamed of rituals to become men.
In the bright sun of the longest day, a tall sliver of light opened the gateway between the modern world and the old dessert. The drums grew loud. The chants fevered. The ghosts of boys-wishing-to-be-men, and the adventuresome innocents of Gotham, filled with the playfulness of youth, met in between their two realities. The foursome marked their bodies with bright red and dark blue paints. They prepared their minds and souls for the new hunt. It began as tag. It began as hide and seek, then turned to hunter and hunted.
Their playground was a strip of brown dessert sand lined with orange-toned rocks and dull-green cactus where four boys paired up and took chase; one pair lighthearted, jovial and unpredictable; the other serious, seeking manhood and meaning. Each to find life in the other's death. New replacing old replacing new; as it has been and will be. The struggle between modern and ancient. The eternal battle of light and dark.
The royal hunt of the sons that begins -- once upon a time, not very long ago.