|There was once a woman in grass country who prayed to the sky for a son.|
She didn't receive him.
She prayed to the earth; the earth was silent.
She prayed to the sea and the wind, the moon and the stars, the sun and the mountains; in her misery, she beseeched every living spirit in heaven and hell - and hell answered.
Sakon and Ukon were children that only a mother could love. Both had abnormally pale skin, ghostly white hair, and glacial-blue lips. From the moment they were born, uncrying, it was clear they were not human. Ignoring her pleas, Sakon and Ukon's "father" took them from their mother soon after he saw them, with the intention of leaving them to die atop a mountain.
The next morning, the woman found her two babies asleep in their cradle. Her husband was discovered in the woods with the gleaming pink and red flesh of his cheeks, arms, and chest exposed to the sun. His torso had been completely eaten away, but the work had definitely not been done by wolves or other creatures...
Over the years, frightening rumors about the widow and her sons began to circulate around the village. The boys were changelings so horrible that even the demons of the forest did not want them. They practiced dark magic with their mother, the witch. They could possess human bodies like spectres. Death blossomed wherever they touched.
So overwhelming was their fear of the three, living alone and apart in the hills, that one day, the villagers took up arms and blazed Sakon and Ukon's hut to the ground. The woman was hacked to death; the brothers were driven into the wilderness, broken, bleeding, and burnt. There was no way they would be able to survive a night in the forest wounded like that, the villagers thought, so they departed, confident that they had eliminated the monsters in their midst. All was quiet for a week.
And then they started dying.
Day by day the horror - men, women, and children, faces clean of skin and flesh, flies walking gingerly upon the gleaming gray of melted skulls and pulverized brains. Terrified beyond belief, the villagers organized a militia to patrol the streets at all times, took to teaching their young to scream at the slightest hint of danger, burned the woodlands that surrounded them, all to no avail.
Eventually, the villagers scattered, abandoning their cursed settlement and leaving the dead to rot.
Sakon and Ukon paid their last respects to their mother, and disappeared into the blackened trees. Two years later, they met a sorceror named Orochimaru...