Birth of the Hunter

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It wasn’t the sound of the belt that sickened me, but the harsh words that my father had said after every lash. The wretched leather biting into my bare back, feeling the warmth of my own blood running down like water. It was hell, but I couldn’t change myself, or my hateful father.

The next morning, my mother had come to attend my wounds while father slept off the alcohol he had guzzled the night before. I was lying on my stomach, gripping my pillow as my mother had rubbed a special medicine over my back. She was a master alchemist, and probably the best in the country. Her salves and potions could cure almost any ailment. “I’m so sorry, Theron. I wish I could do more, but he’d kill me.” she said softly, her voice still kind.

“It’s doesn’t hurt as much now…” I said sadly. “Why does father hurt me so much…? Is it because of preference…?”

“I don’t even know that hurt a thirteen year old boy...his own. It sickens me.” she sighed sadly, running a hand through my hair. “Are you hungry?”

I shook my head sadly. “I don’t wanna eat…”

She nodded understandingly, “Get your rest, my son, I’ll keep your father calm today.”

Sure enough, she did. Father never came that night, he kept surprisingly quiet. The salve that my mother had used numbed my back, so I was able to get out of bed and explore the house. I scanned the area around my room, the living room was dark, and so was their room. Odd...That’s unusual… I thought as I made my way there, opening the door silently. The room was dark, the bed still perfectly made. Father and Mother were nowhere to be seen.

Panicked, I searched the house for any sign of them. Nothing. Nothing at all. I kept looking and came to our back door, flung wide open. I turned on the light to see that a struggle was present around the dirt outside. Mother...what have you done…?

I grabbed a lighter jacket and ran out into the woods behind the house, where Mother gathered her ingredients. I snuck through the brush as silent as I could, using the moon as my light. Up ahead, I could see the glint of a sword raised in the air, a bulky figure holding it. Before I could say anything, the sword’s reflection came down with a loud THUMP.

My eyes went wide. I looked to where the sword made its final resting place. It was too dark to make out, as I slowly crept forward, I made the mistake of stepping on a twig. SNAP! And in an instant, the bulky figure turned to look towards me, the moon highlighting his disgusting, twisted face. Father…

“I was wondering when my spawn would decide to get out of his bed.” He said smirking. “Now I can off you and go on with my life.” he said, wrenching the sword free from where it had been. Dark blood running down it like tiny streams.

“What have you done with Mother!?” I yelled to him. “Where is she?!” I looked to my side and grabbed a larger branch, hoping it would be able to hold against my enraged father.

He laughed, “The wretch, Vaeleri, wanted to please me tonight. She did so well… But I grow bored of that toy. It’s your turn.” he said as he stalked towards me.

I was too frozen to move. I couldn’t scream or speak in defense. In a flash, that horrible piece of metal came down. I managed to stagger away towards where he had been. I turned my head to look back. And in the darkness of the night, the sword sliced through and into my back like a hungry beast, starting from my shoulder down to my lower back. I closed my eyes tightly in pain and collapsed in a heap. The ground wasn’t cold, it was warm, wet. I looked around with blurred vision to see where I could have landed. Blood...That’s what it is… As I looked up ahead of me, I saw someone familiar, it was the lifeless corpse of my mother, eyes closed as she entered her final rest.

I managed to look back at my father weakly, for one last time. “You were nothing to me. I never should have expelled energy to even bring you home with that whore. You’re going to rot here. Goodbye, demon.” he said with a smirk as he tossed the sword aside, letting it land between me and my mother. As my consciousness was fading, I took a silent look to the sword, then back to my mother’s broken body, I closed my eyes letting a silent tear fall down my cheek. I will avenge you...mother...

And it all faded to black…

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