Astyr Tyr knew all about being the new girl. She found herself walking into new schools on a far too regular basis. Astyr was an orphan and a ward of the state, and since she had never been adopted in all her fifteen years, she was bounced around from one foster family to another with heartbreaking regularity.
Her caseworker told her quite often that a pretty girl like Astyr shouldn't have any trouble finding a home. In reality, being polite, well-mannered and fastidious, Astyr was very good at finding foster parents. The good parents were always delighted to meet her and proclaimed that Astyr would be part of the family in no time. The other kind of parents, the kind who took foster kids for the checks from the state, they would just list the rules and tell her to mind them. But no matter what kind they were, they all decided all too soon that Astyr was just too much trouble. She wasn't right for them.
She didn't fit in.
She wasn't a bad girl. She certainly wasn't the kind of girl who set out to make mischief. Not at all. More than anything, Astyr Tyr wanted to live a quiet life, a normal life. It's just that things in Astyr's life never turned out the way she wanted them to.
Her life began one night fifteen years ago when she was found by police on the side of a road in a mid-size town where nothing much ever happened. She had no clothes or blankets and there were never any clues found that could point to her parents. The only thing found with her was a small silver bracelet tied around her wrist. On one side was a carving of a beautiful woman carrying a shield in one hand and a spear in the other with an ornate crown on her head. The other side said simply Astyr Tyr. That was all that she had that she could claim as her own, a bracelet and a strange name.
The police ran a cursory investigation into the matter, but the town was not really big enough for the police force to put too much resources and time into looking for a woman who obviously didn't want a child. They did enough to be sure in their minds that Astyr wasn't the victim of foul circumstances, they checked hospitals for women who had had a child and they ran the story on the news, but they found no mother looking for her baby and so Astyr was put into the care of the state.
At first, there were plenty of parents willing to take in the poor baby found on the roadside. She was achingly beautiful with her soft, rosy pink skin and shimmery pale silver hair. Her lips were full and shaped like a Cupid's bow, the bottom lip far bigger than the top. Her eyes were large and a strange silver-blue color surrounded by long, thick, dark lashes. But she had a way of looking out at the world with those eyes that bore straight through those she saw and shook those people to the core. Most parents were so disconcerted by her stare that they could keep her for barely a month.
She was passed from hand to hand for the first few years of her life. Every exchange started with the call to her caseworker screaming that they just couldn't take it anymore and ended with Astyr walking into a new home with new parents and sometimes new siblings, but always with new hope.
That stopped when Astyr was five. She came with her caseworker to a new home, met her new "mom", and that's when she gave up on hope.
This new mom was one of the other parents. She took in foster kids for the income that came with them and she ran her house like a factory. Her foster kids were there to bring her money, not cost her money. Astyr was taken to a small room that had two bunk beds crammed into it along with two dressers, the drawers not able to close due to the jumble of cheap, second-hand clothes overflowing from them. The blankets were thin, the pillows looked so old, and out of shape, that Astyr doubted there would be much comfort found there.
She was given a sharp lecture about the rules and told that breaking any of them would get her a spanking. Astyr wasn't sure at that point what that meant because she had always been quiet and well behaved but she decided it would be best to try not to find out.