Reharl Goldenarm

I had no idea why we had moved here in the first place. These people were strangers to us, and my father wasn't exactly the friendly type. I would approach my nieghbors regularly and try to initiate conversation, and though I had no fear of them, they would spurn me aside with taunts and a general cold attitude towards me. I hated it, not fitting in, even at home I was ridiculed for my lacking work ethics.

My father was a suspicious man, he didn't trust anyone he met in our new home. If I wasn't at home all day he would make accusations. He would hit me sometimes if he'd been drinking. I never saw him hit my mother, but the steady mental degrading she faced every day was enough to make you sick. I didn't know how long I could stand this.

There is one thing I was grateful to him for, and that was my fighting spirit. The more he hit me, the more stern my resolve, the hotter the fire in my blood burned. But I still hated it. That just wasn't how a life should be lived, how could one man have so much hatred that he must pass it along to his own family?

Then one day I found the single meaning that would define my battered existance. A small bird hobbled about on the street. It's leg had been mangled by a small boy's stone, but yet it still hopped about pecking at the crumbs that lay between the cobblestones of the road. It was a particularly windy day, one of the days where you could feel the rain coming, where it hung so thick in the air it almost took upon a life of it's own and you could feel the lightning about to prance out from the skies. The lashing breeze would throw the crippled bird about like the violent sea to a small boat, a force so benevolent that nothing could be done. But the bird stood to this force, even with it's disability and it's pain, it kept it's will to survive. Every eddy of wind that struck it, it would ride the gust through to it's end, desperately flapping and fighting to keep it's balance. I saw that in every hardship, there was a certain beauty. That single beauty of triumph over the odds. That defining moment in life.

"Fight back you pansy!", my father shouted, "I didn't raise such weak a son!" He struck me down, hard. The blow to the head blurred my vision and sent me sprawling. I could see the blood run along the corner of my eye. "I won't fight you dad!", I coldly replied. I saw he was going to strike me again if I didn't do something. I stood up to his face with all the bravado I could muster. "Why do you do this dad? When did you become so pathetic that you must strike your own child and degrade your wife to make yourself feel better!?", I cried. He was obviously stunned by this abvious truth. I took this opportunity to send in the killing blow and finish him off, "What a sad, tired old man you are."

I stormed into the main hall and readied myself to leave, I was going to get as far away from there as possible, I didn't care where. My mother stood in the archway staring at me. I hugged her and looked deeply into her sullen eyes. "I'm sorry that life was... this way.. for you. I only hoped it would have been easier....", I trailed off...

"Take care of dad for me, I'm leaving."

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