my real name

My mother often told me the circumstances of how I came into being. She prayed and prayed to the gods to give her a daughter, she even went so far as to sculpt the perfect daughter from clay. After years and years of begging the gods finally relented and gave her a child. But being the capricious and cruel gods that they can be I was born a boy on an island where no man is allowed.

The amazon children refused to play or train with me growing up shouting "stay away little prince" to drive home that I wasn't one of them. I prayed to the gods to make me one of them, like all the other girls. My mother would tell me there was a reason the gods made me a boy and I shouldn't wish to be a girl just to appease others."You are wonderful as you are my son." But it didn't change how I felt. I never stopped praying. As I got older my body grew. The amazons grew into lovely and beautiful women while I did not. My shoulders were much broader than theirs, my jaw much more square my voice so deep and thundering.

Finally the eve of my sixteenth year I had enough, I snuck out of my home and stole a boat and sailed away from the island.

Much like everything in my life, it was a struggle. Stealing the boat was easy, I had long since memorized the guards and lookouts movements and timing. What I hadn't counted on was the rage of the ocean and sky. "I'm never going back to that cursed island!" I shouted at the wind and rain as I pulled the rope to fight against the storm's rage. The waves tossed my small vessel about like a toy. "Why don't you pick on someone else!" lightning struck the water next to me. My ears screamed at me drowning out the raging winds. I struggled to my knees on the deck to try and regain some semblance of control when I saw a towering tornado of water coming straight for me. I quickly tied my arm to the boat with one of the riggings. "I'm not going back." I growled through my teeth. The world inverted as my boat, now nearly completely upside down, road the outside of the vicious spiral. I dangled helplessly, one hand on the wheel trying in vain to correct my course, to free myself from the gods' wrath.

I awoke later with waves lapping at my face the wreckage of my ship surrounding me, the wheel still tied to my forearm. I untied myself from the wheel and tried to salvage what I could from my ship. My bag of food somehow survived the experience. I took the rope and tied the bag closed and slung it over my back. I had enough to survive for a few days at least before I absolutely need to hunt for my own food, more than enough time to get the lay of the land.

Walking away from the shore, I was immediately struck by how alien man's world is. Monoliths of steel and glass towered over the city which somehow managed to echo the sounds of the city. The citizens stared at me and to be fair, I stared at them. They were dressed in such a strange manner. "Hey buddy nice skirt." one strange man commented pushing passed me. I realized quickly if I was going to live here I'd need to blend in, however strange they may dress.

I wandered the streets for nearly an hour before I found a store that sold clothes. "Can I help you, sir?" It was like an arrow in my chest.

"I need clothes." The woman almost smiled at my obvious statement. "I don't really know what everyone is wearing these days." I offered by way of explanation. This seemed to satisfy as she took my hand and pulled me to a section of the store.

"Well, this is what most guys your age are wearing." Their material seemed very durable, nothing that would stop a blade but still strong. The sign above read "Jeans half off".

"Half off of what?"

She smiled, then quickly hid it away, it was a very beautiful smile. "Half off of the total price." she whispered. I looked around the store, there seemed to be only one other boy in the store accompanied by his grandfather.

"Isn't that bad for business?"

"You'd be surprised." she smiled, again, this time giggling softly. I felt she was trying not to offend me, but found my strange behavior amusing.

"You see, when companies like this one buy too much merchandise they sell it for cheaper, but still more than it cost them to buy it or keep it stored. Though some stores also raise their prices several weeks before the sale, then sell for the original price." The boy confidently walked over to us "Though that's your less scrupulous stores. Not this chain I'm sure."

The salesgirl wanted to say something, but thought better of it and rolled her eyes instead. "Can I help you find anything?" she asked instead.

"Oh, I'm just browsing." the boy returned to his grandfather when he cleared his throat leaving us alone. He was very cute though his eyes lingering on the salesgirl told me where his interests lie.

"So what's your style?" she resumed as if nothing ever happened.

"Style? I know many styles and am proficient in all weapons." The girl stared at me like I had grown another head. "What is your style?" I asked.

"I'm casual punk myself." Now it was my turn. What was casual punk? "We'll find something, come on."

She held many shirts to my bare chest and sent me to a smaller room to try them on. "How do they fit?" she asked.

"They are pretty thin and offer no protection." I could almost hear the dissappointment on the other side of the door. "But they are not so restrictive I cannot fight in them. So they will do."

"Great. I'll get you some more and ring you up." she smiled, I could hear it in her voice, as she left. In the small changing room, I stood before a mirror, with my hair pulled back in a tight pony tail I looked no different than that boy out there, but where I enjoyed looking at him I did not enjoy looking at myself. Perhaps the salesgirl even thought I was as handsome as I thought that boy was but...I saw over my shoulder someone had left a beautiful blue dress.

It was so long and elegant and soft. Not like the armor I wore back home, not even as soft as my mother's own dresses. The craftsmen of man's world were very talented indeed. I just had to pick it up and feel it against my body. I imagine how she would feel wearing this dress to some party dancing with her love. Out of curiousity, I lowered my hair and faced the mirror. That horrible thing told me the horrible truth.

The door swung open it was the salesgirl, she seemed shocked for a moment, "I need the tags from your shirt and jeans." she finally said.

I tore the tags and handed them to her along with the dress "Your people are very skilled." I mumbled emberrassed. Like I had done something wrong. Mother had caught me doing the same thing years ago. She sat me down and told me I shouldn't try to be like everyone else around me. I should try to be me and be happy.

I bumped into the boy on my way to the register "Excuse me." The boy had a strange look on his face like he was trying to size me up for a fight. Many of the Amazons gave me similar looks growing up. But he lacked the anger theirs held.

At the counter the salesgirl smiled as she bagged my new clothes minus the ones she allowed me to wear out. "That'll be 145.99." I had no idea what she meant, but I reached into my bag which luckily still held the pieces of gold I stashed away and placed a handful of pieces on the counter.

"Is this enough?" She just stared at me.

"Put it on my card." the boy slid a small card on the counter.

I turned to face him"Thank you. I'm not from around here."

He chuckled "That much is obvious." He eyed me again. "So where do you hail from that still uses gold coins?"

"An island pretty far from here actually." Yes, I smiled, it was the first time that someone besides my mother seemed to take an interest in me and boy was he cute. His dark hair and his smile even though he tried to hide it for some reason. "But even so I can't let you pay for my clothes."

"It's my pleasure. Always happy to help out those in need." The sales girl cleared her throat and handed his card back to the boy, I caught a glimpse of the card it was engraved with numbers and a name. "My name is Bruce Wayne. But you already knew that, didn't you." After a short pause, he finished "My reputation usually proceeds me." he laughed not hiding his smile but there was still something wrong.

I smiled back at him. Boy was it infectious.

"So what do they call you?"

"...Most people call me prince." Not my real name obviously, but I hated it just as much. Again the salesgirl cleared her throat and handed me my bags. "Thank you." I suddenly remembered who I was. I quickly left the store.

Finding an empty alleyway I shoved my new clothes in my bag. I suppose the gods were not through tormenting me. "Brother, I'm so glad I found you." I didn't recognize the voice, but I recognized the symbol brand on his arm.

"Gargarean."

"Amazon. Well, barely." He stepped out of the shadows still clad in his armor. It wasn't too different from my own. I never thought about where my armor came from, perhaps because I already knew. "Our father told me you escaped the island."

"I have no father."

Gargarean smiled "Of course you do that breathes has a father."

"Well, I don't. I was molded from clay."

Gargarean laughed. "Is that what they told you?"

Something about him angered me so, perhaps it was my upbringing that all men were evil, or that his snarking smile possibly hid secrets about myself, or that his face reminded me of my own. "If you have something to say then speak Gargarean!" I did not even bother hiding my anger.

He merely laughed, he seemed to enjoy my anger and confusion. "Everything that lives has a father, even the gods, amazon." He pushed by me bumping into my shoulder as he did. "Follow me amazon." I stood there with my new items, Gargareans were just for reproduction, not to be trusted and certainly not to be followed by amazons. But then amazons were women and I..."What else have you got to do?"

Relenting I followed him for several blocks, no one seemed to bat an eye at me, but I still felt out of place in this world. Gargarean had no such feelings or if he did, he did not show them. We walked a great distance before we came to a tall building. The inside was palatial with beautiful marble flooring and great stone columns. "Good afternoon Mr. Griffith."

"How's it going, Jimmy?"

Apparently the people here knew him, why was a Gargarean in man's world and why was he known at all? He tried to get me to step into a small boxed off room with only one exit. "No."

"It's thirty-five flights of stairs!" he complained.

"Are all Gargarean's as easily winded as you?"

The stairwell was not much larger, but at least it offered more escape routes should I require them. Surprisingly, I did not. Gargarean or Griffith, as he apparently was called, lead me into a beautiful home that put the first floor to shame. The massive window directly across from the entrance showed the beautiful city below against the setting sun.

"Yeah, the women love the view." He laughed as he stepped into the kitchen area, quickly returning to the window with me, handing me a glass bottle.

"What is root beer?"

"One of the finest beverages you'll find in 'man's world'." He sat on the large leather couch drinking from his bottle.

"Why have you brought me here Griffith?"

"I know a guy, an oracle let's say, who told me I would meet you in that alley."

"I know what a seer is."

"So anyway, he tells me you're needed here and you'll play an important role in man's world yada yada yadda." He threw his legs up on the black table in front of him.

"What exactly is that?"

"You know the problem with seers, all vague and interpretive. He just mentioned a looming darkness that threatened the world. And you were needed to put an end to it."

"How?"