For every person who is fortunate during their lifetime, there are thirty more who are mercilessly handed a world of despair. Reminiscing on my past, though painful, made me realize how truly horrible one's life can really get. At times, I felt as though everyone set aside a time out of his or her own life just to make mine miserable. They say that the light cannot exist without the darkness...but I am living proof that statement is erroneous.

I was born in the most backwater of places in a broken home to the most broken of couples. My parents were not married for love, but rather forced into marriage all because of me. My mother was raped one night after returning home from the Sunday sermon by the man whose blood I carry. They caught him hiding in the bushes suffering from a hangover. He was held in the Payon prison until they found that Mother was pregnant with me. Since premarital sex is forbidden where I come from, no matter what the circumstances, my parents were forced to marry. My grandparents shunned my mother and so both her and my old man were forced to live in a condemned shack at the far edge of town.

The shack was in horrible disrepair. Every night that it rained the seemingly infinite holes in the roof allowed the water to cascade into the building like mini waterfalls. Because of the ever-damp atmosphere, moss grows on the walls and there is a permanent musty smell that hangs in the air. My mother is a paraplegic after one of the more severe beatings my old man gave her in one of his typical drunken rages. She tries her best to keep the one thing that truly belongs to us even mildly clean. Slowly progressing across the room in her makeshift wheelchair of just an old kitchen chair and rusty old wheels haphazardly nailed to the legs, she scrubs the moss off the walls with nothing but a mere toothbrush and some homemade soap. I'm always there by her side since she often tips over due to the vines that grow through the warped floorboards; while my worthless male parent is off wasting what little money we have on booze at the local tavern.

My old man (whom I refuse to honor with the title 'Father') seems to think all his troubles are my fault. He repeatedly beats me with the buckle end of his belt to release his frustrations. As a result, hundreds of scars crisscross my back like an endless web of torment. To punish me for crimes I didn't commit, he has me sleep in the most broken down of all the corners in the shack where my 'mattress' of stale straw and leaves is sodden with water from an everlasting murky puddle.

One rainy day in late December I was awoken earlier than usual by the war drums coming from the Palace. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, nor did I care. It did begin to concern me though as I saw the horizon glow orange in the direction of the town. As I ran outside to see what the commotion was about, a dark, shadowy figure loomed on the forest pathway, his skeletal head bearing no more emotion than the flaming red pinpricks of light emitting from his sockets. From the corner of my eye, I saw my old man make a run for the woods behind our shack, but the sudden movement caught the attention of the beast and the monster broke into a run to catch up with him. As I stood frozen in the doorway, I watch the wraith-like figure tear the old man to shreds, leaving nothing but a bloody spot on the ground where he once stood. Bits of flame carried on the wind from the nearby burning buildings lit the roof of our house aflame and the tinder- dry wood soon turned into a raging inferno. I don't quite remember what happened after that, only that I ran as fast as I could and dove into the water.

All I know is that both my parents were killed that day, and I was left an orphan. I found a kind old innkeeper that took me under his wing after the ordeal and taught me to become a skilled archer. Seven years later, the old innkeeper died and the building was no longer deemed fit for occupancy, so the Rune-Midgard Architecture Association condemned the building and I was once again left homeless.

I still roam the continent to this day, without much place to go, and definitely no place to go back to. I'm a hunter now, and the only company I keep is that of my trusty falcon. Someday I will find a place that I belong, and I long for that day. Someday.