It all started the night I left home. I'd heard my parents arguing, not for the first time. It had been about me, not for the first time. It wasn't as though I ever did anything wrong, I just never seemed to do anything right. That's what they were arguing about, they both wanted to be rid of me, they just couldn't decide on the best way to do it. Father wanted to wait until my next birthday, in a few months, when I would be an adult, and then simply kick me out and leave me to fend for myself. Mother just didn't want to wait, she wanted to be rid of me. My brother was complaining about the noise and just wanted them to shut up. He always gets his way.
You see, I come from a very long line of 'heros'. My father had been a knight, before he retired and started the farm, my mother was a lady of the court, and my brother is in charge of the resistance. Their basic aim is to wipe the evil over-lord from the face of the empire, but so far they had done nothing but fail miserably and look very pathetic in the process. Of course, people still loved my brother, but they would, wouldn't they? He is the hero after all. Two and a half years older than me, joined the resistance at fifteen, their youngest member. He was the leader by seventeen. Not long turned twenty and he'd all but been promoted to God.
Leon had always been a wonder with a sword. Grace to rival the finest deer, they all said, strikes faster than a snake. Definitely a snake, I won't argue with that one. The truest aim of all archers, that's what they kept on saying. And the most handsome face. HAH! I spent years wondering what he had that I didn't, but after a while I gave up. It was just plain depressing. When the women all talked of him, I sometimes listened in, just to know what it was they like so much. Some said it was his hair that was finest, that it shone like gold, richer than even the finest the dwarfs mined. Mine was just a dull ashen, a pale yellow not worth note.
Others liked his eyes, they said they were such a deep blue you could almost swim in them. Mine: a dull, lifeless grey, like the steal of a old sword, long since robbed of its shine. And then there were the muscles - how they all sighed whenever they were mentioned. Such a finely sculpted specimen, they said. I was always just a scrawny little runt. And then there was the elegance, and the grace. Me? Well, if it truly takes skill to trip over a flat surface, as I was once told, I may just be the most skilled person in the land; I could trip over no surface at all.
I bet you can understand by now why nobody much wanted me around. Heck, I barely wanted me around. There was only really one thing that liked me on the farm, besides the pot-holes. Misty. One of the farm horses, a stubborn hunter mare, and as thick as two short planks. She'd walk into a brick wall if you didn't tell her it was there. I think she actually did once. That's probably why she liked me so much, because she wasn't very bright. Mind, she always managed to play dead when the farrier came. Stupid bloody thing, we may as well have got a mule, if my father weren't so uptight about only having the 'finest' purebreds. I really will pity the man who called Misty fine when my father gets hold of him. But, sadly, a semi-retarded horse is the closest thing to a real friend I'd ever had, and I didn't particularly want to walk there, wherever I was going.
My parents had always kept a decent amount of money in the kitchen drawers, and there woule be two complete tacks in the stable, for my father and brother (they never bothered to get me one), so getting out of there wasn't a problem. It was knowing what to do next that was the main issue. I hadn't anywhere to go, and wouldn't have a clue where to look for a job. The only real option was to make it up as I went along, since I was going to be kicked out anyway. At least that way I could leave with some of my dignity intact.
I had tried to get apprenticeships a few times in the past, and it wasn't as though I didn't try, honest. But I am clumsy, and lack common sense, and that isn't really much use to anyone. Maybe I could join a circus if I passed one on my travels, surely I would make a good enough clown. It was just a simple case of hoping, I should think. And if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that hope gets you nowhere. But still I packed as much of my stuff as I could into a bag, and crept downstairs when everybody else had gone to bed. And I tacked Misty up, even though she didn't like it, because she was the only horse there was even a slight chance wouldn't throw me. And I left what had been my home for over seventeen years, half falling out of the stirrups, unable to stay upright in the saddle, on a horse that was way to bloody big for me.