I suppose I should start with who I am, where I was born and just what I was. I was born on the golden shores of Siban, a flourishing plateau stretching into the CrypticSea like a hand. I suppose you could say it was a very high status community where I was born. The town was full of richly families and beautiful gardens, the children were all schooled well and the parents brought them up with dignity. I grew up strong and well, living with plenty of food and servants to wade on me. Strife and pain was not a subject brought up often in the households of Siban, so I was a stranger to it.

As a child I believed all the world was as perfect a place as my home, filled with music and laughter. How wrong I was! But I would not find that out until later in my young life.

At my birth, my mother and father named me 'Fox', for reasons unknown to me. However I never asked or questioned what they said, it was just a name after all and because they were my parents. I know it to be true that most children do not question their parents, simply for the reason that they place all their trust in their elders, relying on them completely. Of course, I was no exception. I loved my parents dearly, and I would still love them even if they were still alive.

As a young lad, I was drawn to poetry and reading, never putting a thought in war, weapons and death, for no one ever spoke of such things. I read book after book, fantasies, that's what they were. I can still look back and be amazed by the villains they put into those stories, for they were hardly villains. It was usually about bullies or envious people who stood on the side of evil, simply pushing around the 'heroes' as it were. I had never read a single story relating to the true terrors of the world, slavery, deception and cruelty, nor to the true virtues of the world, honor, justice and glory. I guess it would be truthful to say I lived in a dream, a false reality, away from the real world.

My first glimpse of the outside world and hardships came when my mother, 'left', as father would tell me. In truth, I think that's what he was told and he believed. He actually sat on our porch every evening waiting for her to return. She never did. Of course, now I know that she died, but at the time I never knew death, never even thought about why people would disappear and never be seen again. The people, who came to our home, told us that mother had decided to go on a long trip, it was a lie.

Somehow, being twelve at the time, I sensed the uncomfortable feeling of deceit. It was my first contact with the real world, that not even my father lived in. I began to wonder where mother had taken her 'leave' to, so I looked to my books and elders for the answer. They had always been the knowledge I sought in the past, why should they fail now? However, I would only begin to wonder more about things after confronting my father on the matter. I recall the memory like it was yesterday...

"Father?" The brown-headed boy asked, gripping a book close to his chest.

"Yes my son?" The pale man asked, wearing a toothy smile. "What is it?"

"Where has mother gone?" The boy asked, looking over the flapping, foaming waves of the sea with his deep green eyes.

The man kept his smile and replied, also looking out over the blue water.

"She went away on a trip. The men said she would be away for a long time. What do you think of the new flowers Mr. Spade gave us?"

I'm inclined to believe that it was the sudden change of subject that bothered me; that and his smile. It was as though, he seemed...blank, so to say. It frightened me, I guess. It was only natural that I missed my mother, and I can never thank God enough for the bond between mother and child, for it was this bond that helped me begin my ascend to the truth of life. I scourged my books, looking for the answer, but only found the same story being retold in different versions, no real help. It was frustrating, not finding the answer with my father and my most loved stories, the two major sources of information I relied upon for life.

I remember the day I found the answer, it was the most joyful, yet sorrowful thing I had learned.

Upon going to the library, carrying my bundle of disappointing books and scrolls into the building, I asked the librarian for some of the oldest scrolls she could get me. I had come to a conclusion, you see, that if my father didn't know the answers to my questions and neither did my books, well I just needed a book older then my father to give me the answers, and it did.

I am still rather shocked by the fact that I found the answer, but then again it was indeed an old, dust-covered book I was given. Just looking at the old binding and yellowed pages made me feel a respect for the thing, believing it contained more wisdom then I could believe. I was right.

That night I spent the entire evening reading it's pages, carefully flipping each with admiration and awe. It was an old series of poems, mostly about love and nature, things to be expected...that was until I came upon a poem about death. This was my first contact with reality, you could say. I still know that poem word for word.

Death is come to thee my love,
Oh God has taken my darling dove,
Never again shall I see her walk,
Or speak with her, such gentle talk!

Her eyes are closed forever more,
She has passed through life's last door,
Her music is silent as the night,
Her skin is pale, oh such a sight!

The blood is cold within her veins,
She shall have no more earthly pains,
Alone am I in grief and sorrow,
For she shall be buried on the marrow!

Oh my soul is racked with pain,
To never see my love again,
Stiff she lies beneath the soil,
Alone on earth am I to toil!

As a boy, I was rather confused. What horrible thing could make a person never walk, talk, turn pale, become silent, make one's blood run cold and what..what causes a person to be buried beneath the soil? The answer was before my very eyes...death. It was then I realized what had happened to my mother. She was pale, cold and..and buried. I would never see her again. Of course I broke down into tears. But this was only the beginning of my awakening, the first step into the world that none in Siban knew, and it was my first step to the truth.

R&R! I know it's a little strange, but whatever. I may actually start it into an actual story..not in 1st person mode.

-Ireland Ranger-