him as his older brother, Barkley, lunged from behind. Christian hit the ground
hard, rolled, and shook his head as he got back up. “What is wrong with you?”
Their mother screamed as Barkley attacked his little brother. Small droplets of
water formed random patterns on the ground, eventually forming small puddles. As
more and more rain fell, the sky gave an angry cry. Lightening illuminated the
sky as thunder unleashed its rage around the two brothers.
Christian moved out of the way as Barkley tried hitting him in the head again. A dark shadow
glowed around Barkley as he kept attacking. The look in his eyes was nothing
like Christian had ever seen.
Barkley hit Christian again, making him fall to
his knees. In tears, he looked up at Barkley and stammered, “Wh..wha..what are
you? Who are you? You’re not my brother!” Christian jumped to his feet and
lunged at his brother, who just smiled and smashed him in the face. The punch
was so powerful it sent Christian flying backwards. Darkness overtook his
eyesight and his body went rigid as unconsciousness reared its ugly head.Shapes began to take form again as Christian came to. The world he was in
was nothing like what it was only moments ago. Shocked, he closed his eyes as
tightly as he could. After a startled and confused moment, Christian opened his
eyes, regained his composure and looked around. His brother stood at the
entrance to the forbidden forest. There was someone or something there with its
arm around Barkley’s shoulder. Christian tried getting up. With some strength
returning to him, he stumbled to his feet only to fall again. Sensing movement,
the creature smiled a wicked soulless smile. Before Christian could register
what was going on, his world went dark. Christian started screaming and shaking
“Wake up, wake up!” Christian’s mom screamed as she tried to
shake him out of his horrible nightmare.
Light pushed through the window, pushed through the darkness surrounding him.
“It was a bad dream honey, a bad dream…” she
cooed. Christian looked up at his mother, poked her in the arm and grinned. She
looked at him and smiled. “You’re okay, my baby, you’re okay,” she said. He just
grinned at her and flicked her arm.
“You’re too emotional mom,” he said, laughing as he tried to squirm his way out from under her.
she screamed as she chased him into the kitchen and out the back door!
At fourteen, Christian was already taller than his mom and friends. He was skinny,
but not scrawny. Christian could take a punch. In fact, he has taken a punch.
Learning Hope fighting has its good side and its violent side. Christian walked
outside, the sun in his eyes, which were bluer than the ocean he has never seen.
His shaggy brown hair hung down in his face, blocking some of the damaging rays
peacefully raining down. He pulled at his green shirt, the three buttons at the
collar bothering him. “Why do I like these colors so much?” he thought as he
looked around. The green of his shirt, tan pants and earthen brown of his shoes
matched his entire surroundings. “I’m an advertisement for Bachwood,” he
thought, rolling his eyes.
It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining;
fluffy, white clouds danced in the sky. Daydreams of adventures far away flashed
through his head as Christian stared at the clouds. “I can’t wait to do
something exciting,” he thought, “Although, lying here in the grass is fine by
me as well.”
As a child, Christian had always dreamed about being a warrior,
going on big adventures, saving people, and all the wonderful things that came
with being a hero.
“Get up lazy!” Tiberius said as he kicked Christian in
the side playfully. “Ha! So he does move!” He taunted. Christian got up, smiled,
and tackled him!
“You’re too small to make such insults,” Christian
challenged as he kept Tiberius from getting up.
Tiberius rolled free and stood up, his shoulder length charcoal hair a tangled mess.
was bigger than Christian. He not only worked for Christian’s family, but also
trained in the ways of Hope fighting. He stayed in great shape. His gray shirt
flapped in the cool breeze that blew through, the small rips here and there
flapping outwards, making themselves known. He stopped short of Christian, wiped
his dirt crusted hands on his swampy green pants, then walked up. The only thing
the boys had in common as far as attire was their shoes, otherwise, their styles
were polar opposites. The same can be said about their fighting styles and
choices of weapons. Christian preferred swords, while Tiberius preferred
As children, Christian and Tiberius became close friends. Training,
playing, and doing anything anyone could think of to get into trouble was their
daily excitement. They were nearly inseparable. The only difference between them
was their position in their community. Christian, who came from a family with a
much higher status and calling in life, was destined from birth to become what
his family expected him to be. Tiberius, on the other hand, was born into a
family who worked for Christian’s parents, doing anything and everything
required of them. They were recognized for who they were and nothing more. Never
once were they recognized for what they did or could do. This stuck with
Tiberius and became a large part of his personality. Recognition was what
Tiberius wanted for himself and his family. One day, he always said, one day,
the world would see what his family, his bloodline, were capable of.
“So, when are we going over to Shino’s?” Tiberius asked.
Christian ran into the house, grabbed his sword and started to head out when his mother called for him.
“Christian! Where are you going? Are you going to Shino’s? I need you back by
dark. I have something you need to see.” Christian looked at his mother
quizzically, nodded, then walked out the door.
“What was that about?”
Tiberius asked. Christian looked at him and shrugged.The two of them argued with each other as they headed down the long path. They never could
decide who would be the one to open Shino’s door and be tested first. Shino was
bad about attacking or “testing” whoever opened his door. Shino was a trainer in
the ways of Hope Fighting.