The sun was already up and shining brightly onto Glennís face. It was still very early, but Glenn didnít care. He immediately hopped out of bed and groggily went over to his dresser and began hauling out clothes for the dayís activities. He hurriedly put on his clothes and went down the steps of the Kinston house as quietly as he possibly could. All was quiet, which meant he was up in time to avoid his usual unpleasantries.
"Guess they arenít going to do it today," Glenn mumbled to himself. With that, Glenn was attacked by four other boys.
"Get this little shrimp! Make sure he doesnít make it out of here until he gets the Ďtreatmentí," said the largest, smirking when he said treatment.
Glenn knew what this meant, and looked for a way out from the four pillars of flesh standing around him. He saw an gap between the four. He immediately broke away from the group and sprinted out the door. He quickly outran them and was on the far edge of Truce Village. He knew they were too lazy to come after him, but if he went anywhere near the house.......oh, he didnít want to think about it.
He stopped to catch his breath near the entrance of the small Guardia Forest surrounding the castle. He ran into the forest and to freedom. He knew that he couldnít be found there. Glenn wiped his thick brown hair out of his even browner eyes. Glenn was eight now, making it about eight years since Byron and Catherine had left him on the porch of the Kinston house. He was short for his age, but that wasnít the worst of it. The worst of it was his age.
In the Kinston household there were five boys. Glenn was the youngest. The oldest was 14, and the youngest, save for Glenn, was 11, making them all several years older than Glenn. You would think that this would make Glenn simply ostracized. Unfortunately for Glenn, this wasnít the case. It was much worse for Glenn because his brothers, who were also adopted into the Kinston household, did include him in their activities, but their activities were things like "Glenn ball" and "The Glenn toss."
These games were probably the worst things that happened to Glenn, but they still werenít the last of his problems. He couldnít tell Maurene and Charles what was going on for once the other boys were let loose of their punishment they would simply hurt Glenn to the point that he couldnít tell Maurene and Charles. Glenn knew this from experience.
Also, Glenn was friendless. There were no other children anywhere in his part of the town that were his age. He felt alone, forgotten, and his life felt hopeless. He was thinking on these thoughts as he walked into Guardia Forest, his only refuge from his brothers. He would spend time there every day, playing games by himself. Although he lived a rather pampered and care-free life, he would trade it all for a friend and a place that wasnít abusive.
On this particular day the forest was as dark and mysterious as it always was. He walked to the lower right corner and there he stood, breathing in the fresh, early morning air. He sat down on a rock and tried to simply be in solitude, but then he heard a peculiar sound.
It sounded as if something was being hit by a stick or something. He then heard a voice. "Ay-yah! Rrrrahhhhh!" Glenn continued to hear this for several minutes before he decided to check it out. He was weary of these sounds. It could have been his brothers playing a trick on him. It could have been mystics, or people on the run from soldiers hiding out in the forest. Glenn put all of these suspicions aside and followed the sound. he felt somehow......drawn to it.
Glenn had been walking toward the mysterious sound for several minutes, and then he reached a small break in the trees and saw the source. It was obviously a teenager about 16 or 17. In his right hand he had a sword, and he had on some of the low-grade armor that the town merchant sold.
Glenn immediately realized that this person was obviously aspiring to become a knight or a soldier and he was practicing. Glenn thought that being a knight would be great fun, and he had even bought a wooden sword from the merchant in order to practice himself, but his brothers took it from him and broke it as soon as he brought it home. He was now saving his weekly gold that he received from Charles to buy a steel saber. Glenn knew that he couldnít yield something so heavy, but at least his brothers couldnít break it.
Glenn was stirred from these thoughts by the boy in front of him. Glenn watched him move gracefully as he fought at imaginary foes. "Hey there, kid," the teen said to Glenn without even looking at him. "My sword techniques need work, donít they?" With this, the mysterious person turned to Glenn and smiled.
Glenn got up from his hiding place since it obviously didnít do him any good now. Glenn walked over to this strange person and answered his question. "No.....," Glenn started, "No. Your techniques are good. I only wish I could do it that well......."
"I bet with practice you could," the teen said. "Whatís your name, kid?"
"Iím Glenn," Glenn said with hesitation, thinking this might actually still be a mystic or a thief hiding out. Then, Glenn seemed to get some spunk on his side and said, "Whoíre you, kid?"
With this, the person, who was several feet from Glenn, started laughing hard. Glenn hadnít meant for it to be funny, but now that he thought about it, it did seem that it wasnít a logical comment to say to someone a foot and a half taller than yourself. "Good one kid, er, Glenn. I didnít mean for you to, hehehehehehe, take any offense," said the teen. "You can call me Cyrus."
"Thatís a nice name," Glenn said. "Where do you live, Cyrus?" Glenn still wanted to make sure this guy wasnít just a normal convict or mystic in disguise.
"I live on the south end of the Village of Truce," said the youth very seriously, "and you?"
"I also live in Truce, and also on the south end," Glenn replied.
"You know, Glenn, there are often mystics in this fore-," started Cyrus.
"I can take care of myself," Glenn replied. "Donít worry about me. Glenn knew Cyrus was right, but he didnít want to sound like a wimp in front of him.
"Well, Glenn, I guess I had better get back to my training. If you ever happen to stop in the forest again, look around and I might be here. Maybe I can teach you a few of my sword techniques. Bye," Cyrus said with finality, and with this Cyrus began his exercises again.
Glenn left that part of the forest, and began walking back down towards his favorite rock on the right side of the forest. He was thinking of this Cyrus character. He seemed very friendly toward Glenn, even though Glenn was much younger than him. Glenn had never had another person besides Maurene or Charles act anywhere close to friendly to him before........
As these thoughts were going through Glennís head, he was suddenly tackled. "Thought you could get away, huh?" pronounced a voice. Glenn immediately recognized it as the voice of his oldest brother.
This group of torturers, for they were Glennís four brothers, began kicking him and hitting him until he was black and blue. As always, Glenn was quiet as to not arouse his brothers to hurt him more. He knew what was coming. Every time he ran away from them and was found it happened..........
"Okay, everyone, let us now do our specialty," commanded the eldest to all of the others. With this, the whole group of boys smirked evilly, and then it began.
The four were running around Glenn with their fists out, so no matter what they were always making contact with his body. Because of their varying heights this caused almost all of Glennís body to get hurt badly. He felt like he was going to faint when he heard someone call, "Hey! Leave the kid alone!"
"Oh man!" shouted the second oldest brother. "Itís Cyrus! Heís that guy on the street behind us that Dad was saying was already being looked for to become a Knight at an early age. Letís get out of here!" With that, the four brothers ran away and left a badly hurt Glenn lying on the ground.
"Are you hurt, Glenn?" Cyrus asked in a soothing tone.
That caused Glenn to burst into rapidly flowing tears. "A little," Glenn finally managed between the tears.
"You need to learn to defend yourself, kid," Cyrus said seriously.
"I know, but it hurts when they do that to me, and when they kick-," Glenn was cut off by Cyrus.
"Youíre weak, Glenn," Cyrus said.
This made Glenn not cry harder, but stop crying and look in anger at Cyrus. "You think I donít know that?! What am I supposed to do about it, hmm? I canít just get stronger and fight my brothers off when they do that," Glenn exclaimed.
"Glenn," Cyrus said in empathetically, "I will help you. They wonít hurt you again. I swear it."
Glenn was surprised by this, and didnít know what Cyrus meant, but it seemed soothing to Glenn. It actually seemed that Cyrus was befriending him, and this concept was foreign to him. He had never been liked by anyone except for Maurene and Charles, well, ever. Glenn thought on this strange turn of events for a few minutes before finally realizing that he had a friend, even if it was someone so many years older than him it was still a friend. "Okay," Glenn said weakly, "Iím glad they wonít hurt me anymore." Glenn, although still unsure, seemed to have faith in his voice, and looked upon Cyrus, his friend.
Go to Chapter 4: The Swordsman in Training