Growing up was not always easy for a boy in the Arthripos area. Buxtin was like most boys his age, always pushing the limits of authority and running around playing pranks with his friends. It was when his father came back from an especially long trip with a long look on his face that he began to take interest in the world outside his limited boundaries.
Buxtin had been doing his chores when his father came home. He had been eagerly awaiting his father’s return because he always brought him a gift and news from far- away places and strange customs of people from all over the “world”.
His father would always say, “Son, the world is a strange place with different folks and ideas. Always respect other folk, even ones that don’t believe in the same things you do because everyone has value and the world needs us all in order to stay in balance. When people don’t respect each other, then conflicts break out. That is how you know the world is out of balance and needs good sensible folk like us to do whatever is necessary to help the world regain it. We all live in the circle of life and it is never good for the circle to get broken.”
Buxtin didn’t always understand what his father was talking about. Some of his father’s notions seemed to be talking about places and things that didn’t apply to him and so he would just nod his head in agreement. As he grew up he began to understand more and more about what his father had been telling him.
There must have been something seriously wrong that morning as his father hardly acknowledged his presence. He sent him away with a stern look so that he could speak with his wife privately. Although mildly concerned about this action, being only a lad of fourteen, he got bored and went to play with his friends. Later that night when he returned home, his father was not there.
Puzzled by this, he asked his mother where his father had gone. She told him that it was time she told him the truth about his father. As Buxtin sat down he could see the seriousness of what his mother was about to tell him. “You father works for the Garburl Yolanger of the village of Far Reach Haven. He gathers information about those who would wish the people of that hamlet ill will. The hamlet was settled by folks who have some different ideas from the rest of the world.” She told him.
Buxtin thought about this a moment and said, “Does this mean that we are from Far Reach Haven momma?”
“Yes dear, it does. That is where your father and I met almost twenty years ago. Up until now, life has been good for us, but now things are changing in the world and he wants to protect us. Do you understand?”
“I… think so. Is that where papa went?” he asked with a puzzled look.
“Yes, he is doing this for us and all of the others people from this area. Balance is not always easy to maintain, sometimes one thing leads to another and a simple task turns into a quest of many things to be done. Sometimes drastic measures are needed to restore the balance, which may even include killing someone that threatens our safety and security.”
“Is that what papa is going to do, kill someone?” He asked in a stunned voice. His mother and father had always taught him that life was precious and that he should do everything he could to help those in need; to respect and preserve life.
“Momma, who is papa going to kill?” Buxtin asked with a tear in his eye. As his mother looked into his eyes, she couldn’t bring herself to tell him the truth and turned away with tears streaming down her own face. Buxtin comforted his mother and told her that it would be okay. Father would take care of everything.
His mother kissed him gently on the forehead and told him to eat his dinner and go to bed. This day had been a long one with lots of stress and concern. Buxtin finished his dinner and went to bed after helping his mother do the dishes.
As he lay there in his bed, he couldn’t help but wonder who his father was going to kill. It must be someone he knew well he figured by the way he had acted when he came home earlier that day. The thought was somehow compelling and yet it put him fast to sleep like counting sheep.