Cole Spectrus

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

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An exerpt from the journal of Cole Spectrus:

I didn’t realize I was a human until I was seven summers of age. Pretty ignorant of me, come to think of it. I mean, the rest of the villagers were covered in a hide of thick tan scales. Even a hatchling would recognize I didn’t fit in, but for some reason the thought never crossed my mind. Maybe I should start from the beginning; my mind tends to wander these days…

I am told by our village witch doctor that I was born to wealthy and war-hungry human royalty, the youngest of 3 sons. My mother died giving birth to me (human hatchlings don’t come from eggs) on a clear evening with the northern star shining unusually bright. I came from the womb surrounded in flame, burning her alive from the inside as I made my way into the world. This must not be part of the usual birthing process, as my father and local clergy announced to all that I was a demon seed. I was to be sacrificed to appease the gods.

I’ve often pondered the success of man. He creates sprawling castles, holds titles to huge tracks of land, and will slaughter the innocent simply because they are different than his kind. He is capable of so much, yet he could not end the life of a helpless baby. How did I survive that fateful night, and am I truly the abomination my father claimed?...Ugh, there I go again, getting all off topic.

I get headaches sometimes. It’s as if my skull is trapped in the jaws of a panther. When they get really bad, I double over in pain, unable to will my body to move. As a hatchling, I was told these pains were a sign of weakness and inability to become a tribal warrior. I was forced to do women’s work around the village, and was looked down upon. Until one day…

It was the summer of my 7th year, and I was swimming in the murky pond near our latest camp. As my head arose from the cool depths, piercing screeches filled the air. In panic, I ran back to the village, fearful of the horrid sounds. It was not until I was standing in the middle of the encampment that I realized the screams were coming from my fellow villagers, as metal axes tore through their scaly flesh.

The murderous barbarians were covered in armor made from animal hides, and their ravenous laughter haunted my dreams for years. One turned to me, our eyes met, and he strode towards me. Just as he raised his blade my head suddenly felt as if it would burst, and a white burning clouded my vision.

Seconds later I was standing over his prone body, my thumbs dug down to the knuckle into his eye sockets. Sweet smoke rose from his skull as his face had begun to melt. The heat coming from his body was almost unbearable, yet it filled me with euphoric energy.

I jerked my head up to look for my next victim, but the raiders, having witnessed my wrath, were fleeing as fast as their legs could carry them. Moments later exhaustion passed over me, and all went dark…

From that day on, I was feared by my tribe. I didn’t think it was possible to feel more like an outsider, shows what I knew. I had no one to talk to, save the drunken witch doctor who tried to read my past and steal my power through his silly voodoo. Worse yet, I didn’t even know myself. Like sand through your fingers, I could not capture the control over my own body, my own fate, my own soul.

I sat, day after day, along the edge of that murky pond, staring at the stranger in the pool’s reflection. Those eyes…I can’t look away, for fear the eyes hold the secret and will give it away at a moments notice. The tribe had moved on, but I remained, forever alone.

I’ve started a journal now, almost 15 summers since then, and I’m no closer to knowing who or what I am. I travel lonely roads, desperate alleys, and endless countryside, in search of what? If only I knew… I tell myself I have more control and understanding of my ‘gift’ than I used to, but maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into believing that. Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that there is some purpose for me.

Cole Spectrus

World of Florinth Gaea