It was Darius’ twelfth summer when his mother and Baran decided it was time to take all the kids to see the Great Fountain of Hyperion. Baran, as cheap as he was, still wanted his children to see the grand spiritual site that his father took him to and his father before him. And he wanted his new children to experience it too, it’s been a couple years since their families joined and Baran thought it’d be a good bonding experience. That year all the kids were jumping with excitement about their upcoming trip, because their friends had told them all about their own trips to the great fountain. The tales of wonder and amazement were grand, but the the most amazing stories Darius had heard were about the journey there. Everyone had told him that the Griffon ride up to the Great Fountain was the greatest thing; the winds beating against their cheeks and the freedom of flying through the clouds on the back of a griffon compared to nothing else and took two whole days. Every time he thought of the stories of the journey, his face lit up like a candle in an the endless nights during the long winter. When the day finally came to leave for the great fountain, Darius wearing his backpack and knapsack rushed out of his room, down the steps, and out the door into the still darkness of the early morning. His face beaming with excitement quickly faded. In front of him laid no Griffon, no Boobrie, and not even a Roc; what lay before him was his step-father’s horse drawn wagon. Darius’ disappointment could be seen upon his face by all.
“Don’t look too excited now” snorted Baran.
“But what about the Griffon’s?” asked Darius
“They were too expensive, the Stable Master was asking just too much for us all to go. There’s seven of us here, and he wouldn’t budge on the price. We’re not just taking you, don’t forget about your brothers and your sister.”
“She’s not my sister and those two aren’t my brothers!”
A loud cracking sound echoed through the air, Isolda’s diamond and ruby covered hand sparkled in the air above Darius head, “watch your mouth, they are your siblings; whether you like it or not, and you will not speak ill of them like that.” Scorned Isolda.
Darius’ face becoming a soft red, and his eyes began to leak. The tears’ pigment started to change to red hue as they ran down his cheek. Darius threw his bags into the cart and ran back into their cottage.
“We leave as soon as the horses have been fed, don’t go too far and be ready to go leave soon.” bellowed Baran, his voice carried atop the wind.
Darius raced inside knocking over his step-brother Maka and stumbling up the the stairs to his bedroom, slamming the door behind him with a force that shook the walls of the cottage. Huffing and puffing he began to pace as the rage inside him began to build up. He was losing control of himself and wildly swinging his arms at the wind and fighting with the shadows of his mind. The tears on his face evaporating as the sweat ran down his brow. The anger inside him flushed his face so much that you could not tell the difference from blood or cheek.
Under his breath you could hear the words he grunted, “Fucking bitch! What the hell is her problem, that psychotic wench!” Striking at the air with even more force than before. He continued to pace around his room that resembled that of a Berserker before war. “Why’s she always hitting me?” He cried as the tears ran down his face even harder. “What’d I ever do to make her hate me so much?” He sobbed sniffling, wiping his nose on his tunic. Through the window a soft melody began to drift in. When the somber tune touched Darius’ ears his anger began to melt inside him, a calming sensation took over his body and the tone his face slowly began its normal hue. He went to the window to try and locate the source of this calming and painful tune. He is eyes scanned the treeline stressing them to see as far as they could. His ears twitched trying to lock in on the direction of the sound, but it was if the melody was apart of the wind itself and coming from every direction around him. Darius climbed out the window and onto the roof, sitting at the peak, just listening to sound on the wind. He sat there bathing in the sound until the sun had begun to rise. When he felt the warming rays on his skin, he noticed that his face felt wet. He touched his face softly and cringed. He looked at his hand and it was blood stained. He quickly searched his room for a cloth, but settled with an old pair of trousers. is face burned with pain at each wipe, it felt as though there were needles pricking him on his cheek. When he finally finished cleaning off his face, at the cost of a pair of trousers, the room felt like a void of silence. Jumping to his feet he ran back to the window and thrust his whole head out it, yet nothing. The sweet melody that he had heard was gone, yet he still stayed there hoping it would come back; nothing.
“Boys it’s time to leave! Get in the wagon and lets go!” yelled Baran and Darius jolted his head back into his room and gathered the rest of his things. This time he did not run with enthusiasm or have a skip in his step. Dragging his feet at the pace of a Hobbit he descended the staircase, getting bumped by his brothers as they ran past him to get out the door.
“Come Darius, hurry up!” Yelled his mother.
“Coming…” he replied, “You crazy bitch,” he mumbled under his breath. He climbed into the wagon, the last of child in; and they were ready to depart.
“HYEAH!!” boomed Baran as he cracked the reigns of the horses, who all neighed loudly, and they were off.
“How long will it take?!” screeched Ryn, Darius’ youngest brother of nine years, as his small body wiggled up to the front of the wagon and behind his mother.
“It’s about a three or four days ride from here, if everything goes without a hitch.” replied Baran, cracking the reigns again.
“That’s forever” complained Maka.
“Well would you prefer to walk or not come at all?” Asked Isolda.
“No, I want to go” replied Maka, “I’m going! Just everyone told us how quick and awesome their trips were, course they all got to take Griffons and we have to ride in this crummy and cramped wagon” he said snidely.
Baran turned around to face his son, “well unfortunately we have too many kids to take such luxurious means of travel. If it was just two or three of you kids, it wouldn’t have been an issue; but there are five of you and that’s just too much money.”
“Darius, what happened to your face?” Asked Richard, Darius’ elder brother by three years, as he slapped Darius on the cheek and laughed.
“OWW!!” yelped Darius. He punched Richard in the head and jumped on him.
Reaching back Isolda grabbed Darius by his hair and pulled him off Richard. “Do you not want to go on this family vacation Darius! If you would prefer you can get out right here and walk back for all I care! Behave yourself or you won’t be coming with us!”
“But Richard hit me first!!!” he replied.
“I said shut it! I don’t want to hear your excuses!” She release her hold on his hair and flung Darius back into his seat.
His eyes began to tear up and he leaned out the wagon from his seat, crossing his arm just underneath his chin. He held his eyes closed with all his force, trying not to let a single drop escape his lids. All he could think about was how unfair everything was in his life. He wished over and over that he could be living a happy life with his father, but his father was dead and that would never happen. He was doomed to live out his life underneath his mother’s fists. Even still, he thought about how things could have been if only he had been born into another family, or perhaps he could go live with his grandmother, his father’s mother; she loved him and always treated him nicely. He thought of howgreat it would be to live in her small cottage, out away from everyone; it was his favorite place to go during the long summers, no one bugged him there or beatbeat him like a slave. The last time he was at his grandmother’s he remembered all the fun he had playing in the forest nearby, it was full of wild animals and had the best little pond to swim in. He could swim, fish, and climb the trees, he always felt so free when he was there. He stared off into the distance as he dreamt of all the what ifs that could change his life, he fell asleep there on his crossed arms hanging out the side of the wagon.