The thunder of the winter’s cold fury whispers through my mind as I a sleep. It tells me fascinating stories of when I was younger and why it all had to happen. During the day I am called Prudence Anne Jenkins. This name was placed over my head by my doting mother when I was but 3 minutes old. I am now living with a sister and 4 brothers that hate me, a dying mother that cannot stand the sight of me and the death of a greatly loved father hanging over my head. They all blame me for his death. They all say ‘well if you hadn’t had to have someone pick you up from some stupid martial arts class then he would still be alive!’ They say that it is entirely my fault and that I should have at least had the courtesy to be in the car when the train hit him. They will then turn away and shun me.
After the accident I relived the accident in my dreams. I hear the awful sound of the trains wailing horn reverberating through my skull. Then the following pain as it plowed into my father’s car. I can hear his last words echo through me like a death keel. They tell me that he is near his end. I will carry their weight with me wherever I go. “Pru, hold true to who you are! Even when those you care about the most have turned on you. Even when your faith is at its lowest and your trust has run out. Remember I love you and no matter what, stay true to who you are!” I would rather not remember all the details, but that is no longer and option. When the accident occurred, I came fully into my powers.
He was not only my father but also my mentor. He died while coming to pick me up from yet another training session at the dojo. My family may have forgotten but I have not, he tried to teach all of them as well. Tried to bring them into their birthright as he was bringing me. We are what you would call shadow-walkers. People that claim the title of shadow-walkers are part of a select few who have evolved past the norm to protect those that have not yet achieved this. We do what we must to keep keep the rest of the populouse safe.
Thus is the story of my life. I live by day with a family that cannot stand the sight of me and then at night I live in a world that welcomes me into its loving bosom. A place that welcomes me, makes me feel the joys of life. I am the only thing that keeps most of this city alive. They are all scared of who and what I am but none of them would be able to sleep at night if they only knew what it is that they face while they sleep soundly in their beds. All sorts of demons, both of the humane persuasion and of the metaphysical breed. They come out only once the sun has set and the city has gone to sleep. I travel from place to place during the night never tiring of the routine that I have set in place for myself.
My mother, they say, is dying of a broken heart. She misses my father and wishes he were still alive. She doesn’t blame me quite as much for his death, but I was his favorite and favored him most in looks. That is why she can’t bring herself to look at me. I am my father’s child, in every way. He taught me everything that he knew. That is why he started to take me with him on his routes. These routes would be like the ones I hold now. Fighting for a people that would never know that I even exist. It seems unfair at first but after a while you get used to it and even learn to love the very thing that you curse.
Full moons are when the old legends say the lunatics and monsters come out to play. As if that is a magical force that is the only time they are able to come out. If you want the truth just look out your windows on other nights, then you will see the truth. I am tired of living in the dark.
My sister has told me that my place is in school and at home. I should not be out there doing a mans work. She doesn't understand what it is that I do at night. Of course she can’t, because she doesn’t even know what it is I do. None of my siblings knew about our father either despite his best efforts. It’s a pity, there really could have been potential with at least a couple of my brothers. They would have enjoyed the life, I think. When my father was alive they called him the safety net of the city. That was of course during the day when he worked as a justice of the peace. They never knew about his night time activities.
At night I am called Shadowmancer. Almost everyone fears me and yet, no one has seen me,and most think of me as some sort of aberration, a trick of the light or a child’s story created to make them behave. I appear out of nowhere then disappear into the shadows just as I came. This is the way of my life. Hide where the world can’t find me then keep them alive in exchange for their ignorance. After all as father used to say, “My darling child, if the world knew of our true existence then we have failed in our task. We do not protect them to gain wealth or fame. We do not protect them so we can gain notoriety. This is why we use an alias.”
It has been close to five years since his death. I am still working his area as well as the one that has somehow come to me. It is always this way with our people. One of us will die and the successor for that person will take over their area and once they become of age then they will receive their own territory. I have learned much from others like myself. It is hard to imagine what it was like before I came into my own and had to go it alone.
A while back I met a young man named Mystr, he took me to a place I had not been since I was small. There I met a man by the name of Raule. He helped to mold and shape me into what my father had envisioned. I am now in the top echelon of the shadow-walkers. That is what Raul has said anyway.
I am terrified of what my family will do if they ever find out what I do. They are not a supportive or understanding group. My older siblings will frequently search my room and all of my belongings. They use the guise of keeping me safe and don’t get taken in by all the vices that are present in our lives. This is something that I will not believe until my father rises from the grave and walks among us. My activities are restricted to school and home. I am not allowed to have friends or outside relationships.
Raul has said that I am safe at school. He obviously hasn’t been in any of the local schools lately. I am now a junior in high school. Due to my family and circumstances I am a social outcast. On the plus side, the isolation does allow me to keep my secrets. In the school that my sister has placed me in, the popular kids try and prove their right to be on the top by fighting any outcast that they can find. I have gotten very good at avoiding them. I find the practice ridiculous. The one that wins recertifies their standing in their groups. If the challenger losses however they then become the outcast and the outcast became the most popular kid in school. As I have said, pointless.
You can never be to careful about who you let close to you. The young man I mentioned earlier has since been killed. I feel sorry for his loose and will miss his comradery. He was also a in high school with his whole life ahead of him. I find it strange that when he passed his mind reached out for mine instead of his mentor or his family. I was stunned by the intensity of his contact. He told me he had been framed and then murdered to hide the crime. He asked me to find his killer. He knew that they were part of his humane acquaintances. He couldn’t tell me which of them were responsible, but it was surely one of them. He also bequeathed his territory to me. I am now responsible for the whole south side of the city. So far no one has challenged me for it.
With the acquisition of these territories I have started to gain familiars. The old tales tell that witches and all manner of dark magics claimed familiers. They were supposed to help channel their magic and hold extra magic and charms. Most of these are total crap. There is always an exception to the rules. The familiars that we acquire are like guides for us. We can have any number of them and will frequently get receive the at least one from those that have passed and have been close to them. I have three that have claimed me. A guardian wolf from my late father, a falcon that has claimed my soul as its charge and a python from Mystr. The wolf is not the same one that claimed my father’s soul as its charge but that wolf’s daughter. The situation seems fitting. Mystr’s guide was a python, the one that has come to me was his mate. She has come to me to help insure that justice is meted out for her mate and his master. Once that task is complete I do not know if she will stay or leave to claim another. For now I am comforted by her presence. The falcon appeared one day and claimed my soul and I intern am now its master.
The time has come for me to tell you why I keep this diary I suppose. Since my father’s death I have found many bound journals that he had kept. They were hidden away and his other home. I suppose you could call it his lair. They were filled with a code that could only be broken by someone who knew how to truly see. One not blinded by the world surrounding them. This in turn has prompted me to do the same. This diary will only go to one that has been given the key. My successor once that time comes. It will tell of my life, hopes, dreams and greatest fears. If by chance it helps to bring peace to those who read it then it shall be worth the words written.
My time here is drawing short as I hear my siblings calling for me. Im sure they need me to do some menial task that they do no wish to. As they are not privy to my life in full I have this my diary to keep all the details in. They are not able to find what they do not know exists. This is hidden as a school assignment. Deep in the recesses of my computer’s hard drive. As none of them have much skill with technology then for the moment it is safe. For now I bid you adieu. Until next we meet.