My name is Samuel. I was born in the year of our Lord 1313, to the dying arms of my mother and the love of my father. Disaster and folly awaited my mother. Disguised behind my newborn cry, the angel of death whispered in her ear. She took his hand and never looked back. I have always felt that my mother gave her life for mine. She breathed her life force into me so I would have a chance. A chance not only to live, but to really live, to experience and enjoy the life that lay ahead of me. But at any rate, I wish there had been no trade required. Just a life birthing a new life and living life together.

My father was a strong man, strong-willed and stubborn as life itself. To him, the meaning of love was discipline, and discipline he did. By the time I was a young man, I had grown to know his hands and all their anger very well. His fists danced in fits of rage and passionate anger, painting haunting imagery in blue and black on the canvas of my skin. Resentment grew along with his artistic talents. I was not fond of his art and dreamed of a time when I could escape. Dream, I did. When I was as tall as the midsummer’s barley, I ran away from home. I did as my mother did and never looked back. A new life beckoned me. Knowledge and wisdom quenched my dry palate, soon after my departure.

I was walking along the road; I still remember how the mist billowed around me as an uninvited guest. My eyes could not see clearly enough to continue, and I feared my father would soon be after me. I sought shelter in a hollow made by several tree roots. In my possession I had several pieces of bread, a smooth yellow stone which had belonged to my mother and the clothes I wore. The mist was not uncommon, but it was rare to have it hug the earth’s surface so firmly. I placed my feet outside the hollow and wiggled my toes. They seemed to be swallowed along with my feet in a cloak of invisibility. I sat a while, humming songs from my village, thinking of my father, the artist. A symphony must have been orchestrated at our home when he returned from the fields to find me gone. The pipes would have been filled with hot air blowing their praises and the cellos playing in tune with the lashing of his tongue. What a truly dreadful thought. My eyes grew weary as darkness fell. It felt as if an anvil had been placed upon my eyelids, giving them no choice but to sink. I lay drifting off to sleep; I couldn’t resist. My body and those toes of mine begged for rest. Sleep, I did, yes, sleep, I did.

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