When you play with fire...

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Chapter 1

My story begins in a poor village in the barren wasteland of the Arctic. It was a place where there was no warmth and people came and went as quickly as the daylight.

My mother and father came in search of work where there was none to be found. So, my mother became the towns clothing maker and my father one of the best hunters they had ever known.

My father would kill the great furred bears that threatened the village and my mother would make clothes from their pelts. It was not long after they settled that I came into the world.

From the moment, I was born I was looked at as a strange child. My eyes, when I opened them, were blood red and flecked with gold. Demon eyes, the elders of the village called them.

I was quiet as a baby and never gave my parents more trouble than any baby should. Still the villagers distrusted me from the start and their suspicion only grew as I aged.

My mother kept me inside our hut and away from the villagers until I was almost three. I had grown to have white hair which had the very faintest of red streaks in it. The villagers were certain that I was cursed.

“Devil child!” “Demon!” “Cursed one!” were the words I heard every time I stepped out into the village. For a young child, it was very upsetting but my mother was determined that I would eventually be accepted.

She was beautiful, the envy of the other woman in the village, pale as snow with gorgeously long red hair. I remember running my fingers through it as a young boy. Her eyes were blue and sparkled with love.

When I was five and old enough to be educated in the ways of hunting my father took me and a group of similar aged boys out onto the pack ice.

It must have been below zero degrees out there but I never felt the cold. While the other boys shivered in their parkas I picked at mine wishing I could take it off.

“Boys, the job of hunter is a very important one for our village, you must do your duty as men and...” I wasn’t listening to my father as I should have been. I was looking at the ice beneath his feet and wondering what would happen if it melted.

CRACK! The ice I had been staring at gave way under my father’s weight and he plunged into the freezing sea. The other boys ran forward to try and help my father but there was nothing they could do. He had already disappeared under the ice.

That was the first incident of many, and not the only one to end in a fatality. In the end my mother couldn’t explain why bad things happened while I was around and made the decision to send me away.

“I am sorry my son, but this is best for all of us. You will see one day” I was eight, I didn’t understand why I had to leave the only place I had ever known.

“I don’t want to go mother! Please don’t make me go!” I had tears running down my face and I clung to my mother with all my strength but she managed to tear me off her and onto the awaiting ferry.

“Goodbye Eric, I love you” she called once she was sure that I wasn’t going to jump off the boat. Heat rushed through my veins, I was so angry at her, I could never remember being this angry at anyone before.

“No you don’t! I hate you!” I screamed as the ferry pulled away from the shore. It was the day that the first seeds of hatred were placed in my heart. Those seeds would sprout several years into the future and allow me to become the man I am today.

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