Diatribe

I will admit I had to look up the word to make sure it meant what I thought it did. I really don’t have anything to rant over. I mean there are many things I don’t agree with within the Venatori but I’m not exactly vehement about it.

I still hunt the monsters. I make my stand by not killing them relying on my talents and skill to capture them – which forces the Venatori to give the creature a trial and waste time and money. Even if they are usually found guilty and the penalty for any crimes against humanity is execution it is a pointless exercise. But at least I gave them a chance. I didn’t have to kill them.

I have taken the lives of my marks, but it was always in self defense. I’ve never killed because it was my perogative. I wouldn’t resort to violence if I had a chance – that’s one of the downsides to trying to hurt someone early on in life. Guilt beyond measure.

The only other thing about the Ventori I take issue with is the family situation. If a child is not wanted they are raised by the community. Which all in all is good the child still wants for nothing. But they don’t have a family. They aren’t loved. The Venatori don’t try to find homes, all children are trained in the ways of the Venatori, for a ward of the compound it’s always about your duty.

Granted I’m biased as I was raised that way. I felt the communities ire at having to tend my needs. The definite lack of love throughout my childhood has scared me starting with the day my mother left me here. If I could I would make sure every child had a family to call their own, even if it was just a makeshift one. But kids need that love to prosper. I never knew how much I needed it until my father came into my life. We aren’t the best of friends, we rarely talk but he will shoot me an email or call me up when he’s concerned about me. And this is a new feeling for me. I try to call him too, but I’ve a lot more work to do on that front.

Who are you?

It’s a writing prompt what can I say? Who am I?

On the surface, I’m a loud, obnoxious “kid” who has a problem killing monsters. It’s really not the killing that bothers me. It’s the reason that I should kill them. Petty crimes receive the same punishment as the truly horrible ones.

I want people to think I’m not afraid of anything. That words don’t hurt and that my skin is thick and I’m invulnerable. But that’s sadly not the case. I’m still that frightened little boy who was sitting waiting for his life to change because his mother was throwing him away.

I am afraid of many things. My biggest fear is not being a part of something bigger. To be loved by another unconditionally. But that means that I have to put myself out there, and the fear of rejection keeps people at a distance. I’m a jerk and an asshole. I don’t want people close because they’ll hurt me. I know that it’s counterproductive to what I want – what I need. But pain is hard to overcome when it’s been growing and festering for as long as you can remember.

I promise to my future family I will never do that to anyone. I will never stop loving you, if you give me the chance, I will be everything you need me to be. I will support you in everything and I will carry you if you need me to.

Now if I could only get out of my own way – to make an effort to be that person without the fear that I will get hurt. And know that if I do get hurt at least I tried. But the possible pain still holds me back. Maybe when I find the one things will change.

The Comment

There is always someone who has to make a comment. And really there is no comment about my person that someone can say that bothers me except one. “Oh, so you are gay?”

Uh yeah – no. I do not consider myself gay. I like men. I like women. I’m not exactly turning down sex from any gender. I myself am male. I identify as male. I don’t have an issue with anyone else’s life choices or how their brains are wired. As long as you are you and leave me be me I’m cool with you.

But usually, when people find out I like men, they automatically go to the gay side of my life. From then on out I’m a guy who only likes guys. I’m the girl’s gay best friend. Or I’m the guy in the locker room you avoid because you are afraid I’m going to get all down and horny just looking at your wang. Grow the f@#! up.

That is only one part of who I am. I will admit though that I use it as a tool to push people away. My therapist help me realized that several years ago and I’ve come to terms with it. I try not to do it, but old habits are hard to break.

Falling


I’ve made a fundamental change in the backstory of Nox. So there will be some in inconsistencies until I nail down this particular aspect. Nox might flounder here and there until the new world cements its self in our mind.

 

I’ve told you about my first kiss and my ‘first love’. But really none of these mean anything in the greater picture of things. Dylan was nothing compared to the man I had a crush on freshman year of the Academy. Thanks to Dylan and my mother the feeling of rejection prohibited me from ever confronting my crush. That and the fact that he was actually friends with Dylan.

His eyes were deep blue framed in a set of luscious eyelashes brought out with the eyeliner he wore. His lips were a delicate rose color that had to be colored on – I suspected a lip liner. He always wore neatly pressed clothes. He starched and ironed his jeans. There was never a snag or tear or anything out of place on his attire. His hair was raven black and perfectly in place even after he’d run his fingers through it.

Unlike Dylan, he wasn’t overly athletic, he did the minimal workload for our PE classes – he never looked like he sweated. He was smart and quiet despite the fact that all his friends were loud. He also liked the same sex which was a plus in my favor but by that time I was not going to be rejected again.

I had the opportunity once upon a time to tell him how I felt, but I didn’t say anything. It was the night before the 2002 Ad Aetetam – our rite of passage in the Venatori. There was a party on the rooftop. While I wasn’t exactly invited to the party, it was my spot and they were there because of me or rather because I had started the tradition of jumping from the top of the building and letting our abilities catch us or glide us to the bottom.

So I wasn’t invited but no one was going to tell me I couldn’t be there. I just would get tons of looks and glances that told me otherwise. I didn’t care I was only there to jump. And jump I did. I was always the first over the edge and I was back up in time to watch a fight break out.

There was a lot of pushing and shoving and the fight neared the edge of the building. One shove pushed another kid over the edge. I didn’t think about who had gone over, I just reacted. It was an 8-second drop and the kid was trying to use air but floundering. I caught up to him and wrapped myself around him and used my ability to slow us both before we landed in a mass of mud at the bottom. I had to think quickly and earth and water were softer than just soft earth.

We landed in a heap and when I looked over to see who was sitting in a puddle of mud with me I just laughed. He thanked me. He helped me up out of the mud as he introduced himself. “Dorian Vega.”

I grinned at him as he pulled me up and I was impossibly close to his body. I could smell the sweet comforting scent of vanilla and cinnamon and I could barely speak. I managed to get out. “I know who you are.” I shook his hand in mine, “Nox Sétanta.” His hand was soft and I wanted to feel more of him, see more. Through his button down shirt, I could see the outline of a tattoo underneath all the fine clothes. I tried not to bit my bottom lip but I knew I had failed when he grinned back at me. It was hard to explain the concept of using magic to dry his clothes but that’s what I did. I couldn’t return Dorian to his perfect state as before but at least, he wasn’t dripping wet.

He thanked me again as his friends were exiting the door to the ground. They were loud and completely ignoring me. Dorian looked back with a shrug and went off with his friends. I could have said more, but I didn’t. I should have, but it takes me a little longer to find the courage to step to the edge and jump.

 

Heros

Life in the Venatori is different than most realize, except for other Venatori of course. It’s like living in a story book world where the monsters and the heros all exist. As a kid growing up before really knowing what life as Venatori meant I idolized the stories I was told. But not the ones every other kid grows up with. To me swinging from a spider web was impossible but yet I knew of men who could swing from buildings with ease. Super strong like Superman, sure. I could just watch the men and women in the gym pound each other with fists of steal and life refrigerators without sweating. Run fast like the Flash? No problem at least for Venatori.

I wasn’t Venatori, well not completely. My mother was human. I was improbable. My father was Venatori. Turns out in the grand scheme of things the very same man whom I’d idolized as a child was my father. Ironic really. A man I looked up to. He was the pinacle of what it meant to be a Venatori hunter. He was strong, and agile. He had the gift of foresight. He had more monster kills than nearly every other man in the Venatori. But as a child I didn’t know he was my father, my hero could have been so much more.

Now that I know. Everything I ever idolized as a child is gone. How could a man who had a family not love another son? What had I done to deserve his lack of caring? It was a hard thing to handle when I found out my father was this man I idolized. He fell from that place on high when I found out I was nothing to him. I hated him for not knowing me. For not caring enough to get to know me. I wanted nothing to do with him or his kin.

I’m sure being sent away jaded my experience as well. I knew that coming back home would create tension and issues. But what I hadn’t counted on was the fact that my father hadn’t known about me anymore than I had known about him. I had ignored that fact. Ignored the truth out of blind hatred, out of self loathing and pitying my own self. It was a fault of mine. We are our own worst critics they say, and I’m no different. But a life time of being different made me hate my very existance. It had taken years of therapy to get over most of my delusions. But those moments of self hatred still filtered through the ruins of my life, and when confronted with a man I didn’t know I chose to fall back into old patterns.

For four years I wallowed in that self-pity. Pushed away everything and everyone around me. It wasn’t important to me then. All my friends and those I called family weren’t around. I was alone. And it was how I usually prefered to be. Except I didn’t want that.

I knew better. I should have rejected the idea of going it solo, but that was exactly who I thought I was. Who I thought I needed to be. Turns out – I needed people. Home came calling, and I had no choice but to go. It was my job, my duty. I went without hesitation.

I had a second chance. And this time I took it upon myself to change. I met my hero again. The road was bumpy, but the man whom I’d idolized as a child while less than the man I dreamed of turned out to be another kind of hero. One I hoped my children would look up to as much as I had as a kid. I met a man again. I gave everyone a second chance. I fell in love. I found the truth of my own existance – at least one that mattered. I won’t ever be the man I should be, but I will strive to be him. I will live up to the expectations of myself. I will make myself my own hero only so that my kids look up to me too. I won’t hide from my problems. I am not afraid of what I will become. I have the support I need, the people I need to survive. And I will survive.

My Parents

My parents were never around for me. My mother left me to the Venatori at the tender age of 5 and I didn’t know who my father was until I was 18 years old. But here’s the horrid tale of my parentage.

My father is the renowned Venatori hunter, Kai Viddens. He is the oldest living Viddens in that family’s ruling line. He holds a seat on the Imperordo and is one of the so-called law makers of our community. He took the job when his father passed – yet another tale of horror to regale at a later date.

My father traveled as a hunter, he went around the world when he was younger, now he chooses to stay in New York City, but he once traveled to Boulder, Colorado where he met the lovely hunter Leanna Sétanta.

Kai was a man of inhibition. He did what he wanted and who he wanted. Leanna was nothing more than a mark on his headboard, so when she became pregnant it was nothing to him, and she never even thought about telling him about it. She didn’t know the consequences of his actions because little did Kai know that Leanna was human. He had assumed she was Venatori and there was no issues. His assumption could have cost her life, but in our case, it did not. Both myself and my mother survived gestation and labor. Something the female human body is not likely to do except for in special circumstances.

My mother raised me as would be expected of any venatori hunter – under the tutelage of a nanny while she was out hunting. I won’t get into the details of my abandonment. Instead, let’s focus on the retelling of the first time my parents meet me at the same time, in the same room, nineteen years and several months after they conceived me.

It was May of 2012, four months before I turned nineteen when I found out who my father was. I was forced to have dinner with both my parents. I will admit forced is a strong word, nothing would have happened except extreme disappoint of the only two people I cared about impressing in my life – Dae’lin Rivera, my mentor, and Dorian Vega, my guidance counselor of sorts. Dae’lin handled my actual teaching, Dorian the direction of my studies and the success of those studies. He was the one who gave me my proficiency tests among many other students.

They both insisted I see my parents, together and pretend we were a family before my Ad Aetatam – my right of passage to become an adult. It was a prelude to the ridiculous ceremony that would happen the next day – the first of my trials. I will say I failed miserably at impressing my parents.

My mother only had eyes for my father. And my father only had a vague disinterest in me. And I think that was only so as my mother would shut her yap. The dinner was supposed to be at some fancy joint, but what my mother considered fancy and what I did were two completely different things. She apparently hadn’t asked anyone to choose the appropriate words or location for her meeting with the two disassociated men in her life.

I wore the only suit I owned and the blood red tie that broke up the black of the outfit. I felt good about my dress, impressive yet not so over the top that I looked outrageously overdressed – a classic look with a bold color. I impressed the waitress and the busboy. Granted I already knew them so it wasn’t hard.

As I said my mother never stopped talking, it was always about the good-ole-days and the reliving them with Kai. But my lack of lightning quick reflexes and the use of my so-called magic brought me into Kai’s immediate curiosity. We talked, got to know each other a little bit. Rather he asked me a lot of questions while I attempted to flirt with both the waitress and the nearby busboy.

My mother caught on to my flirting with the bus boy and scolded me for my flaunting my sexuality in front of her and the world. I hadn’t done anything overt, it only cemented my disdain towards her. Even if I hadn’t been dangerous she’d have disliked my life choices – the way I was wired. She could go f@#k herself.

My father didn’t seem to mind, or care. I knew he had his own opinions about my sexuality and the impression I made on his youngest son. But we won’t go there today. Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one of Kai’s sons who liked the same sex.

Dinner ended and we all went our separate ways. We saw each other again a few hours later when I went through my rite of passage and then we never graced the same room again all three of us together – and we never will as my mother passed shortly thereafter.