The Wanderer


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3. The boy

Myra, the healer that took in Michael's son, raised him for five years like he was her own. She named him Raymond, after Michael's father, And when he was old enough, taught him all the necessary skills for survival when he would fend for himself at the age of five and three quarters. She made all of his clothes, including a patchwork, which he would be able to wear when big enough. At the moment, it trailed across the floor like the train of a wedding dress.

Very much like a normal boy, Raymond's feet (or shoes) grew with him, always keeping the same shape, colour and size. Sometimes when he was sleeping, Myra would inspect Raymond's shoes but just like ordinary feet they consisted of many bones. But instead of flesh, a thickened layer of leather that continued to strengthen every time he walked.

In all of her years, Myra had never brought up a Wanderer. Although, she had heard of the myth that was frequently passed from mouth about the strange species and how they were expected to leave home from the day they took their first steps. But instead, she chose to ignore it and became very attached to the young boy.

So when the day came when Raymond turned five and three quarters, she was reluctant to let him go. On the morning of his departure, Myra dressed him in the clothes that she had made for this very day. At the doorway she gave him a packed satchel that held all the essentials for his survival.

For the last time, Myra looked down into Raymond's big, blue eyes - undeserving of his fate. She knelt down, though difficult at her age, and pressed him close to her breast. She felt a breath of air whistle past her ear and heard the words, "I love you, ma." Unable to withhold her tears much longer, Myra pushed Raymond away, firmly but not harshly, and turned him around to expose him to the journey ahead. 

With an encouraging nudge, Raymond made his first steps alone. And just like his father, walked out the city gates without looking back.

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