A Soldier’s Childhood
///It is strange, yet perfectly natural that heretics are made to leave indomitable marks on the society that strikes them down; little things, astrology for instance. It has likely been said that people, having eaten of knowledge, became ashamed at their own image, and set out to clothe their innocence with lies. In so doing, they also proceed to turn their back from truth, running from those gentle glades which receive the burning-blue light, and give to the silent animals a gentle-green shade. However, these people never quite forget this time, and bury small pleasures behind the demented mask of society.
///Of course, I think that’s bullshit, an attempt at thinking our lives unpleasant whilst producing a clear enemy to hate, everyone. The only word that truly need be spoken in regards to this matter is ‘war.’
///However these small things come about, it was sometimes said that Morai Brennan was born under a lucky star. A cheap round would have been poured, and bored faces curved round a cheap table. One face (a friend of the family, or a proud servant perhaps) must have stood out against that bunch with a gleeful smile, boasting about a child too young to walk. “Aye”, it was muttered, “he’s a lucky ‘un, born under the star o’ Michael he was.” Passing interest would have been shown to this newcomer, he might have something good to say, eventually. “Why, I saw it meself, the stars, all of them, were just gleaming, and you louts just weren’t meant to be witness to m’lords first glory.” “It’s a pity,” at least one of them thought, and perhaps spoke aloud to the rhythm of a coin jumping on wood, “that this boy is too sober for quiet.”
///But to those who were there that night – Morai having been born to a busy mother in a small carriage – it was a moment that words struggled to carry. Everything about the occasion seemed blessed: the labor was quick (the third of six) and the mother felt so little pain as to smile the whole way through; a bright star broke through thin clouds just at the moment of his birth, and directly overhead. A star so bright, it seemed, that the ground around the carriage was lit from its power alone; a name was selected, just then, that any sane man knew, but could not share; and everyone present later recounted the small voice that spoke the newborn’s name. Even the father, who had only a trimmed selection of pleasant memories, remembered the occasion for a dozen rich acres secured in a barely-caught bargain. It was a pleasant night for everyone involved (except the child, who kicked and spat as though possessed; the surest mark of a healthy boy).
///If Owen Brennan was ever found in a tavern, it was not as a bored spectator, and it wasn’t as a boastful drinker. Instead, he was found to be an aloof businessman, who happened to be a very strong and perceptive drinker. There was a story, said to be true, soon devised into a song, spread as far as Brittany, later placed upon paper, compiled into the “Most Memorable Drinking Stories Collection,” and used as inspiration for a college film project which warned against the dangers of geese, boating, shoelessness, and angering a drunk Irishman. Owen, despite the surprisingly positive representation, denied any participation in the events, claiming that his ‘yearly’ binge happened to coincide with the burning of the Baron’s bessie – both events taking place over a long holiday. ///More to the point, he was a man lacking emotion. Being short on care and compassion, however, failed to destroy what was otherwise a capable and decent human being, by the expectations of his position at least. I suppose that there was withing his frame a strong system of morals, these including politeness, fairness, care for family and clan, a regard for image, health, wealth, and status, as well as a subtle hint of noblesse oblige. Just as easily, it could be said that he was a man cunning and evil, who’s personal goals happened to align with those around him. Regardless of his true nature, those he knew tended to side with him, and sometimes let slip a few words about his inordinately high odds for kingship.
/// Sarrah Brennan, on the other hand, needs far less words to describe. She was a good example of a mother figure: gentle, attentive, caring, and docile. She achieved few things in life, the greatest being her smooth marriage and healthy family.
///Morai, being born to the landed family described was blessed through his childhood, and became a clever and cheery boy early on. He felt the virtues his society extolled, and followed them, but with little regard for posture. He would later become a very pragmatic man, but as a child he was simply hedonistic. He was tall and thin as he aged, lacking the lopsided development that comes and goes in bursts. He was something like a Russian doll, growing in size, but changing very little.
///He was given a tutor of particular talent; a man who had learned as many things innately as he had learned, but believed more thoroughly in the latter. As such, he encouraged the young boy all through his childhood, leading him through the countryside, forest, village, and into regular conversation with the family servants, merchants, peasants, and the nobleman with time and interest to spare. Many of these became good friends, who missed Morai, first as they left, then as he did.
///It wasn’t unexpected then that the young man was struck with a powerful sickness, because good luck is a trait rarely developed in Eire, and is burnt in the span of years, often enough. The parasitic fire that burned in his heart was a lack of complacency. This being the time of a wide hunger, and having been for some time (and lasting a good century more), people fled, mostly to America. Morai, having seen several good friends travel under desperate conditions, and having a good understanding of English, he became ‘curious,’ and soon departed on the journey that would “last only as long as I felt like it.”