A brief description of the main character of my book in his own words (contest entry)
My name is Falco. At least, that is what they call me. My title? The Ghost Hawk, though as no one technically knows who that is - that is to say, me - it becomes rather irrelevant. Officious, to say the least.
This letter is a clause in a treaty that -
This is stupid.
This is required. Apparently -
As I refused to let any of the magi probe through my mind in order to describe their "hero", I must recount not my exploits, oh no that would be too mundane, but my feelings, my personality in these pages. Apparently, it will help to study my character, and imbue my essence into one of their spells. What a man must do in order to acquire the assistance of magic-users in life-threatening situations. They are a rather eccentric lot.
Though a debt is a debt, and never let it be said that the great Ghost Hawk of legend (to my knowledge, I am actually the twelfth Ghost Hawk in existence) left himself beholden to a bunch of robe-wearing maniacs.
Let me start from the finish. It makes a tale quite interesting, and in some ways, makes more sense, as you will be able to pick up the clues that led to this culmination of self that is me. The life-threatening situation in question was not related to me, though I have had my fair share of them. It pertains in fact to Nayera, someone who shall probably be mentioned more than once. Though I do not like to speak of personal matters, I have been assured that these thoughts shall be burnt once the spell is finished (a sort of ritual of theirs, I presume). And Nayera, though it pains me to admit it, is part of my "essence" as they say. I would not be the man I am today without her.
So in order to save Nayera from the evil that nearly destroyed the world (read a history book, you'll know what I speak of), I had to call for the magi. Alas, my career is one suited to destruction, and I can honestly say that I had never saved somebody before she came into my life. Being an assassin places this sort of thing outside of my jurisdiction. Already you see how my "self" has changed because of this woman (barely more than a girl of sixteen, though with only twenty one years of experience behind me I cannot judge).
You see, at first she reminded me of someone. I met her in the "Fox's Tail Inn", my master's favoured inn of residence, about to get robbed by three common thieves. She... She just stood there, without fear, but without resistance. I saw only acceptance in her eyes, and was reminded of a fellow bedraggled street urchin abandoned by the harsh city. We had banded together in order to find scraps of food and shelter, but I had grown too bold. One day, I returned to our camp, victorious, only to see that older children we had pilfered from had got there first. It was as if he knew his time had come, and... Suffice it to say that I failed him. But I would not fail her. She, a naive country born fool, would not give in that day. But we are not here to talk of how this girl became the love of my life. We are here to talk about my life itself.
So let us now continue into the beginning. My father - I never knew. My mother was a dim recollection of scented perfume, sharp hunger and disappointment. The drugs had taken her when I was very young, and though at first I hoped she would get better, I soon forgot the woman who had birthed me in my struggle to raise myself. I have spoken of the only time I wished to make a friend, and never repeated that mistake again. Something I take pride in still, though I know I was not wholly responsible. Mistakes hurt people, I discovered it very young, and it was only reinforced through my apprenticeship to the King's royal assassin. The top assassin, in fact.
Oddly, this is how I found some semblance of a family. I was caught thieving, and the Ghost Hawk of the time was impressed at my uncanny ability to dodge in the streets. That, and my lack of morality. Starvation and frost quickly make honourable intentions a liability, and any morals at all were considered a luxury. One did not survive as long as I without knowing these things. The old assassin seemed pleased by my sullen behaviour, ragged appearance and small stature. These things made me inconspicuous, dismissible. He was overjoyed upon discovering my high cheekbones and brilliant green eyes. I have been told that they unnerve people. A mirror into their very soul, as I had none to cloud their vision. Emotions too, were dangerous in those days.
But there was an exception. As I had said, the assassin became my mentor, and so we formed at least some semblance of a bond. However, that paled in comparison to my relationship with the Queen. Unable to bear children of her own, locked in the palace by the King's superstitious nature, I think she needed someone to nurture, and I drank up the attention greedily. She alone asked me my name. To others I was "boy", and eventually "Falco" - a play on words for the apprentice of the Ghost Hawk. Even there, her influence was present, commenting on my raven locks of hair, and my acute senses of perception. Though the Kind saw my name as a way to defy the mages' power, she referred to it affectionately, and I think that, more than anything, made me keep it. Grow into it. Now it is a part of me, and my birth-name a remnant of the past.
She died in the end. Or rather, at the start. In the middle of my life, something happened to change the world, and she did not change with it. There was no place for her, hence her murder.
I got my revenge in the end. Though I am not proud of that, I am required to cite my virtues and vices, sugars and spices. (I apologise for the play on words, an old man I frequent enjoys the use of verses). Vengeance is my main motivator - and the most powerful one on Earth. Nayera would disagree, and say it was goodness, but I stand firm on that.
I... My life is not so harsh as one might think. There have been positive sides to my... unusual upbringing. For one - I have never wanted for any material object since being brought into the King's household. I was also able to fully exercise my natural talents, and was recognised in full for them. Though no one knew (or knows) who the Ghost Hawk was, I heard about him everywhere I went. If he was a myth before, I made him into a legend. Who can pretend to have such a legacy?
In what little spare time I had, I spent it with Midnight Sun, my horse. She has been with me through thick and thin since we first learnt to ride together. She is in some ways an extension of myself, a true friend, and a loyal ally. Many times has she prevented my death in some form or another.
Though it embarrasses me to admit it, I must write this on paper. I have... a penchant for beautiful nature. There is a time for quiet reflection, peace and tranquillity that I have found on my travels that seems to exist outside of time and space. The art of it is appreciated even by the most hurried traveller. Perhaps... Perhaps I might find the time to try and copy these scenes, the way I had to draw herbs and poisons in my youth to the fullest detail (it was the only way my master could make certain I knew them). But now I digress.
In short, I have been emotionless and selfish, proud and vengeful. Whatever compassion I had was stamped out of me, or so I thought. There are a lot of untied strings in this letter that may baffle its reader. So be it. By ending in the middle, my tale is at a sore loss at how to finish. But, as my life is not yet over, perhaps this is a fitting final sentence.
Word count: 1,427