It started off well for the young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers. They loved each other and eventually had a child, a daughter named Lyra. She was beautiful thing, with her mom's blue eyes, her grandfather's blond hair and her father's nose. She was perfect in the eyes of her family. About a year later, things started to go downhill.
The first thing to happen was the father, Gabe Uglino Rodgers, getting 'let go' from his position as a salesman in a big company. The second was Sally getting pregnant. Normally, one of these incidences would be negative and one would be positive, but both would be mere bumps in the road of life. But that was not the case. For Gabe, this was the third job in the last five years. He had a hard time keeping a job to provide of his family. For Sally, this wasn't her husband's child. This was Posidon's, god of the sea's. She gave this information, baring the fact that he was a god, to her husband four months into the pregnancy. That was the first time he hit her, it wasn't the last.
After the news, Gabe started his inevitable spiral downwards. He slowly started to drink more and more until there wasn't a day that went by that he wasn't drunk. He took an interest in gambling, slowly spending the family's life savings. Then the baby was born.
He was named Perseus Tobias Rodgers. Once he was born, people felt that several things were wrong. He looked normal enough at first glance. He had his mother's brown hair and his father's sea green eyes. It wasn't until he was three that something unusual manifested in the boy. He would 'tic' every so often. It wasn't noticeable at first, but the more one looked at the child, the more it became prevalent. Sally took her son to the doctors to find out what was wrong, and they discovered he had Tourette syndrome. Sally understood that her baby boy wasn't going to be perfect, she had expected a few….problems that demigods usually had. But the 'problems' that the boy apparently had just kept on adding up. A year later when the four year old fell down and scraped his knee, he just got up like nothing happened. It was like he couldn't even feel it. After a particularly bad injury, she found that yes, her son couldn't feel pain, he had CIPA. It did't stop there, he was eventually diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia and eventually found out he had a mild case of bipolar disorder later on in life.
As young Perseus grew up, he didn't live the happiest life. When he went to preschool, he was merciless bullied for many things, from his conditions to his name. The bullying never let up, even as he transitioned to kindergarten. He started to go by Toby from his middle name, but it didn't stop any of the bullies, if anything it made them worse, finding they affected him. The bullies started to call him 'Ticci' Toby because of his tics and would always laugh whenever he was in sight. He eventually pulled out of school and became homeschool because the bullying got so bad.
It wasn't much better at home for the poor boy either. His father had become an alcoholic with a penchant for gambling. He would come home drunk and would sometimes get violent after a drink or two. Toby, at the young age, understood that his father was not supposed to beat his family, so he tried to take the brute of the beatings to spare his sister and mom.
In addition to school and home life, strange things happened around young Toby. When he was small, a snake had somehow slithered in his crib and he strangled it to death, thinking it was his teddy bear. In first grade, he pulled the wrong lever at an aquarium, dunking his class in the shark tank. At one point he was stalked by a man, whom Toby claimed had one eye.
But he had a light in his world, actually two lights, his mother and sister. They were the kindest people he had ever met. They both stood by him through his struggles at school and later helped when he became homeschooled. Toby loved both of them with all his heart and couldn't imagine life without them. But these things weren't good for his mental health.
A few years later, Toby finally snapped.
His mother was driving Toby and his sister out to go get ice cream on a sunny day in April. Toby was nine and Lyra was eleven. Lyra was sitting in the front seat, chatting happily with her mom about school and her friends while Toby was sitting in the back, staring at the scenery passing by his window. At one point he swore he saw a man as tall as a tree in a suit, but shook it off as his imagination. Then, his world flipped over and descended into chaos. Time slowed down as glass flew everywhere, he heard screams and could make out small debris floating in the air. He felt something warm slide down his arm and when he looked down, he saw blood running down his forearm. Then just as suddenly as the chaos started, it stopped. Toby was sitting upside down, head pressed on the ceiling and seatbelt restricting his breathing, He tried to free himself only to freeze at the sight of his sister, his precious light, his pillar in the world.
It was gruesome. Her body was a wrangled mess, bones prodding out of her body in several places and her limbs sticking at odd angles. And her face, her face. It was a wrangled mess. It was so cut up from loose glass it was barely recognizable. There was blood squirting out at random places and glass embedded halfway in her flesh. The last thing Toby remembered before loosing consciousness were her dead blue eyes as they set staring, unseeing, at the road before them.
When Toby awoke, he was greeted to the sight of a white, florescent ceiling. "Oh good your awake. Doctor he's awake!" His mom's voice had called out to the right. He tried to move his body, but he couldn't. He had several casts on his body and he was too wrapped up to move. The doctor came and asked him several questions, but he didn't hear any of them, the memory of his sister's face played in his memory. "How is she?" Toby asked quietly. The doctor paused at his question. It was a moment before he responded. "I'm sorry to say it, but she's gone." Toby froze up. She can''t be dead he thought to himself. No way, she can't be. It's a joke, it has to be. "I'm sorry son, but she's gone," Toby broke down crying, he couldn't move, but he sobbed. He was never going to see his sister again. His light in a sea of black.
Later, he found out that while he had extensive injuries, concussion, several broken bones, his mom had very minimal injuries and they were released from the hospital a week and a half later when Toby could be moved from the bed. While they were there, Toby realized, his dad never visited once. Not once. He grew angry, so angry at his father. He didn't come to the hospital once, not even when his daughter died. Toby thought heard a faint whispering at the back of his mind, but he ignored it. As he and his mom walks back towards the house, Toby became aware of a buzzing sound. He looked around for the source and froze when he saw a being standing besides a tree. It was a tall, impossible tall, man in a suit. The part that terrified Toby was his face, or lack thereof. The man had no face. It's head was completely white and featureless. Toby was frozen in fear, he couldn't move until his mom called him name, asking what was taking him so long. He turned to respond, but paused and looked back to where the man was. There was nothing there.
He walked into the house, ignoring his father who had gained a lot of weight in the past months. He went straight to his room, not coming out until dinner. At the table that night, he ignored his food, not listening when his mother told him to eat, going straight back upstairs when dinner was over.
He fell into a routine. Toby would lock himself in his room, only leaving for meals and to go to the bathroom. His already pale skin turned to an ashen gray. At night, he would not get much sleep, resulting in dark circles under his eyes. The whispering in the back of his mind was slowly, oh so slowly, becoming louder. After a month, he looked outside the window and saw the faceless man again, this time under a lamppost. He immediately shut his blinds and jumped onto bed.
As the week went by, Toby's mental health deteriorated even more. At one point, he started to gnaw on his fingers, eventually drawing blood. That's what his mom walked into, him gnawing on his mangled fingers. She shrieked and put him in therapy.
Therapy was a disaster. It started off with the therapist asking all sorts of questions. He looked up to answer her only to freeze. Right outside the window was the man. It's non-face was right outside the glass, seemingly peering in at him. Toby screamed and fell out if his chair. He looked up only for the man to be gone. The therapist diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia and gave him pills to take. Toby never touched them.
After the incident, he started to hallucinate things. Sometimes small things, like nonexistent mice running across the floor, or bigger things, like sharks swimming in the bathtub. It became increasingly harder for Toby to distinguish between fiction and reality. It became apparent to his parents too, and his father took the opportunity to beat him whenever Toby showed his face. He started to hear voices too, whispering in his ear, whenever he was alone in his room. Most of the time, the voices were too quiet for him to hear, but sometimes he could make out random words.
Time passed in a fickle manner for young Toby. The once hyper boy was reduced to sitting his room all day. Toby's memory started to deteriorate parallel to him mental health. He would one day wake up and have no recollection of the past days, sometimes the past weeks. One night, about a year after the incident, his bedroom door started to open. Toby walked up to see who it was, only for the door to slam into his face. He flinched in surprise and fell backwards onto the floor. He approached the door cautiously and opened it, but the doorway was empty. He crept across the hallway, and he heard giggling, as if from a little girl. He looked around to find the girl, but instead came face to face with his big sister's rotting face, "Why didn't you save me?" She asked, "Why did't you protect me?" Toby backed away as fast as he could without taking his eyes off her, then he bumped into something. He slowly looked up to see a face-less head starting down at him, almost nose to non-existent nose. Toby couldn't scream, he was frozen fear. He felt something in his chest, compressing and pulling him in all different directions.
The young boy shot up in a cold sweat. A dream he told himself. It was just a dream. He hesitantly opened his door on the way to breakfast and was relieved to find it empty. He heard his father in the kitchen, already with a bottle in his hand. The thought made him angry as he silently made his way down the stairs. The previous whispers in his mind started to scream at him. Kill kill kill, kill himkillhimKILLHIM! resounded throughout his head. Toby whimpered and grabbed his head, trying to get the voices to stop. 'But I don't want to kill anyone' he thought back, willing the voices to be silent. But they ignored his wishes and continued their repeated chant in his head. Before he knew it, he was in the kitchen in front of the knives. As he looked at them, he thought about his father, how abusive he was, how he didn't go to the hospital. With the thought, Toby gave in to the voices.
He grabbed the knife and headed to his father on the couch. He raised his knife a brought it down, but his father turned in the last second and he ended up hitting his shoulder than his neck. Gabe cursed at the sudden pain. "What the fuck are you doing?!" he screamed at the boy. He tried to shove his step son off of him, but he was already drunk and disoriented. Toby didn't miss the second time when he brought the knife through his father's neck. But Toby didn't stop there, he kept on stabbing the older man. Bringing the knife down repeatedly. A feeling worked its way into his chest and he laughed, "hahaha haha HAHAHAHA!" That was the scene his mother walked down on, him laughing, stabbing her already dead husband. She screamed out in terror and ran, calling the cops as she ran out off the house in terror. Poor Toby didn't understand. He felt hurt and betrayed, as he thought this would make his mother happy. Numb, he walked towards their tool shed and brought out a hatchet and gasoline. In the house, he poured the gasoline and set it on fire with a match. He stood in the fire, still numb, watching the house burn down around him, wanting to die. He heard a buzzing sound and felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to find the faceless man, but this time he felt no fear. And so with black tentacles leading him, he walked out of the house and into the woods, a scarred cheek and a hatchet in his hands, the only remembrance from his previous life. Perseus Tobias Rodgers was dead. Ticci Toby remained.