Prologue: A Dusty Old Book…
The heat was stifling. In years to come the boy would grow accustomed to the humidity and warmth, but for now he loathed the stickiness that clung to him. He lay on his bed, his only concern the slight breeze that crept through the open window above him. It wasn't enough to satisfy, yet enough to keep him rooted to the spot.
His friend would probably show up soon. Had he not slept in, he would have met her in the morning, more than likely over his mother's fried eggs. Sleeping in, however, was his one and only vice. He was clever, brave when it counted, and not afraid to throw elbow grease into whatever work was laid before him, but whenever sleep took hold, it held tight.
Leena knew this. She had left knowing nothing less than an invasion by Porre would wake him from his slumber. Now, she explored enchanted woods (not a plain forest like most would see it) while he waited for her to return. She'd go without him, but he didn't dare to go solo. Not for fear of beast or bandit, but for sheer boredom. When he was with her everything was an adventure. Alone the trees were only trees, the forest nothing more than a bunch of trees stuck together.
He sighed. His unkempt hair sticking to his brow like sand to a wet belly. He smiled at that image. Himself and Leena swimming at the beach. A wet belly meant cool skin, and sand to the stomach was better than hair to a sticky forehead any day.
"Come down, I've got something that might take your mind off the heat," his mother called. The boy doubted this sincerely. The last time he checked his mother didn't know magic, and as far as he was concerned, magic was the only thing capable of 'keeping his mind off the heat'. Still he forced himself from his coveted window and down the stairs to his waiting mother. A chance for distraction was better than silent tolerance.
His mother waited at the foot of the stairs holding an old book in her hand. "Take a look at this," she said handing it over. The book was old, and its leather binding thick with dust. He wiped the dust off with his bare arm, frowning at the plain leather. It had no title.
"What's this?" he asked. Opening the book he realized it was written entirely by hand. In itself that wasn't surprising. In the year 1068 AD, typewriters weren't yet universal. Still, scribes usually possessed neater handwriting than the author of this particular tome.
"I found it in the closet," his mother replied. She had been organizing the old closet all morning. "It's from your grandfather."
"Which one?" the boy asked, but he already knew the answer. His father's father had been a fisherman, a trade that held little interest to him. Though a good man, his greatest achievement was a record breaking six horned narwhale. Cool, but not cool enough. His mother's father on the other hand, had been what he dreamt of being: an adventurer. Starting out on his journey as a traveling minstrel, and eventually becoming a notorious thief. While he'd never admit it to an adult, the boy thought that was pretty cool.
His grandfather had eventually vanished. He had led a good life. Some even believed he had set out on another journey, not being one to give in to retirement.
"My father, Grandpa Serge," his mother confirmed. "I've read it before. I found it once when I was a little girl, and I think you'll find it quite interesting."
The boy didn't know whether to keep frowning or laugh. The subject of his grandfather had always intrigued him, but he found reading to be a bore. Curiously, he flipped through the yellowed pages. Starting at the end (a bad habit he had developed) he began to read. '…Do you still remember…? How we first met, and all of our adventures since… it all seems like such a dream nowadays…you were a star that fell from the sky'.
He paused, intrigued, sparing only a brief glance at his mother, he read on. 'Whenever I want to return to those days long gone, I close my eyes and whisper your name to the evening sky…Kid.' The boy looked at his mom. "Who's Kid?" he asked.
His mom shrugged. "I'm not really sure. It might have been my mother, going by a different name. That much seems possible, or it might have been his first love, before he met your grandma. The latter half of the diary seems to be completely true, but the first half." She paused. "Well, you'll just have to read it."
With that she turned away and returned to the closet, leaving behind her son and the book. He held it gingerly, almost fearing it might suddenly bite. Then his curiosity got the best of him. Who was Kid? Why was the first part of the diary hard for his mom to believe? Without realizing it he flipped to the first page and started reading. Flopping down on his bed, the boy returned to the window and its enticing breeze, and lost himself in his grandfather's words.