The Vornskr Pup

I brought shame and dishonour to my family very early in my life. I’ll never forget the look of disgust on my father’s face when I refused to bring down a youngling vornskr with nothing but a vibro-knife and my own wits. The creature was frightened, even in my boyhood naivete I knew that this creature was no match for me,  but this was to be no mere show of force nor feat of strength; this was to be a lesson in which I learned to draw on the fear of another. Fear and hatred were to be part of my passage from boy to youth. Many of my relatives and a few of my boyhood friends cheered me on from the stands of the small arena.

The vornskr, I could tell, hungered greatly…its mouth slathering as it sensed the Force within me. I lunged forward a few times drawing cries of encouragement from the stands. The creature did its best to put up some kind of a fight, it lunged half-heartedly, but pulled back. We circled round eachother. I tried to follow the advice of my father, to draw on my hatred to grow stronger, more resilient. I knew that I was doing this to bring pride to my father and I knew, deep down, that the desire to have his approval paled compared to this other growing feeling within me. Many of my kindred called it the poisonous influence of the Light Side of the Force…I have, of course, since learned that what I felt growing in me was compassion. I felt for this creature…this young being that was simply trying to live. I saw the uniqueness of this being and I saw no point in ending its existence. Something came over me and I faltered. It was the first time I learned to never lower my guard for as I lowered my blade and looked up into the stands, my eyes resting on the enraged, yelling face of my father, I felt a sudden searing then numbing pain in my off-hand. The vornskr’s whip-like tail that ended in a bushel of venomous barbs had whipped out and stung me. In a sudden wave of rage I lunged forward and stabbed at the creature’s shoulder it was a superficial wound but painful enough to make the vornskr howl and crawl back, it’s venomous tail between its legs. It cowered against the high wall and covered its head with its paws. All that I saw of that creature was a scared pup that in no way was deserving of the torment that I myself was being forced to inflict upon it. I wonder now what that pup would have seen as I dropped the knife, and toppled backward made paralyzed and unconscious by the cold spreading venom.

I awoke in my bed, every nerve was on fire. It was painful to breathe. This physical pain was to be overshadowed by the pain I was about to experience. I remember getting up to my elbows and seeing on my blanket covered belly my vibro-knife covered in blood. I looked from it to the figure sitting at the foot of my bed. My father sat there with his bloodied hands clasped before his chin. “You have failed me,” he said, his yellow eyes burning as I’d never seen them burn before, “and you have insulted the ancient Sith blood that flows through your veins; it stinks now like the blood of that weak, pathetic creature. I finished the job that you could not.” My father got up and left my room, taking with him any chance I had of holding a place of respect within my family–that day I also lost my friends. After many years of trying, I failed to regain the respect of my father, but it matters little to me now. I have kept that vibro-knife, still encrusted with the vornskr pup’s blood, as a reminder that I am free to choose any action. My hand has been stayed many times since that day…but many more have fallen: those that choose to attack me also choose their own death.

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