T.L. Shreffler – Your View On Tradition – Guest Post

From the character’s perspective: what is your view on tradition?

by T.L. Shreffler 
Tradition, in many ways, is what defines us. It is the search to fulfill a tradition, or to escape from it. Some of us succumb to the way we are raised. We find truth in it. But that is not for me.
The turning point came several years ago. I grew up in a colony, you see. A very unique colony. We lived by the tradition of our people, becoming assassins, trained killers following a direct path into darkness. That is the nature of my race. We are hands of the Dark God, those that do His bidding.
I first killed at the age of fourteen. It was how I won my name, the Viper. I killed with such dexterous skill that I won the title of assassin and joined my clan’s elite ranks. Soon after that, they sent me out on missions. We are a private people, but there are those who know how to find us: politicians and merchants, farmers, huntsmen, anyone who can pay the right price.
I was sent with three others of my kind to attack a caravan. We don’t ask questions about our assignments; they are negotiated by our Elders, and we simply fulfill the deeds. But when we came upon this caravan, I saw that it was full of children, all of them to be sold into slavery.
I drew my knife, but I couldn’t use it.
I realized—even the life of a slave is better than death.
I walked away from that assignment. I initiated my own exile. But I couldn’t do it anymore. Our kind is trained to be killers, cold to the world, but now… I do not think that is natural. We are alive, too. We breathe just like our prey. Who am I to end another’s life?

I haven’t found a resolution yet. My tradition created me, and it still lives inside of me. But I am looking for a new path, a new name. This is why I must journey. I need to find a new definition of myself, a new tradition, perhaps. But who knows where I will find it.

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Genre – YA Fantasy 
Rating – PG13
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