“Are they born bad?” the girl asked.

Following is an excerpt from a book entitled “Giant Killer”.

“ Are they all bad?” the girl asked without looking up from the work in her basket.

“ I’m not sure,” said the grandmother as she rocked in the old carved chair, her hands also busy with a similar work basket.

“ Why are they bad?” the girl continued as her grandmother knew that the girl would, for she was insatiable when it came to things she did not understand.

The grandmother looked at the girl’s slight form and felt her heart jump in her chest, as she answered, “I’m not sure about that either.”

“ Are they born bad?” the child asked with her tongue between her teeth in concentration of her task.

“ Well, they weren’t born in the beginning, they were made. In the beginning they were different creatures…beautiful…and so in awe of us…just so different,” the grandmother answered as she gazed at the horizon, her mind lost in the past, because they were different in the beginning.

The girl watched her grandmother and knew she had slipped into the sifting of past memories and actions, but finally the girl could not hold back, “If they weren’t bad in the beginning, why are they bad now? What made them be bad?” She still searched for an answer that she could grasp, and frowned as she contemplated the information, because she liked things to be predictable.

The grandmother sighed as her mind returned from her memories and she said with a heavy heart, “They chose to be the way they are. Not at first, but little by little it crept in and claimed their hearts.”

“ You mean…“evil”?” the girl said as her almost clear green eyes looked up from her work.

“ Yes, finally their hearts were claimed by evil…and they did evil things…terrible things…but in my
heart I know that it was a choice..and if it was a choice, then they don’t all have to be…bad…” and the memories claimed the grandmother’s attention again. She leaned back, and let her hands drop the work that was ever present. She remembered the first time she saw her first one, and the time she saw her last one, as a single tear slipped from her dark lashes to silently course down the side of her face that was turned away from the girl. Her own mother had said not to look back as she frantically pulled her to safety, but she had anyway.

The grain fell quietly and steadily into the girl’s basket as the grandmother’s eyes closed. The girl knew she wasn’t asleep because the rocker continued to move. The girl placed the knowledge in her mind and moved it about, still not satisfied with the answer. She took a deep breath and said, “Grandmother, if they weren’t born, and they were made…who makes them or why are they made?”

The grandmother sighed and turned back to the task, “They were made in the beginning, and because they watch us, and are fascinated by us, some of them left their home and came here. The task set to them was watching, which is the reason they are called the “Watchers” or in the old tongue, the “Irin”. Some were not content to just watch, and they participated. Those were the ones who took wives and had children. When their children were born, it all changed.”

The girl’s brow scrunched as she thought and finally asked, “Why didn’t they take wives from their own home? Why’d they have to come here and take wives?”

The grandmother chuckled and said, “Well child, they didn’t have wives in their home. There was no need of them. They were originally created to serve….not procreate. When they came here, they were fascinated by women, especially with women’s hair….which is why we…?” the grandmother waited for the girl to answer.

“Bind our hair to hide our glory and keep us safe,” the child said in a monotone as she repeated a statement memorized early in her life, “ So….were their children bad?” the girl continued.

“ Not at first….at first they were…..amazing. But as they lived in a strange land, with strengths and abilities beyond everyone around them, they began to think they were not subject to the same laws as everyone else. They were not wholly to blame, because the people began to hold them in high regard, and began to think of them as….gods….and then the people worshipped them. As gods they weren’t subject to the laws, or so they began to believe, and they broke the laws…and then they corrupted the laws…and somewhere in that time is when they chose,” the grandmother said with a final note, indicating that the conversation was at an end.

“ You mean they chose …evil,” the young girl said under her breath.

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