This is just a little story suggested to me by a title. I hope you enjoy it.

None of the sentinel characters belong to me.

Once upon a time when I was young

By Shadde

EMAIL: Shadde

Once upon a time when I was young. I was carefree and laughed a lot. I liked to play jokes on my little brother who lived to pester me and my friends. I'd complain to Sally that as soon as my friends came over here came Steven and his little friends to harass and harangue us about their do nothing, totally uninteresting day.

Like I wanted to hear about finger-painting when me and my crew were discussing the our last winning football game. Still Sally would say I needed to spend time with the kid who looked up to me so I would.

I'd take him to the movies and tease him about seeing the latest thriller when I knew he was afraid though he'd try to act brave so my friends would think he was one of the guys. But hey he's my little brother and I'd never let him really see a scary movie because he'd keep me up all night with his screams of terror. And I'll tell you something but you can't tell anyone else. Me and my friends were glad of Stevie's terror because we were to afraid to see the movies too.

Well that's when I was young. Now I'm old. I've celebrated my sixteenth birthday and I wouldn't be caught dead with Steven, my brother, my enemy. For our dad taught us to fight and to compete and Stevie betrayed me. I don't tease him anymore and he doesn't pester because that happened a long time ago once upon a time when I was young.

* * * * * * * * * *

Once upon a time when I was young I traveled the world with my mom meeting new people and exploring new worlds. I learned a little bit of lots of languages and little bit of lots of cultures. I was accepted into several tribes that weren't to sure about strangers.

I loved my life. My mom taught me to meditate and we visited guru's and spiritual leaders all across the continent. I got to participate in all kinds of religious ceremonies and I learned so many different ways to god.

I got to dress in my own style of clothes and my mother never complained even when I saw her wince at my flamboyant colors. She also didn't complain about the many different friends I brought home whether two or four-legged or with fur, wings or hair. My mom was cool like that.

She actually got to like Frank and Mark the street guys and Timber the wolf. I miss Timber but I was kind of glad to leave Frank behind. He was a bit of a leech. And hey I know my mom says don't judge people but she was pretty eager to slip away too.

I got to try out many different career paths. I was a photographer. I drove a truck. I learned to garden and to be a handyman. I did gourmet cooking and even helped a veterinarian. I learned all this and more from my many different father figures. Some liked me; Some did not but all tried to teach and train me to be a man. After all Naomi was always very careful what friends she hooked up to. Still it's hard to learn from a man you don't dare to get close to. You don't know how long he'll be around.

All that was a long time ago though, now I'm sixteen and I'm away at college alone. It's terrifying but I'm a man. I can't expect my mom to take care of me and I don't need anymore father figures. I've had some trouble here but I've met other kids near enough to my age and some are nice. A couple of the students are still in high school but getting college credit and one eighteen girl seems to like me. So you see I'm not a child anymore.

I don't need my mother to care for me anymore and now my travels will be my choice. I did a lot and never stayed in one place very long but that was once upon a time when I was young. I've been at the university now for almost a year. I will stay put. I will get my doctorate. I will be an anthropologist. I will travel again.

The End