I was born in Zanzibar, an island of Tanzania that broke off from Africa thousands of years ago. A young black albino child, I was a rare breed for the country. Growing up just after the witch hunts didn’t make my life easy growing up. I always had trouble fitting in with other groups because people would think I was born of a witch, contagious with some sort of disease, or just plainly an outcast that nobody wanted to be around.
The beginning of my life was lonely, but I made up for it by playing tons of sports, practicing my craft, and gaining respect on the court and the field from my peers. I was an up and coming arrow marksman with a bow, and I was a particularly good basketball player.
Throughout the growth of our town, we had a problem with predators on the regular. Being practically, or probably a third world country, we had very little weapons to fend off predators that we deemed as threats.
Specifically, we had a rare predator, something no other civilization in the world had. There were these specialized leopards that only existed on our island. They were Zanzibar leopards. They probably branched off from the evolution of African Leopards thousands of years ago when the island of Zanzibar began to move away from the African continent. These leopards gave no cares about us and would occasionally attack and kill a human. Some of the folk around the island believed that there were people training these leopards, possibly witches, or farmers, to go and attack our civilization as punishment for whatever they feel like we may have needed to be punished for.
Like I said earlier, I was honing my bow and arrow skills fantastically. I was recruited into a small militia who’s goal was to drive these leopards into extinction so no more human souls would do, so we went out, and attacked.
The first night I was recruited, we were training on moving targets, and lying down targets, which we deemed would be the most likely scenarios we would encounter one of these leopards in the wild.
The following 3 months, it was a mass exodus of our militia, traveling through the dense and vast forests of the Zanzibar island in search of every leopard that we could find, and murder it and it’s families. As a youngster at the time, I was never put on front line with the area, so it gave me the opportunity to study the leaders before me at how they were able to take out these cats with pinpoint accuracy. Their leadership left a great impression on me, and I desired to be just like them.
One night, while everyone else was asleep, I ventured out into the forest by myself, without any other chaperones with me. I grave risk, I now know, but I was young, stupid, and had no concept of death as no one too close to me had been killed yet and I had a little understanding.
So I used our Zanzibar walk and crept through the forest silently. I knew of one cat that we called Slice. We called him Slice because anytime he killed somebody in the town, it was by a slice of the claws on their neck, so we always knew that this would be him. Somebody was able to click him once with an arrow before he got away, and he was left with an arrow straight through his ear.
As I ventured the forest, I decided to get on high ground. I had spike shoes, and a pick axe, and it allowed me to climb a tree very high where I was able to get a good view of the forest below.
I saw a shadow in the forest lurking in the moonlight for a kill. As I stared at it closer, and my eyes adjusted, I saw a reflection come from the shadow, of an arrow tip. As it approached the tree below where I was, I began trembling when I realized it was Slice. I had a feeling he knew I was in the trees and was playing slow with me to sneak up on me. I paused, grabbed an arrow, took aim, and waited for the perfect shot. My heart racing, my head was spinning, but my hands were steady. Out of nowhere, Slice began a spring, jumped on the tree, and was climbing quickly up towards me. My arrow was ready for fire, but I knew I needed one clean shot to take him out and save myself. As he was sprinting up the tree, there were so many branches in the way, my shot was hard to find. He climbed and climbed higher and closer to me at a speed I never thought imaginable. As he made his final pounce toward me, he was in midair, and I released the arrow. Stuck that mofo straight between the eyes, and as his body flew in the air, it stopped right before it reached me, and I could see his eyes looking at me as he fell back to the forest floor, dead.
I took out a leopard. I saved some of my fellow Zanzibar citizen’s lives. From that day, I knew I could achieve something. I was special in my own eyes. I needed to reach greatness. This was my first step stone.