Life is like a tattoo. Painful, but full of meaning, permanent, but removable. That’s the philosophy Chris carried, tattooed across his chest. Poetic, and just cheesy enough to win the hearts of many women. As a trans korean man living in the most Republican section of Alabama, he had to use what advantages he had in the dating game. It would only be natural that his unknown patron goddess be Peitho. How else could he bypass getting ripped to shreds in the bible belt?
No girl could ever get past the idea of him not being able to bear kids, or that he had the same reproductive organs as the women he went out with. It can get kind of frustrating when you're far away protege still can’t find success in love, so it was only natural for Peitho to sweep down from the heavens, persuade the girls into fits of jealousy, and have a one night stand with the dork she secretly loved. A few months after, she even produced a child a for him, something he never expected in his wildest dreams. Take that, small minded bible belt bishes.As a single dad, he somehow found himself swamped with girls. Unfortunately, they were all superficial and interested in converting him. No one could compare to the goddess of seduction.
They once again moved to a slightly less populated area of Alabama, which may seem like an idiotic thing for a divorce lawyer to do, except the divorce rate in that particular town had one much larger than the national average. Cha-ching Cha-ching. It’s here that Sawyer grew up, suffering from such ignorance and whiteness that people presumably thought him and his dad to be the town’s only black family. Yay for not recognizing the difference between poc’s. For these excellent reasons, Chris stayed stealth, and as the only divorce attorney his business couldn’t be better.
Did the kids particularly love him? Let’s put it this way. If some weird looking foreigner was the son of the person who caused my parent’s divorce, my ignorant ass too would be kicking the shit out of Sawyer to this very day. For these reasons, he’s a salty guy with online bff’s and roleplaying account. Not that he isn’t charismatic, but sometimes when you get people to fall in love with you, they still want to throw rocks at your head, especially if you balance roasting and sweet talk effortlessly. As humans are animals, there was an apex predator throughout school, who had no qualms with making Sawyer’s life living hell.
Johnny, named to make it more stereotypical all american white, also enjoyed hunting and watching animals suffer, because that’s what all sadistic jockstraps do. Even at 13, the kid was a pain in the everywhere. Especially for birds, who received all the lovely rocks he found while walking. One time, he literally tried to kill the peace, aka, a white dove on an olive branch. Ironic? Not as ironic as the kid he hates the most showing up and sweet talking him into leaving the bird alone. Sure, Sawyer paid for it the next day, but at least Johnny left. The bird was bleeding profusely, one wing broken. It had no chance in living, until he gave it one. Sawyer took the bird home, nursing it back to health. In four months, he finally tried to set it free. The bird left, leaving a tearful Sawyer, only to come back and peck him into annoyance. From there, they shared a bond, even if Sawyer liked to pretend he hated the bird.
Johnny wasn’t the only hunter, even if Sawyer never killed any animals. He and his father shot arrows at paper animals in the woods on the weekend as a bonding experience. That’s how he encountered, and killed, the harpy that came flying at him while out hunting. His father didn’t see a thing, but between the celestial bronze arrows he found in his quiver, and the shower of sparks the screaming lady coming at him fell into when he shot her with one of them, Sawyer definitely knew something was up.
Life proceeded like this for a while, his monthly supply of “bronze arrows” keeping him from being monster meat. His only confidant, his best friend on the internet, for some reason believed him. Maybe the combination of this and her generally accepting him as a friend led him to love her, and he made the mistake of revealing it to her. In his defence, he’s really only used to girls throwing themselves at him. The girl turned him down so hard, it broke him for a month, and he stopped all contact with her.
If life is a tattoo, then Sawyer was just reaching the transformative part of his life, in which he suffered pain like no other. He went into a deep depression, his bird and dad his only comforts. Johnny bullied him more and more. Sixteen years old, he wasn’t about to make smart decisions. Sawyer used his charms in different ways, ending up finding communion with the holier than thou girls of the town through carnal knowledge. He may have also gotten to know Johnny’s current girlfriend.
Sawyer thought he would die the night Johnny held his head under water. What he didn’t know is, much like his father, he had a secret supporter. Godly parents can never do anything to help their children, but other gods can, and he’d caught the eye of a certain magic goddess. Perhaps it was the spell book he found that connected the two, or his natural ability to mess with the mist, despite not realizing his demigod status. Sawyer “slipped” through Johnny’s hands, and was able to swim away from his bully. The Alabama river is an unpleasant place to swim at night, but he was alive. Escaping the river at a different area, he met the mystery woman. Instinctively, he knew she’d saved him. Without a word, she let him know he would need her once more, and her help would not be free. In flash, she abandoned him to his destiny.
A bird should never be caged, bad things happen. The day Sawyer caged his dove was the day the town found out his father was trans. Sawyer came to school, only to be met with signs with slurs, then later photoshopped images of his father on women. He ran from school to check on his dad, only to find his office had been brick’d. Chris was bloodied and shaken, but alive. He vowed to protect his father, a vow that spiraled him into chaos. All was quiet till nightfall, when assailants broke into his house and set it on fire. Sawyer managed to escape with his bird and dad, to find Johnny and his crew behind the house. Quickly, Sawyer set the dove free and told his father to run as he squared off against his archnemesis. The first two attackers beat him bloody, which is when he unknowingly used his charming abilities, to get them to back off. This gave him a clear shot at Johnny, whom he talked by the legs. The fall wouldn’t have been as damaging if his head hadn’t hit a stone. The cronies screamed, calling 911. Sawyer ran away. By morning, the town knew Johnny was dead, and Sawyer missing.
There was a price on his head, the nation on a manhunt to find Sawyer. He changed his appearance, hid, his only supplies money stolen, the magic book, and pepper spray. Only the love of a pet could drive someone enough to find him, so sure enough the dove did. For three years they were on the run, moving in and out of country between mexico and the u.s. The more he read, the more he learned, the closer he became to Hecate in spirit. Monsters still attacked him, but being in hiding taught him how to run from monsters too.
Sawyer couldn’t run forever, and he couldn’t protect everything, in the end. His father’s murder forced the nineteen year old to return to his home, the two dimensional prison of his life. Older, stronger, more dangerous, and yet still recognizable. The townspeople of course, called the police. Hellhounds he’d escaped so long gathered round, ready to finally catch their prey. It was the ultimate final showdown, starting in a cemetery. First the swat came at him, then the beasts. The two terrors of his life trampled each other in the effort to kill him, mass confusion his ally. The cemetery was rigged with traps he’d placed, and while getting scraped, he did escape. The monsters chased after him, but he reached the place where he’d hid his bow and arrows. Aim rusty, he was still able to pick them off. A final hellhound was left by the time his arrows ran out, and he couldn’t think of any spells to save himself. He was frozen. Just as death descended, the dove flew out of nowhere, attacking the lone dog. It swatted it out of the sky, as if the dove was nothing, but it was the distraction Sawyer needed. He lept forward, a sword forming in his hand by a power newly known to him, impaling the beast. The dove was beyond saving.
Sawyer cried furiously. To someone else, it was just a bird, but for him, the dove was his only companion, the one constant in his life. He wasn’t ready to give him up yet. Hecate appeared once again, offering him a choice. She would save the bird, on the condition that he became indentured to her. Selfishly, he agreed, and so she binded the birds spirit to his, it’s soul a permanent mark upon his skin, a moving tattoo. The dove could move, fly, it’s black ink happily shifting from skin to skin. Sawyer realized the truth too late. This was their cage. Just as the bird could no longer truly be a bird, he no longer could be himself, his life sold to the goddess, the dove no longer free. She had caged them, and left. The feeling left him breathless, angry. Angry enough to start a fire. At first, his only intention had been to burn the town hall, the representation of the town that ruined him. He never dreamt the fire would spread. This time, it wasn’t he who disappeared.
He had run from his crime, only to find his crime never existed. That morning, when he returned to the plot of his life, there was nothing. Of course, he could see signs of fire, but when people came drove by, they never stopped to look. One internet search proved it could not be found. Records showed it was imaginary. His arrest warrant? A dream. Even more shocking, he wasn’t even in the system. No one who had lived in the town was. An eery feeling told him the goddess was involved. Sawyer tried to find out more about her, and ended up discovering the existence of camp, following clues from all he interviewed. This also lead him to the BC, a darker, less god worshipping group. At first, he planned to join the bloodiest faction, but his bird reminded him of his humanity, and that of others. Even if they weren’t animals, not everyone was quite as cartoonish as the people from his childhood. This lead him to seek out Civitas, which offered a more planned out solution. In all this time, and searching, Hecate never once contacted him. Sawyer doesn’t know what she wants from him, but he knows he may not like it once he does find out. He leaves out his enslaved status to Civitas when he pleads to join them, knowing in his heart this may have been exactly what the goddess had wanted.