In the land of Kang, we have four Elders: Two males and two females. We have never seen their faces before, for if we look into their eyes all memory is lost for the one who looked the deepest into their eyes. The Elders come to Kang from time to time. We are given warning of their appearance, but there are some who do not make it in time…my father was one of them; we found him wandering near the Kudlo Forest, he couldn’t even remember his own name. A Racker was about to take him , but my sister and I found him just in time.
They’re dangerous…Rackers. They are hunchback beasts with claws like iron, and six-inch razor sharp teeth…they have a paralyzing death screech…if it reaches your ears you are paralyzed and that’s when they take you. This Racker did not let out a paralyzing death screech…I never understood why. But this is not a story of my father, this is a story about me…my name is Aksel, it means father of peace. One day I was searching for food near the Kudlo Forest when I heard what sounded like quieted, almost majestic sounding voices. Do you know what I mean by majestic? Their voices were deep, loud, clear, calm…proud. I moved closer, mesmerized by the voices, to see who they belonged to…then I saw them. The four Elders, they were dressed in crimson red and gold, with crowns upon their heads, standing elegantly in a dark clearing of the forest. They appeared to be talking to a Racker. I tried to move closer but the Racker saw me and screeched its paralyzing death screech. I covered my ears, and closed my eyes, panicking as I could not move any further! Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, it stopped. Still holding my hands over my ears I lifted my head, opened my eyes, and looked straight into the eyes of a female Elder and fell to the ground. When I woke I was on a bed, and a woman was sitting next to me: her eyes were red and black, stained with dry tears and constant rubbing. It was my mother…but how could I remember that? I sat up confused. She looked at me with sadness then asked a simple question, “what is your name?” She looked down as the words rolled off her lips, she rubbed her achy hands across her knees. She was wearing her green dress again, the one my father gave to her. She knew the answer I was going to give to her; she heard her husband say it to her only 3 years past. “My name is Aksel.” I remember saying, my mother immediately looked at me with confusion and disbelief. I could not believe it either. But my memories were still…here. I remembered everything, so again I repeated, “my name is Aksel, it means father of peace. You named me after my grandfather…..Mother….I remember everything.”