Xander's Chance (Prologue: Xander's Origins Chapter One, page 1 of 15)


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The boy ran through the crowded marketplace, dodging merchants' carts and weaving through the patrons. Masked and hooded to hide his deformity, Xander relied on his special senses, the ones that no one else possessed. He was able to see, hear, smell and predict the actions of those around him. The world moved like it was in slow motion, giving him time to react with unnatural agility.

A full head and shoulders taller than other kids his age, he had lost the ability to work with the rest of the street urchins. No one took pity on a young man in a mask the way they did a cute little boy with dirty hands and huge, innocent eyes. Xander was forced to learn to use his special skills to steal from the market's patrons rather than beg with the rest of the kids. He was able to creep up, snatch a purse and run before anyone registered that the hooded youth ever approached.

Today, however, he wasn't lifting anyone's coppers. He used his gifts to get him home, fast, after another of his senses tipped him off. Sometimes, he could even hear the thoughts of others. It was this strange talent that warned him of something very bad.

He reached the hovel he shared with his mother beyond the edge of the city, where all those who lived in poverty were similarly exiled. The one-room shack was neat, with pallets on one side, a fire at its center, a small area to prepare food and crates lining one wall that acted both as storage and seating.

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