Toon River Anthology, part 8
[*in the Bandar tongue]
I was born to follow the proud destiny of my father
And his father, and his father, and all their fathers
All the way back to the first Phantom in 1536.
I trained rigorously for years, learning science,
Languages, literature, martial arts, armaments,
Just as my fathers had before me.
But our fathers could not teach us who to love,
Or teach a heart to weigh consequences,
And because my father followed his heart, rather than tradition,
I was not suitable for my own destiny. I was miscast.
Father seemed not to notice. Perhaps he was acting too,
Perhaps he was truly oblivious. I played my part.
He was pleased with me right up to the day of his death.
And then I did what I had to do. I looked around
And found another who could fill the role I couldn't,
And avenge my father's death.
I franchised my destiny. I gave my birthright to another
For the sake of the legend of the undying Phantom.
I found one, light-skinned, well-formed, strong, quick-thinking, ruthless.
Now his dynasty will continue the work my forefathers did.
Though I've grown fat and bald, I continue to advise him
Behind the scenes. It's best this way. After all,
Who could ever believe in the myth of the eternal Ghost
When confronted by an undersized half-Bandar
With a round head made to wear a lampshade?
originally published at the Comics Curmudgeon