They say that I come from a family of heroes. And I suppose that is true. Uncle George, who rescued an entire family from a burning building. Cousin Bethany, the dashing soldier. Cousin Allister, who sailed his boat up river and discovered the Lost Tribe of Allawak. My father, the boxer and revolutionary. Great Aunt Marya, who sang so sweetly that she brought down the Monster Carescu, him and his entire government. Great great great Gramma Florence and Granpa Sidney, who together fought brigands for some queen in some other country. They were quite dashing I am told. As others are told. So many members of my family.
But there is one relative that is seldom spoken of. It is from she that I take my inspiration, the only person in my family to stop a war, Ugly Aunt Frances. And she was ugly, a truly hideous woman, misshapen and malformed, drooling from one side of her mouth and unable to do otherwise. One brown eye and one milky white, and no one was quite sure which was her good eye. She walked with a limp, or three, and one arm was longer than the other, the shorter arm with very few fingers. She often gasped for breath, and had a hump on her back that forced her to stoop.
She took all this with great grace. And her family, tried to help, but when you are that ugly, there is only so much to do. She bore taunts, she bore rocks thrown at her, and she continued on. And when she came of age, she left home to make her way. She went to the most benighted places in the world, where children are snatched away and made to fight by evil men. And she fixed it. But they never said how.
There is one story they tell, though not often, which perhaps explains it. The one day she stopped a war. As it goes, there are two sides in some awful war, shooting at each other from behind rocks and trees, and she just walked into the middle of it, in all her ugly. She took no mind of the bullets that whizzed by, and soon they stopped. Combatants just stopped, shocked at a person so ugly that it defied all reason. Generals, furious at this, came to yell at their soldiers, and stopped quiet at the sight of her.
She was the anti-Helen, stopping the war right there. With a face that stopped a thousand bullets. For one look at her, who could doubt that there was no just god, who could make such a creature? Who could doubt the great cast nothing that lay beyond? She was the living proof that this was a cruel world indeed, and that there was no reward other than the world itself. And when you know that fact, when this is truly something you understand, there is no need for war, there is only the need to do something better and greater, to make the world shine in glory. It is Aunt Frances who stopped a war with her face, and it is from her example that I shall learn from, when I come of age and walk the world. I have my family's honor to uphold.