Sterling was a beautiful bundle of courage and wit, and we all hated him. He was tall, dark, and handsome, with a strong jaw and a defiant look in his eyes, and we all sat quietly and waited for him to die. There was no place for a thing like him in our settlement, with his powerful arms and his brazen heroic sentiment. He was a hunter of elite prowess, could and did take down a stampeding bison in minutes, armed only with a spear and his own hot pumping blood. The bastard dragged the beasts across the wet grass to the settlement, where he would present us with his latest prey, to be met with a mutual grumbling appreciation.
He had a clear and defined intelligence to him, some obvious understanding of the world behind his beautiful eyes that we all despised, and he spent days using sharp stones to scratch in patterns along the edges of old caves. It was an action none of us understood, but something in us knew that there was more to it than we realized – perhaps more than we could ever comprehend. His body was nearly hairless, and his skin was dark and beautiful, and we loathed him all the more for it. We crouched dirty in the settlement whilst he sauntered about with grace, fashioning more elegant tools than any of our clumsy hands would ever be able to operate.
As a boy, he would walk back to the settlement carrying larger game than most boys knew what to do with, with a pleading look in his beautiful eyes that begged for validation, for acceptance. Sterling always knew he was different, knew he was not like us, and over time he allowed himself to believe that he was better, and we started to believe it too. Perfect Sterling, who was better than all of us, whose perfect beautiful children were better than all of us. The perfect settlement he went off and founded across the valley was bountiful and prosperous, and over the years it became filled with things like him. We never saw him after he first left, he never came back, because he didn’t need us anymore. In the years after he left, all that remained of him were the markings he made in the stones, and even those, to us, were meaningless.