"X marks the spot!" the father called out to his son.
The journey had ended in the amazon where the two of them stood about to uncover the treasure hidden within the ancient native burial tomb. The tomb which was of course located conveniently beneath the stack of couch cushions in the living room. The little boy squealed with delight when he found the treasure to be a bag of junk food. Contraband his mother was not to know of.
As the two of them sat on the freshly righted couch munching on gummy works and chips, the young boy looked outside. A question formed in his mind which he'd wondered before.
"That is my name."
"How come we never go outside?"
The father was silent for a minute as he thought how to answer.
"Tell you what, I've got a story that might help explain."
"Okay," the boy said, more than happy to hear a story.
"Once there was a great warrior named Xander. All the people loved him and he loved them. Every day he would ride out into the world and fight on their behalf. At night he would bring his trophies back with him. The heads of troll and ogres, the bloody scales from a fierce dragon, became common sights in his village. It seemed that there was nothing the brave man couldn't do.
"Then one day the hero set out on what would be his last adventure. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary as he traveled across a rocky land filled with many ruts and ditches. Then quite suddenly he was ambushed. His horse was struck and lay down dead. Xander dove into the nearest ditch. Overhead strange lights burst above his head. The great hero had been attacked by a coven of witches.
"He searched his fallen horse for his bow and found it broken. Left with just a sword and shield, for the first time in his life Xander was afraid. He knew he couldn't just stay in that ditch though. So, with shield raised he drove towards the witches. The first two fell quickly as he deflected shots away. But the third witch would seal his fate."
"Xander didn't die?" the nervous boy asked.
"Not quite," the father smiled solemnly, "As he neared the last witch he felt the hatred in her radiating off her like a hot sun. Without hesitation he thrust his sword through her. Before she died she managed to cast a spell on him. Just a single word and he was caught in her spell. Agoraphobia.
"He returned to the village that night to the usual applauds, but he couldn't stand to hear it this time. he quickly made his way through the crowds, till he reached his home, all the time feeling like he was drowning. Once safely inside, he shut his door against the outside world. From that day on he was afraid to leave his house, even to go to the market. He wouldn't open the door for anything or anyone."
The boy was fidgeting as he looked at his father who had tears rolling down his eyes.
"Didn't he ever leave his home again?" the boy asked.
"Once, " the father replied, and offered his son a bright smile, "when his son was born."
The boy was quite happy with that answer but presently provided a thought.
"Xander, that's mom's nickname for you. Short for Alexander, right?"
The father looked up at a shelf where his purple heart was displayed next to picture of him in full uniform.
"Yes sir. I'm Xander."