More importantly than the work itself is the impact it had on my writing in general. At the time I began writing the piece, my understanding of grammar was fairly deficit. Growing up, I was a special needs student with behavioral problems, which made my teaching environment rather unique. I knew how to use periods, exclamation points and question marks properly, but other grammatical rules (such as the proper way to use a comma or semicolon, or how to separate paragraphs) were nonexistent. This being the case, I wrote the entire story as one continuous paragraph consisting of sentences built solely around periods, exclamation points and question marks. Only after the story was completed did I go back and add in commas, semicolons and so forth. All that being said, writing The Tear Collector singlehandedly taught me the rules of language.
Alright, enough history! The actual story concerns a 16-year-old boy (haha!) by the name of Fleo (Latin=to cry) who is orphaned at an early age and left to fend for himself in a bustling metropolis in an unnamed land, surviving in the home of and off the fortune left by his father after he committed suicide. For as long as he can remember, he has felt this sickening pain in his soul that has never left him. While attempting suicide, Fleo dips into the Dark (the afterlife constituted by Light and Dark, respectively), but miraculously returns to the realm of the living - only with a horrible secret. His secret is discovered by the tyrannical emperor of the metropolis Sir Malus Contemno (Latin = evil and despised) who desires to capture him. Fleo is lead into the uncharted woods that surround the city by a man named Sapiens (Latin = wisdom) to protect him, and the hunt begins. The rest of the story consists of his escape into the woods and the people he meets there, discovering the forgotten history of the land along the way.
The small section I have included here is taken from the chapter entitled The Girl in Blue a third of the way through the novel. Fleo has met a wandering girl in the woods by the name of Angelus (Latin=the angel). We find them in the wee hours of the night sitting beneath a hulking willow tree, its branches aglow with fireflies and insects. It reads from the point of view of Fleo and, well, let's indulge, shall we?