He had wanted to shed his killing name. Prison couldn’t do it, church couldn’t do it. He had left his old neighborhood and still it had followed him, whispered behind his back when they thought he wasn’t listening.
Then he had started making guns, began when his nephew had come to him with a grudge that he wouldn’t settle with anything but blood. He couldn’t even remember what it was about now, only the look of ascendancy in the boy’s eyes when he handed him the pistol. All of his talk of cessation and peacemaking had fallen on deaf ears. But after his nephew had used the gun and disposed of it, crafted as it was so it could never find its way back to him, the boy had become like a loyal servant, listening and obeying.
Others had come after him, each with their own desires, seeking redress or aspirations to power. Only then, he had learned, when they wanted something from him, could he tell them to stop using his killing name. After that, he was just Charles.