His grandmother had called him Insalubrious from a very early age.
He recalled the way she spat the word at him from her chair in the corner of her tiny room.
Later she shorted it to Insy.
He kept the name and allowed school acquaintances to use it.
It suited him far better than his real name. Nobody, as far as he was concerned, should be named Wally.
As time dragged him kicking and screaming towards his teens he watched her crumble before his reticent eyes.
She called him Insalubrious one last time before breathing her last.
While waiting for the ambulance to arrive he reached for her battered, well-thumbed dictionary and flicked the pages until he reached her moniker for him.
He had to admit that she wasn’t far wrong. If the rumours were correct and he was the one responsible for the untimely passing of his parents and now is grandmother, the name was dead on.
He closed the book, deep in thought and began tapping it against his hairless chin.
He could keep the name; allow it to cloak his future, much as it had sullied his past. It wouldn’t be too much hardship. Or, and this was fresh ground for the young man, he could pick a new name and see what the reborn him could achieve.
It could be fun, he thought. I won’t be living around here. No one will know me.
He lowered the book, put his thumb at the back and allowed the sheets of paper to flick by, the mustiness of the old paper wafting to his nostrils…before…stopping on…Hoyden. He read the description and winced, before trying again.
I want change, but not that much of a change, he thought sardonically.
He stopped the pages once again…and read the first word he came to…Tyro.
He had to admit that it was almost perfect.
To seal the deal he crossed the room and performed an act on his grandmother he had never considered doing in all the time they had spent in each other’s company.
He looked down upon her frail, greying features, mused at how peaceful she looked and then kissed her gently on her forehead.