Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Set your story at a park during a spring festival.... view prompt


Coming of Age

I perch on one of the branches of a tree, and spy on the people who are preparing for the festival. It is in the field in the park, and on the edges of the field, there is a forest. That's where I am now.

The festival will celebrate many of our gods, but the most important will be Ceraura and Cedsin, siblings and the God and Goddess of spring. The second most important is their father, Tuagi the God of Seasons. Some of the other gods we will celebrate are Phuzenta, Goddess of strength, Azotz, God of the Sun, and many more.

They put up the tents made out of flowing white fabric that sways in the wind. They decorate the area with garlands, but they leave the two biggest tents untouched.

When they have finished with the other tents, only a few go to the biggest tent. In the middle, someone places a small wood table, about a foot high. They put a flower garland over the table and drape a piece of cloth with intricate patterns and many colors over the table. They place a vase on the cloth and inside is a single flower.

I know it is the first flower of spring. I can feel the power radiating from it.

They start to add more decorations, but I am already off, zooming through the trees using my Sonis. I soon find my friend Alma in the lake, watching two water figures fight. One is tall and thin but clumsy. The other is short and thick but slow. Another fight goes on next to that one with two skilled swordsmen.

Finally, the blade slips out of the clumsy one's hand and pierces the slow one before he can get away. The other fight evaporates when Alma sees me.

"Taki!" She rushes out of the water and hugs me. Did you see that? My control is so much better than last time! I've been practicing."

"It was awesome. But we have to go get Laco, Salcu, Vitalos, Lychunus, and I don't know who else. Then we can build the treehouse village!

"Can Aquiris come?"

"He's young-"


"-but I can make an exception."

"Thank you!"

Alma hugs me again and we set off.


"I don't get why we are doing this," Salcu informs. "We should build it near our houses."

Salcu is thin, and tall, and asks a lot of questions, and once he makes up his mind about something, he never changes it.

"Yeah, but this way everyone can play in it, it's a public build."

"So we are building this for everyone but ourselves."

"No, we are each going to build a part, and then the rule is that you have to build a part if you want to hang out in the treehouse community.

"Treehouse town!" Aquiris pipes in, then giggles.

"And why is he here."

"Taki did it because I asked him to let Aquiris come. So shut up and listen to Taki."

Alma is the only one people will listen to, so I send her a grateful look when Salcu shuts up.

Laco is the first one to move. Laco's strong and tough with calluses and muscles. He also doesn't talk. He climbs up one of the trees, and takes out a handful of dirt that he surrounds the tree trunk with, then forces the dirt into something that looks solid. It is about an inch wide, and Laco climbs down to get more dirt.

Lanche and Brun come up behind me. 

"What are you doing?" Brun asks stiffly.

"Oh, calm down, they're making tree houses. "

Brun glances at Aquirirs, and his eyes soften. "Fine."

He goes to Aquiris and starts whispering into his ear. Aquiris' eyes light up.

Lanche rolls her eyes and climbs up another tree. She creates a little ice platform and sits on it, watching us.

Alma is already on another tree and beckons for me to come. I push the air back so far that it is like a rubber band about to snap. Then I let it go and soar straight into a seat of water Alma has made for me. She beams.


Soon, Gurate comes over. Gurate is my sister, and she's already dressed in flowing white robes with flower edges.

"Come down you guys. The ceremony is about to start, and Taki has going to do the Fantalekoh."

My eyes widen and I scramble down. I had forgotten it was my Fantalekoh celebration. It's a celebration once every time a season begins where you have to go through when you turn thirteen. No one talks about what happens during the Fantalekoh, but after it, you are an adult in the community.

Gurate leads me to the dressing tent and puts me in robes that are similar to hers, except she has a headdress of flowers, and I have a Kippah with flower patterns.

Then she pushes me to one of the big tents where Khali stands. Khali is basically the leader of all festivals and celebrations. She will lead my Fantalekoh.

Everyone is already in the tent, and I can feel their eyes on me. The last time this happened was with Montyo, and he. . .changed after his Fantalekoh. He became secluded and tight-lipped, not going outside. Before he was the most extrovert in the whole village, playing outside with him many friends, and talking non-stop.

I kneel before a marble basin filled halfway with clear water. Khali puts it to my lips and I drink.

Nothing happens for a moment. But then everything happens at once.

I'm floating in white. There is no up there is no down. There is no left and no right. It is just me and this endless white. It is an infinity room. I don't what to do, what I am supposed to do, what I SHOULD do.

Then there's a woman. She has pristine skin covered in a flowing white dress and flowers are tangled into her black hair. Next to her is a man with the same hair and the same skin, and his suit is the same color as her robes.

They are Ceraura and Cedsin. Brother and Sister. God and Goddess. Spring.

I can see silhouettes of a group of people in the distance. 

Ceraura speaks first. "After you will be welcomed as an adult, able to make your own decisions."

I nod

"What I will tell you is important. You must tell your village."


"No one has spoken yet. You may be the first."

"I'm not supposed to! The book says so!"

"We arrabove the book. We may twist the rules as we desire so to change the fate of death."

"I'm confused."

"This is not your Fantalekoh. After this will be your Fantalekoh. This is a warning. Warn your people that there is an army of thieves nearing your village. They will come in the night and slit your throats and take your stuff."

After the infinity room comes the Fantalekoh. It is like nothing that has ever happened to me before.


I gasp, and my eyes open. I am in the tent. My hands shake as I tell Khali what Ceraura told me. We stay up all night, and at midnight I can hear the battle from my bed.

When everyone comes back, they report that it was indeed a pack of thieves, and though they were not skilled fighters, they were able to wield a knife, and had many things that they had stolen from other villages.

They look at me in awe.


From then on I am talked about as the Gods' Vassel, but that was one time.

Now I live in a small cottage with a wife, two kids, and a dog. I have not been in touch with a God or Goddess since my Fantalekoh, but there is still time.

But for now, I am content to stay here forever.

March 20, 2021 19:57

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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