Coming of Age

A young boy. Maybe five years old.

Gingerly. Crawls. Out of bed.

Mahjong tiles. Crash. Like waves. Upon the shore. Four tables set in the distance. Down the hall. His mom. Her friends. His aunts. Laugh, chatter and scramble. The tiles.

Fear set. In deep. He didn't. Want to. Go to. Sleep.

He had. In his room. Shared with. A little brother. Heard. Thought. Felt. A voice. In his mind. A warning. He would not. Heed.

At twenty five. He worked. To make. Money. For his mom. For his dad. For his brother. Answering phones. All day. Suited him. Well.

But little. Did he. Know.

That it would be. All in vain. For you see. The boy. In the mirror. Was not. The man you see. Today. But a shell. Empty. Afraid. And alone.

His uncle. Had passed. And it tore. At him. For not. More than. A year ago. Had his nerves. Been shot. From a terrible. Crash of his psyche.

Like a mirror thrown. To the floor. It shattered. Into a trillion pieces. Reflecting faces of those around the room. His uncle, his cousin, his brother, his grandfather and his father.

They witnessed. The day. This boy broke and buckled. His fear of death. Had carried with him. From those years ago. Where he had not found. Comfort.

Had manifested into something. Different. It crippled. The boy in the streets. So many fears. Washed through his mind. Then.

Paranoid, schizophrenic, bipolar, anxiety, depression and delusion of grandeur. Had pounced upon. This boy's mind. But they were all facets. Of the same, clear image of Fear.

When the boy looked. Into the mirror. He did not. See. The reflection of a healthy young man. But instead. Was greeted.

By a devil in disguise. Gaunt, frail, starved and weak beyond his years. He was always. A quiet boy, they would say.

What they did not know.

This boy. Life. Ruled by a story. It narrated. Itself. Into his mind. He had. Witnessed. The death of a young girl. Who. Died. Of a heart attack. At the young age of seven.

This girl in his mind. Was his. Soul mate. Saddened by this fact. The boy continued on. Went to college. Became his dad. A revolutionary accountant. He wanted to over throw. A government. The young boy too.

Wanted to. Save the world. Just like. His dad. But he had. No idea. What the world. Was like. Out there. So he. Imagined it.

He built. A world. Called. Faithlan. In the east Klendar and Thaylen. To the north Blythe and Stormwell. To the south. Ilimain and the Moors. Finally to the west. Lay Naroch and Ikante. Places in his mind. That mirrored our world.

At it center was Lerra. Named after the Goddess. Of the heavens.

Faithlan was the world. Klendar was Canada. Thaylen was Russia. Blythe was China. Stormwell was Europe. Ilimain, the land of the dark skinned folk of many nations of our world. The Moors, the freelands ruled by migrant refugees. A blood feud stricken as it were. Between the southern nations like the Jews and the Muslims. Naroch Japan and Ikante Korea.

The boy. Crafted his world. To be the opposites of reality.

He was. Not very creative. He had. A stuffed toy alien. A kodak color. Green. It had. A name. Greenie. A gift by his cousin. A teddy bear. With a tag. Alfie. His other toys Bluee, Fluffy, Rosie. Not very creative. But apt enough he guessed.

The figures, the toy guns, the bikes, the soccer balls, the fluffed toys. All shaped his world.

He began to see color in Thane a red and gold. In Klendar the colors of autumn yellow and orange. Stormwell grey. Lerra blue and white. Ilimain remained brown and silver. The moors dressed in. All colors. Blythe light blue and light grey. Naroch black. Ikante purple or violet.

There were. So much to these worlds. That it. Meant more to him. Than this real one. Escaping as often as he could. Daydreaming, playing and writing. All about this world.

When it shattered. He realized. He had. Been. Sitting in an eye of a storm. Reality tornado-ing around him. Long had he been. Sleeping. Dreaming of a world better than the one. He lived in.

Or so. He thought.

For you see. When this boy awoke. To his own body of a man. Those broken pieces. Of the mirror. Now showed different. Facets of who had become.

No longer. Was there a fearful boy. a frail man. But a healthy person staring back at him. A small smile. Crept it's way. Onto his face. So many wrongs to right. So much time to reclaim.

It reminded him. A fascination of placing a mirror against another mirror and looking at yourself between the two. It potrays. An endless image of oneself.

Any one of these boys. Could be me. Anyone of these men. Could be who I. Become.

The beauty of the mirror. Was not in the beholder. But the simple choice. Not to fear. Who you were. Or. What you'd become.

Just to see. The beauty of who. You are.

You may be broken. Like the boy. Seeming dangerous to touch or get close to.

But a fragment can also. Say. So. Much.

So don't be afraid. Pick up the pieces. For you never know. Who will. Pass the same way. Again.

That was. The warning. The boy. Thought he. Heard.

Renewed with this knowledge.

He tore. Down. The world. He built. Deleted. The stories that narrated. His life. And set out to find. Each of those fragments. He had lost.

For he knew. In each facet of the mirror. Another piece of who he could truly be.

He wanted now.

Things denied.

A girl. To love.

A child. To care.

A life. To live.

A moment to bear. All the weight of the things he had lost. In throwing down the mirror. Oh so long ago.

Amends to make.

People to hug.

Friends to find.

And a world to save.

His world.

All it took. Was for him. To realize. All the things he feared. Had made him stronger than he could have. Imagined.

Thanks to:








February 20, 2023 08:40

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Kathy Trevelyan
23:15 Mar 01, 2023

Hi Zion, I really enjoyed reading this. The stuttering fragmentation of the sentences showed his state of mind and experience of the world so well. Then, towards the end, the word structures changed to show him becoming one with himself and acknowledging his hopes and dreams. A great interpretation of a tricky challenge.


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Rodrigo Juatco
12:22 Feb 20, 2023

Damn Zion. That is the best thing you have ever written. Thoroughly enjoyed it. From the imagery of shattered piece of people in your life, the endless reflections of yourself as a stream of possibilities, to the counterpoint of living in two worlds in search of an identity. I also like how you ended in a positive note. Truly moving. I could feel your passion and motivation in writing this piece. Almost felt cathartic in nature, a confession of sorts. Have a good feeling about this one. Hopefully, you will be the first of us to win. Good luck.


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