Map of the World MAG

By Amanda E., Cardo, PA

     He walked with a jump in his gait; heartbeats tap-danced in his chest and were echoed in each step. Every step was a step toward a future he wasn’t ready for. On his face was a plane of fresh, flat skin; on his hands, stories; on his fingers, words; his lips, kisses; his eyes reading the writing on the wall but not wanting to hear the message. It’s your turn now, son echoed off his eardrums, pounded on his anvils, stood in his stirrups, beat with his hammer, and swirled through the canals to his brain. His mind buzzed with everything that surrounded him: the cool ground that touched the tips of his big toes as he dragged them, prolonging the inevitable; the red flags that fluttered behind the lines of soldiers that pre- vented him from stepping to the side and fleeing his fate; the mile-long walk; the guns that glistened, unused but poised to bite at a kneecap or elbow; the looks of calm respect in the soldiers’ eyes because they knew their job: protect the young man, with his head shaved so close that the only shadows were of the little pebbles of hair that dared peek out, too scared to face the masses; the mile-long walk that was now only a quarter of a mile; the slapping of his sandals on the cobblestone; the look that would undoubtedly be on the Emperor’s face.

The Emperor’s face, rippled with oceans of wisdom, ridged with mountains of knowledge, a map of the world on his face, words as smooth as silk on his tongue, hands that tingle the skin, shake a little, have rivers of veins snaking their way along their lengths, tributaries of blemishes and scars wrapping around bones that have been hurt and bruised, loved by a woman with eyes so deep in love, so deep brown, so thoroughly encompassing, that when they fell upon the Emperor, his thoughts were grains of sand on a beach, swept away to the depths of the sea, maybe to resurface when he did from her eyes, alive and breathing and ready to grow old with her. Ready to be a leader, to lead his nation, to learn his traditions and to raise a family who would appreciate the crevices in his face. The map that details everywhere he’s been, and predicts, tells where his son, the future of the nation, will go: from Japan to Russia to America to France, to fall in love and writhe in the pain of hate, to feel the hunger of his people and to bathe in the gluttony of his own wealth, swimming in the fact that one day he would die.

And the young man who walked one mile from his room to the steps of the palace, lined on both sides with thousands of guards; with red flags flapping and symbolizing a new dynasty; with sandals shuffling in fear, in anticipation, something the Emperor wouldn’t understand because he outgrew that emotion decades ago. He would take his place, would feel the cool waters of the brook that ran through the palace, would fall in love with a pretty princess from another province, would go places, would experience things and would become a map, an atlas, a picture of the future and a picture of the past. On the steps as a blank canvas, his almond-shaped eyes full of questions that would only be answered by sitting on the Emperor’s throne, by growing up, by being the future, by excelling beyond his yesterdays and becoming tomorrow today. The writing was on the wall, he just didn’t want to read the message.

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This article has 33 comments.

Dont said...
on Dec. 23 2011 at 8:19 pm
Dont use the story as an excuse to advertise your petty stories.

Dont said...
on Dec. 23 2011 at 8:19 pm
Dont use the story as an excuse to advertise your petty stories.

Dont said...
on Dec. 23 2011 at 8:18 pm
Dont use the story as an excuse to advertise your petty stories.

i sense said...
on Dec. 23 2011 at 8:17 pm
lots and lots of sacasm

serisuly? said...
on Dec. 23 2011 at 8:17 pm
i dont really think so!

on Sep. 4 2011 at 9:25 am
WednesdayWrites BRONZE, Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are not amused." --Queen Victoria

This is an excellent piece, very well-written and thoroughly gripping.

on Jul. 22 2011 at 2:20 pm
MountEverest GOLD, Fort Worth, Texas
17 articles 2 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?" By William Shakespeare

This piece is... brilliant!!!!!! So wonderful and very well written!!!! My eyes were glued to the computer screen i want to read more!! Keep up the good work who knows you might become famous!!

on Mar. 12 2011 at 9:16 pm
Braves1011 BRONZE, Newton, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 14 comments
awesome story. the details were great. you're a great writer. please check my work out and comment

on Oct. 31 2010 at 11:13 am
dragonhawk17 BRONZE, North Andover, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, it's not the end.

Wow. I always hear that you should show, not tell, and this story does just that. Great job!

teen_queen said...
on Jul. 13 2010 at 2:19 am
That was really good! Please read my story, Love or Drama and remember to rate and comment, bye! Again, great job on your article!

on Feb. 26 2010 at 12:22 pm
all i can say is wow!! this is a great story!

on Nov. 13 2009 at 9:18 pm
very_literary SILVER, Ballwin, Missouri
7 articles 0 photos 46 comments
This was great, I loved how you compared the lines on his face to a map. I love to write poems comparing things in nature to other things. Could you read my poem at

evie428 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 13 2009 at 4:13 pm
evie428 BRONZE, Ontario, Other
4 articles 1 photo 88 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination."

Very good! The first time I read it, I was a bit confused. (I think there were too many adjectives!) but other than that, great work! I'd like to read more!

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