There the little emperor sat upon his tiny throne of stone. Huddled around him were his fellow creatures, their eyes dim. They drank bubbling acorn tea to warm themselves slightly against the cold breeze from the sea. As the great, sagacious emperor leaned forward about to speak, his cape of crimson leaves rustled and his old body creaked. Before speaking and telling them their task, he motioned for them with a small blink from his eye to take the secret masks from their faces. They removed them slowly, as their withered fingers moved down their faces. Now they were caught, for he could see every thought. Desperate claws slithered from his mind to gather their feelings which he was to bind. He did this with agility, forgetting his frailty and weakness. With his tiny arms, he thrust the bundle with alarm high into the darkening sky. As the wind caught it with might, it blew away the shallow creatures who sat looking up with fright. The bundle of thoughts was magically untied and opened, letting its contents fall in the form of minuscule tokens; fall like rain on everything plain. Warm everything with feelings and colored seasonings. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.