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The Path This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Path by K. L-J., Arlington, MA

He was born under all the right signs: a yellow sky, firestorms, frogs dropping from trees, his mother laughing as he was pulled from her body. She stopped laughing when he was taken away, but he was only a few hours old. She was not used to holding him yet. They explained with heavy words the immense honor it was to have a child chosen for The Path. She nodded solemnly, dared to ask if they would be paying her for this, her first child.

He didn't remember any of this, of course; he only knew what the Elders had told him. He had cried the first time, to hear that he had a real mother somewhere, that he had almost had a life of porridge and damp socks and bandaids and bedtime stories. It had all been stolen from him.

It is not something he allows himself to think about anymore, he is too busy learning the Sacred Words and watching the stars wither. It wouldn't do any good anyway, to think of such things. His mother is long dead. So are the children she had after him, boys and girls with his eyes but not his Sight. So, too, are the little boys down the road who would have been his playmates, his wrestling partners, his bullies and his shadows. And the little girls he would have teased, with pigtails for tugging and noses for tweaking. And the quiet one with the red hair that he would have eventually married. They're all dead now, he felt each passing like a quick pinch, even though they were all strangers to him. The old people, drooling and dry, who he brushes past on the way to The Temple. They are the grown and dying children of the children that he might have known. He walks through them with a sadness they wouldn't understand.

These are the things that a Sorcerer forces himself to forget. The sorcerer, the one who paints the sky across his arm, has no time for dust and nightmares and regret. Most think it is a Gift, he knows it is a Curse. To live forever, to watch everyone die around him with full lives behind them. To be alone.

But he must be alone when he spells and chants and creates. It is the only way. And afterwards, the silence is a heavy sea that tries to crush him, it fills his lungs and his stomach and his mouth. And his heart.

The magic builds a wall around him; he cannot be touched through it; he cannot see over the top. So he weaves time behind this wall, is envied and loathes himself. No spell can keep this sorcerer warm, he misses the girl with the red hair. He misses his mother; does not know that she died crying for him.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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DIVOted2MuSiC said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

hey, this is really really good, i enjoyed reading this, you really captured the emotions...it's exactly what i thought someone like that might feel

keep writing :)

 
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