Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

My Faust Legend

In the small village of Malum, there lived a child with the name of Flinn Huckleton. The Huckleton family had been in this village ever since the first inhabitant set foot on it. Flinn’s great great grandfather, Albert Huckleton, was a well-known clockmaker whose productions were proudly displayed in the homes of many neighbors. His clocks were so beautifully and sincerely designed that the mayor chose to display many of them in the town’s little museum. They carried a sense of originality, creativity, and genius in the profession that no other clocks were comparable. Albert and the entire Huckleton family died in an arsenic accident that destroyed the family’s assets and properties completely about a century ago. The only person lived after the fire was Flinn’s great grandfather. The only object left to remember Albert and the Huckleton’s ancestors was Albert’s last creation. Before he died, Albert made his last clock with extra care and effort, spending almost 2 years to perfect it. He carved and sanded the wood so carefully that its surface was as smooth as ice with the warmth of the integrity of the profession. Every corner of the clock was decorated with calligraphic proverbs passed down to Albert by his ancestors. The clock needles were made of pure gold, and every number was of platinum. One of the proverbs on the clock was “Be your best, not the best.” From the death of Albert, thousands of offers were made in an attempt to purchase this clock from the Huckleton family, but every one of them was turned down without hesitation. Despite the consistent refusals, every now and then another attempt was made to buy the clock.

When Flinn was born, his father passed away ten days afterward. His mother, Lauda, raised him singlehandedly while managing the Huckleton’s estate and taking care of his grandparents. Despite the overwhelmingly wealthy history of the Huckletons, Flinn’s father did not leave Lauda in times of peace. When he died, all that was left to Lauda was a small broken home with an extremely tight budget. Being the strong woman that she was, Lauda never did let Flinn and his grandparents live a day in poverty. She worked multiple jobs, managed to take care of a farm for the extra income, and still made an effort to household chores. For many years, Lauda never let her son know of her concerns and hardships. When money was tight, Lauda had to sell her own clothes to make ends meet, but she had never once thought of selling the family’s clock. She ate only once a day, slept on the floor every night, and barely ever went to the doctor when she was in urgent needs of medical assistance. Despite all of that, what was amazing was the fact that for many years, she endured these hardships without letting anyone know.

Although all necessities were provided to Flinn, he was never satisfied with what he had. He always asked for more from his mother without acknowledging her optimal effort. No one would ever find him helping his mother earning a better income, but people would typically see him making unnecessary expenditures. Flinn was never happy with his family situation. He wished that he was not a Huckleton. He wished that he was not poor. Instead of working to improve the living conditions for everyone in the family, Flinn spent countless hours blaming his mother for his misfortune and complaining about his fate. One day, for the first time in his life, his mother asked him to help her harvest the rice to sell in the market next week. Unwilling to do so, he denied his mother’s request. Instead of assisting his mother, he wandered off into the forest while cursing his unlucky fate. He was looking down on the mud road as he was walking. Suddenly, he felt a strong wind rushing through his shirt, giving him a melancholy feeling. Rain started pouring down and a thunderstorm was approaching before his eyes. Flinn started to run towards the closest home he could find and asked them to let him stay past the thunderstorm. When he knocked on the door, no one answered him, but he could tell that someone was home because he saw a lit candle through the window. He continued knocking on the door for a few minutes until the door automatically opened from a loosened lock. He glanced around the house and felt the warmth of inhabitants, but he could not spot anyone. As the thunderstorm was violently approaching, Flinn decided to step inside and inspect for himself whether anyone was home. He slowly made his way inside the house step by step yelling “Hello?!” No one answered him. A bowl of soup was still warm on the table; a pair of binoculars was placed on an opened book; and the wood in the fireplace was still burning. He continued to ask if anyone was home, but no one answered him. Suddenly, the wind rushed through the window and blew out the only source of light in the house, making it completely dark. Then, he heard footsteps approaching from his left but he could not see anything. As apprehension heightened, Flinn started to run out the house, but abruptly, someone placed his hand on Flinn’s shoulder, making it impossible for him to run away. A mysterious voice spoke, “Welcome.” Frightened and curious, Flinn did not respond. Then the voice said, “Where are you going and why are you here?” Feeling obligated to answer for the sake of his life, Flinn briefly explained his mother asking him to help her with the rice harvest. Through his description, the mysterious being sensed the dissatisfaction that Flinn had with his current life. The mysterious being offered Flinn a completely new luxurious life with all he ever wished for if Flinn promised the mysterious being his soul when he died. Without thinking at all, Flinn quickly agreed, not out of fear but with enthusiasm.

After the storm subsided, he made his way back home as the sun had set. When he was at a seeing-distance from the house, he saw a group of people surrounding it. Quickly, Flinn ran towards his property to learn of this occurrence. Much to his surprise, everything was destroyed. His house was in complete ruins. As the neighbors were helping Flinn searching through the ruins, they discovered that his grandparents were killed. Then a man quickly ran towards Flinn and told him that his mother was found dead in the rice farm during the storm because she struggled to leave the paddies as the water level rapidly rose. She fell into one of the water-reserve areas and drowned. Had anyone been there with her, she would have been saved. Amidst this miserable event, Flinn managed to go through the ruins to search for any valuables. The most valuable object that he found was Albert’s last clock. Although damaged in some way, it still carried the priceless values of a masterpiece.

The mayor once again offered a tremendous amount of money for the clock, a sum of money to which Flinn was not in any position to refuse. He sold the last memory of the Hickleton family. With the amount of money that he sold the clock, Flinn was able to do all that he wished for, living in complete luxury and forgetting about his mother and the Huckleton family. He moved away from Malum and bought himself a mansion no one else could afford. About 4 years later, Flinn was married. He and his wife gave birth to their son about 1 year later. Unfortunately, his son was diagnosed with a mysterious illness that doctors at the time had no knowledge of. The family was disheartened, and Flinn was willing to offer any amount of money to treat his son. For many years, Flinn and his wife invited countless doctors to examine his son and hoped one day a doctor would be able to. Again and again, after examined Flinn’s son, the doctors apologized for their knowledge was not sufficient enough to treat this illness. As time progressed, Flinn’s tremendous wealth began to decrease due to the outrageous expenditures needed to prolong his son’s life. Through sleepless nights caring for their son, his wife eventually developed tuberculosis. Not so long after, she passed away.

In the complete state of despair, after observing how much his wife loved his son and how much he cared for the child, Flinn came to the sudden realization of his biggest mistake. Flinn realized his unforgivable mistake of being ashamed of his own mother and wished that he had a wealthier life without working for it. He realized how much his mother loved him and understood the hardships she endured to give him a good life, the life to which he was dissatisfied with. Consuming with guilt and regret, he traveled back to Malum in hope of finding a reminder of his mother. The ruins were left untouched, but nothing was there. The warmth of a family no longer existed, the warmth that Flinn neglected to acknowledge. In disappointment, he began to head back in hurry. Tripping over a piece of wood, a sharp object from the ruins impaled through his heart. He picked the piece of wood up in his final breaths. On it was the carved proverb “Be your best, not the best.”



Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm:
this was really good  keep it up  could you please check out and comment on my story Numb.  i would really appreciate the feedback
 
Physics981 replied...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm :
Thank you very much! Sure, I will read your article. Could you please tell me where it is? Thanks!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback