Through the Looking-Glass
I flung my pencil down on the blank sheet of paper and sprang to my feet.
My fingers ran through my hair, massaging my sore mind. Where were the words when I needed them most? They had abandoned me on the tip of the graphite! They had all been there, waiting like floodwaters ready to flow at the burst of the dam; but they had evaporated before they had been set free.
I halted in my pacing. A movement had caught my eye. I felt foolish when I turned only to see my own reflection; I didn’t remember that mirror being there.
I stepped closer to examine my reflection. My lips were cambered in a deep frown, my hair was disheveled by my own hands, my eyes were streaked with red veins.
I looked so terrible, I might have laughed at my appearance. At any other time. But in that moment, it only deepened my moue.
I was stranded on the dry bed of a reservoir where a sea of words had abandoned me. My visage only confirmed that.
Suddenly, I noticed something unusual in the background of the reflection. Turning, I crossed the room to a thick, leather-bound volume balanced upon the headstand of my bed. I didn’t remember putting it there. The last time I had seen it, it had been collecting dust under my desk, not in this prominent position.
One of the pages was dog-eared. Mechanically I turned to the page and corrected the fold.
As I did so, a word attracted my attention.
One word. The first word. The first of many that had escaped me.
And then they all came rushing back. They gushed back into my mind in an overwhelming torrent. Without wasting a moment I threw myself down at my desk, lifted the pencil, and began writing.
Page after page I filled into the wee hours, until the night began to fade in the light of dawn. When at last I placed the final period on the paper and stood up from the desk with a body-shaking yawn, my desk was strewn with pages adorned by my scraggly handwriting. I had worked all night without sleep, but it had been worth it.
Proud and content, albeit effete, I turned and strolled out of my room to prepare for the day. I didn’t even notice the mirror was gone.
By Nick Silverpen/Nicholas Joseph:
The flames weren’t the same anymore, Tahu decided as he looked at the campfire. Granted, they burned brighter, more precise. He had learned how to control his power in infinite ways since the great battle, but it didn’t feel as real, as powerful. He stared into the flames, until the shadows around the fire in the hut blended into the creeping shadows of the night. The adrenaline wasn’t there, like it had been on the island of Mata Nui. It was simply gone.
Maybe the pattern was what he hoped for. Maybe he was glad to be smarter than the enemy. To never have to face the real challenge of having a smarter enemy. He stared deep into the fire, wanting to crumble like the ashes. The council’s requests of him were too much. He was incompetent, he felt, and it was no use, trying to meet their demands, to get on their level. It was just too much. He stared out of his glass eyes, automated receptors, and wasn’t sure where his hate was channeled toward.
He looked out toward the night, where the stars shined over Bara Magna. The village was quiet, tame in the night. It was not calming to him. Chaos made him comfortable. A hard chuckle came from his throat. He would have made a great Brotherhood agent in the wars, with all of the chaos. It was not worth it, sometimes. He wanted satisfaction now; but his mentors had taught him well. Instead of letting the will of iron melt to slag, let patience shape it into something grand and useful. He resented it sometimes. Crumbling in the doorway, he continued to ponder if this had all been worth it, as caged and frustrated as he was.
NaNo Write-Off -- ~500 words