Following the river bed for the next few miles, seemed to be an easy task, from what the boy took notice of. Until seeing that the farther he trek on, the thinner the river became. With only, having a lone of a sliver of speeding clear blue water scaring its way through, the dark woods. Barks of the tree bending towards the ground like claws, waiting to strike, knowing whoever was caught wouldn’t be missed. The boy, finally, was feeling for maybe the first time alone. Until, the snap of a twig broke him back to reality.

Without another thought, turned to face where the sound came from, pausing in pure fear. A tall figure, skinned black as night, long limbs, of many grazed dirt, wood, rock. Its face, unable, to be seen, with slow motions, of the thing’s body faded, in and out, becoming one with the woods. Though this thing gave off the signs of evil, it was leaning more on behaving as an animal, watching something that was clearly not from its world. To only cock its slim-like head, to the side. Soon a pointed tooth smile was seen. Having only one arm point to where, a new path was given. The boy looked towards it for only a moment and back, to see he was alone once more. Having, no choice, but to use, the ghastly winds, now as his new guide, down his new path.

Mindlessly went down his path, upon finding a rundown home, lost forever in the everlasting time slots of the woods. Windows broken, door ripped from its hinges, though it was made of stone . . . it was set ablaze, coating it a soot of black from the rooftop to the level of the house’s four corners. The boy could have gone back, and face the faceless demon, but the winds wouldn’t have that. Almost, as pushing him, shoving, him straight through the hole, that lacks the door. The boy landed face first, scrapping himself good, using one free hand to rub some blood away from his bottom lip. A small hiss was heard from him, echoing endlessly through the house. Taking short moment, to get back on, his bare feet to brush off the boy’s, once dusty body. Having, that eerie feeling to come back.

The boy glanced to where the feeling came from, ready to see if it was that demon again, it wasn’t. It was a staircase. Rotten; from age, but that feeling was pulling him to follow it. And so he did. Careful with each step, not wanting to find that one lone broad that could be his end, but that sudden push from the blasted wind, got to the last steps. Pulling him, harshly, but comforting at the same time. So ending, with the boy nearing, the last room at the end of the hall. Not wanting to anger the wind entered the room. It was bare just as the rest of the house, belong to a child no doubt around his age at some point in time, knowing well of the fire that burnt the house, started here. Saddening as it was, the moment was over when something caught his eye. Dashing over to it, finding it was a mirror made of bass and gold, braided with a toad-like animal style with some kind of flower etched throughout the design. Using part of his thin-worn out shirt to clean it, found a name of ownership, faded but still just barely able to read. “Vajrakaya?” With soon unknowing the mirror began to glow, in shock, the boy dropped it, stepping away from it, only to have his back bump into something. The boy hardly got a chance to see what it was, only that of a lone, bony, thin, black skin hand, clamping onto his shoulder. It was that demon, but before the boy could speak to it, the demon spoke first. “Good luck.” Having, the boy shoved towards the mirror. Once the blinding light was over, the boy was nowhere to be seen, leaving the woods alone with lack of life, once more.

Deep bellow screams heard within nothing and something. Louder they became as they reach more to what is only known as realism. Brightness came and went. Leaving the boy once more, in a place not what of his world. Buildings towered over him, stretching far as the eye could see. Wires of copper and iron webbed the area. A tangible sun lit down on the boy, with thin clouds in the sky, far different from his land. Smooth land of stone lay before him, where white iron bars scared the about. A rail track as old scrolls once talked about. But there was no faint sound of a whistle or bell from any train. Nor, a soul of any kind, speaking weirdly of, boundlessly mindlessness throughout the empty town. The boy shouted for any signs of life. Any besides that damn demon. He would take anything but that. Not long seeing something in the distance. Two bone-reedy lone, figures that copy of what he was. Gladly happy to find some kind of life, he ran to them, asking questions of all kinds, but not getting answers back.

Panting lightly from his run, he saw for what the two lone figures were, one fact known . . . they weren’t human. Nor that what is called demons. Monsters, a finer tune of what these were. Ribcages moved with vibrating breathing, heavily, and hungrily. But they made no move towards the boy, only staring at him with blank eye sockets. The largest one, growled for the smaller one to back away, when seeing it snapped at the boy. “World seems to be out to get you, boy?” A whisper said, coming from where the monster stood. The boy nodded, finding that all this was crazy and pointless, what could he do? “Pure heart that lives within the cold world, is that not you?” The boy only gave a laugh to the airy speaker, seeing that is far from what the boy was. “Life within life comes in many forms. Like us, like you and those who are you but not you.” The boy said nothing, seeing lack of any point of finding this gateway to the gods, all he knew was gone thanks to the keeper of fire, looking away from the monsters, wanting to go home, even if it was in ashes. “What not close to what the fire speak then?” The boy only a shrug, not understand of what he and that unholy being have in a common thread, only wanting now this to be over. “You’re that a mule, yes? Once mind is set, must go through. Even die if that’s the outcome?” The boy only gave a smile to the taller monster, having the smaller groan of a lost meal. When having no choice but to lead him, to where his stubborn destiny lied, that left him with an unsteady mind. Having, heard the first and last words from the smaller monster. “Watch thy fire burn ones skin. For, I like mine fresh.” To that, the boy quickens his footing, knowing in a way, he had over stayed his welcome in the forgotten town.

The boy followed through the ways the monsters lead to go. Much less annoyance of that monkey he ran into long before. Which reminding, felt like years from then. Only soon an entrance, leading into a maze, sunflower petals formed each open pathway of endless rocky pillars. Etches all of kinds found deep within the maze’s walls. The boy read each, in hopes to understand more this so-called destiny he was set on. Maybe find another way to stop the keeper of fire. Only finding those of what walks the realm of fantasy. Some recalled from fables as old as the tellers of it.

A strong, beast that lived in nothing but frost. Close to what the barer of Water could do. For some say it was his form to travel into the human world. Fear to all, none bothered to try knowing more what it was, but only that it treated everything, as they were his children.

Then, that beast of what crosses all walks of life. But so is what makes earth. How else would the commander of Earth be like? With a grand body of a lion, tail of a snake, front claws of an eagle, and back legs of a powerful ram. Strange as it was, so was the god who chooses that form. It was fitting in its own way.

A simple beast was found next, matching that of the waver of Air. Small and easy to hide, but not afraid, to be part, of the rest of, the world, only, seen as cat-like, with a dragon style, in body. Eerie that is was, but welcoming.

Of all how easy and welcoming these gods were. Why couldn’t that of how the keeper of Fire be like. For he makes no beast to blend-in. The god is nothing more than fire and nothing else. Lack there was, but still well known for what he can do. A temper is known but that is all.

With balance the gods have, they must work together, if forever the world to ever live through more years to come. The boy could tell, that this pure hearted thing could only be coded as something else, whatever it was, it have to be somewhere on the walls of the maze. Following only little he knew, knowing only of what he lost and little what he’ll get in return. But with, how life had treated him so far, would anything less of this, be better?

Confusing as it was for the boy, Fire destroy his world that only he knew. Leaving, him no choice to find to stop this god with a pure heart. But, now, lost in this maze, filled with boundless word of learn, is this really what the boy had in mind. Counting days and nights, taking notice of his change from he left home, none made sense. So little of it did, but what doesn’t seem better to understand. May the result of this be only from too much sun get the best of him, for all this had to be something? Even if only a little bit was taken a bite of and the rest to waste.

Unknowingly, the boy made it through the maze, eyes wide in some kind of shock. His head, pounding for some reason, was undeadening him to a state bilious. Taking steps to walk out the maze seem end like a chore for him. Having voices of his past, scream louder and louder into his ears, shouting a name he didn’t understand, nor did he want to. The boy only wanted it to stop; he shouted back, covering his ears, blocking his body from eyes that only lived in his head.

Lived in his head? That made sense. Little it was, but it didn’t matter, as he shocked himself in a sleep-like state. Crashing down harshly onto the ground, laying numbing, twitch of his left foot was the only sign giving that he was still alive. Even as the sun set once more, casting a long shadow down his back, for maybe what felt like years. “This marks the fourth years of this . . .” The boy gave his last words before, finally letting his body rest, even it was more of a short nap.

A nap it was, for not long later, the boy was back on his feet once more, going down the path that seem to be mocking him in some way. Yet, the boy thought back, seeing that so far, life was mocking him. Why be fair back, when the world wasn’t going to. Left to only to look around, seeing that the path lacks its reason to be around, as does himself. Thinking all back, nothing made sense, only feeling like that as a dream, a dream that was there, but not really. To that, if one was looking to a drawing, that the lines were fine enough to make it real, place the fingers on it, it was still flat. Still, a pointless drawing that would never, be real to the naked eye, what was point in showing the faults of it? No reason, no reason at all, faults are faults. Leave it at that and move on.

The boy soon found himself at a fork in the road, both painted paths of a red right and a blue left. The boy looked at both, glancing over his shoulder on the path he took before, only to find it gone, with nothing but a large wall moving closer to him. Trying to pry the boy, into, making a choice sooner. Yet, there was another choice that neither of the paths could have. With that he went straight down the fork in the road, heading into nothingness.

Nothingness is a fine balance to everything there is in this world, what more could one ask for, this was a bliss all on its own. It was only a matter of time, before this world choose to play with his mind, once more to make him crack. As if, he wasn’t already there.

As he thought, the paths of blue and red, found him once more. Leaving, the boy to only, finally make an unclear choose, against his will, as it would seem, with the cold wall up against his back pushing him. Only soon, the boy could the blazes of hell, somehow getting closer, thanks to the stalking wall, pushing him closer and closer. Then and there, having the flames warm his face in a somewhat kindly matter. Would the boy lean more on the blue or the red?

To Be Continued…?

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