Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Myth Winning Entry

It’s never nice, being the enemy.

I’m sorry—I should start at the beginning. I’ve always been a bit scatterbrained since the whacking started. But I get ahead of myself, still. But you wouldn’t know what its like to live in constant fear, hiding in the shadows from them.


It’s getting worse, I see them in the shadows at every turn, and every slither echoes the horrible sound of laughing as they run after my family and I with their horrid whacking sticks. And to think that we znakes used to be able to migrate in peace.

Even now, we can’t help it—the path is built into our brains like salmon swimming upstream, the compulsion to return to the place we were born coming back ever year, and the path leading through the heart of civilized Mistica. It’s not like we want to be hit repeatedly upon the head then dragged back to the cruel human’s home to be shown as trophies in small boxes, or worse yet caged as simple pets. It goes much deeper than that, into our genes, into our histories. We can’t avoid our passage through, but we just wish we could have that in peace and good faith.

Have you ever heard the term symbiosis? It’s when two species co-exist, and live together in harmony. Each helps the other, or politely stays out of its way to allow it to prosper and thrive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we znakes could share a symbiosis with the humans? Believe us, we’ve tried. The past two years, we’ve even shown our faces in daylight, not sticking to the shadows as usual, in an attempt to contact, to communicate—to no avail! The whacking and imprisonment continues, much more dramatic than before. We’ve almost given up all hope of making peace, and only a few believe anymore.

Take over. That’s a word Mistica’s citizens use often. As if the znakes take over, infest, try to conquer. Could anything be further from the truth? All we plead is safe passage—if you helped us instead of hindered, we would be gone much faster! We could travel through the cities in days rather than weeks if we could travel without fear, and be gone before you even knew it. But you persist to make the travel difficult, on the path we have no choice but to take.

Do you even think about what you’re doing to us? You even claim to help the znakes, to save them from whacking as you spirit them away to your safeboxes or galleries. You take the znakes away from their loved ones, their families, and the friends they’ve spent their life with! Don’t you think about any of these things before you think about yourself?

I- I’m so sorry. I digress once more, speaking in apostrophe because I am guided by anger while I neglect you, my audience. But who’s to argue our case, if we won’t stand up for it? If we don’t try, even if that effort is futile? We need to make a plea, even if that shout for help is silent, and goes unheard in the sea of foolishness. This is that plea; a plea for the safety of our children now and in the future, a plea for symbiosis or understanding, a plea for understanding. Now and forevermore.