Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Anoo Winning Entry

He raced through the twisted treelines of the Neverending Forest, searching for a glimpse of light, sound, anything. His hooves felt more and more like lead, sinking into the ground as his heart started to lose hope. Frantic, he pushed onwards, screaming for someone, anyone, to show him he was not alone.

This was the terror of purgatory. This was the terror of feeling unfulfilled in life and existing only to exist. Surviving, to survive. In death, he found his nightmare, existing like he did in life: alone and solitary.

Kin drove himself to move forward, feeling his legs buckle under him. The roots of the massive pillars of trees seemed determined to trip him, making it harder for him to move quickly. His breath came out in short gasps now as he tried desperately to keep up the pace, hoping something would happen. He didn't even care now if death awaited him; he just wanted it to be over.

Eventually, not even his resolve to find someone could keep him going. He fell hard, laying on the ground, panting hoarsely as tears fell down his cheek. "My final moments," he thought, staring up at the treetops that clouded the sun from shining on him. "I wish...I wish..." Not able to form the words, Kin shut his eyes, feeling the calming wave of acceptance as he felt his soul give up.

Kin awakened, startled by the sound of twigs snapping in the far off distance. He forced himself up, calling out, "Wait! Please..." The sound faded off as he struggled to stand, moving one leg in front of the other, and still crying out. "Don't go...don't..."


He turned around, startled, to face a small sprite draped in flowing robes of light. He couldn't utter a single word, happy to see a sign of life, afraid of scaring it away.

"Why?" It asked again, cocking its head to one side which made light shimmer down and fall onto the ground floor.

Kin shook his head, moving slowly towards it. "I just..please...don't go..." he muttered, moving in a trance. "I don't want to be alone anymore."

"Why?" Again, more forceful this time it asked, stamping the ground with one foot.

"Because I don't like being alone..."

"WHY?!" Again, screaming in a high-pitched voice, light streaming from the sprite now in rays all around it.

"Not alone- WAIT!" Kin cried out as the sprite dashed away, leaving behind a diminishing trail of light as it passed into the forest. "NOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Kin tried to follow, but his strength had already failed him before. He fell hard to the forest floor, unable to get back up.

"Because..." he whispered, soft tears flowing gently. "Because..I spent my whole life alone...and it was wasted..." He curled up, tail wrapped around his head to hide him from the nothingness of purgatory.

And he awoke.

His eyes squinted as he found himself beneath a willow on top of a high hill. He remembered now, spending a quiet nap there, alone. Kin stood up with his newfound strength, put one hoof forward, and raced to live in a world, and to not just exist anymore.

For a life without meaning is a life not worth having, and those who only exist will find themselves existing in the afterlife.