Rite of Passage

Rite of Passage Illustration #1

He sees the boy, pumping his legs as he soars through the air on a swing, and he almost smiles. How carefree and innocent the boy is, not yet aware of the world’s cruel designs. His own childhood is a distant thing, far removed from who and what he is today.

The boy releases the chains. He leans forward, and when the swing is at its apex, he slips from the seat. He hurtles through the air, lands on his hands and knees, and grins.

Play. It’s a concept he’s thought about a lot. In the small hours of the night, when he lays awake unable to sleep, he stares beyond the ceiling, pondering its manifold mysteries. The imagination of a child, he thinks, is a thing of boundless possibilities, a grasp toward the infinite, an exploration of a vast, unformed world filled with all the things that might yet be. It is an art, he thinks, a special kind of magic that he lost the moment he was Changed.

He brushes the thought aside. There will be time for reflection later. Right now he’s focused on the boy. He stares at him from behind a broad oak tree, shrouded in shadow.

Today, the boy will be his.

* * *

His name is Gol. He is not an ogre or a troll, a gnome, a fairy or a centaur. There are no stories written of his kind. To the best of his knowledge, he’s the only one of his kind. He was once human like the boy, but he is human no longer.

He is the latest incarnation of an ancient lineage, a succession stretching back beyond the foundation of the world. He cannot reproduce, but like humans he’s compelled to propagate, to continue the work of his ancestors. Though he’s lived for thousands of years, has witnessed the rise and fall of long-forgotten civilizations, in the end, like all living things, he too must die.

He’s spent a great deal of time pondering his origins. The memories of his ancestors are a part of him, but they’re so numerous and convoluted by the ravages of time that the secrets of the distant past remain shrouded in mystery. Someday, before the stars have burned up all their hydrogen, before the world is an icy ball of lifeless stone, before the universe is a tepid mass of eternal darkness, he hopes his progeny will solve that riddle, that perhaps they’ll even find a way home. But that will be a task for the boy and his descendants.

His own days are nearly at an end.

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Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

2 thoughts on “Rite of Passage”

  1. Hey there Jeff!!!! It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I just wanted you to know I’ve bought the the book, soooooooooo excited about getting the next one!!! Also I wanted to thank you again for all your advice and do support and inspiration youve shared with me. It has truly been a huge help. The illustrations you’ve shown so far are amazing!!! Good luck with all the success coming your way, there is no doubt about that, Because you’ve earned every bit of it,may friend! Looking forward to see what’s next!! LOL Have a great week!!! Amy King

    1. Hi Amy, thank you so much! Your comment made my day 🙂 It makes me happy to know that I was able to inspire you. Please, let me know what you think of the book when you finish reading. Also, sorry for the late reply. I’ve been doing a bunch of flying. Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

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