I seek to obtain a reconciliation with the days spent in my room reading stories that my uncle left behind after his disappearance. They seem so distant in my memories and only one still sticks to mind. I think its title is Mist. Author: Anonymous. 

My father constantly reminds me that reading creates an entrance into the world of the unknown, which is odd because I believe the quote goes, “reading creates an entrance into the world of the known.” It’s true that I never liked to read, finding more solace in a game of Klondike, and still his words strike me each time. The day after my sixteenth birthday, I received my first ever present, carefully wrapped with a ribbon outside my bedroom door. 

I confess, I only opened the book until the next day, when rays of sun could finally kiss all its subjects below with an aureate warmth. I sat on the rocking chair outside on the porch that creaked as it breathed and opened the cover. It unveiled pages yellowings at the corners whose hue mingled with the rippled font of the letters. Maybe if the golden orb evanesced back to darkness, I would have stopped reading, but yet I could return Mist to a bookshelf before supper. I’m not sure actually if I could call it reading, for I did not understand the story itself. All I pieced together were scattered words taped together in a chain. Somehow, that chain found its way locked around my ankles.

I am a boy clasping hands onto fallen flowers, tracing the intricate swirls hidden in its pistil. I am a boy watching the sea of flames perform the final movement of their waltz. I am a boy waiting for the last few images to evolve into a key.


Manila, Philippines

Adam Zhou has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in the National Level and his works have appeared or are forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, What Rough Beast, The Kill List Chronicles, Eunoia Review, Blue Marble Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others. As a high school sophomore at the International School Manila, he has been subject to the wide array of exhibitions cultural perspectives have to offer and aims to share these through writing.