Xeno Hemlock


discovering oneself is a journey with no finite destination.


I stood up and looked at his reflection in the mirror by the wall. God, what a handsome looking fella he was. His eyes sparkled like small gemstones. His smile made the room glow. Those floppy ears were so cute, I wanted to grab them in the mirror and bite them. Delicious!

Whenever he breathed, his lips turned into a more attractive rose color. The saliva glistening on his bottom lip made it more seductive. I wanted to hear him speak and take me into fantasy land. There in heaven we would drown in ecstasy. I wanted to die with him. Death only comes once in a lifetime and I wanted to make mine worthwhile.

His name I didn’t know. I wanted to ask. I yearned to know so I can utter it under my breath ten times. No make that a hundred, or a thousand, or a million. A name is a powerful thing. When it’s owned by someone important in our life, someone so significant, someone who had occupied that special place in our heart where only few are allowed, speaking that name is like singing all the praises made for heaven. What is your name young man? Tell me. Let me know. It will be a great gift. Knowing is loving, don’t you know?

I was about to turn away from the mirror. Gazing at him was both pain and pleasure. It was pleasure because it was a delightful sight. It was pain because I couldn’t have him. Sometimes things are so cruel because they give us what we both want and what we do not. I didn’t know pain and pleasure could co-exist in my body at the same time, until I saw him. I saw him.

I couldn’t bear it. For every joy that surged throughout my veins, a thousand hot needles pierced through my skin. I had no choice. I had to turn away. I did, I almost did. He looked at me with those sad puppy eyes and he lured me away from escaping. Don’t leave me! I need you!

I faced him in the mirror once again. I walked nearer so I could get a better view of his eyes. They were one of the most beautiful pairs in the world. So much soul and spirit swirled through the iris. A myriad of emotions formed a colorful sea in it. I stepped closer and I could smell the saltwater. It was so inviting. It was so real my body felt it was already swimming. Suddenly, the waves soared high inside. I saw from behind him the approaching ocean. It was red, blue, black, and yellow. Then it turned green, orange, gold, and silver. I felt cold. The sea water hit me from behind. I was engulfed by the salty sea. While I thought I was drowning into the cold, something strange happened. As I swallowed the water, the inside of my body felt a stream of warmth. Each gulp and choke I was able to muster painted visions around me. An entire lifetime flashed right in front of my eyes. I saw everything from the beginning to the present. Everything went by so fast.

When it was all over, I was left at the bottom of the ocean floor. There were several treasure chests each with their own label evenly spaced out in front of me. I swam to each and every chest reading the words identifying them. When I was done, I swam back to the one I wanted to take back with me. I lifted it up. It was very light. I looked up and saw light coming from the world above the sea. I swam towards it with the chest secured in my arms. The light became brighter and brighter. I let out a loud gasp as I finally breathed air.

All the water dried out. I was back facing the mirror. Strangely my hair and my clothes were dried, not even a slight evidence of the sea I was plunged into. There was no salty smell, not even sand. Once again in the mirror, there was him. We both looked at the chest upon our feet. The letters were clear and bold, written with what seemed like moss. It said, LOVE.

Cover image: There Is A Hole In The Water by Jyrki Saimi