This story is part of a series entitled “Ego’s Puzzle” If you have not read the first part, please click HERE
O. Fence stood before a mirror and was greeted with the pain and scars
of a life that had seen both triumph and disillusionment. Looking at his face O. was reminded of the years of preparation, organization, and frustration of his dreams and desires—dreams that could offer him the opportunity to establish his importance in the Grand Puzzle but had seemingly aborted. His shoulder were slumped. Years of carrying heavy loads had worn even his bones to the point where the muscles and sinews could barely hang on. Turning slightly to look at his back O. Could see marks and scars where loads of responsibilities were heaped and knotted to the point of failure—failure of delivering on what was promised and failure of his own ability to finish. Lifting his legs as in a march, O. realized they still had pretty good strength, it just took a little longer to get them moving.
He remembered the days before the pain and scars, the days when each dream was like the forming of a new galaxy. Desire and passion burned with the ferocity of a new sun. The Great Puzzle Maker had shown O. a glimpse of his part in the grand puzzle and ignited in him the winds of creation. Choices and challenges massed together building the foundations that would establish his place in the grand puzzle. He had to work hard; there was no other choice. No one else was going to see things the way he did. No one else was going to care for this newly formed system of gascon—his opulent boasting—and O. needed to make sure that it was done.
“Who do you think you are?”, said one of the Other Pieces.
“What makes you think you are so privileged to have this kind of place in the Grand Puzzle? Is this just another thing that won’t go anywhere.”
The words stung much deeper than O. had first realized. He ignored the nagging sense that these words had somehow uncovered a place he had hidden from all, a place where he reasoned that he thought he had hidden even from the Great Puzzle Maker. This far dark corner of the galaxy of desire and passion found a creature mangled, withered, and beyond recognition. O. had hidden this creature there considering that this was a place easily overlooked by the facade he had formed in the image of his piece.
Shocking him from the reflection of days gone by and of his current form, O. suddenly realized A. Piece had come up next to him and stood with him by the Great Mirror. He didn’t know how long A. had been standing there, but he knew that he seemed mesmerized by something deep in the image of O.’s reflection in the Great Mirror.
“What are you staring at?”, O. said, reminded yet again of the creature hidden in the dark corner of his galaxy. He began to wonder if A. had seen this creature who had been hidden from all, or so he thought.
“Look carefully at your reflection,” A. said.
O. began to see something in the image being reflected in the Great Mirror. Far deeper than even the dark corner in which O. had hidden the creature, O. Could make out faint lines, no bigger than a thread, crisscrossing from end to end on each side of his Piece.
Nearly missing the flicker while scanning his piece for the expanse of the threads he had just found, O. fixed his stare on the flickering in the distance. A strange impression came over him as he looked back at himself and A. standing before the mirror. His perception now changed to looking as if he was standing inside the Great Mirror.
I’m flying! Or am I? Maybe I am just standing still and going deeper in. The thoughts were swimming in his head as he seemed to be going ever closer to the threads… no, the filaments. The filaments were A circulatory system of light coursing around his Piece. And there was something more. O. looked deeper into the filaments and saw a treasure, a treasure he had seen only a glimpse of before building his empire of boast. Now he could clearly see diamonds darting about like cells in the filament. One of the diamonds left the filament and landed squarely in O.’s hand. Scanning every inch of the diamond, he discovered a form deep inside the diamond. Straining as hard as he could, and with growing anticipation, he began to see a form he recognized. Sensing he was going even deeper in to the diamond, the scars and heartache of the past faded into nothingness.
There He was, The Great Puzzle Maker, standing in the most beautiful landscape O. had ever seen. He had finally found what he had always desired, something far greater than even the treasure he glimpsed so many years ago. This was the place of just him and The Great Puzzle Maker. Their own secret place.
Suddenly, O. was standing once again looking back into the Great Mirror with A. next to him. A. simply smiled and walked away.