Photography by Silja Pietilä, 18, Finland
Dear Readers and Contributors,
I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank you all for the continuous love and support, especially through the pandemic. In just under 6 months, we’ve come so far; the magazine has been featured on Publish YOUth Writing and Poets & Writers, and the editorial team reached a whooping milestone of 100+ Advice Articles written! As we continue grow our global outreach, we’ve published over 280 creators from 25 U.S. States, 25 countries, and 6 continents across the world!
It’s been a pleasure growing this community over the past three years, so I know I speak for the entire editorial board when I say we hold this magazine and our contributors close to our heart. It takes a tremendous amount of research and effort to manage the magazine, which is why we're so thankful for all of your support. We encourage you to share our publications and Advice Articles to help our other young creators who may be interested in pursuing their craft.
Founder, Nonfiction Editor in Chief
The Elysian Muse Youth Literary Magazine
Photography by Safia Henniche, 16, Boston
The Man awakened, if you could really call him a man. He was always awake, the Man, He was ever present. He tasted the air around him, silent. The Man sighed, they were blinking out again, the stars. The Man sat, not knowing where to go, he was not really anywhere, he was in between. The Man knew where he was, just not exactly how, or why. He knew for a fact though, that he had to find the child.
“RRRRRIIIINGGG!” The bell rang as he was once again forced into the horrific mob, the weakened, coffee reeking, sleep deprived group of children. Some silent, some buzzing and milling around, each either by themselves or with a small group of people. They each were their own microcosms, within the microcosm of this dreary building, this horrific reality. The endless misery within which they had all arrived would continue on for years. This ruthless system of destruction, this endless cycle of pain. He sighed and made his way to his second period class with the rest of the students.
“GODDAMN IT, KID!” The boy startled awake, he had dozed off. The physics teacher was staring at him, his military cut and similarly, his military like demeanor made the child slightly uncomfortable. The spit flecks on the corner of the teacher’s face were there, his expression consistently put into the grimace quite common among former marines. “What the HELL do you think you’re doing sleeping in my class? Do you even know what you get when you combine gluons and quarks? I thought not.”
“Actually, wouldn’t that be a boson?” The child looked up inquisitively at the now furious teacher. His face was red, a bright shade of red. The child was quite curious, in his entire life, he had never seen someone’s face get as red as this former marine. He couldn’t hold back the two major thoughts that immediately coalesced within his mind: Amusing, he thought as the surge of adrenaline hit his brain with the obvious thought, Ahh, I’m screwed. Nothing at the school bothered the students or the teachers more than intelligence.
The Man was phasing into the in between, he had nowhere else to go, where was the child? He wondered, maybe he had to go and find him out for himself. After all, once the sun fell within this dimension, the multiverse would start its fracture.
The child sat in detention. He had asked exactly what he had done wrong, as usual, he got the standard reply, nothing. It really was food for thought. The child was hyper aware of what was happening around him, throughout the past weeks, he had been running calculations as to how what was happening was. The system bothered him, the slight error in calculation that was fine just days before. The lack of warning, his scale was off by 0.07. When thinking of an infinite universe, that may not seem like much, but when taken in reality, 0.07 was vast. That number quantified beings, gave life to all of human development, it proved our very existence, the number of beliefs. Every person, be it a baby or an adult, followed these laws, these laws that were now skewed. If science was the only god, it was testing them, no, not them, it was testing the child. He sat there now, with his pen and paper, writing unintelligible calculations, the cold air from the detention room caressed his skin, the universe was telling him to go on. The Universe knew the child was the key, the Universe. The child was pivotal, the child was necessary, the child… was essential.
The Man, of course, knew that the child was calculating. He, himself had felt the slight change, all of the values had changed for a reason. The fracture was starting, as it had in multiple universes within the In Between. The Man knew, and he had located the child, now, a plea for help was required. As the asteroid came towards him, the Man allowed it to run freely, it went through and continued its path. the Man was only real when he thought he was, and in this time of trouble, existence wasn’t really his main concern.
They met, as fate would have it, the child and the Man, they were acquaintances even before the current situation, well, as interesting as it may sound, irony was a double edged sword. The Man was none other than the landlord of the child. The child lived within the monetary ties to the Man, which was analogous to the way the Man was indebted by energy to the universe, the worst form of currency. Distasteful almost, being bound by energy created the greatest bond, omnipotence, but it also took one away, mortality. The Man had existed for as long as time itself, he of course was only awake for some millennia. The force of creation was strong, there really was nothing like it, so when creation itself started to unravel, the Man was worried. The child could see this, hence the question “What is wrong, sir?”
“Life is - child - I don’t expect you to understand yet.” the Man answered sagely.
“Of course I do, everything is off by 0.07” the child answered vehemently.
“You do understand.” The Man was slightly surprised.
They both knew what they had to do, of course, as it had been ingrained into them. They saw a problem, they fixed it. It had been done many times before. As they traveled to the center of the universe, they saw the fracture. The child was curious, he pondered its color, its vision. He looked at it; he didn't expect it to be blue. He expected black, like a singularity, ready to eat them and the universe. The Man pondered different things, pondered love, compassion, he wondered how the child was here. He wondered what was overlooked. He thought, he pondered, he wished.
The child of course, knew how to save them, he was aware of the sacrifice he must commit in order to save the universe, as he stepped into the blue, the unforgiving light, he was instantly aware.
The child cried out as his father’s belt hit him again. He clutched his blue rock, it was one that symbolized his great mental sacrifice to the void. The crack of the belt and the shard of pain were like the icy depths of the universe. The shard hit him again and again. He was not here, he was above, he was in space. As he fought to get back into his fantasy, he finally realized his gain again. He saved the universe (mentally, of course), while his unforgiving father beat his physical body. He knew his sacrifice was essential. He knew it, he just knew it.
My name is Swayam Chakraborty, I'm a senior at South Brunswick Public High School, and I'm 17 years old. I currently am a permanent author at kihtrak.com/clarity, which is a group blog created by me and my friends. I also write for numbers small publications, as well. I mostly write fiction and poetry, but I enjoy acting and writing plays as well.