Chapter 2 - Lost

by Kasi Hollowell - voice | Behind the Eyes of Zylo Moon

After grandmother died, Zylo was in a vulnerable state of mind. All the past sequences shared with her spiraled in his head like a tornado. One year had passed, yet her death still felt like it was fresh. Incapable of accepting the idea that she was gone, he did his best to distract himself.

Outside his window, snowflakes fell from the sky on a chilly winter afternoon in Deadwood. Tears ran down the sides of Zylo’s cold face. Locking the door to his room became somewhat of a habit for him. So, the nine-year-old boy locked it often.

Putting his headphones on while placing the CD inside the portable player, Zylo attempted to focus. Playing loudly into his ears was “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. After his grandmother died, he found the Pink Floyd CD inside her room.

Grabbing a blank journal and pencil, Zylo began to pour his mind onto paper. Recreating a sequence embedded in his brain, he drew a heartfelt illustration. Along its side, he began to write a letter to his grandmother. The letter read, “Dear Grandma, you were my happy place. I count down from three every day like you said. Please come back. Love, Zylo.”

Closing his watery eyelids slowly while counting down from three, the daydreaming boy began to drift away. 3… 2… 1. Suddenly, Zylo began to see shades of his grandmother. Brushing vigorously on a fresh canvas, Saloma had created a new piece.

Zylo was in awe of what he saw. Shooting stars, planets, and supernovas made up this beautiful, galactic painting. Strangely in the corner of the painting was a black area of nothingness.

Losing himself inside the dark corner of the painting, Zylo slowly awoke from his daydream. Oddly, he was no longer locked away in his room. Somehow, Zylo was outside of his house, sitting on the front porch.

Pearl white snowflakes continued to fall from the sky on the breezy winter evening. Something was magical about each one gracefully maneuvering through the sky. Weirdly, Zylo noticed a black snowflake hovering right above him. So, he chased it.

Stumbling and panting, Zylo couldn’t quite catch up to it. The winter breeze turned up a notch, carrying the rare black snowflake quickly through the air. Having followed over elevated hills and through snowy meadows, Zylo realized he was far away from home.

Hovering high and hovering low, the black flake of snow seemed to have a mind of its own. While it was hovering low, Zylo was close to pulling the magical flake from the sky. Running while extending his arms to its limits, he temporarily caught the unique flake.

Zylo tripped over a hole in the ground and landed face first on a rocky boulder. The captured black snowflake vanished from his hands. Slowly lifting his head with blood on his face, Zylo saw a mysterious animal.

Out of the snowy darkness, a jet-black wolf with red eyes appeared. The wolf stared into the eyes of Zylo’s soul. As intimidating as the wolf appeared to be, Zylo felt it was no threat to his life. Suddenly, an older man appeared, and the jet-black wolf disappeared.

Holding out his hand for the injured Zylo, the older man smiled and said, “What brings you out to this part of the woods, kid? You remind me so much of my grandson. Luckily for you, my cabin is nearby. Follow me. I’ll get you a Band-Aid for that wound and cook us some of my famous deer soup.”

The lines around his eyes crinkled when he smiled, yet something about that smile left Zylo feeling cold and empty. Yet Zylo followed the older man. Looking about his grandmother’s age, the man appeared as if he could be trusted. The young boy had a keen sense of trust for seniors. Finally at the warm cabin, Zylo was happy to be out of the freezing cold.

Reaching into the cabinet, the old man took out a Band-Aid and handed it to Zylo. Pouring vodka onto a napkin, he told Zylo to wipe the wound with it before applying the bandage. After helping Zylo with the wound, the old man began to cook soup.

Sitting at the wooden dinner table, Zylo began to observe his surroundings. Several heads of deer were mounted on the log walls of the house. With knives, guns, and swords in his arsenal, this older man seemed to be an extreme deer hunter.

Serving up the deer soup in a wooden bowl, the old man seemed like quite the chef. While sending his spoon into a nosedive for a first bite, Zylo noticed something weird happening. Mounted deer heads on the wall quickly turned and looked at Zylo.

Speaking to him in unison with eyes of fear, the deer heads said, “Run.” Unknowingly speaking aloud, Zylo repeatedly was saying the word “run”. Fumbling his spoon to the ground, Zylo had a sudden lack of appetite.

Noticing the weird behavior of the boy, the old man asked, “Everything okay, young man? You haven’t even touched your soup.” Trying to be polite, Zylo said, “It’s getting dark out. I think my family will be worried about me if I don’t get back soon. Can you help me find my way home?”

Shattering the bowl of soup to the floor, the old man said, “Ungrateful child! I take you into my home like one of my own, and you want to leave me, like everybody else!” After grabbing the pocketknife in his back pocket, the old man pointed it at the young boy, and walked toward him.

Zylo was frozen in place, staring at the turned heads of the mounted deer above him. Holding the sharp knife up to Zylo’s neck, the hunter said, “Maybe I ought to keep you here like my deer. That way you can never leave me! Get in that closet! Now!”

Using old ropes, the hunter tied Zylo’s wrists to the clothing pole. Afterwards, the crinkled-eyed man closed the closet door, leaving Zylo in the dark. The hunter sat back at the table to finish the deer soup.

Struggling to get loose from the ropes, Zylo felt helpless. He was stuck in a pitch-black closet with nobody to save him. Wanting to take his mind somewhere else Zylo began to count down from three.

3… 2… 1.

Opening his eyes slowly, Zylo was shocked at what he saw. A glowing orb was hovering next to his face. Lighting up the dark closet, the orb moved towards Zylo’s tied up wrists.

The orb revolved around the rope at lightning speed until Zylo was freed from the restraints. After freeing the boy, the orb moved toward the doorknob. Luckily, the door was still unlocked, and Zylo twisted it open.

Loud noises came from a TV in a nearby bedroom. Peaking inside the room from a hidden angle, the boy could see that the hunter was distracted by a TV show. Zylo did his best to keep quiet as he slowly moved towards the front door with the glowing orb by his side.

Sneakily opening the front door, Zylo made it outside of the creepy cabin. The lost boy walked as far as he could but had no idea where he was going. Seeking some sort of help from the glowing orb, Zylo said, “Thank you for helping me back there. How do I get home, Orby? Hmm. Orby. I like that name for you. Do you like it?”

Like an excited puppy dog, the orb began to glow brighter and revolve around Zylo’s body quickly. It was as if it was giving the boy a big hug. The glowing zipped ahead and began to guide Zylo.

After walking for a long period of time, Zylo started to recognize the scenery around him. The creek was nearby, and his house was in clear sight. Finally at the front porch, Zylo opened one last door for the night.

His mother was asleep on the couch, and his father was asleep in the room. Tiptoeing safely to his bedroom, the boy closed the door behind him. Finally, he was in bed, the glowing orb still by his side.

Softly whispering to his new orb friend, the boy said, “Today was crazy, Orby. I couldn’t have gotten through today without you. If you’re going to be in my life, please don’t ever leave me.”