Chapter 3 - Mind Control

Behind the Eyes of Zylo Moon

Soon thereafter, Orby disappeared. Nightmares about the creepy hunter and grandmother dying continued to haunt Zylo. He had become caged by overwhelming emotions until he was a prisoner in his own mind.

Structured sounds and bright lights were a nuisance to his eyes. Zylo preferred isolating himself in the silent darkness. He consistently shut down anybody who tried to get close to him.

Now thirteen-years-old, Zylo was starting to change drastically. One day, Zylo’s mother and father wanted to sit their son down for a talk on the couch. The parents informed the boy that they would be separating. Zylo was left with an option to move with his mother to Scarsville or stay with his father in Deadwood.

Three hours made up the distance from Deadwood to Scarsville. Zylo did his best to mask the sadness building inside him. The boy held back all the tears because he wanted nobody to feel his sadness. After contemplating what to do, he chose to move to Scarsville with his mother.

Moving day came quick, and it was time for Zylo to pack all his stuff. After getting everything organized and ready, the boy left only three things to carry—the golden pocket watch, grandmother’s jewelry box, and a portable music player.

His mother sat in the van patiently. Zylo gave one last big hug to his father before leaving, and tears flowed from the boy’s eyes onto his dad’s polo shirt. The overwhelming choice he had to make was tough for a kid his age.

Zylo leaned his head on the window for most of the journey to Scarsville. Attempting to cheer her son up, Zylo’s mother drove to the nearest ice cream shop. Luckily, there was a drive-thru, and the two did not have to get out.

Both Zylo and his mother ordered mint chocolate ice cream. Staring into the fresh scoop mounted on the waffle cone, Zylo began to reminisce. The boy counted backwards from three and closed his eyes.

3… 2… 1.

Suddenly, the scenery around the daydreamer began to change. Zylo teleported in his mind from the van to his grandmother’s kitchen. The boy was sitting at the dining table alone.

On the dining table was the vase with the blue flower that Zylo had given his grandmother. Also on the table was the wind-up wooden box and antique pocket watch. After pondering for a few seconds, Zylo remembered something. Grandmother called the Blue Lotus an “Egyptian Dream Flower.”

Strangely the pocket watch was spinning in reverse, and the jewelry box was winding by itself. Unfortunately, Grandmother was nowhere in sight. Before Zylo could further observe, the daydream began to get foggy.

The boy heard a familiar voice that he decided to follow. As he got closer, the voice began to sound clearer. It was his mom. She shouted, “Zylo! Wake up! Your ice cream is melting, and we are here at the new apartment.”

* * *

Three years later, Zylo was now sixteen years old. Many things changed during this period. The teenager got his first job as a waiter at a local restaurant called Scarsville Steakhouse. Working long hours at the restaurant began to burn him out mentally.

Video phone calls were how he kept communication with his father. He did not see him much at all in person since the move. Zylo’s dad was usually always busy with his work back in Deadwood.

Scarsville High School made Zylo feel out of place. The teenager never forgot his grandmother. He still had the wind-up jewelry box and took the antique pocket watch everywhere. Zylo’s lingering past continued to haunt his present.

Looking at her daydreaming student sitting in the corner, Mrs. Hart said, “Mr. Moon, please keep your eyes open while I’m talking. If you don’t, it will be another detention visit for you.”

Not even acknowledging his teacher’s voice… Zylo had gone somewhere else mentally. Nightmares of the creepy hunter and dead grandmother continued to eat away at his consciousness. With the sound of the school bell, class was finally over.

Handing the detention slip over to the daydreaming student, Mrs. Hart said, “Somehow, you manage to turn in phenomenal poetry and beautifully written essays, Zylo. I don’t know how you do it with your eyes closed much of the time. You have so much potential, Mr. Moon… Please, don’t waste it.”

Kind words said by Mrs. Hart only stayed in his head temporarily. Sad thoughts constantly flowed through his mind. Every day became a struggle to get up. Monday was the day that Zylo felt the most pain. His grandmother left his reality on a Monday.

One Monday after school, Zylo’s interior pain became unbearable. Dark thoughts and sadness began to consume his mind inside his room. Uncontrollably shaking, Zylo quickly went into the shower. Scorching hot water started to come out of the nozzle. Hyperventilating for air, he tried to take deep breaths to relax. The only way that Zylo felt comfort was by letting the steaming water gently hit his accelerated heart.

Slowly turning down the volume of water in the shower, Zylo began to hear a sound, the melody not coming from reality. Peculiarly, this song was playing clearly within his mind.

Grandmother’s favorite song “Yesterday” was embedded into his consciousness. Like a monk sitting yoga style, Zylo entered a meditative state. This allowed him to access a happy place through memories of his mind.

Those memories planted a seed that eventually grew into a tree. That tree spread into a forest of memory trees that gave Zylo a separate reality to dive into from his own. Controlled anxiety acted as somewhat of a superpower for him.

He started creating his own world through his once scattered thoughts. Unwanted noises and sounds eventually became somewhat manageable. Zylo channeled out any disturbances by the symphony of his imaginative mind.

During class one day, Zylo was struck in the head by a rolled-up piece of paper. A kid named Adam always bullied Zylo for no reason. With a devilish grin on his face, Adam said, “You belong on the short bus with your special friends.” The kids all laughed in unison at the daydreaming boy.

Zylo could tell Adam was not happy with life. Sadness fueled Adam’s anger, and it fed into his role as a bully. For this reason alone, the daydreamer didn’t retaliate against the tormenting individual. Instead, he remained silent and tuned out the sound of Adam’s voice as well as the laughter of the class.

More and more, the daydreamer began to numb himself away from the world. Voices in the school cafeteria during lunch became torturous for Zylo’s ears. Simultaneously, the disoriented voices attacked his mind like demons.

Putting his hands over his ears, mental comfort simply was not attainable during school for the daydreamer. “Look at that freak!” Adam said as he pointed at Zylo, laughing with a group of friends. Shaking uncontrollably while holding his ears, Zylo bolted to the school restroom to hide from the noise.

Luckily, nobody was in the restroom when he got in there. With tears running down his face, Zylo punched the reflective mirror and it split into three large cracks. Blood oozed out of his knuckles.

The broken pieces in the mirror blurred, flashing and rearranging to fix itself. Supernaturally it seemed as if it was like new again, the reflection didn’t match the scenery. Zylo was wearing all black clothes, but the mirror showed him to be wearing all white.

The reflection in the mirror began to move in a way that controlled Zylo’s thoughts. It was like there was a different person who resembled him behind the mirror. Chills swept up his back, so he hurried out the restroom door.

Zylo wanted to avoid the hellish noise of the cafeteria, so he took his lunch to an isolated part of the school. Focusing on the clock on the wall of the dark room, Zylo noticed something supernatural again. The hour hands began spinning in reverse as the clock began to shake. The clock on the wall fell to the ground and shattered into pieces.

Later that night, Zylo played a video game in his room to try and distract his mind. So exhausted from the day, he could no longer keep his eyes open. Out like a light, Zylo fell into the depths of a nightmare.

Inside the nightmare, he was stuck inside of a dark closet and tied up again. Strangely, it was not old ropes that were restraining him anymore. They were two green, slithery serpents, squeezing the life out of Zylo’s wrists.

Struggling to get loose, Zylo felt trapped and helpless once again. The closet door opened wide and forced him to see something he did not want to see. Zylo relived the moment that grandma died, but this time serpents were slithering around her.

Zylo was zapped back into reality with an accelerated heartbeat. Drenched in sweat, he grabbed the bottle of water on his nightstand and quickly chugged it. Strangely, Zylo could see a glowing light coming from under the closet door.

Slowly approaching the door, Zylo started to hear the sound of ocean waves. Curiosity drove Zylo to turn the knob quickly to reveal what was behind it. Zylo reunited with his glowing orb friend.