The air was crisp and cold the morning of the discovery. Shouldering his way through the greeness, he hugged his pack to him.
Anthony had just left home on his first journey into adulthood. Every Minor on their 18th birthday had to venture into the world and bring back something from the world of the big humans.
Branches scratched at him, thorns stuck him, but he was determined. Just something in his gut told him that his worthiness was in this direction.
Suddenly the trees parted and beyond them was a great depression in the woodlands, and in its...

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I was free. This is where I had always felt free. The air rushed up beside and around me in the form of small, rounded bubbles. I plunged deeper and deeper, holding my breath until I could feel my lungs begin to scream. The whistling noise in my ear told me I needed to go to the surface. I close my eyes as I kicked my feet, pushed my arms through the water like propellers, feeling the rush of water around me. My head cracked through the surface of the water and I gasped, gulping down as much air as...

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When I was 12, I went to sea. When I was 12 and 1/16th, I knew it had been a terrible idea after all and swam for shore. Shore turned out to be not where I started. I ate monkey brains with a wooden spoon, I wore voluminous silk pants in a brighter blue than had ever been seen before in my hometown so far away, I stole. It was a fine adventure. When I arrived home, dusty and below the dust a crusty layer of salt, and below the crusty layer of salt my skin nut brown, I was...

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He'd escaped.

And not in the usual way.

Home from school at 7:30pm, another long day of detention for crimes uncommitted (who ever did anything really deserving detention – and when has detention been worse than the alternative. Questions he wrestled with with his head on his desk) – home long after sunset, he pressed his head against his pillow and cried.

The tears awoke the empathy of the waters in the room. His fishbowl grew stormy. A glass of water shuddered with tsunami. The poster of the ship on the wall erupted in gale and he could feel the lash...

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Twist. Turn. Dip. Sweep. All at once, the winds around the ship changed, shifting from a violent storm to a soft breeze. The black plumage of his Tengu Fan remained stock straight, even with the skilled hand moving it with jarring grace to manipulate the winds around them. They crew had all seen the man at work at least once before, but always it was a sight of awe. Not many on the high seas could willingly sail through a tempest and come out of it completely unscathed.

After the tribulation had passed, and the skies parted above into clear...

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Bobby had lived in his imagination as a child. Within the universe of his mind, he was an action hero, an iron-willed daredevil. He could meet any challenge, snatch victory from the jaws of any defeat, bravely pull off any stunt.

Now that he was older, he was learning more and more that he would probably never trade tracer bullets with South American guerillas, or infiltrate the secret Appalachian hideout of a band of communist child kidnappers, or balance on the hood of a car, guns blazing, while pursuing Somalian bank thief pirates across a perilous frozen lake.

But maybe,...

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"You can count me out. There's no way I'm gonna do this." Lewis strode to the door, coat in hand. I rose up from my chair, hand outstretched.

"Wait! I'm sure we can work something out." I cried. Lewis turned his head.

"Look, I don't want to be on your silly venture, and that's final." The brilliant star light shone in through the window, casting deep shadows along Lewis' face.

"Hey! It is not silly. It's an exploration to the deepest part of this world! They say that there's treasure and fortune awaiting for those who discover it."

"So how...

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When I was twelve I went to sea, aboard a small ship. They hired me to clean and sweep and feed the men, in exchange they said they would take me across the ocean to the new world.
A week or two after shipping out, a storm rose on the horizon. The wind she blew and rain she fell and waves crashed into the sides.
The captain went first, and then his crew, leaving just me and another, a drunk.
The sails were torn, and the bow was pierced, the hull became full of water. Neither of us knew how...

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I shoveled myself further under the covers and sat with my flashlight, curled in my tiny igloo, my fortress of solitude, catching up on the secret stash of comics that I had hidden in the back of my closet.

I'd read sometimes until the flashlight flickered, in need of more juice from the cheap batteries I'd buy at the store with leftover lunch money. I'd fall asleep squinting my eyes so tight that I couldn't make out shapes on a page, and I'd wake up early to wash the sweaty inkstains from...

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(To read Part 3, follow this link:

"Choose as you please," said Someone Good. "Surrender to the breeze, or fight for control. Which do you value: predictability, or potential. The known and the now, or the unknown, the good?"

As the air whipped in gusts around her, gripping her, twisting her, she struggled. Within herself, she wrestled for a choice. Would she allow herself to be carried up by these winds of change?

Somehow she knew that this was a defining moment. It was here, in the borderlands of Somewhere Better, that she could either fight her way back...

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