They didn’t know him anymore, He was new. His worst fear had been confirmed, that he would stray too far, so far he could never come back. There was a mirror.
He cleaned all of the dust from the mirror with his eyes closed. The boy knew what he had to do but was afraid, He knew what the mirror was going to show him and he did not want to see.
It was cold, but not as he remembered it. it was different this time, the subtle eerie winds whispered forgotten things, the boy opened his eyes.
There was darkness, the boy did not remember this, His heart raced at the sound of it’s beating. Why was he frightened by a place he built himself? The boy knew the answer but would bite his tongue off before he would hear himself say the words. He put one foot in front of the other and took a step forward.
The mirror showed him many things.
He was reminded of a time when he was welcome, it was easy to look at the lights then, easy to breathe. He would go there every night, talking to them, they always listened with a knowing that they belonged to him.
This time was different, he had been away for too long and they had learned to be without him, they waited many nights and with each night it grew colder.
The boy shivered, letting out a tear. The ground shook as the tears dropped, the pillars trembled and the mirror cracked in two.
He looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. It finally made sense to him.
He ran as fast as his legs would carry him as it began to fall apart, with each sprint it became clearer what the boy had to do, a sense of excitement shot through his body as he ran even faster, the boy did not look back.
The boy sat down in the sand, looking at the ruins from a distance. It was cold but just as he remembered it, He closed his eyes and waited.
Then he saw it, it shone brightly and illuminated the night sky; vivid and violet just as it was years before he went away. the boy cried again but this time he cried the kind of tears a mother would cry after finding her long lost child. the boy knew he had passed the test.
His reward was a lesson and he would never forget. he walked back home in the cold talking to himself, his beloved fortress had been reduced to ruins but none of that would matter in the morning, He had gotten his light back and that was all he cared about.
The skies changed from black to violet that night and only the boy knew why.