The Mirrored Lands

I have nowhere left to run. I’ve reached the border of my prison. The only thing left to do is backtrack. Go back to where I’ve been. I try again to reach outside Iglenda’s borders only for my hand to bruise the second it leaves my homeland. I jerk my hand away. 

With a sigh I look back to the two kingdoms I’ve abandoned. Nord Iglenda and Sud Iglenda. Opposites in every way. 

Sud Iglenda is full of life and freedom. Everyone defies what is expected of them. Although if everyone is breaking the rules is anyone truly breaking a single rule?

Nord Iglenda is full of people who live by the book. They always go by plan. They have strict rules but everyone “knows” it’s benefiting them. People are forced into power but they don’t get to choose how to use it. 

That’s what happened to me. They’re not letting me leave. But truthfully I’m scared I’ll meet the same fate as my mother before me. 

My dad and siblings all tried to shape me into who they thought I should be and Sud Iglenda set me free to do what I please. Well, as long as I became one of them. Which I did. They changed how I looked, how I acted until I broke away. I made some friends but they all had see-through personalities that were just as fake as I was. 

I can’t leave! I have to go back to one of them. 

On one hand, if I return to Nord Iglenda, I will see my family and have immense power. The only catch is I’ll be a slave to my father and then to my older siblings. 

So onto Sud Iglenda then, I’ll be free and have friends who don’t want to control me. The problem comes when everything is an illusion and we think we’re free but we’re really just acting, looking, and feeling the same way everyone has been and will be for the rest of time. 

That leaves me back at square one. Neither of these options give me freedom or peace or safety. They just appear that way until you wake up one day and realize nothing is going your way. 

I let my magic powers set a nearby tree on fire. Destruction caused by something that should’ve never existed. 

I stare at my appearance in a nearby lake. Beauty made by a system full of fake freedom. 

Both of these things have shaped me in one way or another. Both of these things have affected me in ways I can’t change. 

I snatch a handful of water from the lake and use it to extinguish the flames. The fire is out but the tree is still damaged. The remnants of the fire are forever engraved into the tree. 

However you look at this, we suffer either way. Of course you could argue that either one way is worse. But would you rather have someone force your future onto you by changing you from within or would you rather have someone destroy your past by changing you from the outside. 

I have to make a choice. I have nowhere else to go. If I could just break through the border I could escape all this once and for all. I wouldn’t have to choose Nord Iglenda or Sud Iglenda. I wouldn’t have to decide which one was the lesser of two evils. I wouldn’t have to pick one. I could leave and be free of this constant imprisonment. I could leave all the bad stuff behind and start a new life. Ride off into the sunset with people who are trustworthy and honest. I’d be free to be who I really am. Whoever that is. 

I’ve never actually tried to break the border. Maybe I can, maybe I just need to try. I’m running back to the border now. 

I try to use my magic but it’s low on energy and needs to recharge. I suck out the magic Sud Iglenda used on me and use it as an energy source to fuel my power. The power of both of these things combined is just barely enough to bring down the border, once and for all. 

I shatter the border, traveling as far as my legs will take me. Even as my legs are on the brink of collapse I run further. I’ve finally escaped all of Iglenda and I’m never going back. 

By Lana, age 13.