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À vos plumes

Ghosts in the Mirror





Deep down the mysterious continent of Asia, laden with centuries upon centuries of legends and stories to tell, lies the land of a thousand dynasties, China. The people of this land are known most for their vast seas of wisdom and spirituality. Their eyes look through the physical and value beauty on the purity of the soul and the mind, as we are going to see in the tears falling from the eyes of Zhong Kui, the King of Ghosts.

Bright minds are the spark of civilization yet no mind can shine brighter than Zhong Kui’s:

The hero of this story was a true genius, had the highest grades in his class, was the favorite of all his teachers, and was the teacher of all his classmates. A man of such talents deserves no less than the highest of honors and positions, and so was his thinking. Zhong Kui chose to apply for the imperial examination, to become an advisor of the king and do his part in the rising of his empire.

People in the imperial palace were astonished by Zhong’s brilliant answers and immediately invited him to assume his new position. The emperor, a pretentious man, all too pompous for the common folk was the type of man that wishes everything to be perfect and all too beautiful. He sat on his golden throne wearing the finest of his silk robes and a crown made of pure jade was resting on his head, waiting for our hero’s presence.

Zhong Kui finally arrived at the doors of the palace and presented himself to the guards who allowed his immediate entry. He could not be happier, but all of his joy sunk to the depths of the earth when he entered the emperor’s courtroom. The king gave the highest shriek when helaid his eyes on Zhong. He felt pure disgust as he looked upon our genius’ misshapen eyes and overgrown ears. He almost puked as he looked at our prodigy’s ragged clothes and dirty hair, and immediately expelled him from the palace vowing to never let something so horrendous sit on his imperial tables.

Zhong Kui wept his eyes dry as he left the presence of the emperor and walked with what he thought was shame until he reached the huge metal doors of the palace. Before leaving, he looked at his reflection on those doors and felt so much anger for the world that birthed him in such a fashion, and with so much rage and sadness building in his heart, he struck his head on the door, once, twice, and thrice, until his blood splattered all over it, and he kept beating on his brow until he fell on the ground dead, another victim of suicide.

Fortunately, his story does not end with his untimely death. As his soul traveled to the underground, it caught the eye of the King of Hell and fascinated by its purity, and sensing the talents of the new arrival. He knew that Zhong Kui was way too special to waste.

He honored him with a greater title than he could ever wish for in the emperor’s palace. He named him King of Ghosts and Hunter of Demons. Zhong was delighted and vowed to do right by his new duty, protecting all humans, including the emperor that caused him nothing but depression.

With plenty to take from between the lines of this tale, we can start with the fact that words are as sharp as swords and they can shred a soul to bits leaving a person broken, never to be repaired. There is no ugly, or hideous, there is only different. 

There are no two humans on this earth that look alike and that’s what makes being human beautiful. It’s okay to have features unlike those you see in the media and pictures of models, for those features are you and nothing is as pretty as your love for yourself. Beauty too can come in so many forms, and to the forces of nature, illustrated in this story by the King of Hell and God of Death, the most natural of all forces, nothing is more important than the beauty of your mind.

Superficiality is killed when the eyes are closed to let the ears hear the magnificent words coming out of your mouth, to understand the purity of your golden ideas, and to feel the true essence of what truly is you beneath the shell that might or might not be attractive by the common definition.

To wrap up the story of a prodigy and his unjust end, I advise each and every one of you to stand in front of a mirror and say that you are beautiful because if you accept it, no sword can scathe your soul. And you are not just beautiful because of what you look like, you are beautiful because of what you feel, because of what you think about when you steer away with your thoughts in public, you are beautiful because of what you love and what you cherish, because of the art that leaks like rainbows from your mind and most importantly, you are beautiful because you wake up and live every day to the fullest despite what the poison you hear from the people in your life.


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À vos plumes

To Love






When I first saw love, I knew she was so beautiful

She made me smile and her presence made school wonderful

Love walked me home everyday 

And love said hi to me in the hallway

She sang to her friends incredibly good

And I tried to mimic that. I wished I could


Love was a walking sunshine

Love made not loving her a crime

She would draw adorable doodles

She would sit with me at lunch and buy me noodles

Love was lovable

Love was adorable

With love I had no conflict

Love was incredibly perfect


But love, love was not perfect


When I got to know love, I found that she wasn’t as poetic as I thought

She would curse, yell and use slang

She would miss a note every time she sang

Love would not learn when she’s taught

And I was scared from her waving red flag


Love was not cheerful all the time

Love would mix coke with lime

Love would drink from the bottle 

Love confuses Plato and Aristotle


She was moody, angry and constantly bored

She was ill-tempered and cold

She would not listen when told

That I could not find her favorite candy

All the stack was sold

And love would yell and scold


But love cried

Love constantly tried 

To show me that she loved me

To say that I’m her home and she’s but a refugee


And I wish I listened 


Love finally left

But her memories I kept

Her shining eyes and euphonious voice

Her presence that would rejoice

And I wish I listened


Love said she needed her own space

But her memories still I trace

Love said she was tired of trying 

Of constantly fighting and crying 

And I wish I listened


Love got that degree and she’s proud

I still remember her laugh that is loud

Love moved to another city

Love left me live in self-pity

And I wish I listened


I wish I knew that love was not perfect

But she was beautiful, genuine and kind

I should have loved her and not listen to my mind

Love tried her best 

Love had a fire burning her chest

Love was perfect the way she was

And I was too blind to see it because

I thought love stays forever

But love had to cry and suffer


When I held love I said this is the first of millions

When I hugged love and she was pretty

I let her go easily 

And we didn’t even pass thirty


I miss love. I wish I could tell her one last time

« I love you and thank you

For loving what I had 

And cherishing what I lack,

But now that you’re gone

Can I please have myself back? »


Written By : Montassar Hizi.

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