The Ritual of Thousand Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Autumn is coming with many of unexpected events. Imagine a day when you meet one, what are you gonna do?

In Vietnam there was a myth, maybe the fact was truer, if you ever saw a dragonfly – if it was flying of height over your head 10 meters that mean there would be a sunny day, if flying lower about a half so it would be cool and medium weather, and lowest symbolized for rainy day. That made a costume in this country, like urban legends everybody was talking about. Like the fantasy of Hoan Kiem Lake, where existed a mystic giant turtle, what believed a messenger of Dragon King who ruled the ocean. But this was just a dragonfly, an insect even with the letter ‘dragon’ couldn’t make it the real one. However, the eyes of human were so blind to observed the truest self of mystical world.


Tung was a student of one secondary school, he stayed in class to hearing teacher lecturing about the history of Vietnamese war. Boring, boring and boring – That was what he thought for each time sitting on a wooden chair of the square classroom together with other 40 students on the History subject. Who cared about what had happened 30 years ago, even 50 or 70 was not even a big deal, and he assured more than 80 percent of his classmates were thinking the same. With 20 percent left, well, Tung perceived he and them might studied in same room yet lived in different world. He flew his pair of eyes toward whiteboard to viewed a single man called teacher, who was dancing and singing his lesson in a monotonous gestures but sadly a little dull. Made him had to reordered his mind and thought what he and everybody here had done to deserved this? His history teacher, the man who possessed the one and only facial expression – grumpy. He was a grumpy middle aged man with his career by some miracle had spun over 30 years, all of what he did was repeated and repeated and just repeated a teaching program that had been taught to thousand of students who swore would never touched a History textbook ever again. Then he came back to his lovely home where his wife was awaiting, she opened a hard smile with high possibility of the model grumpy woman. He lived in grumpy atmosphere for every day but didn’t bother to cursed for a single time. That was a problem with old age, they didn’t know how to dealt with life sometime.

Tung shook his head back and forth to denied the cruel reality, observing those girls who sitting and chitchatting  on the first row, turning his head to right and left to see if someone had the same idea of rebel. Until he stopped the eyes on several windows on the left side of the classroom, near from him a low distance. The scene took his attention was not some naughty birds or dynamic winds as the sign of autumn was coming. It was something he avoided to took notice, but too late, cause now not just one but many of them was flying around windows like a horde of military helicopters, searching for prey. Some of them parked their puny thin legs on the glass connected to classroom, staying there and watching inside with their oversized ball  eyes. Those stupid dragonflies. Tung had read on science book about them, two eyes created with another thousand tiny small eyes to helped them saw everything clearer. Oh such a idiocy natural development, all of what he need was pair of eyes to came to finally concluded those bugs were the most annoying creatures on earth. Means let heard to their sounding and calling, all of thing be recorded was the buzzing of out-ordered television with broken antenna, so…..

“Did you see those dragonflies?” A classmate who sat next to Tung said. His name was Dat, an usual friendly guy with the trait of naivete and dumminess somewhat made him looked cute before girls. This boy often joined with Tung at online games parties that operated occasionally at one of their home, he was a reliable friend… in some degree.

“Of course I can see them. I do not blind.” Tung replied

“I means do you see any weird about them?”

“They already weird, those rubbish insect.” He seemed want to yelling then awared of his current position.

“The way they are flying very out of normal and order. Dragonflies never do that, you see?” Dat said while pointing his chuppy arm to the direction of window.

Yep, what his buddy said was true. Those dragonflies were really doing something reverse of their habit, flying so high and rushing off with max speed like an athlete throwed a spear to  bullseye so swift and accurate. They flying back to the sky and repeating a movement. Some of them even flying crazily without order, in various shapes of number 8, zigzag,… full of them, following were the nosiy sounds they made .

“You have any guess?” Dat asked.

“Did you think they are trying to…… exercising?”

“My grandfather used to say there was a curse attached to the dragonfly. He said in the particular time of year, after summer there will be a period when they summon all of dragonfly breed on different regions . It’s the time when they flying around together without any order, more like dancing or making a ritual.”

“I start to think you read to much folktale before bed. Seriously, a ritual?”

“I am not sure about that. My grandfather said at his time there was something really odd when folks saw dragonflies after summer time, they heard from the deepest soil the sounds and noises not belong to this world. Many similar events appeared and reappeared everywhere without caution. And then one day, they gone!”

“Nothing else happened?” Tung looked kind of disappointed.

“That creepy enough to me, don’t you think?”

“You know what I am thinking right now?” Tung asked. Dat shaking his head in misunderstanding “Your grandfather is dump. And you so much dumper to believe it.” Tung said in his signature sarcastic voice for each time he heard something stupid, now he has chance. Until his action be caught by the dearest teacher, who knew some of his beloved students not listening to his “precious” speech about Vietnamese Famine in 1945. Five minutes later, the school drum was beating. Break time was coming.


In some other way the words of his friend made Tung get startled, so he decided to checked by his own. Went along the corridor to arrived back schoolyard where the sound of thousand- eyes creatures could be heard very precisely, he often called them by that nickname. The more he stepped forward the more he felt the vertigo air from schoolyard was streaming heavily across the corridor where he still walking on. As soon as possible, this atmosphere would filling out all of school space and drowning it in ecstasy of roaring insects. How loudly of them could be? To made that high-volume voice without interruption of exhaustion or gas out. Or maybe it not an honest question. The thing had to self-wonder here were how many of them exactly, to made a full orchestra of depression and anxious.

Right before his eyes was the thing he wished to hadn’t seen, the thing he never wanted to told back or even recollected. He hoped because of the sun blinded him secondly and saw a thing that was not actually there, an illusion of any sunny day. Yet the reality was harsh and always ugly than he expected. There were not 20 or 30 of them, there were hundred and maybe even more than that, flying around school yard. The last time when he checked were just a bunch of them. They had called for their friends, their cousins, their uncles and their grandfathers and grandmothers  to do the thing what right now Tung had no idea. They kept gluing on the window of school building, sometime flying in low range like to looking everything around, said no to any type of intruder on their holy zone. Their voice growing louder and as the same time circling around the biggest Indian-almond, sticking to the branches, leaves,….. Those dragonflies like the worshippers who on the ritual of their beloved deity, the god of the insect. Then they were roaring, roaring in the fire of passionate until their energy were run over. Wings lost it’s genuine and gone weaker and weaker, contained not enough strength to carried on their own weight. The swarm of insects started falling to the road like the rain of green sticks. However, in the edge of the line between death and alive, they kept yelling, those stupid creatures they kept yelling. The odd was none of apprehension could be tracked. They yelled in admiration, the utter happiness of cold-blooded bugs. The life of dragonfly was short, when they died – they died, but the inner energy was not an ordinary thing that could be faded away forever. It existed, yes, it still existed on the air as a form of invisible energy, waiting to be absorbed by other life being. The far superior and mighty being.

The voices were all over. Is it? Bodies of dragonflies all over the yard, felt around the big tree. And when everything seemed to over, Tung came back his class with an idea this was his craziest day at school. Behind him the sound was raising again, not  from those bugs. All of them were dead and couldn’t even move a muscle. Where was this noise come from? It’s from the tree! It’s from the tree! The soil below the Indian-almond gone trembling and cracking and decaying itself. And beneath of the solid earth, maybe far away to the center of the terra, Tung heard the sound of thousand-eyed creature again. And it’s coming!



Submitted: November 05, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Jack Rafferty. All rights reserved.

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