The Room II- Out of The Fire

The fire had burned, but she had survived. And Zaya knew exactly what that meant.

The fire


When Zaya woke up that morning, she knew what to expect. At the same time, she hadn’t.

Once her parents died, she knew she was next in line for the horrible tradition in their clan. It puzzled her that in the 21st century, the people around her still felt the need to carry out these archaic traditions. They were all already special, different from other people. So, why did they still need this?

Of course, teasing her twin brother for being three minutes younger was fun, but she had never wished more that it was her instead.

Still reeling from the sudden loss of her dear Baba and Mama, she wasn’t ready for it. She had never been ready; she doubted that she would ever be. There were two ways this could go.

When she stepped into that darkly lit room and stared at the dark concoction, she had a feeling she knew exactly which way that would be.

If whatever happened in the illusion took her life, they’d move on to the first child of the next family. If she survived, she would be the next leader. Zaya didn’t want to be the next head of the Nzululu clan. She was terrified of what it would mean for her. And for her twin.


She knew what she saw, but no one else had to. Everything she had heard about the ceremony was right. While you were in the illusion, you had no idea why and seemed to have lost all sense of previous events. You didn’t even know who you were. “I might as well have been in this illusion all my life,” Zaya thought.

How was she going to get out of this? Now that the fire had burned and it hadn’t burnt her, she knew that what she feared had come to pass.

She was out, and it was clear as day. The little boy had represented her brother.

As soon as she had taken the purplish concoction, her mind had been transported to the realm everyone feared. Zaya had never thought she would have to go that early. She couldn’t remember the other faces she saw before the fire, but how could she forget the vicious look on the boy’s face? That was the same way Zulu looked whenever he was mad.

The little boy represented her brother, and the last puzzle of the piece just fell into place. This was why the elders had rushed to replace the leader; they would be eager to hear what she saw, to find out if she was the one that would save them. Was she the one that could get rid of this “boy” that the prophecy spoke about?

Her parents had hidden it well. Right from when Zulu was a baby, they had done the needful. She was the only one who knew about it now that they were gone. Even Zulu himself had no idea. It was better that way.

Zaya opened her eyes and slipped off the high bench. She wasn’t feeling it, but she bent over and wept in front of all the elders. She heard that those who survived sometimes did it, some sort of overwhelming of the spirit. It would be a good way to pass the time until she figured out the perfect lie to tell. No one else could save her brother but her.

It’s Lieme here. If you liked this story, please like, share, and comment. You can enjoy this story better by reading the first part – The Room- Through Her Mind’s Eye. To read more stories like this, you may want to try other original stories.

1 reply on “The Room II- Out of The Fire”

  • I love how this is perspective kind of vibe, because the room would be so different for Zulu.
    The story is really good 👍

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