Mason sat in the backseat of the car, wringing his hands together. They were sweaty. That's probably why his throat was dry, all the moisture in his body was seeping through his hands. His family told him that this was normal, the nervousness, the choosing ceremony— though it wasn't much of a ceremony. From his understanding all you did was walk about a large building until your item reveals itself to you— was an important event in a young wizard or witch's life. The first step into adulthood. Mason wasn't sure he was ready.

His best friend, Hee Young, was a warlock with the wood element and didn't have to go through a ceremony of any kind but she told him about a story she had heard about a boy who had disappeared during their ceremony. They went in and never came back out again. Just vanish off the face of the earth. Hee Young told him that was kind of like Mason: short, skinny, quiet, and nervous. Mason asked her how she knew that if the kid disappeared and she punched him in the arm as an answer. As a sort of counter measure his older siblings, Ashanti and Jesse, had spent the night before his ceremony trying to help him relax by telling him bits and pieces of their own choosing ceremony experience. Ashanti talked about how cool the inside of the building looked. All bright colors and beautiful decorations. Jesse talked about the different levels he had seen and how the further up you went the more alive everything seemed. He tried to get specifics out of them, asking them what it was like when they finally found their item or how long it took but they wouldn't say. They wanted him to have the most unique experience possible. Mason just thought they were being mean.

"You doing okay back there?" His mom asked, looking at him through the rearview mirror.

Mason shrugged and leaned against the window. His stomach was busy twisting itself into knots but all she would say was that there was nothing to worry about. He stared out the window and watched the world go by. He saw people going to and from stores and kids playing on the sidewalk and people walking dogs. He also caught sight of what he thought was kind of festival, there were a lot of people gathered around a particular corner. He saw what looked to be a Cleanser standing at the front dressed in blue and yellow. He had been seeing a lot more of them around lately.

The car rounded a corner and came to a stop in front of the building. Mason stared up at it, cheek pressed against the window to get a better look.

It had to be ten stories tall and it looked old, the stone it was made out of was stained with years of dirt. Some spots darker than others. The windows were covered in a layer of permanent dust. The red painted door was peeling, showing the pale wood beneath it. Mason tried to swallow but his dry throat wasn't working. He hopped out of the car and held onto his mother's hand as they walked towards the building. She pushed open the door and he was immediately his with the musty smell. He covered his nose and mouth and his mother laughed at him. The inside was no better. The carpet was matted down, even bare in some parts. The walls had holes and peeling paint. Was this the vibrancy that Ashanti was talking about? This couldn't be, it was all gross. His mom didn't seem bothered by any of this. They walked down the hall, turning when need until they came up to a full length mirror.

"Well," she said, "here we are."

"Mom." Mason frowned. "This is a mirror."

She laughed a bit and shook her head, "Yes. That's what it looks like if you want it to."

"What? It looks like this because I want it to?" He looked up at her. "Well…what does it look like to you?"

She simply smiled and pressed a finger to her lips. "This is your ceremony, Mason. Now relax and step through the mirror."

"But…how am I—"

"Mason," she said firmly. "You have seen your sister turn another child into a rabbit and have watched your brother levitate five feet in the air. Walking through a mirror shouldn't be difficult."

Mason huffed and turned to face the mirror. She's right, of course, he's seen all sorts of different things involving magic. None of them involving mirrors but this isn't weird. It shouldn't be anyways. But as Mason stared at his reflection he could see sweat forming on his forehead, making his dark brown skin shine. He looked scared. He doesn't want to be scared but he also doesn't want to possibly disappear. Taking a breath and one last look at his mother he closed his eyes and moved forward.

He pressed his hands against the mirror, feeling the hard cool surface underneath. He pressed harder and was then surrounded by a freezing liquid for a moment before it was gone. Then he was falling.

Mason flailed about, trying to find something, anything to hold on to. It was more difficult because he couldn't see anything either. Mason thought he was going to die. The air whipped around him, stinging his eyes so he couldn't even cry. He couldn't believe this, he was brought here to get his item and now he was going to splat on the ground like an egg. Mason wanted his mother.

Then, rather suddenly he slowed down. His raid fall turned into a gentle downward float, like he was sinking in water only he was in air. Mason blinked a couple of times, trying to see anything in this inky blackness. He noticed that as he went down things became brighter. He could see little white wisps floating around him in all directions. As everything became even brighter he could see that he was in some kind of white tunnel, smooth all the way around. He landed on the ground softly with a white door about half his height the only way out.

Mason paused and looked back up the way he fell. He couldn't see anything up there. He wondered what his mother had seen when they were standing in front of the mirror or if this was what his sibling had meant about it being vibrant and lively.

'Well, can't stay here forever.' He swallowed and grabbed the handle of the door, crouched a bit and walked through it.

He was now in another hallway. The walls were a bright red color, like a shiny apple, while the carpet underneath his feet was bright white like freshly fallen snow. It was pretty. He looked up at the ceiling where brilliant bulbs shined and golden streamers sat. He moved down the hall, following all the twist and turns it took. As he walked the floor seemed to warp and move as he walked but he couldn't be too sure. This time the hall stopped there was a black painted door with a silver handle. He pulled the door open and was met with a mostly black room. There was only one overhanging light that illuminated a wooden table underneath.

"Um." He leaned forward to peak around in the room trying to spot if he could spot anything in the darkness. "Hello? M-My name's Ma—"

"Mason Olwen." A voice echoed from the darkness. Hands and arms stretched out from the darkness and motioned him towards the table. "I've been expecting you. Please, come it."

That made his skin crawl, this was like something from a scary movie. It was almost enough to make him turn tail and run. Almost. Mason walked into the room, quickly making his way over to the table and the only source of light.

The hands looked bone white under the light and were neatly folded on the table. Mason looked up but he still couldn't see the face the arms belonged to. It was unsettling. He copied whoever stood in front of him and folded his own hands on top of the table.

"Tell me," the voice echoed. "How was your birthday?"

"It was okay." Mason never made a big deal about his birthday. Not like his siblings. Ashanti always had parties outside of the house: at a hall, a skate ring or even the mall. Jesse was more laidback, bringing a couple of friends over to exchange presents and eat cake. Mason just let it pass like any other day, unless his parents planned something for him.

The voice hummed, hands withdrawing into the darkness. "Simply okay?"


There was a silence that followed and Mason wondered if the birthday question was some kind of test. A test that he had failed. Mason began to sweat. What did failing a test mean here? Did it mean he wouldn't get his item? What happened to wizards who don't get their item? Is this how that kid Hee Young had told his about disappeared? All these questions and many more like them were buzzing around his skull. It all stopped when the hands reappeared, holding a deck of cards.

Mason watched in silent awe as the hands shuffled the cards, flipping them in the air and mixing them up until they finally held them out like a fan in front of him.

"Pick one."

Mason stared at the back of all the card, all the same yellow color, trying to figure out which card he should choose. He wondered how the cards were supposed to help. Did each card have a different picture on it and whichever he picked would be his item?

He stood there for what felt like forever, not sure which card to pick. The hand stayed perfectly still, not weaving or swaying, the other hand never drummed its fingers against the table in annoyance. The only sound was Mason's breathing. Finally he reached forward to pick a card from the middle. As soon as he touched the card the person who owned those bone white hands eye opened and Mason drew his hand back. Well, Mason thought it was an eye. It wasn't anywhere an eye should have been, looking like it was placed more on the forehead, with a beady black iris. Mason wanted to back away but his legs stayed put.

The card he had touched began to change color, shifting from a golden yellow to a red color as a purple pattern spread across the back from the center. They picked the changing card from the deck and looked at it, that little iris moving back and forth as it looked down at the card. Mason could hear wind whirling in the room but he couldn't feel any wind against his skin.

They placed the card face up on the table and suddenly the room was flooded with light. Mason blinked a couple of times, getting his vision to adjust to the new light and rubbed his eyes. Once his vision cleared up he looked down at the card and saw nothing but purple squiggles. He looked up and gasped taking a step back.

The person before him was tall. Taller than any person he'd ever seen with ski that looked like birch bark. They were rail thin with short black hair combed back. A beak-like nose sat on their face and one singular eye sat on their forehead.

They smiled down at him, the eye on the forehead closing and two eyes in normal spots opening up. "Very interesting. I haven't seen one like you in a while."

Mason felt that shiver on his spine again and took another small step back. They simply smiled at him.

"Follow me."

Mason did not want to do that. Item or not.

They hummed and turned on their heels, walking away from Mason. "If you don't follow me you'll be stuck here forever."

That got his feet moving, falling into step behind Beaknose. Beaknose led him through these large double doors and Mason's mouth hit the floor.

The double doors led out to a high balcony that overlooked a room so big that Mason couldn't see the other side. On the ground were rows and rows of bookshelves and the walls were covered in holsters and cases that held wands, staffs, and different kinds of pendants. But the most fantastic thing was the fact that things were moving. Things floated and zipped about the large room in all different directions. He's never seen anything like it.

"Amazing, isn't it?" Beaknose said.

Mason nodded, "Yeah."

The balcony began to move forward as Beaknose started talking about the history of this place and the items. Mason wasn't listening, to enthralled by everything he was seeing. Soon the balcony stopped, Mason stumbling against the safety bars as the balcony dropped down to the ground. They stepped off together and Beaknose motioned to the shelf behind them.

"Here we are," the tall man said.

"My…item's here?" Mason looked up, he couldn't see the top of the bookshelf.

"Yes, can't you feel it?"

Mason blinked and looked down at himself. He didn't feel any different than he did earlier. Less afraid maybe but not too much else. He shook his head.

"Interesting." Beaknose said as his legs stretched upward so that he could reach a higher shelf. After a moment they came back down holding a large book in their hands. "I believe that this, is for you."

Mason looked down at the book. It looked old, the brown cover was frayed at the edges with etched in designs, all swirls and loops. The pages were yellowing, slightly crumpled and looked as though a few of them were ready to fall out. He took it in his hands. It felt warm.

"This is mine…" He felt a smile pull at the corner of his mouth. Mason looked back up at Beaknose but he wasn't there. The large room he was in disappeared and turned into a smaller, older, more dusty room with old, torn up carpet and the paint was peeling off the walls.

Mason looked around, unsure of what happened, clutching his book close to him. He quickly made his way over to the only door in the room and pulled it open, bumping into his mother.

"Where's the fire?" she asked, laughing.

Mason looked up at her, confused. "Mom? Wh…What? You've been out here the whole time?"

"It's only been five minutes."

He blinked and looked around. "Five? How—"

"Never mind that now." She said as she led him back to the car. "Let's hurry home. I'm sure your siblings will be dying to hear how your ceremony went."

The rest of the night was a blur. As soon as Mason stepped inside his house he was bombarded with questions from both Jesse and Ashanti as they flipped through the pages of the book. A special dinner had been made and soon he was in bed, his brand new item sitting on top of his desk.

"Well, Mason." He mumbled to himself as he waited for sleep to come. "You're a man now."

That was kind of scary and he wondered what was in store for him with this book. Well, he'd just have to wait and find out.

A/N: This story is completely un-beat'd. So feel free to leave any type of feedback or questions.