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Why Cybil Doesn't Slam Doors

A Magickal Tale From "The Book of Why"

By Kyle CejkaPublished about a month ago 5 min read

"Cecil-James, you are such a little jerk!" Cybil shouted as she ran to her room. She slammed the door behind her with all the strength an angry eight year old girl could muster. Her bedroom echoed with the satisfying clap of a thunder that always accompanies a well-slammed door.

"Ouch!" said a voice.

Cybil froze. Who was in her room? Slowly, she turned around to face the speaker. She saw no one.

"Who said that?" she demanded, her voice coming out smaller and more frightened than she wanted. She didn't know if she should call for her father or not, but the scream was there, waiting just behind her lips.

"I did." replied the unseen intruder. It sounded pained, like it had just stubbed its toe.

Cybil closed her eyes and recited a spell her father had taught her, a spell of Seeing.

"By the light of the Moon and the power of the Sea,

By the Magick of three by three by three,

Reveal that which is hidden from me."

When Cybil opened her eyes, they were glowing bright blue. The old wooden door shimmered in her enhanced sight, revealing something small and person-shaped perched upon the doorjam. It was gingerly rubbing its head.

"Who are you?" Cybil asked, not as afraid now that she could see the speaker.

"My name is Ren," it answered. It winced in pain when its tiny fingers rubbed the growing knot on its head. "and I would really appreciate you not slamming me around like that anymore. It hurts."

"I'm sorry! I didn't know you were there!" Cybil went to her dresser and got a handkerchief. She folded it into a tiny square, then dipped it into a glass of cold water from her nightstand. She offered the wet handkerchief to Ren. "Here. Will this help?"

Ren accepted it and pressed the cold, wet cloth to its head. It sighed in relief. "Ahhh, yes," it said. "Thank you, that's much better."

Cybil sat on her bed and scrutinized the little person. He seemed to be made of wood, his skin the same rich, dark brown as her door. He even had the same grain patterns.

"What are you doing climbing around on my door?" she asked.

Ren smiled. "I am your door," he replied. Then he frowned. "Well, I'm actually the spirit that lives in your door; but that makes me part of the door which also makes me the door itself, but you get the idea." Ren's face broke into a bright smile. "Different people in different places have called me and my kind many different things, but the Japanese call us shikigami."

"She-kee-what?" Cybil asked.

"Shikigami," Ren repeated, enunciating the syllables for her. "I like that word better than others, it tickles my tongue to say it. Shikigami!" Ren giggled.

"What's a shikigami?" Cybil asked. She'd met a few Magickal creatures in her short life, but never heard of a shikigami.

"I protect your room from bad energies." Ren answered brightly. "I also keep all your good energies here in your room. That's why you feel so safe and happy in here out of all the rooms in the house. If I weren't here, all your secret thoughts and happy energys would escape all over the house and beyond."


"Really! It's like a protective bubble keeping good things in and bad things out. But just like a bubble, my Magick is fragile. Slamming your door not only hurts my head, it can also pop the bubble. If that happens, woosh!" Ren made a whooshing gesture with his hands.

"Wow!" Cybil said. "I had no idea. How come you've never shown yourself to me before now? "

"We shikigami are shy," Ren explained. "We like helping, but most of us are really shy and easily frightened. There have been lots of people who have unwittingly scared off their shikigami by always yelling at each other and slamming doors."

"Like Cecil-James and I?" Cybil could see how arguing with her little brother could make the shikigami feel sad, and how slamming her door could scare them.

Ren nodded. "Exactly. Your mood effects your environment, and so does the way you talk to people–or yell at them."

"You're not going to leave, are you?" Cybil was suddenly very worried. She and her little brother argued a lot.

Ren shook his tiny head. "No, I'm not, and neither will my brothers and sisters. I've heard your secret thoughts, and I have listened to the things your father has been teaching you. I knew you'd listen if I told you about us."

"I'm glad you're not leaving," Cybil said. "I would have felt really bad if I'd scared you and your family away without meaning to. Hey!" She exclaimed, a sudden idea coming to her. "Is there anything I can do for you and the other shikigami in the house?"

"You could start by making up with your brother," Ren replied. "We can feel the bad feelings between you two when you argue. But we can feel the good feelings, too. Good feelings are better." Ren gave her a big smile.

Cybil smiled back. "Is there anything else?"

"Well, there is one thing," Ren said. "You could tell Cecil-James about us, and then could the two of you perhaps decorate our doorways? We shikigami like pretty living spaces as much as you big folk do."

"Okay!" Cybil exclaimed. Ren's idea sounded like great fun. She said goodbye to Ren and went to Cecil-James' room where they quickly made up. As is usually the case with young siblings, neither of them could really remember what it was they were arguing about in the first place. Whatever it was, it didn't really matter: making up was easy, especially when presented with the prospect of honoring the shikigami who protected their secret thoughts and happy energies. That was an adventure they were both excited to embark upon.

In another room of the house, Cybil-Kae and Cecil-James' father sat in quiet meditation with their mother. His ears pricked as he sensed a presence enter the room.

"How are things?" he asked without opening his eyes.

"Great!" said Ren. "You were right–both of them were really excited to learn about us."

A smile touched the corners of their father's mouth. "I told you so."

"So, no more slamming doors?" their mother asked, having heard the entire conversation.

"No more slamming doors." Ren assured her.

Both parents sighed, relieved. Shikigami weren't the only ones who were bothered by slamming doors and children shouting at each other.

The End

For all the parents out there. Blessed Be!

SeriesYoung AdultFantasyfamily

About the Creator

Kyle Cejka

Kyle Cejka is an incarcerated author whose profile is facilitated by his Wife, Cydnie. He lacks direct internet access, but is determined to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a world-reknowned bestselling author despite any obstacles.

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Comments (1)

  • Margaret Brennanabout a month ago

    Oh my goodness. I LOVE IT .... I LOVE IT .... this is utterly fantastic. please write more like this.

Kyle CejkaWritten by Kyle Cejka

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