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The boy caused trouble no matter who got hurt, or the cost, and he was rumbling again. Wun had left Fisher High School grounds and was running down Suma's Path, a shortcut that wound through scant woods to Yaqui Road where he and his friend Benrubi lived. The last bell would ring in a minute or so, and Benrubi would come for the bike he always left under the aged walnut tree, never concerned that it would be stolen. But that day, Wun had a wily plan to take it and would never be suspected. He'd hide the glossy bike, silver and red, deeper in the woods near the marsh where Benrubi never went, hindered by his fear of slimy things slipping in and out of the water.

"I'll take it home later and paint it; not a lot of work." Wun's parents refused to purchase a bike for him and withheld other gifts and privileges until he assumed responsibility for his destructive behavior they'd been observing for well over a year. Though Wun had sincerely questioned his own behavior, it was easier to be a thief than struggle against it. When the clang of the dismissal bell quivered in his solar plexus, he rushed into the woods and forced his plunder, only partially hidden, under a scruffy stand of bushes and crouched with it just minutes before hearing Benrubi scream in the distance, "Where's my bike?"

Determining that his friend was gone, Wun returned to Suma's Path. Standing alone, he called his mother on his cell phone. Having deliberately missed the bus, he wanted her to pick him up at the stone steps in front of the school.

"You'll have to walk," she said. "Your father has the car; his truck's down."

"That's too far to walk, Mother."

"Take the shortcut!"

"But--"

"You're fifteen years old, Wun! Take the Path. After that you'll have only a half-mile to go," she insisted, then hung up. Wun was upset about his failing plan until he realized the circumstances were perfect for taking the bike home right then, and his plan only required a small change. Excited, he retrieved it from the brush and rolled smoothly through the solitude down Suma's Path until someone pushed him and he crashed.

"You don't have to obey Tuu," a Voice spoke to the thief on the ground. At first, the Presence towering over Wun was faint, and like a golden watermark on fine stationery, Light filtered through it.

Puzzled, Wun got to his feet. "Who's Tuu and who're you?" He frowned, staring calmly at the Being gradually appearing, a Light oscillating directly between them when He spoke; in the distance another Light shone, not as brilliant, but beautiful as well.

"I'm here to help you find the answer to the question you've asked your Self."

"You pushed me off my bike! How does that help?"

"I pushed you off Benrubi's Bike." Suma looked over Wun's shoulders at someone the boy hadn't yet seen, and suddenly there were two boys talking. Wun's inner plea for help had created a powerful vibration against the wall obstructing Tuu's presence; it had begun to weaken and Tuu was being exposed in Wun's subconscious.

"How does it help you to push me off ANYone's bike?" Wun asked.

"The other is called Tuu," Suma informed him, having no intentions of answering that question. "He won't be able to survive after you've seen him!"

Wun looked around..."I don't see anyone. What does Tuu do?" he asked, smiling, amused by the simple rhyme.

"He wants you to keep the bike, but you already know that you should return it."

"If you do, Benrubi will know you stole it," Tuu whispered, still unseen.

"I can't give it back," Wun said. "He'll know I stole it."

"Don't listen to him..."

"If you keep it, you won't be embarrassed," Tuu spoke louder.

"But I don't want to be embarrassed," Wun told Suma.

"You'll suffer more than embarrassment if you keep it." Suma wanted Wun to know that. "Tuu wants you to stay on the destructive path you've chosen, with his help, of course. If you'll just listen, you'll hear his voice, and you'll see him."

Wun was silent, not understanding at all.

"You asked for help, Wun. Don't you remember?" The Light that oscillated with Suma's voice brightened when He spoke. Wun looked into the Light and the body of a huge lion-type Being appeared. "You'll have to eliminate him," Suma said, "or he'll be with you always."

Then it happened. Wun saw Tuu! The devious yellow-eyed boy dropped the grungy sack he carried filled with rusty tools crucial to his efforts to restoring the collapsing wall. He lunged at Wun who became combative at once, slapping Tuu across his eyes. "Get off me!" Wun demanded. Tuu released a piercing scream, not because he had been hurt; he was losing his stronghold on a loyal host. Having no intentions of being ejected, Tuu fought brutally. Reeling, he couldn't withstand the blows from Wun who meant it when he said, "You're leaving!"

When the battle ended, Wun, for the first time, felt ashamed of his actions and began to cry. "I need someone to go with me to return the bike," he told Suma.

"No, you do not." Suma's Presence, the Light between them, and the Light in the distance began to fade, and by the time the soothing roar Wun heard ended, all were gone. Minutes later, Wun felt relaxed and had garnered the courage to return Benrubi's shiny bike. He rolled down Suma's Path again, this time in a new-found Light and with constructive, honorable intentions. He paused at the half-mile mark to his house, then paddled down Yaqui into the driveway of Benrubi's yard. There was no one in sight. Wun dropped the bike and ran fast, very fast, to his house, the third one on the left!

Submitted by: Naimah on 07/14/2016

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