Daryn stared at his reflection in the puddle, not for the first time wondering why he never seemed to fit in. He looked quite ordinary in the puddle and couldn’t understand why he felt this way. At school he was, somehow, different to the other kids, and spent much of his time on his own. At home all he wanted to do was sit in his room and write stories about heroes who saved people from evil giants, witches, or rampaging beasts.
In all of his stories, people worked together, a social response to attacks on their homes. Daryn was the outsider who rode in to dispose of the threat. But he never actually became one of those people, always staying on the outside, looking in.
‘You’ll feel different as you get older,’ Daryn’s Dad said, without taking his eyes from the newspaper he was reading.
‘That’s right,’ Mum added. ‘In the next few years the shyness will go away and you’ll make plenty of friends.’
Daryn often wondered how getting older would make any difference. He knew he wasn’t just shy, he simply felt uncomfortable being around people. Intended words formed readily in his head, but seemed to dissolve into nothing before they reached his mouth.
The puddle was changing, oily colours spreading across its surface, and with it, Daryn’s thoughts cleared. He saw himself as an adult, looking suave and confident in his expensive dark suit. The odd thing was, he was surrounded by people, all waiting for him to sign the books they held in their hands. On closer inspection he could see the author’s name on the covers: Daryn Tomlinson…
‘That’s me!’ he gasped, ‘I’m an author, a successful one, too.’
As an author, Daryn would soon be back at his desk, writing his next best-seller, away from the people he could not relate to. Being on the outside looking in suited him down to the ground.