Wynter #1 Preview

March 19, 2014

Sometimes things speak for themselves. Here are the first four pages of Wynter #1 from New Worlds Comics:

Wynter 1 Page 1

Wynter 1 Page 1

 

Wynter 1 Page 2

Wynter 1 Page 2

 

Wynter 1 Page 3

Wynter 1 Page 3

 

Wynter 1 Page 4

Wynter 1 Page 4

 

Do you like Wynter? Check out New Worlds Comics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Worlds Comics Is Launched!

February 26, 2014

New Worlds Comics is finally online.

We are a new digital independent comic book publisher. ‘Digital’ means we are only digital. This means that there are no hard copies and you can’t find us in stores. Here are some of the reviews we got:

Review roundup for Wynter #1:

“If you call yourself a science fiction fan this shouldn’t be required reading but necessary for you to exist.” – Adventures in Poor Taste. Score: 10 out of 10.

“Once in a while a new book shows up out of nowhere and reminds you why you love comics in the first place.” Rhymes with Geek. Score: 10 out of 10.

“Sci-Fi extravaganza” with “astonishing art.” Fortress of Solitude. Score: A+.

Review roundup for Goof #1

“I recommend Goof for any realistic superhero fans who enjoy a good laugh when reading.” – World of Superheroes

“This book is an absolute riot. I found myself laughing out loud.”
“This is definitely a book to look out for!” – Following the Nerd

““Funny!” “It’s great fun! I really liked it!” – Nerdlocker

 

Check it out for yourselves:

New Worlds Comics website.

New Worlds Comics on Twitter.

New Worlds Comics on Facebook.

Wynter, Issue #1

Wynter, Issue #1

Goofiest superhero ever.

Goof, Issue #1

2013: Year in Review

January 6, 2014

Hi everyone. Let’s take a look at the last year and what’s coming up next year.

 

Tickling Butterflies

During 2013, I serialized at this website my epic fantasy novel, Tickling Butterflies.

Tickling Butterflies – 128 fairy tales rolled into one.

The book follows King John, who was born with a prophecy of death over his head. King John struggles to save The Land of All Legends by finding out all its secrets. In doing so, he follows the fairy tales back to their source: the magical planet Earth.

Tickling Butterflies is made out of 128 separate fairy tales that together form one epic story.

 

The Indestructibles

In 2013, I finished work on The Indestructibles, an independent, underground science fiction web-series. The Indestructibles premiered in UtopiaFest 2013 as a short film.

The Indestructibles

The Indestructibles

You can see all 7 episodes at The Indestructibles website, here.

 

 

New Worlds Comics

In 2013 I started a comic book company called New Worlds Comics. New Worlds Comics should premiere by February, 2014. The plan is to create some of the best fantasy and science fiction around, in both story and art. Four different series are in the works. Here are some teaser covers from the first two series: Wynter, a dark SF story, and Goof, a superhero comedy.

Wynter, Issue #1

  Wynter, Issue #1

Goofiest superhero ever.

Goofiest superhero ever.

210e7-goof232-cover_ipad

Wynter, Issue #2

Wynter, Issue #2

Goof, Issue #2

Goof, Issue #2

 

Stories in Russian

Hatchling, which has already appeared in four languages (I think), was translated into Russian and won Best Translated Story category in the Today Is Tomorrow competition. This led to two more stories that have appeared in Russian and more on the way.

 

Digital Kingmakers

The online magazine, SF Signal, was kind enough to allow me to publish a trilogy of 3 humorous SF stories, masquerading as non-fiction articles, all having to do with a high-tech company called Digital Kingmakers.

Each of the posts was chosen by the magazine as one of the best posts of that month. And recently, 2 of the 3 articles appeared in SF Signal’s list of Top 25 Guest Posts of 2013.

Here are links to all 3 articles in order:

Keep It Stupid, Simpleton

Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Gaiman, and Guy Hasson Walk into a Bar…

How to Blow the Minds of SF Fans

 

What to Look Forward to in the Beginning of 2014?

  • We’re going to launch New Worlds Comics.
  • Tickling Butterflies is going to come out in hard cover in Israel.
  • In 2014, in a few weeks, I’m going to serialize my science fiction novel for young adults, Life: the Video Game, which was originally published by Bitan Publishers in 2003. You’re going to love the premise.

 

 

Two New Stories in Russian

January 6, 2014

Following the recent win of the short story Hatchling as Best Translated Story in the Russian Today Is Tomorrow competition, two more of my stories are now available in Russian.

The first is A Star-Studded Sky, which appears in the online magazine The Milky Way.

The second is Eternity Wasted, which appears in the print magazine of the same name, The Milky Way, issue #6. When I get it in the mail, I’ll post a picture.

Want to read these stories in English? They’re all online. Here’s Hatchling. Here’s A Star-Studded Sky. And here’s Eternity Wasted.

Enjoy!

Tickling Butterflies – The Story of True Beauty

December 12, 2013

And now the conclusion to the epic fairy tale Tickling Butterflies.

 

The Story of True Beauty

(Containing a blindingly radiant story about the removal of a blindfold.)

 

With the Land of All Legends saved and the Lost Land of Legends reborn, King John the Cute and the blindfolded queen with the heart bursting with love came to sit upon a green mound on a small hill in the Lost Land of Legends.

“It is time to finally remove the blindfold,” said Queen Sarah O’Connell. “I am ready to see the face of the man I have fallen in love with. In previous lives I have fallen in love with all your faces. Now it is time to see your true face, the face you will have for eternity.”

Queen Sarah O’Connell reached for her blindfold, but King John the Cute stopped her. “Wait, Queen Sarah O’Connell. Before you remove your blindfold, I must tell you the story of who I am and… of all that I have lost.”

“I am listening.”

“I was born John the Cute,” began King John the Cute. “And I was cute beyond measure. I was cuter than bunnies. I was even cuter than kittens. But I was born with a prophecy that my mother and I saw as a curse. We knew that at the age of eighteen I would become king and save the land, but at the age of twenty I would die. That knowledge has weighed heavily upon me all my life, ever since childhood. And so, despite my cuteness, thousands of worries and concerns circled in my mind.

“At the age of eighteen, when I finally left home for the palace, where the king would die and crown me king instead of his son, I encountered many creatures and had many adventures. One of those beings was the troll I had told you about. That troll forced me to choose between my cuteness and my freedom. I chose freedom, for my cuteness did not concern me. As the Also Trues have deemed: beauty tells the truth about he who sees it and not he who wears it.

“All at once, my face was full of frown lines and wrinkles, of worries and expressions that previously had place only within me. Ever since, with every adventure I have had and with every obstacle I have encountered, new wrinkles were added to the dreadfulness of my face. And I have had many adventures and many obstacles during my reign as king of the Land of All Legends.”

“Why are you telling me this?” enquired Queen Sarah O’Connell.

“Because you have fallen in love hearing my voice and knowing my deeds, but my looks may be too horrible for you, horrible enough to fall out of love with me. And that would break my own heart.”

“Still. It must be done,” said Queen Sarah O’Connell. “Do you agree?”

“I agree.”

Queen Sarah O’Connell smiled at her love’s bravery. Slowly, she removed her blindfold and then, aiming her face at her love, and opened her eyes.

“Oh my!” she gasped.

“What is it?” King John the Cute said with fear. “What do you see?”

“I can see everything about you in your face. I can see your bravery. I can see the hardships you have overcome. I can see your steel resolve. I can see the goodness of your heart. I can see the warm love you feel for me. I can see your caring. I can see the pain you have suffered. I can see the loneliness you have felt because of the prophecy. I can see all the adventures you have had in the Land of All Legends and in the land of the storytellers. And I can see your love for me. All these things are beautiful. And all these things I see when I look at your face. But one thing is true. You are no longer cute, John. You are beautiful. And your beauty shines from your face. From this point on you shall be John the Beautiful. When we shall marry I shall be queen of the land. And my first act will be to deem that your name henceforth shall be King John the Beautiful.”

King John the Beautiful wept.

And for the second time Sarah O’Connell fell in love with Death. But this time, it was the right Death, for this time she saw plainly.

This has been the story explaining the reason that Queen Sarah O’Connell, upon each time she died, returned time and time again to the Lost Land of Legends and to her immortal love, and would never see the Land of All Legends again. This has also been the tale about the Lost Land of Legends’ only case of Truly True Love.

This has been the book of legends that told the tales of many creatures, and how together they saved two worlds, and how knowledge of magic was finally restored to the planet Earth. This has also been the book of legends that taught the people of Earth that everything is magic.

 

 

 

– THE END

The entire book is online. Read it here.

Tickling Butterflies: A Land Awakened

December 10, 2013

126 fairy tales have been told so far, leading to this point. And now the exciting conclusion (part 1):

 

 

A Land Awakened

(Containing the genesis of a new future.)

 

The following is a creation story, as told by an old man in a book of legends called ‘Tickling Butterflies’, and as read by tens of millions of people on the magical planet Earth.

The following is the creation story of the Lost Land of Legends.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, back when the human race was in its infancy, a group of men and women and children told a tale of a land of legends, a tale they told time and time again, until the power of their imagination created a world, a twin world to the Land of All Legends. Once upon a time, that tale was the most popular story in the world.

The Lost Land of Legends was small, still only a child, and only four creatures walked its surface and only one sun hung in the sky. Stories of Death had not yet been told, and so Death did not exist in the land. The ancient humans that have told the stories of this world died in a horrible sandstorm that lasted forty days and forty nights, and so no story of the land would be told for two hundred and fifty thousand Earth years. The tale of this world’s creation is a tale that has never been told since and will never be told again, for none who live will ever know what it was.

Meanwhile, the land itself did not know it existed in story. The land did not know that its creators have died. The land did not know that no more fairy tale creatures would ever appear.

The land was young and hopeful. Upon its small surface, creatures from two fairy tales walked and lived and played and were happy. But years passed, and no more creatures appeared. Years passed, and even the stories of the fairy tales grew old; even the handful of fairy tales creatures grew old and tired. And yet no one came, no one appeared, not even Death.

All this time, the land was attached to its twin sister, the Land of All Legends, through a long, thin corridor called the Afterdeath. All this time, the land felt its twin sister growing and growing, while it remained forever small.

The land grew older. Centuries passed. All fairy tale creatures died. Plants and trees dried up. The sun and sky fell asleep and nothing would wake them. Nothing moved. The air stood still. And eventually, after a thousand years in which nothing happened, in a fit of despair, the land itself fell into a slumber that would last two hundred and forty nine thousand Earth years, which were exactly two million years of the land itself, since time passes differently in lands of legends.

But then, one day, on the last second of the two hundred millionth year, something stirred. Death’s Door, which had always remained locked and closed and unmoving, suddenly opened from the outside.

The Lost Land of Legends was shaken to its core. The Lost Land of Legends opened its eyes and yawned, shaking everything within it. Suddenly, a spark of hope appeared deep in its heart, which lay deep under the soil and rocks. Brimming with expectation, the Lost Land of Legends waited for something or someone to walk through Death’s Door.

Within minutes, a creature appeared, walking through from the Afterdeath, reborn though he had not died. The creature’s name was Ookoo-Ah, known in the Land of All Legends as the Original Monster. As he was the original monster in the Land of All Legends, now again he was the original monster in the Lost Land of Legends. And where he walked, life sprang, for the Original Monster had recently gained the power of life. Flowers grew in his wake, animals were formed in his footsteps, magical fairies and baby dragons were created where his shadow rested.

The Original Monster entered the Lost Land of Legends with the power of life. And wherever he walked, life was renewed.

Behind the Original Monster came in thousands and thousands of flying white horses. Their sheer size at first caused them to appear like a single white cloud. They all flapped their wings as they emerged from Death’s Door and flew into the heavens of the Lost Land of Legends. There they frolicked and cavorted, swirled and twirled in the air, and played games with the virgin land and its virgin air.

A long time ago, the cloud of flying white horses appeared mistakenly in the Land of All Legends. A fairy tale had been told by a tribe of man that chose to live and die separately from all other humans, a fairy tale that did not belong in the Land of All Legends, a fairy tale that belonged in the dead world of the Lost Land of Legends. The Land of All Legends could not bear the happiness of the horses in light of the sickness of its sick twin land. And so it sent Death to slay the flying horses. It put the names of all the horses on Death’s list, hoping the flying horses will find their way to Lost Land of Legends from the Afterdeath, and will heal the sister land once and for all.

Now the Lost Land of Legends felt itself grow with life given to it by the Original Monster. And it felt joy and happiness at the cavorting flying horses.

Next, fifteen suns passed through Death’s Door. The suns, claimed a long time ago by the Death of the Land of All Legends, climbed up the sky and woke the sleeping sun and the sleeping sky. And now all suns smiled as thousands of creatures began to emerge from Death’s Door: trolls and elves, fairies and dragons, kings and princesses, witches and wizards, scarecrows and talking animals. Thousands upon thousands they came, with one purpose: to live happily ever after.

And for the first time in two hundred and forty nine thousand Earth years and two million Legend years, the Lost Land of Legends felt that it was truly a land of legends. The land felt good, new, sparkly, and magical.

And as magic once more coursed through it, the land itself distended, extended, and grew new land to fit all that have come in.

Thousands of creatures came in by noon, and the land grew and grew.

Thousands of creatures more came by the evening, and the land grew and grew.

Thousands of creatures more poured through Death’s Door all night long, and the land grew new seas and new continents, new lands and new rivers. And there was room for all. And the Original Monster walked the land to and fro, and flowers and trees and new creatures appeared in his wake.

Come morning, all of the dead in the Afterdeath had walked through Death’s Door. All but two.

The last two to walk through Death’s Door were the blindfolded woman with the loving heart, Queen Sarah O’Connell, and Death, known also as King John the Cute.

Death’s first task was to approach the four dead fairy tale creatures of the Lost Land of Legends. After two hundred million years, Death claimed their souls and put them in the Afterdeath. Shortly thereafter, the four emerged from Death’s Door, alive and refreshed, and were joyful to see their world so filled with magic.

Every fairy tale land has many True Loves, but every fairy tale land must have one true tale of Truly True Love, a tale of love that begins at the very inception of the land and ends only when the land itself dies. The story of King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell is the Lost Land of Legends’ story of Truly True Love. Their Truly True Love survived death a hundred times over in another land, adventures in different worlds, separation and heroism, curses and adversities, only to come to an ending which will be told in the next tale of this book of legends.

Meanwhile, things began to change on the planet Earth. Followed by an incident in which all the silent objects in the world began to speak in unison and tell the story of Shadowy Secret and King John the Cute, the book of legends known as ‘Tickling Butterflies’ was released into the world and read by millions and millions. Now the humans understood the true magical nature of the world, and all mankind began to rediscover the magic in ordinary objects.

That book of legends was, in its entirety, a creation story of the Lost Land of Legends, which had become real once more in the minds of the humans. After its release, further legends were to be told about the Lost Land of Legends, and new creatures would soon appear in the land from its own Border of Nothing. For the imagination of human children would now bring to the Lost Land of Legends fairy tales never before conceived and stories never before imagined.

From this point in time and onward, all magical creatures who died at the hands of Death in the Land of All Legends walked alive out of the Afterdeath into the Lost Land of Legends; and all magical creatures who died at the hands of Death in the Lost Land of Legends walked alive out of the Afterdeath into the Land of All Legends. And so and so on, forever.

All but one creature, who would always return to the Lost Land of Legends and never see the Land of All Legends again. But that story will be told elsewhere in this book of legends.

And so the creatures of the two lands of legends all lived and died and lived again and died again happily ever after – all but one: King Charming the Fifth wept for the man who would never return from the dead. He missed his father and was saddened to know that King Charming the Fourth would never be proud of the man his son had become. And yet King Charming the Fifth would live and die and live again and die again, bravely ever after.

This has been the creation story of the Lost Land of Legends. As with all stories, this, too, had a lesson to teach us. Its lesson was a simple one: Stories never die.

 

(To be concluded on Thursday.)

Tickling Butterflies – A Tale of Two Sons

December 8, 2013

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

A Tale of Two Sons

(Containing the tragic tale of a son looking for his father and the happy tale of a father looking for his son.)

 

The path to the second door in the Afterdeath was a long one. King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell waded their way through the overcrowded corridor of the Afterdeath, when suddenly King John the Cute heard a familiar voice cry in desperation: “Father! Father! Where are you? Father!”

Upon placing the familiar voice, King John the Cute stopped, for he understood that he had one more unfinished task to complete.

With Queen Sarah O’Connell in hand, he followed the voice, and arrived at its source. “Prince Charming the Fifth!”

King Charming the Fifth, no longer a prince, turned around and faced his former enemy. “King John the Cute!”

“Why are you dead? It is time for you to be king!”

“There was a great battle,” said King Charming the Fifth. “In order to remove the curse from you and from Queen Sarah O’Connell, three armies were slaughtered: the king’s army, my own army, and an army of clouds. The Land of All Legends now lays almost barren of souls and nearly empty of creatures. I do not know if it was worth the price, simply to remove a curse.”

“I will allay your fears,” said King John the Cute. “At the end of this day, all the dead shall be alive again. And it is thanks to you and the efforts of the three armies, for I needed to come to the Afterdeath to heal the two lands. Still, this is not the outcome I desired. In a few moments, I shall open that door, and all those who are dead shall step forth into a new under world, which I now name ‘the Lost Land of Legends’. And yet the Land of All Legends is barren now. I say that all those who should not have died today will return to the Land of All Legends: You, the army of clouds, your own army, and the king’s army. The path back to life back home is no longer barred. And from this point forth, all those who die in the Land of All Legends shall step from the Afterdeath to the Lost Land of Legends. And all those who die in the Lost Land of Legends shall step from from the Afterdeath to the Land of All Legends. Thus it will be from now on, and the two lands shall be equal.”

King Charming the Fifth put a hearty hand on the King John the Cute’s shoulder. “That is great news. Thank you, dear king, for all that you have done for the Land of All Legends. I will soon gather all of today’s dead, and we shall walk out the door together. But I must stay here a bit longer, for I seek to find and speak to my father.”

King John the Cute held King Charming the Fifth’s hand. “Your father is gone, my prince.” And he was sorry to say this to the prince for the second time in two years. “He is not in the Afterdeath. He sacrificed his Afterdeath life with the aid of a wizard so that he may help me in his quest. And, indeed, without his help I could not have known how to complete my quest. But now he is gone… forever… I am sorry, my prince.”

The prince’s hands fell to his side. “I wanted to speak to him,” he said softly. “I just wanted to talk.”

Feeling saddened and uncertain, King Charming the Fifth walked away and in the direction of the door that leads back to the Land of All Legends. King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell were about to continue on their own way, when they heard a man’s voice cry: “Son! Son! Where are you? Son!”

Suddenly, a man in his forties, tall and with graying hair, stood in front of the king. “Son!” he cried.

“What?” King John the Cute looked at him without understanding.

“Son! I am your father!” the man spread his arms wide. “Frank the Frank!”

The man hugged King John the Cute. The king, astounded, said, “What?”

“I died on the day you were born. I named you ‘John the Cute’ for you were the cutest baby in all the land. But I was so distressed at the thought that you would die at twenty and rule the Underworld, that I wandered off and was eaten by a wolf. All these years, my son, ever since my death, I have regretted my reaction to the prophecy, a reaction that brought about my death. All these years I have regretted never being able to see you, never being able to raise you and teach you, never being able to laugh with you and cry with you. And so I have waited all these years, my son, for I knew that on your twentieth birthday you would arrive here. Here I waited for a man donning the crown of a king. Here I waited to join you in whatever quest or task you were still to perform, to talk to you, to share your stories and to share mine. And I see you have found a most beautiful woman.”

“That is enough of your cheek!” admonished Queen Sarah O’Connell. Then she added, “Thank you.”

“Father,” King John the Cute said the word in a tone he had never used in his life. “Father, father, I have heard much about you from my mother, who is now called Kate the Tigress. I have missed you in my life, and I have regretted your absence dearly. I have never thought this moment would come, and I would love to hear the stories of your life and to share the stories of my own life. But I believe we must forestall this meeting a few more years.

“From the Afterdeath, I will walk through that door, where I shall be Death, and live immortally in a land called the Lost Land of Legends. Meanwhile, in the Land of All Legends, my mother still lives, still loves you, still misses you, and no doubt worries about me. Please, let us not leave her alone. Walk through that faraway and unguarded door over there, back to the Land of All Legends. Join her in the decades she has left. And when the two of you die, many many years from now, come join me in the Lost Land of Legends, through that other door. I will be alive and waiting for my mother and to finally meet and know my father.”

Frank the Frank nodded and a weight lifted from his mind. “You have grown to be brave and bold, wise and warm. My son, I could not have wished for better. I shall see you again after our death. And for the meantime, I shall see your mother again, and convey to her that you are hale and hearty.”

“Thank you, father,” said King John the Cute.

Frank the Frank and King John the Cute hugged and wept. Frank the Frank shook Queen Sarah O’Connell’s hands, and then began to make his way back to the Land of All Legends.

“Come, Queen Sarah O’Connell,” King John the Cute hurried his love. “A land that has been dead for two hundred and fifty thousand Earth years and millions and millions of its own years waits to be awakened.”

Queen Sarah O’Connell and King John the Cute reached the door that has never been opened.

With a simple gesture, King John the Cute touched the middle of the door. A flicker of color passed through the door, and its color changed forever from Frightening Black to Powerful Black.

On the other side, the most powerful sigh was heard. The land itself had awakened for the first time in two hundred million years. The land had awakened and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Shall we walk through it?” asked Queen Sarah O’Connell.

“Soon. There are others who must walk in before us,” answered King John the Cute.

This has been the story in which the Lost Land of Legends awakened from its slumber of two hundred million years.

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

Tickling Butterflies – The Monster’s Lesson

December 5, 2013

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

The Monster’s Lesson

(Featuring a single story that details the many identities of the one known as King John the Cute.)

 

King John the Cute woke up in a dark room.

Even before he opened his eyes, he knew that his body had re-formed within a new room in the Afterdeath. He did not know of the great battle that had taken place or of the great sacrifice by the thousands who now lay dead.

Memories flooded King John the Cute that he did not have during his life as John the Cute: memories of Perfect Paul and a love lost and regained and lost again; memories of a race against Death and battles with vicious, giant spiders; memories of quests and journeys; memories of escapades and voyages; memories of many lives and many deaths and too many True Loves lost.

Now King John the Cute knew who he truly was. But for the time being he put that aside. For it was time for him to complete the part of the prophecy that he himself had created.

King John the Cute opened his eyes and in front of him stood Shadowy Secret, a being born by the same mother, a being conceived by King John the Cute and an old man in a magical world.

“It is time?” asked the king.

“It is time,” answered Shadowy Secret.

King John the Cute touched Shadowy Secret’s cheek, and Shadowy Secret’s shadowy form began to evaporate and vanish. The vapors of the being that used to be Shadowy Secret now engulfed King John the Cute, surrounded him from all directions, then fused magically into his body to create a being much different than the one Kate the Catty had given birth to twenty years ago.

King John the Cute closed his eyes and felt the magic change his being.

Then, a new person and a new creature, he opened his eyes once more and prepared himself for his next task.

King John the Cute emerged from the dark room. Afterdeath’s corridor was filled with billions of creatures. The floor of the Afterdeath itself creaked with the weight of the creatures in was holding. There was no room to move without knocking down other creatures. Surely, the Afterdeath itself would be broken if more dead arrived and none of the dead left.

Far away and to one side of the corridor, King John the Cute could see a door no one was trying to open. It was no doubt the door to the lost land of legends, he knew. Far away and to the left, King John the Cute could see a dark creature guard a similar door.

King John the Cute turned left and away from the door to the lost land of legends.

“Who are you?” said a troll that had been accidentally bumped by King John the Cute. The troll had died a hundred years previous and had never heard of King John the Cute.

The king ignored him and continued on his path.

“Who are you?” barked a dog that had been accidentally stepped on by King John the Cute. The dog died recently in a faraway forest and did not know he was talking to the one who was born John the Cute.

The king ignored him and continued to pave a path towards the dark creature.

“Hey!” a familiar voice of a woman shouted as a result of having been pushed by the king. “Who is this?”

King John the Cute looked aside and saw the blindfolded Queen Sarah O’Connell and his heart filled with joy. “Queen Sarah O’Connell, it is me.” And at the sound of his voice, her heart was filled with joy as well. And even though her mind was filled with memories of dozens of past versions of the man in front of her, she felt that it was John the No Longer Cute that she loved the most.

“Why are you still wearing a blindfold?” he asked her.

“I shall take it off when we are alone and when this adventure is over,” said Queen Sarah O’Connell.

“Then come,” the king grabbed the queen’s hand. “We still have a few tasks ahead of us.”

Together, they continued to walk towards the door that led back to the Land of All Legends. As they did so, the king said, “I have gained my memory, as I’m sure you have, too.”

“Aye. I have gained my memory a year ago. The time has allowed me to circumvent the curse so that we may finally die.”

“That is fortunate. For my own task can only be completed here. Now we must stop,” he told his blindfolded love, and stop she did.

King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell now stood in front of the creature of the night that had blocked the path to the light of day for the last five hundred years. “Stand aside,” said the king.

“I do not think so,” the vampire showed his fangs.

“Stand aside or suffer the consequences,” said the king. “For I plan to kill you.”

“Kill me! I have bested trolls and dragons and fairies. I have blocked the path to all the creatures you see here. Who are you to say that to me?”

“I am Death,” said King John the Cute. “And this is Death’s hand.” He raised his left hand, the one that was not touching Sarah O’Connell. “Before I touch you, there is something I need you to know. Above you, and below you, behind the door you protect and behind the door that remains unopened – there you will find lands filled with magical creatures, each with his and her own stories to tell. And with each story there is a lesson to be learned and wisdom to be gained. But you have lived here, in the Afterdeath, all your life. And here there are no stories and no lessons to be learned. You have blocked Death and blocked the dead and blocked the living for five hundred years now, and I vow that this shall never be the case again. I shall soon touch you and take your soul with me into the Under World. And I will only truly release your soul and allow it to re-form when I know you have learned your lesson well. The lesson is one that I have learned a long time ago: No one stops Death.”

And with those words uttered, King John the Cute touched the vampire. The vampire collapsed, bereft of breath. King John the Cute claimed the vampire’s soul, and put it in a special pocket, where it would remain for the next two hundred and twenty two years.

“Come, Sarah O’Connell,” the king said. “Now we must take care of the other door.”

This has been the story in which King John the Cute finally learned how to deal with bullies.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

Tickling Butterflies – The Battle for the King’s Soul

December 3, 2013

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

The Battle for the King’s Soul

(Featuring five true tales of supreme sacrifice.)

 

The battle for King John the Cute’s soul was a battle that could not be won.

The Curse Creaure, born of an evil witch’s curse, was faster than the fastest runner in the land, quicker than the flight of fairies, and more powerful than Death.

Hundreds of times in the past one thousand years, the Curse Creature had stood against Death, and each and every time he has bested Death and stole the souls of Perfect Paul and Flawless Farrah. When Death, Prince Charming the Fifth, and Sarah O’Connell devised the plan to battle the Curse Creature, they knew they could not defeat the creature, nor could they best him. Their plan was to whisk away Death, the carrier of King John the Cute’s soul, on the fastest and most loyal cloud in the Land of All Legends: the king’s Chariot. From that point on, all their tactics would be tactics of delay: to delay the deadly Curse Creature from touching Death. They hoped to delay the Curse Creature long enough to allow Death to reach Death’s Door, and to allow Death to pass King John the Cute’s soul from this world to the next.

Death, Prince Charming the Fifth, and Sarah O’Connell knew that none of their soldiers could even hurt the Curse Creature. They devised a good plan and hoped for the best.

What they did not know was than the old man, on the magical planet Earth, had written in a fairy tale that a battle would take place. He had written that Shadowy Death would help win that battle. But not even Shadowy Secret had the power to hurt or stop the Curse Creature, because the old man never conceived facing an enemy more powerful than Death himself.

Now we see how the battle went.

Death gathered King John the Cute’s soul. Prince Charming the Fourth, standing only a few feet away, automatically became King Charming the Fifth, but the thought did not occur to him. King Charming the Fifth called forth for Chariot. And Chariot, the dead king’s chariot, descended from on high.

Far away, across the land, the Curse Creature woke from his slumber, for King John the Cute’s soul no longer resided in his body. With his sharp eyes he spotted Death from two continents away: Death was standing atop a cloud, rising from the palace in Capital City. In ten leaps and nine bounds, the Curse Creature crossed two continents and reached the woods outside the palace.

He looked up, expecting to see a cloud. Instead, he saw the bottom of ten thousand white clouds. Chariot, with a help of a decree from acting king, Prince Charming the Fifth, had gathered an army of ten thousand white clouds, all ready to help their friend’s good friend and king.

The Curse Creature looked at the sky and for five and a half seconds, he could not understand what he was seeing. For he was seeing the white bottom of clouds, and he could not tell which cloud bore Death upon it and which did not. All clouds were drifting quickly in the direction of Death’s Door.

The Curse Creature leapt up into the sky and landed atop the lowest cloud. The cloud bore only two soldiers, but not Death. The Curse Creature produced his toxic talons and killed the cloud, for the Curse Creature’s talons kill even clouds.

One by one, the Curse Creature leapt from cloud to cloud, until all clouds were dead and only one cloud was left in the air: Chariot. Ten thousand clouds minus one \and ten thousand soldiers minus one died during the two minutes it took Curse Creature to destroy the army of clouds. Death claimed all their souls as they fell from the sky.

Now Death stood upon Chariot, heading quickly in the direction of Death’s Door.

The Curse Creature leapt once more, and now stood atop Chariot, as well, facing Death.

“At least you tried this time,” said the Curse Creature. “Perhaps next time you will think of a better plan.”

“Perhaps,” said Death, his voice grave and his visage graver.

Suddenly, Colonel Stone stood between Death and the Curse Creature, emerging from the depths of the cloud. “Perhaps,” he cried, echoing the Curse Creature’s words, “you might want to turn back before something happens to you.”

You shall stop me?” asked the Curse Creature.

“I may have my emotions back, and fear may be pumping blood into my heart, but bravery is also being felt in my heart. And anger. And shame that a creature such as you exists. I am still a good soldier, Curse Creature. And I will defeat you!”

The Curse Creature and Colonel Stone quickly did battle.

Colonel Stone lasted fifteen seconds before he died. Other soldiers would have lasted less than two seconds.

Death claimed Colonel Stone’s soul. The Curse Creature looked on.

But now Little Soldier Blue was standing between the Curse Creature and Death. “Do your worst, monster! I will defeat you!”

“No!” Little Soldier Blue was pushed aside by King Charming the Fifth, his sword drawn. “I will not have someone die while I cowardly stand and watch! Come on, monster,” the king was standing between Death and the Curse Creature, “will you kill royalty?”

With one slash of his toxic talons, the Curse Creature killed King Charming the Fifth. Death collected his soul.

Once more, Little Soldier Blue stood between the two mythic creatures. “Let’s see you try that on me!” he cried.

Another quick slash, and Little Soldier Blue also lay dead on the cloud. And Death collected his soul.

“We are still two minutes from Death’s Door,” smiled the Curse Creature. “Who will protect you now?”

Death did not know the answer, but Shadowy Secret did. Smoke engulfed Chariot from all directions, blinding Death and the Curse Creature. Shadowy Secret, hidden like the others within the depths of Chariot, had shed his clothes, and let the smoke that was his body spread in all directions, effectively blinding the Curse Creature.

The Curse Creature leapt backwards and forwards, hither and thither, but jump as he did, the smoke would not leave him and his eyes could not see. Once more, the Curse Creature spread open his toxic talons and began to slash in every direction.

“That will not work on me,” the smoke whispered to the Curse Creature, “for I cannot die in this world, and not by your hands. Only one man can kill me, and his name is King John the Cute. You should feel lucky, Curse Creature, for you have heard my shadowy secret.”

The Curse Creature flailed in every direction, his talons threatening to hit Death by accident. Suddenly, two powerful hands grabbed the Curse Creature from behind, and a woman’s voice growled in his ear, “Powerful you may be, Curse Creature, but you cannot see. Me, I am much weaker than you, but I have learned to see in the darkness.” The powerful arms scratched at the Curse Creature’s face and brought him momentarily down to his knees on the cloud. “My name is Sarah O’Connell,” continued the voice. “And I vow that you will not claim the king’s soul again.”

The Curse Creature and Queen Sarah O’Connell fought for thirty seconds on the cloud. In the end, the Curse Creature stabbed Queen Sarah O’Connell with his toxic talons.

“Thank you for this,” gasped the queen in her last breath. “I will join my king now.”

Sarah O’Connell died atop Chariot and Death claimed her soul through the darkness. And as he did so, he heard a whisper on the wind that only Death could hear: “I found a seashell on the seashore, Death, and within it was a strange message. I destroyed that seashell and its secret with it. For Death should never die.”

And with that, the voice of Sarah O’Connell was lost to Death.

The Curse Creature stopped fighting the black smoke and listened. His hearing was superior to that of any creature, as well, and now he finally put it to use. With his hearing, he now heard Death’s breaths thirty feet ahead and to the left. His muscles tightened, and he was about to leap when the smoke dissipated.

The Curse Creature now saw that the cloud had come to rest on the ground, and that Death was no longer on the cloud. He had just put the souls of King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell through Death’s Door.

That instant, the evil witch’s curse was broken. The Curse Creature felt incredible pain, screamed and shouted, and then turned into a purple puff of smoke and was gone. Death claimed his soul.

Now three creatures stood near Death’s Door: Chariot, Shadowy Secret, and Death.

Death was passing on the souls of ten thousand minus one clouds, ten thousand soldiers, a new king, and all the others that had died on that day. That was a task that would take even Death a day and a night to complete.

Chariot cried. “Shadowy Secret, I owed John the Cute a favor. Now I helped him die, which was the hardest thing I have ever done. I hope my favor was repaid, but even if it was, I do not know if it was worth the price.”

“It was. You will see,” promised Shadowy Secret.

“Now I must mourn the death of all my friends,” said Chariot glumly, and rose into the air.

Death looked at Shadowy Secret. “I still do not know who you are,” said Death. “But after this day I no longer care. There has been too much death today. Not enough souls are left in the Land of All Legends. Surely, in a hundred years, I would be the only one walking the land. So tell me, mysterious creature, when do I become Life instead of Death?”

Shadowy Secret smiled and said, “I suggest you wait a few minutes.”

And with those words, he slipped through Death’s Door and entered the Afterlife.

 

 

(To be continued on Thursday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

Wynter #1 Cover Revealed

December 1, 2013

It’s the future. When 17-year-old Liz Wynter goes to sleep, commercials play in her head. When she wakes up, she checks out how many people follow her dreams and how many saw them.

It’s the future. When she feels special, a voice in her head tells her: “5.4 Billion+ felt the same feeling in the last 4 seconds. Would you like to know who they are?”

How can you feel special when everything’s been done before, felt before, thought of before? How can you be special if there are so many people in the galaxy that every day 3 more are born with your DNA?

This is the story of Liz Wynter. She’s not special.

Wynter, Issue #1

Wynter, Issue #1

New Worlds Comics is coming soon.  


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