‘Tickling Butterflies’ – One Hundred Spiders

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

One Hundred Spiders

(Containing the dreadful tale of King John the Cute’s strange hallucinations.)


This is a story that happened on the fourth night of King John the Cute’s reign.

The day had been a busy one, and King John the Cute went to sleep in the bed that belonged only to kings. As usual, his personal bodyguard, Colonel Stone, stood at the doorway, ready for any attacker.

King John the Cute closed his eyes, and then he opened them. The room was gone. The palace was gone. Colonel Stone was gone. Instead, King John the Cute found himself in a cave. In front of him were a hundred man-sized attack spiders. Behind him and to the sides were only the walls of the cave. In his hand, he discovered that he held a lethal sword.

With all his might, King John the Cute battled the monsters. He slew ten giant spiders, and there were still ninety left. The task seemed impossible.

He slew forty more giant spiders without a bruise to himself, but there were still fifty left. The task still seemed impossible.

Slowly, he worked his way through the spiders, disbelieving his own skill and luck.

King John the Cute grew tired after an hour of fighting. But now, at least, there were only three giant spiders left.

Now there were two giant spiders left.

Now there was one giant spider left.

But by this time, King John the Cute had no strength left to raise his sword. The giant spider attacked, biting King John the Cute with its venomous fangs.

King John the Cute screamed.

He looked around, and saw that he was back in the palace. The cave, the ninety-nine dead spiders, and the live spider were gone. Colonel Stone stood over him.

“My liege,” said Colonel Stone. “What happened?”

King John the Cute told him what had occurred.

“I do not understand,” said Colonel Stone. “I had been here the entire time. There was no cave, no giant spiders, and I saw with my own eyes that you were asleep!”

King John the Cute felt the place on his arm where the spider had bitten him, and saw that he was not wounded.

Perhaps some magic was involved? King John the Cute summoned all his advisors. None could help, until Minister Vazir spoke.

“Your highness,” he said. “I know of no magical spells or powers that can transport you to a cave while keeping you in the bedroom. There is, however, a rare record of something else, something called a ‘dream’.”

“What do you mean by a ‘dream’?” asked John the Cute. “I only know that it is my dream to save the Land of All Legends.”

“It is the same word, your highness,” answered Minister Vazir, “but the dreams I refer to are something else entirely. A dream is supposed to be a magical event that occurs when you are asleep. In that dream, you hallucinate something that is not happening to you, but feels just as real as real life. And yet, you always wake up in your bed, completely safe, and nothing is changed.”

“Yes,” King John the Cute exclaimed. “That is exactly what I had! What does it mean? Why am I dreaming? Why am I seeing spiders?”

“I have no idea, your highness,” Minister Vazir answered the first question. “I have no idea, your highness,” he answered the second question. “I have no idea, your highness,” he answered the third and last question.

“Tell me the tales of other that have had dreams,” ordered King John the Cute.

“I am afraid I cannot. Dreams have been nothing more than rumors for the last thousand years. No one has seen someone who dreams. There are no recorded tales of who dreamed and what they dreamed of. Dreams are thought to be legend. No one dreams.”

“Except me,” said King John the Cute sadly.

“Except you.”

“What does that say about me? Why is this happening suddenly? Is there some hidden meaning to my dream?”

“I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness.”

King John the Cute mulled things over in his head. King Charming the Fourth had said that King John the Cute was not who he thought he was. If everyone else does not dream while he does, then maybe he is different from everyone else?

There was no way to know at present, he thought.

“Am I dreaming because I’m different?” he asked. “Did I begin to dream now because of the heavy responsibility that weighs upon me? Or is it a sign, an omen, of things to come?”

“I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness.”

King John the Cute thought this over, and decided that this was another mystery that required solving in order to save the Land of All Legends. He dismissed everyone, and sent them to sleep. And yet, in his own mind, thoughts and question spiraled endlessly.

He did not know at the time that he would have the same dream, every night, until his death.

This has been the dreamy story of King John the Cute’s mysterious dream.

(To be continued on Sunday…)

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation


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