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:
THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
HOME FOR THE MARRIED
The Mystery of the Happy Marriage
(Containing the romantic tale of the Romantics’ marriage.)
And so it was that during the second week of his reign, King John the Cute stepped upon his chariot Chariot and asked to be brought to the Everlasting Forest. Colonel Stone demanded to accompany the king for protection, but the king gave him a different task: To seek out the adventurer known as Magno the Magnificent and to discover whether he had indeed captured the Original Monster. Colonel Stone obeyed, and King John the Cute journeyed upon Chariot alone.
Chariot descended upon a green clearing. The king stepped upon the green, thanked his friend Chariot, and began to explore the forest.
Quite soon, King John the Cute came upon the building he was searching for.
It was a huge and long building, with thousands of rooms and room for everyone. There were gardens and pools, statues and pictures, and everywhere couples walked hand in hand and seemed joyful.
A happiness washed over King John the Cute, as well.
An old man came to the king and said, “My name is Ronald the Romantic. Who are you?”
“My name is King John the Cute.”
“Your highness!” Ronald the Romantic bowed.
“What is this place?”
“This,” Ronald the Romantic looked behind with pride. “This is the Happily Ever After Home for the Married. I built it with my own two hands.”
“Then this is the place I seek,” said King John the Cute. “Tell me the story of this place.”
“The story of this place,” said Ronald the Romantic, “is the story of my own happy marriage.”
“Please. I would like to hear it.”
Once upon a time, began Ronald the Romantic, almost three hundred years ago, I was a young lad in the town of Beckett Beckett Sam Beckett. I was no more than twenty years old. I had ventured into the forest to find my fortune and found a place so nice that I decided to build a cabin there. I built a small wooden cabin and lived off the land.
Then, one day, I saw a woman about my age, hungry and lost.
I invited her to my cabin, to eat and drink and rest. We talked for days while she healed. And once she had healed, we were in love.
We never understood why we were in love. I did not find her particularly appealing, and she did not find me appealing, either. We had nothing in common. We liked different things. We wanted different things out of life. And yet we liked each other very much.
Her name was Regina the Romantic (no relation, I assure you). Together, we were the Romantics. We were married and we lived happily ever after.
Even though we were living happily ever after, our happy marriage was a mystery to both of us. After the first four days of talking, we had nothing more to talk about. We did not talk for the entire time we were married. And yet we were happy.
Even though we were living happily ever after, we never understood why we liked each other or why we were together. But we were happy, so we did not give it too much thought. Ours was a happy marriage for no reason. It was a good marriage for no reason. It was a wonderful marriage for no reason.
Then, one day, Regina the Romantic had an accident and died.
In my sadness, I destroyed the cabin and everything underneath it. There I discovered a strange black rock.
I discovered that the black rock was a magnet of some kind, with magical properties of romantic happiness. Everyone who stood upon it for more than a few days was filled with happy romantic feelings. These romantic feelings would not go away unless you walked far enough away from the rock’s magnetic field.
This was the solution to our happy marriage! We had talked for four days, and by that time, we were romantically magnetized and were set to live happily ever after.
Right there and then I decided what to do with the rest of my life. Our cabin was built on top of a small magnetic rock. I searched the entire Everlasting Forest for the longest and widest collection of magnetic rocks, which I found here. Here I built the Happily Ever After Home for the Married. Here, any couple who is already living happily ever after, can come and stay. This way, they will have no terrible arguments. They will not start accidentally hating each other. They will simply be living happily ever after.
And that is romantic story of how I had built the Happily Ever After Home for the Married.
“That is a great romantic story, indeed,” said King John the Cute. “And a wonderful project.”
“Are you, perhaps, romantically involved, my lord?”
“I fear I am not,” answered King John the Cute. “I fear I was not destined to live happily ever after.”
“You never know what will happen,” said Ronald the Romantic.
“Indeed,” King John the Cute said out of hand. Then he changed the subject, “My friend, I have come here seeking this place because I am trying to learn the secrets of the past of the Land of All Legends. I have heard of your Happily Ever After Home for the Married and understand that many old people stay here, some older than you.”
“There are many older than me, your highness.”
“I would like to speak to them.”
Ronald the Romantic nodded and moved aside. “Please come in.”
This has been the romantic tale of how King John the Cute entered the Happily Ever After Home for the Married.
(To be continued on Thursday…)