‘Tickling Butterflies’ – Benjamin Miller and the Magic Mirror

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story. Here’s the story so far. We are about to go off the road:

 

Benjamin Miller and the Magic Mirror

(Containing a mirror-image tale of the previous story.)

 

After Sylvia vanished from sight forever in the mirror, Benjamin Miller continued with his story, the view in the mirror changed. Since I was looking at the mirror, the Fun House Mirror had now decided to show me my own truth.

I saw a man sitting over a desk, writing in a notebook. The man was overweight and bald and old. His few hairs were brown, and his eyes were sharp green. He was writing words upon words on a yellow notebook. Already, the notebook was half filled with what must be the work of months and months.

I leaned in, and looked over his shoulder, careful not to touch the mirror and fall into it.

He was just finishing a sentence, and without trying to read, I saw my own name, ‘Benjamin Miller’. I began to read the sentence he had just finished writing. This was it:

“My name is Benjamin Miller,” began Benjamin Miller, “and I was not born in the Land of All Legends. I was born… somewhere else.

Suddenly, the man with the green eyes was tired. He put his pen aside, and leaned back. Then, with a gesture, he closed the notebook, turning back all the pages. This allowed me to see the first page. There it clearly said, in great big block letters:

TICKLING BUTTERFLIES

BY

GUY HASSON

And it was at that time, at that moment, that I understood the truth about myself.

I was born in another place, a three dimensional world that is not at all the Land of All Legends. I was born in a world where stories are told to children, but I ended up in a land where those stories lived and died. But now… after almost a hundred and fifty years in the Land of All Legends, I had become a story myself! I had become a story that someone else is telling! Someone in my world is writing stories about me! Parents in my world are telling stories about me to children, just as I was told stories about Snow White!

The image in the mirror vanished, and I fell to my knees.

I knew then that I would never find my way home. I knew it, clear as any truth, that I was bound to stay as a story in the Land of All Legends for the rest of my life. And I knew that since I could not die of old age, I would remain a story forever!

For a moment, Benjamin Miller coughed.

“Excuse me, King John the Cute. I must clear my throat.”

King John the Cute sat silently and waited until Benjamin Miller cleared his throat. In the meantime, thoughts of other lands, of stories, of writers, and of children listening to stories filled the king’s mind. Was this the secret of the Land of All Legends? Did King Charming the Fifth know about any of it? Was something coming over from this other land, causing great harm to the Land of All Legends? Was the other land the cause of the Land of All Legends’ sickness? Was King John the Cute part of a story written by someone who had never seen him? Was King John the Cute a two-dimensional character in a story? If he was, what did that mean?

King John the Cute had only begun to consider these things, when Benjamin Miller finished clearing his throat and began the end of his tale.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

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