‘Tickling Butterflies’ – Death and the Minister

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

Here’s the story so far. We are in the middle:

Death and the Minister

(Containing the fearsome story of Death and the minister.)

Once, during the time of King John the Cute’s journey to the Land of No Respect, Death returned to the king’s palace. Upon his last visit, he took King Charming the Fourth’s soul. Upon this visit, he headed for Minister Vazir’s room.

It was the middle of the night, and only Minister Vazir was awake.

Death entered his room, and Minister Vazir’s mouth fell open.

“I am Death,” said Death.

In spite of the fact that Minister Vazir had put all his fears in a box, what little specks of emotion remained of his fears caused his heart to race. “I am Minister Vazir,” he said. “Have you come for me?”

“Not today,” said Death. “I seek King John the Cute.”

“King John the Cute,” said Minister Vazir, trying to breathe steadily, “is on a quest at the Land of No Respect at the moment. Do you seek to claim his soul?”

“Not at present,” said Death. “I seek him in another matter.”

“Well… As I said…” Minister Vazir slowly regained his breath. “He is out for a few days at least. Why… Why… Why do you seek him?”

“I seek his help.”

“Why… Why… Why does Death seek the king’s help?”

Death hesitated for a minute and sixty one seconds. Then, deciding on telling the truth, he raised his amputated right arm. “A mysterious being has taken my arm. I can no longer claim anyone’s soul, while he can claim the souls of anyone he wishes.”

“You can… You can… You can no longer take anyone’s souls?” Minister Vazir could not take his eyes off the amputated arm.

“My arm is stolen. I cannot take souls. I must see the king.”

“Well… the king will be out for many days…”

“Very well, then,” Death said. “I shall wait for him.”

Minister Vazir considered the situation. “Perhaps it is best, Death, that while you wait, you will wait in my room, away from others’ eyes, so as not to create a panic.”

Death sat down on Minister Vazir’s chair. “I will await the king here.”

Minister Vazir considered the situation further. When he had told King John the Cute his story about how he had put his great fears in a silver box, he had promised the king that he would open the silver box and put his fears back in his body. But he had not done so since their conversation. Perhaps this was the perfect opportunity to do so? He would put back his fears in his body, and face his fear of Death, which surely must be the worst, without there ever being a danger of Death claiming his soul.

While Death waited, Minister Vazir opened the box and put his fears back in his body.

While Death waited, Minister Vazir felt his fears fully.

With Death in the room for fourteen days and fourteen nights, Minister Vazir learned to overcome his fears and to live with Death.

This has been the fearsome story of how Minister Vazir put his fears back in his body and learned to overcome them.

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

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