‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Hero and the Storyteller

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 Hero and the Storyteller

(Containing parallel parables of a hero and his creator.)


And so it was that during a time of hardship and death in the Land of All Legends, King John the Cute and his party set on a journey to the River Red Continent in an attempt to learn the secrets of the Original Monster and how he traveled to the land of no magic, the land of the storytellers.

Six were in the party: King John the Cute, Minister Vazir, Minister Azriel Jones, Colonel Stone, Benjamin Miller, and the cloud Chariot who carried all of them.

Within a few days, Chariot arrived at the River Red Continent, and Colonel Stone directed the cloud to the cave of Magno the Magnificent.

All alighted from Chariot. “I will be here when you return,” said Chariot.

“Thank you, my friend,” said King John the Cute.

The party headed into the cave. There, they met with Magno the Magnificent. The man was older than when King John the Cute had last seen him, but his hair was still wild, his muscles still rippled, and his heart was still the heart of a hero.

“Welcome, your highness,” Magno the Magnificent bowed before his king. “I have been waiting for you ever since the honorable Colonel Stone told me you would come.”

“Thank you, Magno the Magnificent,” said the king. “When we last met, I was but a child, and you told me of your hunt for the Original Monster. We need to find him and ask him his secrets in order to save the Land of All Legends. Colonel Stone assures me that you have succeeded in your quest to capture the Original Monster, and Death himself assures me that the monster is not dead. Another source assures me that the Original Monster knows a way to a land without magic. I must find the way to that land. The fate of the Land of All Legends depends on it.”

“All these things are true, your highness,” answered Magno the Magnificent. “The information you have gathered must have been at quite a cost, as it had come to me. Sit down, sit down all of you, drink and eat while I tell you the story of the Original Monster and myself. You may not like the story, but it is all that I have.”

“We thank you for your hospitality and for your information.”

The king and his party sat down. “Begin,” said the king.

My story begins, began Magno the Magnificent, before I was born. But I shall get to that later and begin when I was born.

I was born a hero. I had always felt I was a hero, but I had not known it. Back when I was young, I overheard a hunter’s party speak of their quest to hunt down the Original Monster. When I heard who he was and how impossible it was to catch him, I knew that that was what I was born to do. Every part of me needed to find the monster. Every iota of every atom in me needed to go on adventures and find the Original Monster.

Ever since, I have dedicated my life to questing after the Original Monster. Every time I felt I was close, every time I hunted down a clue or a witness, the Original Monster eluded me. Finally, after decades of searching and questing, I lay down a trap in the River Red Continent, and I waited. I waited for two years. Then, exactly five years ago, I captured the monster in my trap.

I ran out and saw the Original Monster hanging in my net. He was a massive man, as hairy as a troll. His muscles were huge and hairy and bulky like mine. And even though he was hanging upside down in a web, he seemed heroic.

“Please let me go,” said the Original Monster, his voice deep and relaxing. There was no fear to be heard in his voice and no fear reeked from his body, for I can smell fear.

“My name is Magno the Magnificent,” I said. “And my entire life has been dedicated to capturing you, the first true monster. There is no chance that I will ever let you go.”

“I will give you something you want, Magno the Magnificent,” said the Original Monster. “I will tell you a story. I will tell you a story about yourself.”

“I make no promises to release you, since I have given my life to capturing you,” I said. “But I will listen to your story, for you have intrigued me.”

“That is fair,” said the Original Monster. “I will tell you now the story of Magno the Magnificent. But first I will tell you how I came to know of it.

“I was, indeed, born before you, before any of the creatures you know, and any of the creatures that they know. I have lived longer than any of those who live now. I was here right after the land was born, perhaps even at the moment it was born. I had a different name then. I have had many different names. And yet I never died. You say you dedicated your life to finding me. I have dedicated my life to many things, and I have long achieved all those things. Now I dedicate my life to something else.

“I have found a path to another world, Magno the Magnificent. It is a path laden with imagination that leads to a world with much imagination but no magic. It is a world in which lights are caused not by fire but by something called ‘electricity’. It is a world of books and stories. I have learned things that have shocked me deeply. Not least of which is the fact that stories told in that world become true in this one.

“That world, that world without magic, creates this world. Whenever a new story appears in something called a book, when enough people buy that book and read it and tell it, the stories told in that book become true in our world. That is the secret of almost everyone who lives here.”

“You lie,” I told the Original Monster. “Such a world cannot exist.”

“I felt the same as you. And yet, I have seen it. I have seen it… and I have even seen the stories which included many of my own adventures. That is how I knew it was true. Because those stories were written before they had happened to me.

“Ever since that day, I have dedicated my life to discovering the secrets of those who make up the stories that come to life here. I go to that world, and I trace the steps of those who invent the legends of the creatures I meet here. I go to that world and learn its secrets. And then I return here, to my home, with greater knowledge.

“In my travels to that other world, Magno the Magnificent, I have read stories containing the adventures of Magno the Magnificent. I have read books and tales of adventures you have had in your life and of adventures you have yet to experience. And in my travels, Magno the Magnificent, I have met the man who invented Magno the Magnificent, the man who wrote all of his adventures. And in my travels, Magno the Magnificent, I have learned his story. Would you like to hear it?”

I was thunderstruck, King John the Cute. I could not believe the things I have heard, and yet they seemed real. I wanted with all my want to listen to the Original Monster. And yet, I did not want to be duped by the monster. I did not want him to trick me. So I said, “I am intrigued by your story, monster. But I cannot promise you that I will let you go because of it.”

“That is fair,” the monster said.

And thus, still imprisoned in my net, he began to tell me the story of my creator, “This is the story of Paul Perabo, the man who invented the famous stories of Magno the Magnificent.

“Paul Perabo was born Paul Obscuro. He was born in a country in which he and his family and each and every one of his people were living under a military rule of the government. No one liked Paul Obscuro’s people, and the military occasionally came in and did whatever they wanted with the people, threatening them with guns. Paul Obscuro’s father was in an army called ‘The Resistance’, and so Paul grew up learning from his father everything he needed to know about adventures, survival, violence, and self-protection.

“When Paul was six, the army killed the parents of everyone who lived in the his street, including Paul’s parents. Then the army took a few of the young children and made them part of the army, convincing the young children that the army was the one in the right. Paul continued to grow up under cruel soldiers who turned him into a cruel soldier.

“When Paul turned eighteen, he escaped from the army that had trained him, escaped the country he had grown in, and changed his name to Paul Perabo. He came to live in a country without wars. The country gave him asylum and protection. Paul grew to shed behind his education of violence and to live a life of leisure and luxury in a country that had no wars.

“When he was twenty-four, he began to write stories of adventures. The stories were loved by children and teens and adults. They told of a hero, Magno the Magnificent, who always won the day and was always a hero. But the violence and adventures in the stories, although they seemed great to those who read it, did not even begin to scratch the surface of Paul Perabo’s violent experiences. As great an adventurer as Magno the Magnificent was, he was but a shadow of what Paul Perabo had really seen. In addition, Magno the Magnificent’s adventures always ended up with happy endings, even though the only happy ending Paul Perabo knew was his own. His friends and family, even the soldiers who raised him, all suffered from sad endings.

“And this has been the story of how Magno the Magnificent came to be and how a single man’s imagination created you.”

I must tell you, King John the Cute, that I was astounded. I knew the story to be true at the moment I heard it. I knew that Paul Perabo had created me, and that my life has not been what I thought it had been. I knew that from that point on I will always be different and wiser.

That story changed me as soon as I heard it.

“Original Monster,” I told him. “You are a great creature, a great legend. You have given me the gift of true knowledge and you have changed my life. For this, I will release you as you asked. Perhaps you will do me the honor of staying and telling me more of that other land. Have you ever traced back the man who invented you?”

“I have traced back most of my own story,” said the Original Monster. “But I will not share that with you. I have offered you your own story, and that is what I have given you. You must find that enough, for I will share no more.”

“Thank you, thank you,” I said, as I lowered the net and cut it. “You are free to go and to continue with your life.”

The Original Monster then quickly disappeared into the woods, claiming that he was about to begin a long quest in that other world, and that he would not be back for at least fifty years.

Ever since, I have remained here, older and wiser, in the River Red Continent, the land of the older and the wiser. I have lived here a second life, a life of wisdom. And yet, I do come by the occasional adventures, but I deal with them differently and in a more mature way. I believe I was created for this moment, I was destined to meet the monster and learn my own truth. I was destined to live the life I am living. And I feel fortunate to have done so.

“And that,” continued Magno the Magnificent, “is the story of my encounter with the Original Monster. True to his word, I have never seen him since.”

King John the Cute and Benjamin Miller looked at each other. King John the Cute said, “Your story is an amazing one, and I have much to think about. And yet, I am more determined than before to find the Original Monster and to ask him a few questions, for he may hold the answers to Benjamin Miller’s and Minister Vazir’s way home, as well as the secret to the sickness that pervades the Land of All Legends. Can you direct us somewhere? Do you have a clue as to the Original Monster’s whereabouts?”

“I myself know nothing,” said Magno the Magnificent. “But perhaps you can ask Otto the Outstanding. He had hunted down the Original Monster, as well, years before I did. He has captured him, as well, and yet the monster was loose when I encountered him. Perhaps he has a clue that I do not.”

“Otto the Outstanding is still alive?” Benjamin Miller whispered. “As you no doubt recall, my king, I told you about him when we were in the Land of No Respect. He was the one who said the Original Monster had spoken of another world, of my world. Otto the Outstanding was the one who began my decades-long search for the Original Monster. But that was almost six hundred years ago. How could he still be alive?”

“Alive he is,” answered the hero, “and living but a few caves from here, also on the River Red Continent. I will tell you how to get there.”

This has been the magnificent story, containing parallel parables of a hero and his creator, in which King John the Cute and his party came one step closer to getting a look into a land of no magic.

This was also the story in which we learned that the Original Monster was not in the Land of All Legends, and would probably not return for years to come.


(To be continued on Thursday…)
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