Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.
Here’s the story so far. The story continues:
THE MAGICAL PLANET EARTH
The Life-lesson of King John the Cute
(Containing an important life-lesson learned by King John the Cute towards the end of his life.)
This is the story of what happened in-between.
This story happened not in the Land of All Legends and not on the planet Earth, but in-between. This is the story of what happened on a pathway that connects the two worlds.
There was a tunnel. A tunnel made of white, paved little bubbles. It was a sturdy tunnel, and it held four at the time: the Evil Witch of Panache, Benjamin Miller, Minister Vazir, and the fatally wounded King John the Cute.
The Evil Witch of Panache, holding on to the clothes of all three with one hand, flew slowly forward in the tunnel, led by her evil magic wand.
“Where are we?” said King John the Cute, looking around. “What is this place?”
“This is a tunnel,” answered the Evil Witch of Panache, her mind busy on advancing through the tunnel. “One of many. These tunnels connect our world to a world without magic, a world where we all are born in the minds of others.”
“How is it that there are tunnels between worlds?”
“I do not know. None of the witches know. The tunnels are made of a material,” she gestured to the white, bubbly substance, “that does not exist in our world. We do not know what it is.”
“Where can these tunnels be found in the Land of All Legends?” inquired the king. Already, his wound was beginning to hurt less and bleed less. His curiosity caused him to forget his pain completely. “And where can these tunnels be found in the world without magic?”
“I do not know about the world without magic, because I have never been there. Nor shall I be there now. I shall drop you off, but remain in the tunnel, and return home to my secret and hidden village. As to where these tunnels can be found in the Land of All Legends: the tunnels are everywhere, John the Cute. They are in the air above every tale and every creature and every story. The air is filled with tunnels.”
“Evil Witch of Panache, that cannot be so,” claimed the king. “I have wandered the land from its farthest corners to its nearest corners, and I have never seen such a tunnel.”
The Evil Witch of Panache was still maneuvering her way through the tunnel. Light now appeared at the farthest end of the tunnel. “The tunnels are visible,” she answered the king, her mind occupied, “to those who know how to look for them. The witches of Panache have made it their hobby to study the tunnels, to observe them, and to look through them. But it is true that their general invisibility causes quite a few mishaps. Sometimes a creature is accidentally sucked into a tunnel through a powerful wind, or falls into a tunnel and falls all the way through to the world without magic. Sometimes a person in the world without magic gets sucked in, as well. But I have never seen it, and so I do not know when and how such things occur.”
At this, Minister Vazir and Benjamin Miller looked at each other. Both had come from the world without magic. Both had accidentally found themselves in the Land of All Legends. Both were now giddy with thought of seeing their original world and returning to their homes.
“We are almost there,” said the Evil Witch of Panache. “When I leave you in the world without magic, you will be alone and without help. I shall give you only one piece of knowledge: Time works differently there and here. For every week that passes in the new world, two months pass in ours. If you will be gone six weeks, your return will be a year after you left.
“Since time passes differently, your wound, Cute King, shall bleed out more slowly. In our land, you would be dead within five minutes. In here, you may have up to six weeks or so, which are a year in the Land of All Legends. But the longer you remain here, the less time you will have alive before Death claims you.”
“Thank you, kind witch,” said the king.
Now that the light at the end of the tunnel was growing brighter and brighter, the hope inside his mind was growing greater and greater, as well. In the time that has passed since he had become king, he had gambled many times that his avenues of questing were correct. During that time, he has worried many times that he may be wrong, that he is helping to destroy the Land of All Legends by not being able to save it. During that time, doubt has plagued him time and time again. And yet, he had always woken up the next morning, believing that his path must be the correct one.
When he had been stabbed and fatally wounded, King John the Cute stopped believing in the prophecy that he will save the land.
But when the Evil Witch of Panache offered him a way to delay his death and to transport him to a place where no king had gone before, he knew the prophecy was correct. At that moment, he knew that every decision he had made had been the right one. At that moment, he knew that every decision he would make would be the right one. For the first time in his life, King John the Cute learned the difference between thinking he is right and knowing he is right. And that knowledge gave the king confidence.
The light was growing brighter. They were almost at the edge of the tunnel.
King John the Cute knew his first two tasks will be to return Minister Vazir to his mother and Benjamin Miller to whatever home still remained after his seven hundred year absence. Once these tasks were done, he would be stranded and alone in an unfamiliar world, a world without magic.
King John the Cute knew that his task ahead was still large beyond reason and unreasonable beyond measure. Stranded on a strange world, he would have to solve all the problems that yet lay unresolved before him. On this magicless world, he would have to find the secrets of his own magic-filled world.
The tunnel was at an end, and so was the foursome’s journey. The Evil Witch of Panache threw the king, his advisor, and the old man out of the tunnel and returned to her home.
This has been the telling of King John the Cute’s important life-lesson. It would give him the strength he would need to survive alone on the planet Earth.
(To be continued on Tuesday…)
You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!