Archive for September, 2013

Tickling Butterflies – The New Queen

September 29, 2013

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 New Queen

(Regaling a regal tale in which a new queen is crowned in the Land of All Legends.)

 

This is the story of Sarah O’Connell and how she learned what had happened to King John the Cute.

While Sarah O’Connell was in the Happily Ever After Home for the Married, the man she loved but had never seen was fatally stabbed by Prince Charming the Fifth in the village of Panache. If not for Shadowy Secret accidentally delaying Death, Death would have claimed King John the Cute. But Death was delayed, and the king was transported to another magical land with the aid of an evil witch.

While Sarah O’Connell was in the Happily Ever After Home for the Married, an order was given to Colonel Stone by the king: that in his absence and until his return, Sarah O’Connell was to be queen of the land.

When last we heard of him, Colonel Stone escaped the prince’s army.

This story begins when Colonel Stone entered the Happily Ever After Home for the Married, searching for Sarah O’Connell.

Colonel Stone approached an old man, sitting alone. “Old man,” said Colonel Stone. “On behalf of the king, I need your help.”

The old man snapped out of his reverie, and looked at Colonel Stone with excitement. “Eh?” Then, squinting his eyes, he saw Colonel Stone, and troubled returned to his face. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else. Oh, well. My name is Loyal Luke, and I am the king’s loyal servant. How may I help the king?”

“Old man, my name is Colonel Stone. I seek Sarah O’Connell. She is a blindfolded woman with a broken heart.”

“Ah, yes, I have met her and talked. She is blindfolded indeed, but her heart is no longer broken, it is completely mended.”

“Can you tell me where she has gone, Loyal Luke?”

“Let me see… Let me see… I am old and my memory is not as good as it was before… She had approached me right there, only yesterday. She had come seeking me, she had said. She had heard that I bear knowledge of hundreds of years into the past, and had come asking for a clue about the Afterdeath.

“I told her all that I knew. I told her the same tale I told the king. I told her about the perfect love Flawless Farah felt towards Perfect Paul, and I told him about how flawlessly Perfect Paul loved his perfect Flawless Farah. I told her how, a thousand and one years and a thousand and one days ago, Perfect Paul, in an attempt to be truly perfect, was killed and claimed by Death. I told her how Flawless Farah had beaten death using a curse from an evil witch, and how the two are reborn anew with each new generation, without the memories of their previous lives.

“So determined were they, during their incarnations, to be as perfect and as flawless as possible, that each time one of them dies in an attempt at flawless perfection. And when one of them dies, the other remembers all their previous lives. And the cycle begins anew. I told her all of this. I told her how I sit here and await for this generation’s Perfect Paul and Flawless Sarah to find me. I told her all that I had heard about the far past. But my information was of no use to Sarah O’Connell. She left me disappointed.

“I suggested to her that she question other creatures in the Happily Ever After Home for the Married. There are quite a few creatures here that have lived back during the time when death was not final.”

“So she may still be here?” Hope surged within Colonel Stone. The emotion was new to him, but now that he had regained his emotions, his mind was flooded with feelings.

“Indeed she may. But I do not recall seeing her since.”

“What’s all this, then?” a woman’s voice sounded behind Colonel Stone. “Who are you and why are you asking about me?”

Colonel Stone turned around and saw a beautiful, blindfolded woman with a mended heart.

“Sarah O’Connell, my name is Colonel Stone,” said Colonel Stone. “I served King Charming the Fourth and now I serve King John the Cute. I have grave news.”

“Don’t dawdle, then.”

“Sarah O’Connell,” Colonel Stone spoke, his voice quaking with emotion, “as foretold in prophecy, King John the Cute had been stabbed in the chest by Prince Charming the Fifth. The wound was a fatal one, and the king was to die within minutes.”

Sarah O’Connell’s legs suddenly felt as soft as rubber, and she fell to the ground. “The king… Dead!” she whispered. “I was certain he would have another year!”

“Sarah O’Connell, rise! You have not listened to the complete story. The king is not yet dead. He had been transported to another world, a world without magic, where time works differently and where his wound shall act slowly. He shall return within a year, and when he returns, he will die within seconds. Until then he has vowed to solve the mysteries of the land. And during his absence, and only for the length of his absence, he has named you queen. For when he truly dies, Prince Charming the Fifth shall become king.”

Sarah O’Connell rose slowly and regally from the ground. “I see… I see and understand, Colonel Stone. But I understand more than you think. You see, when I believed John the No Longer Cute to be truly dead, the curse of an evil witch lifted a veil from my eyes and I now know who I truly am and who John the No Longer Cute truly is. My true name is Farah the Flawless, and John the No Longer Cute’s name is Perfect Paul! And although we have both died many times before, Death has never truly claimed us.”

She turned to face Loyal Luke. “Loyal Luke, it is I, Flawless Farah. I have returned to you. As you have heard, I am now queen of the land. Join me, for while John the No Longer Cute saves the Land of All Legends, I intend to save him and myself from the curse of the evil witch. We have been granted a year. We must use it well.”

And thus Queen Sarah O’Connell, her loyal servant Loyal Luke, and the faithful soldier Colonel Stone headed for the palace, where Prince Charming the Fifth and his army waited.

This has been the story of Sarah O’Connell and how she learned who King John the Cute really was.

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

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‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Path to the Land of All Legends

September 26, 2013

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 Path to the Land of All Legends

(Containing a trailblazing story in which King John the Cute glimpses the land he had left.)

 

After all these things previously mentioned in this book of legends, King John the Cute soared into the air upon his chariot of butterflies.

Now that his vision could clearly see bubbles and tunnels paved with the imagination of children, he saw that tunnels filled the sky. More than stars, more than pebbles on the shore, the tunnels were everywhere.

Swerving to avoid them, he peered into one. There was no darkness in this one. At the end of the tunnel, he could clearly see the two scarecrows he had met at the Happily Ever After Home for the Married.

“Hello there,” he yelled at them. But however much he yelled, the scarecrows did not hear him. And however much he tried, he could not hear the voices of the Happily Ever After Home for the Married.

He moved on to another tunnel, and, careful not to enter it, peered into it. Again, there was no darkness, but a clear view of his palace in CapitalCity. He could see Prince Charming the Fifth sit on the king’s throne. Next to him sat Sarah O’Connell, blindfolded and wearing a queen’s crown on the queen’s throne.

No matter what he tried, King John the Cute could not get them to hear him and could not hear what was being said.

King John the Cute was not disturbed by the image he had seen. He knew that many weeks have passed here on Earth since he had left the Land of All Legends, and he knew that time works differently on Earth, and that months must have passed back home. Many things could have happened. He trusted Sarah O’Connell and chose to believe that she only did what would be best for the Land of All Legends.

The next tunnel, however, was as black as the one through which the Original Monster had passed. But peer as he might, he could not see anyone on the other side. There was darkness and silence.

King John the Cute moved from one tunnel to the next, peering into them. He surveyed many places in the Land of All Legends, for each tunnel led to a different place, and most of the tunnels were white and led to the Land of All Legends. But for every four tunnels that led back home, one black tunnel led to darkness.

King John the Cute did not know why the black tunnels led to darkness, nor did he know where that darkness was. Further, he did not know why there were no creatures on the other side of the dark tunnels. Nor did he see the Original Monster again in one of the black tunnels.

Perhaps the creatures that had come through the black tunnels had found a way to escape? Perhaps they had died? At present, there was no way to know.

His mind wandered to the next mystery the black tunnels presented: why was he able to hear the Original Monster on the other side and be heard in turn, while he was not able to hear or be heard by the visions in the white tunnels that showed the Land of All Legends?

After an entire day of peering through tunnels, the king allowed the butterflies of his chariot to rest and sleep and collect food from flowers. He, too, rested and fed, thinking about how he had found the path back home, and how he could now choose the location of his arrival by peering through the tunnels and choosing the one that fits his design.

This has been the trailblazing story in which King John the Cute found the paths back home.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – Return of the Original Monster

September 24, 2013

You’ll want to read this one. Let’s just get to it:

Return of the Original Monster

(Containing the newest fairy tale from the magical land of Earth.)

Once upon a time on the magical planet Earth, a wounded king walked the land. His name was King John the Cute, and his chest bled slowly and his crown would not come off and his time was running out.

The king had already discovered the bubbles that sprung out of the imagination of humans and the stories and worlds contained within them.

The king asked his chariot to follow him discretely for a while, as he walked the streets of a big city, deep in contemplation. A woman’s voice woke him out of his reverie, for he believed her to utter a name he did not believe he would hear.

King John the Cute looked around and saw a woman near a bench speaking to two baby strollers that seemed to be glued together. “Excuse me, gentle woman,” the king said “What did you say?”

“I said ‘Now the Original Monster was no longer lonely’,” answered the woman. “I apologize if the story was bothering you. I was telling this story to my children.”

King John the Cute looked in the strollers and saw two young twins around the age of three. For a brief moment he checked whether they shared a shadow and was relieved to discover that they did not. The king returned his attention to the gentle woman.

“Gentle woman,” said King John the Cute. “My name is King John the Cute.”

“Yes,” the woman answered with pity in her eyes as she glanced at the king’s crown, then at his broken and wrinkled face. “I see you have been through a lot. You may call yourself what you wish. I am Iris Osiris, and these are my twins, Ira and Rhea.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Ira, Rhea, and Iris Osiris,” the king bowed slightly. “May I ask you, Iris Osiris, how do you know of the Original Monster?”

“Why, everyone knows about the Original Monster,” answered Iris Osiris. “Where have you been?”

“I have been in another land most of my life,” answered King John the Cute plainly. “Please tell me how everyone knows about the Original Monster.”

“Because it’s a book, of course,” Iris Osiris showed the king the book she was holding. It was filled with pictures and large block letters. Its title was, ‘THE RETURN OF THE ORIGINAL MONSTER’.

“This is the hottest and best new book around,” said Iris Osiris. “It has a great story about the first fairy tale creature that ever lived. Everyone’s buying it! Everyone’s reading it! It’s written by a guy called…” she looked at the small lettering on the cover of the book, “Doctor Dave Daniels.”

“Doctor Dave Daniels?” King John the Cute remembered quite well the story told by Otto the Outstanding about the Original Monster and Doctor Dave Daniels. He also remembered that the Original Monster, which had found a way to Earth and back again, was last seen on his way from the Land of All Legends to see Doctor Dave Daniels again to bring proof of the Land of All Legends.

“Oh, he’s great!” exclaimed Iris Osiris. “He’s a man of academia, and all he studies is old fairy tales. I mean really old fairy tales. The beautiful thing is that he has these ideas about what the very first fairy tale was like and what stories were told thousands and thousands of years ago, when man just began to tell stories. But his ideas are just ideas, they cannot be proven by any facts, since we have no recordings of these stories. So he put it all down in a book for children, that way everyone can enjoy the adventures of the first stories. Isn’t that great?! My children love it!”

“That is quite fascinating,” said King John the Cute. “Can you tell me what happens in the story?”

“Actually, the story is quite long, and we’re almost at the end. I’m going to tell you the gist of what happened so far and then I’m going to continue reading. You’re welcome to listen in, if you want.”

“I would love to hear it.”

“So far,” began Iris Osiris, “we’ve come to know the Original Monster. He lived in the Land of Fairy Tales, and he was the first fairy tale that ever was. Because he was the first, at first he was alone, just him and the sun. Then more fairy tales appeared, and we learn all about them, don’t we, Ira and Rhea? Yes, we do!

“Then the years pass by and everyone dies except the Original Monster. He gets to live a very long life and see more fairy tales come to life. His adventures change a bit, but he always remains more or less the same.

“Then, after thousands and thousands of years, although he lives in a world populated by magic and beauty and fairies, he feels alone, because everyone dies except for him. Now, he is even lonelier than before, because he sees that the Land of Fairy Tales itself is dying. Nothing new is growing, no new life is coming in, and everyone keeps dying. He feels that if something is not done, he will remain alone in a dead land.

“He wants to do something about it.

“Finally, he finds a wizard that lives outside of his own world, a wizard known only as Triple Dee. Triple Dee casts a spell that cannot be cast in the Land of Fairy Tales. In that spell, he gives a magical power to the Original Monster, then transports him back into the Land of Fairy Tales. Now, the Original Monster has a new magical power. Wherever he walks, life is renewed: flowers grow in his wake, animals are formed in his footsteps, and magical fairies and baby dragons are created where his shadow rests.

“That is where I stopped the story. It’s almost at its ending. Now I’ll keep on reading.”

King John the Cute nodded in fascination, and so did Ira and Rhea.

Iris Osiris opened the book again, and continued to read, “ ‘Now the Original Monster was no longer lonely. He walked the Land of Fairy Tales and the land healed in his wake. And so he traveled backwards and forwards, this way and that, zigging and zagging, making sure to walk any path and to miss no spot in the entire land. For if it was one thing that the Original Monster had, it was time.’”

King John the Cute listened intently to the story, and as he listened he watched the two twins. They, too, listened intently, their eyes wide, their breath deep. Then, a bubble of imagination emerged from the head Ira, and another bubble emerged from the head of Rhea. Both bubbles had images of the Original Monster, a hairy and tall man, half monkey, half man. In Ira’s bubble, the Original Monster was walking outside Burial Hill outside of Bambooville, near the spot where John the Cute, not yet king and not yet not cute, had found the orange flowers with yellow streaks. In Rhea’s bubble, the Original Monster was walking a mountainous path the king had walked months before, a path in the middle of the River Red Continent.

“ ‘And now, with the Land of Fairy Tales completely healed,’” Iris Osiris continued to read the story, “ ‘the Original Monster was never lonely again. For he knew that he had brought life back to the land that had birthed him, and he was happy and he was joyful. And the Original Monster was never lonely again, for he was the father and mother of almost every creature he saw and surveyed. All were his children and all were his friends. And that is the story of the rebirth of the Land of Fairy Tales.’”

The two bubbles from Ira and Rhea slowly distanced themselves from the heads from which they had sprung, but they were coming towards each other. King John the Cute followed them with his gaze, wondering if the bubbles would burst upon impact.

The bubbles met. Rather than burst, they merged, creating a bigger bubble. In it, the Original Monster was walking the path in the River Red Continent, and plants were growing in his wake, and baby dragons were coming into existence in his shadow.

King John the Cute looked up. They were seated outside a book store. From inside the book store, five bubbles containing images of the Original Monster were coming out through the walls. In front of his eyes, the bubbles merged into bigger bubbles.

Now King John the Cute surveyed his surroundings. There were bubbles of the Original Monster everywhere. They were coming out of buildings and merging into each other. Now the twins’ single bubble rose up and met with bigger bubbles who met with bigger bubbles. Now the magical image of the Original Monster healing the Land of All Legends took up half of the sky.

King John the Cute rose from his place near Iris Osiris, and called upon his chariot. In front of the woman’s eyes, ten thousand butterflies minus one came out of every corner and lifted the king with the wrinkled face into the sky.

There, he could see from up close what no human could see: the bubble was growing greater and greater, becoming more and more lucid and less and less transparent.

The bubble was so close and the views were so real and colorful and lacking detail that it seemed to King John the Cute as if he was watching the world in which he grew.

Then, in an instant, three more bubbles merged with the big bubble. It was as if the bubble now had all it would need. The bubble shook and span. Its surface hardened. And, in front of the king’s face, it lost is bubbly shape, and lengthened into the sky and beyond. The surface of the bubble burst, but the long shape remained. A tunnel was left, paved with the imagination of children around the world. It was a tunnel much like the one in which the Evil Witch of Panache had led him from the Land of All Legends into the magical land of Earth.

The vision of the Original Monster was gone, and now only the tunnel remained.

Now King John the Cute knew the truth about the bubbles. A story by itself is simply imagination – a world in a bubble that bursts. But if a story is told enough times, perhaps a million, perhaps even more than a million, then enough bubbles meet, and a path is formed, and a truth is created in the Land of All Legends. And that, King John the Cute realized with certainty, was how fairy tales were born in the Land of All Legends.

King John the Cute led his chariot to hang in the air in front of the tunnel that humans could not see, so that he may peer inside it. He was careful not to come too close to the tunnel, for he knew that when he returned to the Land of All Legends, even for a few minutes, he would die.

The tunnel was black. And beyond it did not lie images of the Land of All Legends: no colors, no shapes, no magical land – only darkness. Then something peered back at him from the darkness: a powerful pair of eyes.

“Hello?” said the pair of eyes. “Is someone there?”

King John the Cute’s own eyes adjusted to the darkness, and now could make out the face that surrounded the eyes. It was the face he had seen in all of the bubbles, the face of the Original Monster as imagined by millions of children.

“The Original Monster?” shouted King John the Cute. “Is that you? My name is King John the Cute. I come from the Land of All Legends, although now I am on the planet Earth!”

“King John the Cute?” answered the face. “I have not been to the Land of All Legends in a few of its years, so I have not heard that you are now king. But I have heard of your coming centuries ago. I have heard a prophecy that you will save the Land of All Legends from its mysterious ailment. I have waited for your coming for centuries, but you did not come.”

“I have come now.”

“Sadly, it may be too late for me. For I chose not to wait for you. Shall I tell you the sad events that have led me here?”

“Please do. I am listening.”

“As I saw the land grow more feeble, as I saw that no new creatures were being born and all were dying, I decided to find a solution on my own. I contacted the one known as Doctor Dave Daniels, a man of academia who resides in a world without magic. On my behalf, he wrote a story about the truth of the past of our land, but also a story about myself, a story which gives me the power to heal the land.

“Once the story was out, once it was made a bestseller and liked by more than a million-or-so children, a path formed above me, a path which looked exactly like the paths that lead home.

“I saw it form in front of my eyes. And when it was formed, it was formed with great force, a great pulling force. The path sucked me inside it and I was unable to resist its power. I fell through the tunnel, but it did not lead me back home. I do not know where I am. I do not know what this place is. All I know is that there is no place like this in the Land of All Legends that I have ever seen. It is simply dark and quiet. With no sun, no creatures, and no magic that I can see. My own new powers, the power of life, should work in the Land of All Legends, for enough children have heard my new story, but here my footsteps do nothing and my shadow does not birth new life.”

“Perhaps the reason the path no longer leads to the Land of All Legends,” King John the Cute said, held in the air by his chariot of butterflies, “is part of the illness that besets the Land of All Legends.”

“That is quite possible. I tried to return through this tunnel. But it is too high above me and I do not have the strength. I am doomed to remain here.” The Original Monster sighed. “I am sorry, King John the Cute. I attempted to outsmart the prophecy and to solve the land’s illnesses on my own, and I seem to have doomed myself. Will you help me to find my way out of wherever I am?”

Despair struck King John the Cute for the very first time. “Original Monster,” he said with a sad voice, “my task is too big and it is getting bigger. My quest is impossible, for I must do what you could not, and I must know what you, who have seen everything, do not. My time is short, for I am dying. I have no friends here. I can no longer enter the land of All Legends without dying. I desire deeply to help you with your problem, but I fear that I cannot vow that I will solve your problem. For I grow weaker every day and every day I learn how much I do not know and how much more there is yet to accomplish.”

The Original Monster lowered his head. “I understand, my king. It is all right, I shall be fine. For I will not die, and I have all the time in the world. Someone else will come to save me… sometime in the future. Go about your quest and save the Land of All Legends and do not worry about me, for that is what I want most of all.”

King John the Cute nodded, a tear in his eye, for he learned that he was not perfect. “Thank you, Ookoo-Ah, you are a noble and brave creature. I will now return to my quest.”

“Goodbye,” said the Original Monster. “Be brave.”

The king’s chariot slowly led him back down to the street. Now King John the Cute saw that Iris Osiris and hundreds of others had been staring at him the entire time.

“Go about your ways,” King John the Cute ordered the people of the big city.

But the people of the big city did not go about their ways. For they told each other the very real tale of the man with the troubled face and the golden crown who was carried into the air by a chariot of butterflies. And so it was that the story of the magic of the planet Earth began to spread among humans.

This has been the third story (out of four) about twins in this book of legends.

Even more importantly, this was the story in which King John the Cute learned that he could not achieve perfection. As we shall see in the tales to come, this was the one life-lesson he needed to learn most of all.

(To be continued on Thursday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Imagination of Children

September 22, 2013

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 Imagination of Children

(Containing the tale of the tale that would never become a fairy tale.)

 

This is the story of a single bubble, containing the imagination of a child.

The story takes places in a kindergarten on the magical planet Earth, quite far from where you are right now.

The bubble was first created in the mind of a four-year-old child called Jimmy “the Jim” Germaine. Jimmy had just looked at the sky through the window and saw a bird. In his mind, he imagined a family of birds flying through the sky.

Thus, the bubble was born.

It separated from his mind, an entire world ensconced inside a sphere. Near the bubble stood the one known at the time as King John the Cute.

King John the Cute had been attracted to the kindergarten. He had seen a sea of bubbles through the kindergarten’s open door, and walked in. Looking underneath the sea of bubbles, he saw fifteen small children. They were playing and imagining, and bubbles came off their heads a dozen at a time, at a rate even quicker than that of the mysterious old storymaker he had met a while ago.

Ever since King John the Cute had seen his first bubble and learned of its nature, he was intrigued. He had come from a faraway land in which almost all who lived there were invented in the imagination of people on the planet Earth.

King John the Cute felt that bubbles somehow become people in the Land of All Legends. If he learned the process, he could perhaps find a clue about the ailment that has taken over his land.

King John the Cute decided to solve the mystery by following a single bubble. And so he picked Jimmy “the Jim” Germaine and the bubble that was born at that moment in his mind.

The bubble was strong and mostly transparent as it separated from the head of Jimmy “the Jim” Germaine. A family of birds lived inside it: a mother, a father, and a single child. They were flying through the sky.

Under the watchful eye of King John the Cute, the bubble floated into the air, away from Jimmy “the Jim” Germaine, upwards and away.

Inside the bubble, the images changed. The family of birds had landed on a rock, near a nest. The mother bird and the father bird explained to their son that soon he will have a brother or sister. The child bird was not happy.

The bubble drifted further away, and now floated through the wall of the kindergarten to the outside. King John the Cute quickly exited the building and found the bubble floating in the air. Now the bubble, as well as the images inside it, were even fainter and more transparent.

By this time, the father and mother bird had already given birth to a tiny baby bird. The baby bird bit her older brother with a beak and screamed whenever he stood near her. Even though the father bird and the mother bird loved the baby very much and nearly forgot their first child, the child bird did his best to take care of his little baby sister. Then, one day (as it was seen quite quickly in the bubble), the father bird and the mother bird flew off with their new baby bird to migrate for the summer. They forgot the child bird behind, and never even noticed he was gone.

King John the Cute despaired at the sadness of the story. He followed the bubble as it slowly rose upwards with the win, growing dangerously more transparent. He could still see clearly that the lesson of the story was that parents must never forget their children.

Then, the lesson finished, the bubble burst and vanished into nothing. Nothing was left of the story that had been conceived by Jimmy “the Jim” Germaine. King John the Cute had witnessed the birth of a bubble, the birth of a world, the birth of a story. Yet these three, which are actually one and the same, died within two minutes and vanished without ever having been seen or witnessed by anyone else except King John the Cute.

King John the Cute stood in place, underneath the spot in which the bubble had burst, and wondered about the mysteries of the universe. He had seen a story born. But he still could not understand how a story in this world can create a living creature in the Land of All Legends. Stories in this world, after all, burst and die after a few minutes.

This has been the tale of the tale that would never become a fairy tale. The lesson of this story would be learned in the next story.

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘The Indestructibles’ Premieres on Tuesday

September 21, 2013

It’s been almost two years since I wrote The Indestructibles, adapting a $200 million SF film idea to a no-budget underground guerilla film. The Indestructibles premieres on Tuesday in the Utopia SF Film Festival in Tel Aviv. After the film there’ll be a Q&A with the film’s actors and me (writer, director, producer).

I hope you come and enjoy the experience.

Even gods must die...

Even gods must die…

Goof #1 Cover Revealed

September 19, 2013

New Worlds Comics is launching next month. As we get closer, I’m going to release more and more information.

 

Here’s our first teaser, the cover of our first title, Goof:

 

Goofiest superhero ever.

Goofiest. Superhero. Ever.

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Stranger and the Bubbles

September 19, 2013

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 Stranger and the Bubbles

(Containing a bubble-filled tale of a bubbly old man with an overactive imagination.)

 

Once upon a time, when King John the Cute walked the magical planet Earth alone with only his new chariot to accompany him, he came upon an old man surrounded by strange bubbles.

The old man was slightly fat and bald and sitting on a park bench in a park, looking at the trees. The bubbles that surrounded him were each the size of a small balloon.

King John the Cute approached the park bench. Now he could see that the bubbles were moving away from the old man. The further they drifted, the more imperceptible they became, until they vanished completely. New bubbles were always forming and separating themselves from the skin of the old man’s face.

“Old man,” said King John the Cute. “May I sit down beside you?”

The old man looked at the king and laughed. “Young man, you may,” he said. “But only if you keep calling me old man.”

King John the Cute sat down beside the old man. “What is the nature of the bubbles that surround you?”

“Bubbles?” The old man looked around and saw nothing. “What bubbles?”

“The ones that surround your face, of course,” said King John the Cute. “This one has an image of bubbles from the sea. This one has a person with cheeks full of bubbles. That one has bubbles with small fairies living inside them. They are all floating away! Where are they going?”

“You see these things inside bubbles?” The old man said softly, amused. “That is astounding. I did not know they appear as bubbles. I did not know anyone could see them. Even I cannot see them.”

“What are they?” inquired King John the Cute. “There is no such magic in my own land.”

The old man laughed. “They are stories, stories that come from my imagination. Come, young man,” the old man grabbed the king’s hand. “Let us experiment. I will look at the tree over there, and you will look at the ‘bubbles’, and tell me what you see. Agreed?”

The king nodded. The old man looked at one of the trees in the park. “Tell me what you see.”

“I see a bubble in which a tree suddenly has legs and begins to walk.”

“Yes.”

“I see a bubble with a tree as big as two giants cleaning his teeth with trees like the one in the park.”

“Yes!”

“I see a bubble with a great battle of trees, hundreds of trees with green leaves attacking hundreds of trees with brown leaves.”

“Yes! Amazing!” The old man, his eyes glowing with excitement, looked at King John the Cute.

“I do not understand,” said King John the Cute. “How can so many stories come out of you so quickly? Where do those stories come from?”

“My dear young man,” said the old man. “I sit here in the park, looking around, and the entire world tells me stories. Stories appear in my head about what could have been, what would have been, what could never be. Each thought is a world, an entire story… Your face, for example, is fascinating, for it tells me many stories.”

The old man looked at King John the Cute’s face, full of wrinkles and troubles, of furrows and creases. As the old man looked at the king’s face, the king looked at the bubbles. In the bubbles, he saw his mother, Kate the Tigress, scream her distress into a deep chasm; he saw Al the Average being dragged by the throat by Sarah O’Connell; he saw Death hurl a secret into the ocean; he saw a little blue soldier attack the village of his childhood; and there was the cloud Chariot, being kidnapped by an old farmer.

“Stop! Stop!” cried King John the Cute.

“What did you see?” wondered the old man amicably, a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eyes.

“I saw the many stories of my life, but stories that are not my own, stories of friends and family that are a part of my life. How could you possibly know these things?”

“Ideas come to me. There are stories everywhere. Your face tells me stories, it tells me many, many stories.”

King John the Cute grabbed his heart, as it began to ache once more with the pain of Prince Charming the Fifth’s sword.

He gathered his composure, as the old man looked at him, and said, “I would like to understand this, if you do not mind. What happens to the stories that come out of you?”

The old man shrugged. “I think of so many, that they fly off me and disappear, forgotten… Only a few remain, stories that are good enough, powerful enough, stories that are emotional enough or special enough or strong enough. These are stories I write so that other people may read them. I am a storyteller and a storymaker.”

“I have never met a person who makes stories,” said King John the Cute with deference, for he knew that those who make stories also make the people he himself had seen every day in the Land of All Legends.

The old man looked at him intently. “You are a special young man,” he said. “You see things that others do not. You know how to listen to others, which helps you in your path.” As he spoke, he peered deep into the king’s eyes. And around the old man, the king could see a big and powerful bubble begin to form. In it, King John the Cute was sitting, hale and healthy, on a king’s throne. Beside him sat his queen, Sarah O’Connell. They were happy and older, and an entire land lay beneath their feet. And everyone was happy and worshipped the hero king.

“What is that I just saw?” asked King John the Cute.

The old man looked aside and smile. “You are a hero. I imagined the ending of your story.”

“I fear my death shall not be as heroic as you believe. I shall die soon and in agony. I will not rule a land again. I will not marry my love and she will not share the throne. I will spend eternity in the Afterdeath.”

The old man shrugged. “I do not deal with facts, I deal with stories. I do not see facts, I see stories. What you have seen is what my imagination invented. And now,” the old man came to his feet. “It is time that I return to my home and write about that which I have imagined today. I have imagined a magnificent story today, and I must put it on paper as quickly as possible.”

“Please do not go. Or maybe allow me to go with you. I have many more questions!”

The old man stopped him. “Our paths must uncross here. I am not really a friendly sort, and I seek to be alone.”

“But I do not know your name. How will I find you again? The fate of two worlds depend on—”

But the old man raised his hand, and King John the Cute stopped talking. “If the fate of two worlds depend on our meeting again, then perhaps Fate shall step in and put us in another story. For now, I bid you goodbye… your highness.” The old man bowed slightly, looking at the crown. Above him another bubble formed, showing the same image as before, of the king and the queen ruling an entire land of creatures.

The old man turned around and walked away. King John the Cute remained behind.

Soon the sun set, and ten thousand butterflies descended on the king. “Where shall we carry you now, my king?” they whispered.

“Away from here,” he answered.

This has been the worrying tale in which King John the Cute was met face to face with a happy ending to his tale. This has also been the old man’s second appearance in this book of legends.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – Memories of an Old Man

September 17, 2013

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

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

Memories of an Old Man

(Containing a sweet recollection about the magic of memory.)

 

The following is a magical tale that happened on the planet Earth. This story could only have happened to King John the Cute.

Once, the king from another world came upon an old man on the street on the planet Earth. The old man walked slowly with his cane. Then, when the old man stood next to the king, he suddenly grabbed his old chest with his old hands, and fell to the ground.

King John the Cute leaned down to help the old man, when he saw a whispery colorful shadow step out of the old man and stand up. The whispery colorful shadow was in the shape of the old man. Another whispery colorful shadow in the same form came out again. Then another, then another. The king noticed that all shadows looked slightly different from each other. Then another shadow, of a twelve year old, stood up.

“What is going on here?” asked King John the Cute.

“Stranger, I do not know who you are,” said one of the whispery shadows. “Or how you can see me, seeing as you did not know me when I was alive.”

“Are you dead?” asked King John the Cute. “Are you a ghost? I have heard of those.”

“I am not a ghost,” said the whispery shadow. “None of us are. The man you see lying on the ground, he is dead. One minute, a man is alive and is all there. Another, he is gone and nothing remains. Death is inconceivable. Death is magic. But even though the man is dead, he leaves behind memories of himself in those who knew them. We are all memories of this dead. I am the memory that belongs to his best friend. When I am done speaking to you, I will find him and I will walk beside him during his waking hours. If he wants, he can look at me and see the friend he remembers. If he wants, he can speak to me, and I will speak to him, as he remembers. If he wants, I shall remain silent in the background.

“This,” the whispery shadow pointed to another, “is the memory that belongs to his wife. This,” he pointed to the youngest whispery shadow, “is the memory that belongs to his sister. She will always remember him as a child.

“I am surprised that you can see us, stranger,” said the whispery shadow. “But if you can see us, perhaps you can look around and see that every person around you walks with memories of others in his wake.”

King John the Cute raised his eyes, and for the first time saw what none before him had seen before. Every person walking in the street had whispery shadows walking beside him, sitting next to them in the car. On a faraway bench, a man was speaking to the shadow of a woman, arguing about something. Around a tree, a young child was playing with a whispery shadow of his father.

“This world is magic,” whispered King John the Cute. “I am slowly able to see more and more magic of this strange world. I wonder what other magic I have yet to see.”

The whispery shadow shrugged. “That I do not know. But now, all of us memories need to go. We must arrive at each of our respective destinations along with the news of the death. I bid you adieu, stranger.”

“Adieu,” said King John the Cute. He watched the whispery shadows walk in different directions, then continued on his way.

This has been the story in which King John the Cute learned that death is magic. This has also been another story in which King John the Cute learned to see the magic of the magical planet Earth.

 

(To be continued on Thursday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Magic of Butterflies

September 15, 2013

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 Magic of Butterflies

(Containing a transforming story of magical metamorphosis.)

 

Once King John the Cute had been on the planet Earth for three weeks, three days, three minutes, and thirty three seconds, a butterfly from his chariot came to him. King John the Cute was lying down on a park bench, resting, for the wound in his chest ached more powerfully these days. The butterfly rested on the king’s finger and spoke, “Your highness, I do not want to bother you while you rest, but I must inform you that I will now stop serving as one of the butterflies of your chariot. I am forced to bid you adieu.”

“That is a sad fact indeed,” King John the Cute sat up. “You are, of course, free to do as you wish, but I shall miss you. May I ask where you are going?”

“I am about to be born,” said the butterfly.

“I do not understand,” said the king. “Are you not already born?”

“Perhaps things work differently in the Land of All Legends than they do on Earth. May I share with you the story of a butterfly’s life?”

“That would be a great parting gift,” said King John the Cute. “I am listening.”

Every butterfly has five phases in his life, began the butterfly. Each phase is a big change and is called a metamorphosis.

A butterfly begins his life as an egg, small and helpless, but cute.

Once the egg is ready to open, the second phase begins: a caterpillar comes out of the egg and begins to walk. The caterpillar walks and eats, and when he is ready, he surrounds himself with a special cocoon called a chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar grows and grows, he transforms and transforms, then he changes and changes, and then when he is ready, the chrysalis opens and a butterfly emerges. That is the fourth stage.

The butterfly then lives a full life. But when he is ready, he must go and complete the fifth stage. And the fifth stage has to do with the first stage. Because a butterfly egg is created from the happy dreams and fervent wishes of women. The happy dreams and fervent wishes of one woman create one egg. That egg eventually becomes a butterfly, and when that butterfly is ready he returns to the woman and attaches himself to her bare stomach, which has grown quite big during that time. The butterfly glows and disappears, only to reappear in her stomach as the baby she will have.

You see, King John the Cute, all babies from Earth are born from butterflies.

“It is time now for me to go, King John the Cute,” the butterfly finished his story. “The woman from whose dreams I come is already on the way to the hospital.”

“Thank you for your story, little butterfly,” said King John the Cute. “Enjoy your life as a human. Allow me to give you one last parting gift.” With that, King John the Cute tickled the butterfly. The butterfly laughed and flew away, ready to be born.

This has been the story in which King John the Cute learned that all humans were butterflies once, and that birth is magic.

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Pinocchio 2,000

September 12, 2013

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 Pinocchio 2,000

(Containing a down-to-Earth tale with absolutely no magic.)

 

Once upon a time, but not too long ago, a young man roamed the planet Earth with a chariot of butterflies. That man was called King John the Cute, and in his chest a dull pain subsisted. He had been struck two weeks ago by Prince Charming the Fifth, and the blow was a lethal one. But some things worked differently on the planet Earth, and where blood gushed in the Land of All Legends, it only seeped from his chest on the planet Earth. Still, sometimes the pain was a bit too much to bear. The king, needing a respite in his travels, asked his chariot of butterflies to rest for a while, as he walked in the streets of a relatively small town.

Wearing a crown and bloody clothes that would not come off, King John the Cute walked slowly from street to street, until he stopped near a heap of garbage.

Something about the heap of garbage seemed intriguing. One of the boxes of metal was moving.

King John the Cute bent down and gingerly extracted it from the garbage, turned it upside down, and put it on the ground. The metal box was actually a few metal boxes, held together in a way King John the Cute could not see.

“Thank you, kind sir,” said the box creature. “I was afraid the garbage men would collect me and make scrap metal out of me.”

“What are you? I have never seen a creature such as yourself,” said the king.

“I am a robot,” said the robot. “My name is the Pinocchio 2,000.”

“My name is King John the Cute,” said King John the Cute. “I am on a quest and I come from a world of magic.”

“Magic?” said the Pinocchio 2,000. “There is no such thing as magic. Magic is a most ridiculous invention, and my life story proves it.”

“I shall like to hear your life story, then,” said King John the Cute.

“Very well, but then I must go. I must find my creator.” The Pinocchio 2,000 turned from side to side as if looking around, then began to tell his tale, “My story begins a few decades ago, back when I did not exist. My story begins with a man called Professor J.P. Ito. Even from a very young age, he could see patterns all around me. Human behavior always seemed to fall into certain patterns. Love seemed to follow certain patterns. Anger followed patterns. The clouds moving across the sky followed patterns.

“When he grew up, he learned that the patterns he was seeing had names. They were called ‘mathematics’ and ‘physics’. And these studies were taught regularly at universities, which are places of academia. He joined a prestigious university.

“But where he saw patterns, other people saw magic. People believed the changing appearance of clouds was magical. People believed love was mystical in nature. People believed in destiny, even though their lives followed patterns. But most of all, people believed life itself was magical.

“But he knew differently. He knew that being born was a product of physical actions. He knew that a human brain was a product of mathematical computations. No one would believe him. And so he began a quest of his own, a quest in academia. His quest was to create the perfect little boy, the perfect life, but an artificial one. He created a field of mathematics and physics called ‘Artificial Intelligence’. Its purpose was and is to create a mind as good as a human’s out of manmade circuits.

“He worked for twenty years, making breakthrough after breakthrough. During those twenty years, he had no time to find a wife and no time to make a family and children. One day, after twenty years, after having finished making the body you see before you, he realized that he had spent all his time on a robot and that he must keep on doing so to make his dream real, for he will never have a wife or a child. I was to be his only boy.

“That is why he called me the Pinocchio 2,000, although I do not understand he reference. He said he called me that because it was his hope that one day I will become a real boy.

“I still could not walk or talk or think. He worked on me for ten more years, creating my brain, and constantly tweaking my intelligence. He made breakthrough after breakthrough, and slowly I learned to speak, to walk, to look, to understand, to react, even to feel. He said I seemed to be acting like a real boy in every respect. And yet he believed I was not yet real. Even though I told him I was a real boy now, he said I needed ten more years until I was ready.

“I felt bad at this, and I wanted to prove to him that I was just as alive and real as a human being. I did not want to wait ten more years. And so, ten months, ten days, ten minutes, and ten point ten seconds ago, I ran away from his lab. But bad luck followed me when I ran away. I met a few scoundrels that tried to use my robot body for financial gain. A circus had taken me in, to show me off. Later, I even fell into the sea, and a whale swallowed me. It was quite hard to escape, and fortunately I am waterproof.

“But now, after all these adventures, I am ready to come home, and I am sure he missed me. But even more importantly, I am sure that after I recount to him everything that happened to me, he will know that he did create a real person. He will see that his life was not in vain. He will see that with all his mathematical and physical breakthroughs, he has created human intelligence out of wires. For all intents and purposes except flesh and skin, I am a real boy.

“And that is how I know that there is no magic, King John the Cute. Life is not magical, because it can be recreated mathematically. Life follows patterns. And therefore life is mathematical and not magical.”

“I find that lesson disturbing,” said John King. “And I would tell you the story of my own life, which I believe proves the opposite. But that would take too long and neither of us has the time. I have a chariot of butterflies. Shall they carry you to your father?”

“That would be very kind of you, King John the Cute.”

“It is my pleasure to reunite a family,” said the King. “One last question. During your time in academia, have you ever heard of a man called Doctor Dave Daniels?”

“No, I have not.”

And, with that, the king summoned his chariot of butterflies. With ease, the chariot rose into the sky, and carried away the robot that did not believe in magic back to the father that had created him out of circuits and math.

This has been the story in which King John the Cute learned that every story that exists in the Land of All Legends has at least one parallel story on the magical planet Earth.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!