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 Legend of Gladys Poindexter
(Containing an earthly tale of magic and happy endings.)
Once upon a time, on the planet Earth, there lived a woman with her child. The woman believed she was living happily ever after with her only son. Her name was Gladys Poindexter. Her son’s name was Charley Poindexter.
One day, when Charley was seven years and seventy-seven days old, he went to bed in his room. But even though his door was the only way out of the room, when Gladys returned, she discovered that her son had disappeared.
She searched everywhere, but could not find him. She called the police. The police searched for him for months, but could not find him. She walked the streets, screaming her son’s name, but there was never any answer from him. Someone had kidnapped Charley, making it look like he had vanished into thin air.
Even the lessons taught to her by the one known as Al the Average were lost to her. She no longer believed in living happily ever after, in fate, in magic, or even in happy endings. She believed that any story in her life would now end badly.
Stricken with grief, unable to hold a job, unable to see people, she sold everything she owned, and moved to a place called Bisbee, Arizona, a town in the middle of a desert. There, she lived for five years, holed up in her room, unable to do anything except occasionally order food and watch television.
Then, one day, exactly five years and fifty-five days after Charley had disappeared, there was a knock on the door.
When Gladys opened the door, she saw three mysterious strangers. One was young and tall and wore a crown. The other was short and extremely old. The third was around her age and seemed familiar.
“Gladys Poindexter?” said the man with the crown. She nodded. “My name is King John the Cute.”
“I don’t really care,” she said. “Why is there blood on your shirt? Are you bleeding?”
“I was for a while. But it has stopped for now. Gladys Poindexter,” he said, meeting her eyes, “your son would like to see you.”
Gladys froze in place. The third stranger, the one who was her age, stepped forward hesitantly and his eyes began to shed tears. “Mom?” he cried.
Gladys took a step back.
“It’s me, Mom. It’s Charley.”
“It can’t be! Charley would be thirteen now!”
“Gladys Poindexter,” John King spoke clearly. “I assure you that he is your son.”
Charley did not wait for John King to explain. He began to tell his mother everything he remembered from his childhood, every story she told him, and of every place they had been together.
Gladys Poindexter listened. And, halfway through his stories, she truly looked at the man’s face, and knew that he was telling the truth, for he looked exactly like her son.
“Charley! Charley!” She shouted, not knowing what to do with herself. “How is this possible!”
“Charley was in a place where time works differently,” said John King. “It is a place of magic, where everything you touch and everything you see is magic.”
“There is no such thing as magic!” shouted Gladys Poindexter and felt the skin of her son’s cheeks. “How is this possible? How is this you?”
“I have seen so many magical things, Mom. I have seen fairies and fairy tales, dragons and evil witches. I have so many stories to tell you!”
Gladys laughed and hugged her grownup child. “Quiet! Quiet! Let me hug you!”
The two sat down and hugged, a child and his mother.
“One last thing, Gladys Poindexter,” John King said, still at the door. She looked at him, her eyes wide. “Al the Average misses you and Charley. He would no doubt be happy to hear that now you believe that there are happy endings.”
Glady Poindexter laughed and laughed, and hugged her grownup son. When she looked up again, John the King and the extremely old man were gone.
This has been the sweet story in which Gladys Poindexter learned that magic truly exists.
(To be continued on Tuesday…)
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