‘Tickling Butterflies’ – Memories of an Old Man

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!

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