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 Perfect Death
(Containing the retelling of a perfectly flawless tale about a perfect man with many flaws.)
This is a story of Perfect Paul and Flawless Farah.
At the time of the telling of this story, Perfect Paul had died forty-four times, and yet had never been successfully claimed by Death. Cursed by being born and reborn without the memory of the past, but with the same personality, he was called Iddy the Ideal.
Iddy the Ideal was the fastest runner in the Land of All Legends. Iddy the Ideal ran against birds in flight, he ran against cheetahs in a hunt, he even ran against the swiftest dragons. And always he won.
Iddy the Ideal had fallen in love with Tarah O’Perfect. Tarah O’Perfect was the forty-fourth incarnation of Flawless Farah. Tarah O’Perfect had fallen in love with Iddy the Ideal, but her eternal quest for artistic perfection led her to a dangerous dive at the bottom of SleeplessOcean, where she promptly died and was claimed by Death.
Death had been slow in claiming the soul of Tarah O’Perfect, for he was under the influence of a visit from three Foreseeing Propheseers. The Foreseeing Propheseers claimed that, without the shadow of a doubt and in no uncertain terms, the one known as Iddy the Ideal would one day turn Death into Life.
Once he had recovered his wits from this astonishing news, Death continued on his daily tasks and claimed the soul of Tarah O’Perfect.
The very next day, news of his love’s death arrived at Iddy the Ideal’s house. Stricken with grief, he collapsed and cried. But even as he cried, the curse of the evil witch acted upon him once more, and now, too late, he recalled all his past lives and all of Tarah O’Perfect’s past lives.
Too late, Iddy the Ideal remembered the curse. He wept for his love and he wept for the fact that he would never be with his love and that this curse would go on forever.
Suddenly, Iddy the Ideal looked up and saw the mysterious and dark stranger known as Death.
“I am Death,” said Death.
Iddy the Ideal stood up. “I know. For I remember all my past lives.”
“There are things, however, that you do not know,” Death said calmly. “You have been named in a prophecy. There it claims that you shall turn me from Death to Life.”
Iddy the Ideal blinked with surprise. He did not know such a thing was possible.
“The second thing you do not know,” continued Death, “is that your name has appeared on my list. I am to touch you and kill you, for your life is at an end. Please, turn me quickly into Life before I touch you. You have seconds.”
“I do not care about your prophecy, Death,” screamed Iddy the Ideal, still racked with grief. “I am under a curse that only leads to eternal misery!”
“Reconsider quickly,” Death’s voice was calm although his mood was one of anger. “For when I touch you, you will be gone. You are the only creature for which I have ever delayed a touch. And yet, the urge will soon be too strong.”
“You shall never touch me, Death, for I am quicker than you! I am the fastest creature in the Land of All Legends, and I vow here and now that you shall never claim me! I vow that I will elude your grasp and find my way to the Afterdeath myself! I shall walk through Death’s Door without your help, and in that way I shall break the curse and live with my loved one happily ever after in the Afterdeath!”
“Iddy the Ideal, reconsider.”
“You are a poor guardian of souls,” shouted Iddy the Ideal, still in emotional agony. “For you let others snatch them from you time and time again! But you shall never touch me again, Death! I shall die on my own, and my soul will not be snatched, by you or by a curse! I will race you and I will win!”
“You do not want to race Death,” said Death.
“You do not want to race Iddy the Ideal,” answered Iddy the Ideal.
Filled with anger at the falseness of the prophecy, Death said, “A race it is, then. Prepare to die.”
And Death took a step towards Iddy the Ideal, but Iddy the Ideal had already run out the window and was sprinting out of the city.
Thus it was that the race for Death’s Door had begun. Iddy the Ideal was much faster, but Death went in a straight line while Iddy the Ideal did not know the way. Death stopped in the middle to gather souls, while Iddy the Ideal needed to stop and sleep and eat. Death talked to no one during the race, while Iddy the Ideal was slowed down by encountering greed, temptation, vanity, a bully, and a troll.
Three weeks, three days and three hours after the race had begun, Iddy the Ideal reached Death’s Door. With acute agility he avoided the giant flower that guarded Death’s Door. But a yard before the door, he stopped in place, panting: Death stood between him and Death’s Door.
Before Iddy the Ideal could react, Death touched him with his deadly hand and claimed Iddy the Ideal’s soul. Satisfied by his victory and disappointed in the falseness of the prophecy, Death turned around to deposit the souls of Tarah O’Perfect and Iddy the Ideal, as well as hundreds of others, through the shimmering darkness of Death’s Door. But to his surprise, between Death and Death’s Door stood a familiar and frightening yellow monster with talons big enough to scare Death. The monster reached into Death’s robes, and snatched away the souls of Iddy the Ideal and Tarah O’Perfect. Its loot in its hands, it jumped into the air and was far above the clouds before Death could react.
Death remained behind and looked at the monster that had snatched the souls away from him for the forty-fifth time. His feeling of satisfaction at winning the race was gone. He was left only with the feeling of disappointment that he would forever be Death and not Life.
This has been the story of John the Cute’s first race against Death.
(To be continued on Thursday…)
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