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 LOST FAIRY TALES
A Day without the Fates
(Containing a fateful story about a fateful choice.)
Once upon a time, a dying king walked the magical planet Earth. He had already discovered the magic of memory, the magic of death, the magic of birth, the magic of imagination, the magic of inanimate objects, the magic of butterflies, the magic of balloons, and the magic of fairy tales. But he has yet to discover the reason for his quest: the ailment that plagues the Land of All Legends.
The Fates had promised him success in the form of a prophecy. But success seemed far for the king, and he believed the Fates had left him, at least for the day. And on that day, he walked the bustling streets of a small city and a small yellow car stopped on the road beside him.
“King John the Cute, is that you?” asked the small yellow car. “What an honor to actually see you in person!” The man inside the car looked at his car and could not believe it was speaking.
“The honor is mine,” answered King John the Cute, ignoring the man. “Everyone in this world is so welcoming.”
“I bring important news,” answered the car. “The rumor among cars has it that you are looking for Doctor Dave Daniels, a man of academia. The rumor has reached the doctor’s car, and he has told every car he has met where his owner could be found. The information of the doctor’s whereabouts are spreading on the roads. Could it be that I am the first to reach you?”
“Indeed you are, and this is a great piece of news.”
“Get in, then,” said the car to the dismay of its owner. “I will drive you!”
King John the Cute bent to open the car door, when a sneeze behind him caused the king to stop and turned around.
A news vendor in his early forties was blowing his nose. “I am going to find the man that invented the flu,” mumbled the news vendor, “and I am going to kill him. I’ll make it my life’s quest!”
“That is not a good idea for a quest,” said King John the Cute.
“Huh? What?” The news vendor looked at the king. Then, immediately, he offered him a newspaper. “Want to buy a newspaper? There’s a lot going on in the world!”
“No, thank you,” said King John the Cute.
The newspaper underneath the king’s nose suddenly realized who was in front of him. “King John the Cute! King John the Cute!” the newspaper cried in a squeaky, high-pitched voice. “I bring important news in my pages! All this week’s newspapers have been looking for you!”
King John the Cute looked at the newspaper. Then he took the newspaper from the vendor and told him, “I shall not buy your newspaper, but I would like to talk to him for a bit. Thank you.”
“Talk? To him?”
But King John the Cute did not hear the vendor, for he was speaking to the male newspaper.
“King John the Cute,” said the newspaper. “Within me, there is an ad specifically addressed to you.”
“What is an ad?” asked King John the Cute.
“An ad is a message,” answered the newspaper.
“What does it say?”
“It says, ‘KING JOHN THE CUTE, KING CHARMING THE FOURTH WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO YOU’.”
“ ‘King Charming the Fourth’!’” King John the Cute was astonished. “In this world?”
“There is also an address,” said the newspaper, and recited the address.
King John the Cute looked to his left: the yellow car waited to carry him to Doctor Dave Daniels. To his left was the newspaper stand, filled with messages from King Charming the Fourth.
The king had to decide what to do. He wanted to see both people. He wanted to miss neither of them. He feared that a wrong choice would lead to failure.
King John the Cute decided to wait for one minute and eleven seconds and allow the Fates to step in and help him make the choice.
For one minute and eleven seconds King John the Cute waited, but the Fates did not step in.
Once more, King John the Cute felt the Fates had abandoned him, at least for the day. Torn, he made his decision. He asked the yellow car for Doctor Dave Daniels’ whereabouts, and then called for his chariot and asked the butterflies to fly him to the address named by King Charming the Fourth.
Carried by the wings of ten thousand butterflies minus one, he rose into the sky. The eyes of everyone on the street, including the street vendor, the car owner, and dozens of passersby followed him until he was gone.
This was the story in which King John the Cute decided that sometimes the Fates do not step in; sometimes it is all up to you.
This has been the story in which the fate of many worlds was decided with a sneeze.
(To be continued on Sunday…)
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