Tickling Butterflies – The Two Kings

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 Two Kings

(Containing a story in which Spooky Sam’s spooky talents are truly used.)

 

Not too long ago, in a spooky building at the end of a spooky street on a spooky night on the planet Earth, Spooky Sam called upon the ghost of King Charming the Fourth.

“He is here,” said Spooky Sam. “But only I can see and hear him. I will repeat the words he speaks.”

“Your highness,” King John the Cute bowed. “I am honored that you sought me out. It is good to be in your presence again.”

“ ‘King John the Cute’,” Spooky Sam repeated the words of King Charming the Fourth. “ ‘It is good to be in yours. As always, you appear to be in good health.’”

“I may look well,” answered King John the Cute, “but I have been fatally wounded by your son. I have no more than a few weeks on the planet Earth before I die. And when I return I shall die within seconds.”

Spooky Sam said, “The king is sad. He’s saying, ‘I am sorry that my son has given you such trouble. He has always given me much trouble, as well.’”

“You have less to worry about your son, your highness. When I released him from the still water, he was a spoiled child incapable of taking any responsibility. But in the meantime, he has successfully raised an army against me and fatally wounded me. He has grown to be quite capable. Now I understand he reigns the land side by side with Queen Sarah O’Connell. I trust her that she would not let him reign if he was ineffective in any way.”

“ ‘That is good. I am happy that he is doing much better.’”

“But your highness, our time may be short, and although I have made much progress in my quest many puzzles are still unknown. May I ask you some questions that may help me in my quest?”

“ ‘Of course. But first you must realize the terms of our meeting.

“ ‘Not everyone who is dead can become a ghost. In fact, almost no one who is dead becomes a ghost. I will not tell you the full story of how I became a ghost. Rather, I will tell you the end of that story: A wizard who lives here in the Afterdeath granted me my wish: to speak to you again. But in exchange, once this conversation is gone, my soul shall disappear, not only from the Land of All Legends, but from the Afterdeath. My soul shall truly die, and none shall ever speak to me or see me again.’”

“That is sad and horrible news,” said King John the Cute.

“ ‘It is worth the price, if I can help you save our land… my land. Being a king carries responsibility. And with great responsibility comes great sacrifice.

“ ‘Now come the terms of our conversation, for the wizard has limited me even further. You may ask me questions for as long as you want, but only if my answers will help you in your quest. If the answer to your question will not help you in your quest, I will cease to be a ghost, and I will cease to exist. If I say something that will not help you in your quest, our conversation will also end, and I will cease to exist.

“ ‘So choose your questions carefully, my young and worthy king,’” said King Charming the Fourth through Spooky Sam.

“I will. Thank you for this warning.” King John the Cute considered carefully the questions he sought the answer to. Then, trusting his instincts, he began, “What does the Afterdeath look like, your highness?”

Spooky Sam looked at the ghost only he could see as if he was afraid of the answers he may hear. He recovered within a second and continued to relay King Charming the Fourth’s words. “ ‘There is much to say about the Afterdeath, my young and worthy king. I will tell you all that I can.

“ ‘Firstly, the Afterdeath is a long and black corridor. When a person’s soul passes through Death’s Door, the corridor magically stretches, and a new room is formed in the Afterdeath. The new arrival is formed anew in this new and dark room, and he appears not as he did when he died, but as he did when he had the most adventures. That is why Spooky Sam sees me as a young and dashing figure and not as the old and sick man I had been when I died.

“ ‘That person needs to feel his way through the dark room to find his way out, and out he comes into the corridor. The corridor seems to have the ability to stretch infinitely, for more and more rooms are constantly being created. I do not know if it has a limit. The Afterdeath seems to be magically equipped to handle all those who die.

“ ‘However, in the last six centuries, something else has happened, something that the Afterdeath is not magically equipped to handle.

“ ‘King John the Cute, the reason that new creatures do not come into being at the Border of Nothing is that they appear here, in the Afterdeath. They are created here, they appear here. Without dying, without having lived. A room is formed, and they appear in that room. Over the last few centuries, thousands upon thousands of creatures have been amassed in the Afterdeath, never having seen the light and colors of the Land of All Legends.

“ ‘There are new and magical creatures, King John the Cute, that you would have loved to see. But they no longer come through the Land of All Legends. Even Death does not touch them. Perhaps he does not even know they have come into existence.’”

“Are you saying that all new living creatures now appear immediately in the Afterdeath?”

“ ‘Indeed they do, my young and brave king. It is no doubt one of the symptoms of the illness that plagues the land.’”

“That is strange and intriguing. And it brings me to another question, your highness.” Once more, King John the Cute hesitated for a split second. For he knew that if he asked the wrong question, King Charming the Fourth would disappear forever. Then, the split-second behind him, King John the Cute spoke with steel determination, “I have learned during my quest that once upon a time Death was like a revolving door. Those who died simply walked out of the Afterdeath unharmed. Why does no one walk out of the Afterdeath today?”

“ ‘You are wise to ask this question. I would not have thought it has anything to do with helping you solve the illness that plagues the land, but I see that I am free to answer.

“ ‘A few centuries ago, one of the first creatures that appeared in the Afterdeath instead of into the Land of All Legends was an evil and frightening monster with sharp teeth and a fear of our Sun. That monster is called a vampire, and he is a new monster the likes of which I have never seen in the Land of All Legends.

“ ‘His fear of the Sun is so great, and his madness so unreasonable, that ever since he has appeared, he has guarded the door from those who would want to exit. He slashes and hurts anyone who comes near and wants to pass. This man-sized creature is so fierce and vicious that he frightens even the most fearsome dragons and giants of the Afterdeath.’”

“That is intriguing and disturbing,” said King John the Cute.

“That may be, but I need a bathroom break,” said Spooky Sam, speaking as himself and not as the king.

“But wait,” clamored King John the Cute. “I still have more questions to ask!”

“That’s great,” said Spooky Sam. “And he just told me that he still has more answers to give. You will both have to wait until I return. Thank you.”

And with that, Spooky Sam went to the bathroom.

This has been the story detailing how the fourth meeting (out of four) between King John the Cute and King Charming the Fourth began.

 

(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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