Tickling Butterflies – Two Doors, Two Kings, and Two Questions

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

 Two Doors, Two Kings, and Two Questions

(Containing a story in which further secrets are revealed.)

 

King John the Cute considered his next question carefully yet again. He did not want to ask the wrong question because he still needed much information and comfort from the man whose kingdom he had inherited.

Resolve appearing in his eyes, King John the Cute asked, “Your highness, you say that a monster guards Death’s Door. Is there a chance, perhaps, that you can find another way out of the Afterdeath? The vampire, after all, cannot be in two places at once.”

Spooky Sam looked aside and told King John the Cute, “He is nodding and laughing. Oh, now he’s speaking. This is what he’s saying, ‘You are wise beyond your years, young one. For that is a question I would never have thought to ask before I had actually seen the Afterdeath. The answer is complicated, for, you see, the corridor in the Afterdeath has Death’s Door on one side. And on the other side, the side that is constantly growing, there is another door.

“ ‘The first door leads to the Land of All Legends and is guarded by the fearsome monster that fears only the Sun. The second door… No one knows where it leads. Many have tried to open it or walk through it using all possible methods: brute force and soft magic, even soft force and brute magic.

“ ‘But the door does not open. It is not even cracked. No one knows what lies beyond it. There must be some kind of key to open it. Only when the creature with the key arrives will the door be opened. Only then will we see where it leads. Perhaps it leads to a hidden Death’s Door on the other side of the Land of All Legends, one we do not know of. No one here knows.’”

“Every answer carries more puzzles,” King John the Cute said to himself, and two more lines of worry appeared on his face. “How will I solve all these puzzles when I am so far away?” Suddenly afraid that King Charming the Fifth will disappear, he quickly raised his arms and said, “That was not a question! Is he still here?”

Spooky Sam nodded.

“I have a fourth question, then, your highness,” said King John the Cute. But then, as he considered the information that has been conveyed to him by the king so far, he recalled the dark tunnels that appeared in the sky, the tunnels that appeared to lead to nowhere. These tunnels had been created by fairy tales, as was the black tunnel through which he had seen and talked to the Original Monster. But these tunnels did not lead to the Land of All Legends. Could it be that the tunnels lead to the Afterdeath? There was one way to be sure. King John the Cute delayed his fourth question and asked another in its stead, “Your highness, do you know the current whereabouts of the Original Monster?”

“ ‘I am astounded,’” Spooky Sam quoted the king. Spooky Sam understood almost nothing of the proceedings, but he continued to speak the ghost’s words. “ ‘Never would I have thought to ask this question. But the answer is, Yes, I do. Only a few days ago, the Original Monster emerged from one of the rooms of the Afterdeath. It appears that he had been stuck in his black room for weeks, unable to find his way out. Just like the new creatures who arrive here, he arrived at the Afterdeath without dying. He claims that he has arrived here via Earth, and that now he has a new magical power, the power of Life. But that power does not work in the Afterdeath.’”

“Your news is quite fascinating,” King John the Cute mused.

Now King John the Cute was certain that while the white tunnels led to the faraway Land of All Legends, the black tunnels led to the Afterdeath. All new fairy tales were being sucked immediately into the Afterdeath rather than into the Land of All Legends. In addition, since King John the Cute could hear the Original Monster through the tunnel but could not hear the creatures in the Land of All Legends through the tunnels, the Afterdeath must be nearer to Earth than the Land of All Legends. “I have learned quite a lot from our fourth conversation, your highness, and I hope to learn more.”

“ ‘I am at your service, your young and worthy highness. Ask your question.’”

Now King John the Cute put forth the question he had delayed. “ ‘In our third meeting, your highness, when we met and when you died… You said that I was not who I thought I was. Who am I? What did you mean?”

“ ‘Unfortunately, I am beginning to disappear. This means that the question you ask will not help you heal the Land of All Legends. I am not allowed to answer that question. I fear our meeting is at an end.’” Spooky Sam’s mouth gaped open. “King John, he’s starting to disappear!”

“Wait! Wait! Before you go!” King John the Cute shouted at the air itself.

“ ‘There is nothing more to be said,’” Spooky Sam said quickly, his eyes staring at the disappearing ghost of King Charming the Fourth. “ ‘This has been our fourth and final meeting. It has been prophesied that we shall never speak again. You are indeed a wise and worthy king. It has been a pleasure to know you, your highness.’”

“And you, your highness,” answered King John the Cute and bowed.

Then there was silence.

King John the Cute looked up.

“That’s it,” said Spooky Sam. “He’s gone. For the first time in a year, he’s gone.”

King John the Cute put his hand on the man’s shoulder. “Thank you for your service, Spooky Sam. You have helped save an entire land.”

“The land of fairy tales?” Spooky Sam asked, unable to keep a sardonic tone out of his voice, in spite of all that he had seen.

“The Land of All Legends,” answered King John the Cute and began to walk out. “You may sleep soundly now. You have earned it.”

King John the Cute opened the door. Outside, the light of day had arrived.

Spooky Sam watched with awe as ten thousand butterflies minus one gathered around the wounded king and raised him into the air.

This has been the third story (out of three) in which Spooky Sam helped save magic.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

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