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 Monster’s Lesson
(Featuring a single story that details the many identities of the one known as King John the Cute.)
King John the Cute woke up in a dark room.
Even before he opened his eyes, he knew that his body had re-formed within a new room in the Afterdeath. He did not know of the great battle that had taken place or of the great sacrifice by the thousands who now lay dead.
Memories flooded King John the Cute that he did not have during his life as John the Cute: memories of Perfect Paul and a love lost and regained and lost again; memories of a race against Death and battles with vicious, giant spiders; memories of quests and journeys; memories of escapades and voyages; memories of many lives and many deaths and too many True Loves lost.
Now King John the Cute knew who he truly was. But for the time being he put that aside. For it was time for him to complete the part of the prophecy that he himself had created.
King John the Cute opened his eyes and in front of him stood Shadowy Secret, a being born by the same mother, a being conceived by King John the Cute and an old man in a magical world.
“It is time?” asked the king.
“It is time,” answered Shadowy Secret.
King John the Cute touched Shadowy Secret’s cheek, and Shadowy Secret’s shadowy form began to evaporate and vanish. The vapors of the being that used to be Shadowy Secret now engulfed King John the Cute, surrounded him from all directions, then fused magically into his body to create a being much different than the one Kate the Catty had given birth to twenty years ago.
King John the Cute closed his eyes and felt the magic change his being.
Then, a new person and a new creature, he opened his eyes once more and prepared himself for his next task.
King John the Cute emerged from the dark room. Afterdeath’s corridor was filled with billions of creatures. The floor of the Afterdeath itself creaked with the weight of the creatures in was holding. There was no room to move without knocking down other creatures. Surely, the Afterdeath itself would be broken if more dead arrived and none of the dead left.
Far away and to one side of the corridor, King John the Cute could see a door no one was trying to open. It was no doubt the door to the lost land of legends, he knew. Far away and to the left, King John the Cute could see a dark creature guard a similar door.
King John the Cute turned left and away from the door to the lost land of legends.
“Who are you?” said a troll that had been accidentally bumped by King John the Cute. The troll had died a hundred years previous and had never heard of King John the Cute.
The king ignored him and continued on his path.
“Who are you?” barked a dog that had been accidentally stepped on by King John the Cute. The dog died recently in a faraway forest and did not know he was talking to the one who was born John the Cute.
The king ignored him and continued to pave a path towards the dark creature.
“Hey!” a familiar voice of a woman shouted as a result of having been pushed by the king. “Who is this?”
King John the Cute looked aside and saw the blindfolded Queen Sarah O’Connell and his heart filled with joy. “Queen Sarah O’Connell, it is me.” And at the sound of his voice, her heart was filled with joy as well. And even though her mind was filled with memories of dozens of past versions of the man in front of her, she felt that it was John the No Longer Cute that she loved the most.
“Why are you still wearing a blindfold?” he asked her.
“I shall take it off when we are alone and when this adventure is over,” said Queen Sarah O’Connell.
“Then come,” the king grabbed the queen’s hand. “We still have a few tasks ahead of us.”
Together, they continued to walk towards the door that led back to the Land of All Legends. As they did so, the king said, “I have gained my memory, as I’m sure you have, too.”
“Aye. I have gained my memory a year ago. The time has allowed me to circumvent the curse so that we may finally die.”
“That is fortunate. For my own task can only be completed here. Now we must stop,” he told his blindfolded love, and stop she did.
King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell now stood in front of the creature of the night that had blocked the path to the light of day for the last five hundred years. “Stand aside,” said the king.
“I do not think so,” the vampire showed his fangs.
“Stand aside or suffer the consequences,” said the king. “For I plan to kill you.”
“Kill me! I have bested trolls and dragons and fairies. I have blocked the path to all the creatures you see here. Who are you to say that to me?”
“I am Death,” said King John the Cute. “And this is Death’s hand.” He raised his left hand, the one that was not touching Sarah O’Connell. “Before I touch you, there is something I need you to know. Above you, and below you, behind the door you protect and behind the door that remains unopened – there you will find lands filled with magical creatures, each with his and her own stories to tell. And with each story there is a lesson to be learned and wisdom to be gained. But you have lived here, in the Afterdeath, all your life. And here there are no stories and no lessons to be learned. You have blocked Death and blocked the dead and blocked the living for five hundred years now, and I vow that this shall never be the case again. I shall soon touch you and take your soul with me into the Under World. And I will only truly release your soul and allow it to re-form when I know you have learned your lesson well. The lesson is one that I have learned a long time ago: No one stops Death.”
And with those words uttered, King John the Cute touched the vampire. The vampire collapsed, bereft of breath. King John the Cute claimed the vampire’s soul, and put it in a special pocket, where it would remain for the next two hundred and twenty two years.
“Come, Sarah O’Connell,” the king said. “Now we must take care of the other door.”
This has been the story in which King John the Cute finally learned how to deal with bullies.
(To be continued on Sunday…)
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