126 fairy tales have been told so far, leading to this point. And now the exciting conclusion (part 1):
A Land Awakened
(Containing the genesis of a new future.)
The following is a creation story, as told by an old man in a book of legends called ‘Tickling Butterflies’, and as read by tens of millions of people on the magical planet Earth.
The following is the creation story of the Lost Land of Legends.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, back when the human race was in its infancy, a group of men and women and children told a tale of a land of legends, a tale they told time and time again, until the power of their imagination created a world, a twin world to the Land of All Legends. Once upon a time, that tale was the most popular story in the world.
The Lost Land of Legends was small, still only a child, and only four creatures walked its surface and only one sun hung in the sky. Stories of Death had not yet been told, and so Death did not exist in the land. The ancient humans that have told the stories of this world died in a horrible sandstorm that lasted forty days and forty nights, and so no story of the land would be told for two hundred and fifty thousand Earth years. The tale of this world’s creation is a tale that has never been told since and will never be told again, for none who live will ever know what it was.
Meanwhile, the land itself did not know it existed in story. The land did not know that its creators have died. The land did not know that no more fairy tale creatures would ever appear.
The land was young and hopeful. Upon its small surface, creatures from two fairy tales walked and lived and played and were happy. But years passed, and no more creatures appeared. Years passed, and even the stories of the fairy tales grew old; even the handful of fairy tales creatures grew old and tired. And yet no one came, no one appeared, not even Death.
All this time, the land was attached to its twin sister, the Land of All Legends, through a long, thin corridor called the Afterdeath. All this time, the land felt its twin sister growing and growing, while it remained forever small.
The land grew older. Centuries passed. All fairy tale creatures died. Plants and trees dried up. The sun and sky fell asleep and nothing would wake them. Nothing moved. The air stood still. And eventually, after a thousand years in which nothing happened, in a fit of despair, the land itself fell into a slumber that would last two hundred and forty nine thousand Earth years, which were exactly two million years of the land itself, since time passes differently in lands of legends.
But then, one day, on the last second of the two hundred millionth year, something stirred. Death’s Door, which had always remained locked and closed and unmoving, suddenly opened from the outside.
The Lost Land of Legends was shaken to its core. The Lost Land of Legends opened its eyes and yawned, shaking everything within it. Suddenly, a spark of hope appeared deep in its heart, which lay deep under the soil and rocks. Brimming with expectation, the Lost Land of Legends waited for something or someone to walk through Death’s Door.
Within minutes, a creature appeared, walking through from the Afterdeath, reborn though he had not died. The creature’s name was Ookoo-Ah, known in the Land of All Legends as the Original Monster. As he was the original monster in the Land of All Legends, now again he was the original monster in the Lost Land of Legends. And where he walked, life sprang, for the Original Monster had recently gained the power of life. Flowers grew in his wake, animals were formed in his footsteps, magical fairies and baby dragons were created where his shadow rested.
The Original Monster entered the Lost Land of Legends with the power of life. And wherever he walked, life was renewed.
Behind the Original Monster came in thousands and thousands of flying white horses. Their sheer size at first caused them to appear like a single white cloud. They all flapped their wings as they emerged from Death’s Door and flew into the heavens of the Lost Land of Legends. There they frolicked and cavorted, swirled and twirled in the air, and played games with the virgin land and its virgin air.
A long time ago, the cloud of flying white horses appeared mistakenly in the Land of All Legends. A fairy tale had been told by a tribe of man that chose to live and die separately from all other humans, a fairy tale that did not belong in the Land of All Legends, a fairy tale that belonged in the dead world of the Lost Land of Legends. The Land of All Legends could not bear the happiness of the horses in light of the sickness of its sick twin land. And so it sent Death to slay the flying horses. It put the names of all the horses on Death’s list, hoping the flying horses will find their way to Lost Land of Legends from the Afterdeath, and will heal the sister land once and for all.
Now the Lost Land of Legends felt itself grow with life given to it by the Original Monster. And it felt joy and happiness at the cavorting flying horses.
Next, fifteen suns passed through Death’s Door. The suns, claimed a long time ago by the Death of the Land of All Legends, climbed up the sky and woke the sleeping sun and the sleeping sky. And now all suns smiled as thousands of creatures began to emerge from Death’s Door: trolls and elves, fairies and dragons, kings and princesses, witches and wizards, scarecrows and talking animals. Thousands upon thousands they came, with one purpose: to live happily ever after.
And for the first time in two hundred and forty nine thousand Earth years and two million Legend years, the Lost Land of Legends felt that it was truly a land of legends. The land felt good, new, sparkly, and magical.
And as magic once more coursed through it, the land itself distended, extended, and grew new land to fit all that have come in.
Thousands of creatures came in by noon, and the land grew and grew.
Thousands of creatures more came by the evening, and the land grew and grew.
Thousands of creatures more poured through Death’s Door all night long, and the land grew new seas and new continents, new lands and new rivers. And there was room for all. And the Original Monster walked the land to and fro, and flowers and trees and new creatures appeared in his wake.
Come morning, all of the dead in the Afterdeath had walked through Death’s Door. All but two.
The last two to walk through Death’s Door were the blindfolded woman with the loving heart, Queen Sarah O’Connell, and Death, known also as King John the Cute.
Death’s first task was to approach the four dead fairy tale creatures of the Lost Land of Legends. After two hundred million years, Death claimed their souls and put them in the Afterdeath. Shortly thereafter, the four emerged from Death’s Door, alive and refreshed, and were joyful to see their world so filled with magic.
Every fairy tale land has many True Loves, but every fairy tale land must have one true tale of Truly True Love, a tale of love that begins at the very inception of the land and ends only when the land itself dies. The story of King John the Cute and Queen Sarah O’Connell is the Lost Land of Legends’ story of Truly True Love. Their Truly True Love survived death a hundred times over in another land, adventures in different worlds, separation and heroism, curses and adversities, only to come to an ending which will be told in the next tale of this book of legends.
Meanwhile, things began to change on the planet Earth. Followed by an incident in which all the silent objects in the world began to speak in unison and tell the story of Shadowy Secret and King John the Cute, the book of legends known as ‘Tickling Butterflies’ was released into the world and read by millions and millions. Now the humans understood the true magical nature of the world, and all mankind began to rediscover the magic in ordinary objects.
That book of legends was, in its entirety, a creation story of the Lost Land of Legends, which had become real once more in the minds of the humans. After its release, further legends were to be told about the Lost Land of Legends, and new creatures would soon appear in the land from its own Border of Nothing. For the imagination of human children would now bring to the Lost Land of Legends fairy tales never before conceived and stories never before imagined.
From this point in time and onward, all magical creatures who died at the hands of Death in the Land of All Legends walked alive out of the Afterdeath into the Lost Land of Legends; and all magical creatures who died at the hands of Death in the Lost Land of Legends walked alive out of the Afterdeath into the Land of All Legends. And so and so on, forever.
All but one creature, who would always return to the Lost Land of Legends and never see the Land of All Legends again. But that story will be told elsewhere in this book of legends.
And so the creatures of the two lands of legends all lived and died and lived again and died again happily ever after – all but one: King Charming the Fifth wept for the man who would never return from the dead. He missed his father and was saddened to know that King Charming the Fourth would never be proud of the man his son had become. And yet King Charming the Fifth would live and die and live again and die again, bravely ever after.
This has been the creation story of the Lost Land of Legends. As with all stories, this, too, had a lesson to teach us. Its lesson was a simple one: Stories never die.
(To be concluded on Thursday.)