Posts Tagged ‘Tickling Butterfairy tales’

Tickling Butterflies – The Prince’s Choice

November 14, 2013

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 Prince’s Choice

(Containing a choice tale of a decision too great to make.)


This story takes place in the Land of All Legends, during the time in which Sarah O’Connell was temporary queen and Prince Charming the Fifth was temporary king. The time was the time in which the entire land waited for the return of King John the Cute, when Death worked in concert with temporary king and queen in order to kill the king when he returns.

Darkness was slowly settling upon the Land of All Legends. The Sun’s rays seemed less bright and the darkness of night seemed more powerful. The land was dying, and in the king’s palace in Capital City, two armies were being trained by Death to fight a monster more powerful than Death.

Minister Azriel Jones, the king’s Minister of Celebrations, stood in his chamber and looked through the window at Death training the two armies in the palace yard. When last we heard of him, Minister Azriel Jones had been taken prisoner by Prince Charming the Fifth and his army. But when Sarah O’Connell became queen and took her place on the throne, she convinced the prince to release the minister and to allow him to return to his work.

Prince Charming the Fifth entered the minister’s room, and Minister Azriel Jones stood upright. “Your highness!” he exclaimed. “I did not know you wanted to see me! I would have come!”

Prince Charming the Fifth waved his hand in dismissal. “I do not seek you.”

Somberly, the prince came to stand by the window and looked down. “In fact,” the prince said, “I do not know your name. Who are you and what do you do here?”

“My name is Minister Azriel Jones, your highness. I have been in this palace since before you were born, and I have served your father and King John the Cute in my capacity as Minister of Celebrations.”

Prince Charming the Fifth looked at him and said, “Ah. But what is your story?”

“I used to me the man with minus four friends, but now I just have no friends.”

“I do not understand.”

“I have always had problems making friends, and so my psychologist had me go through a process. He said I would have to gain four friends and lose them before I could have a real friend. King John the Cute was my good friend, but now he is gone, and soon he will be dead. Benjamin Miller was a very good friend, but now he is in another land, never to return. Minister Vazir had also become a great friend, and he is also in another land, never to return. Now, Queen Sarah O’Connell, though blindfolded and abrasive, has become my friend. But she, also, will soon die. And so I have gained four friends, lost three, and soon lose the fourth. I should be happy that I have climbed up the ladder to zero friends. However, I am sad, because I have zero friends.”

Prince Charming the Fourth nodded gravely. “As for me, Shadowy Secret was my only friend, but he has vanished and has not been seen in months. Besides, I am not sure we were ever friends, only loose allies. And now… after today… I am not sure I would want to be my own friend anymore.”

“Why, my prince? What happened?”

Prince Charming, who had long ago resigned himself to being called ‘prince’ until King John the Cute officially died, sighed heavily. He pointed to Death training the armies below, “Death spoke to me today. He and Queen Sarah O’Connell have come up with a plan to help bring King John the Cute’s soul to the Afterdeath and to protect him from the curse monster that is stronger and faster than Death. They are not sure it would work, but it is our best chance.”

“That is good.”

“Yes, that is good. Except… You see… Part of the plan is that there would have to be a soldier whose job it is to stand between Death, who has the soul, and the monster. There has to be one soldier who will act as a physical shield between the two and must protect Death with his life. But since that soldier is only human and the monster is stronger than Death, that soldier will only delay the monster and buy us a few more seconds at best. In the process, he will die. And when he dies, his dead body will keep on protecting Death and the king.

“So you see… Out of the two armies… It is up to me to choose who gets this job. It is up to me to choose who will surely die in the mission.”

“What did you do, my prince?”

The prince sighed again. “It was better to be a spoiled child in the bath than a prince who chooses who lives and who dies… What did I do, Azriel Jones? I chose a soldier. I chose my best and bravest soldier to protect the land… and to die. I chose Little Soldier Blue, because I know that he would survive the longest, and I know that he would give his life for me. So I chose him. Even though I would rather he live. I chose him. And now I am sad beyond measure.”

Minister Azriel Jones hugged Prince Charming the Fifth and comforted him while the prince cried. “I understand how tough this was for you. It is a choice no person should make,” said the minister. “All I can say is that I understand… and that I have seen such choices being made before by kings and generals during my stay at the palace. Shall I tell you about them?”

“Yes, please,” Prince Charming the Fifth cried.

And so Minister Azriel Jones spent three days and three nights comforting the prince and telling him about tough choices he had seen made before by kings and ministers and generals.

And at the end of three days and three nights, the minister and the prince were friends for life, and they remained so until the end of their lives.

This has been the story of how Little Soldier Blue was given the task to protect Death with his life.


(To be continued on Sunday…)

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

Tickling Butterflies – The Imbalance

November 12, 2013

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 Imbalance

(Containing a one-sided tale of a one-sided land.)


King John the Cute followed Doctor Dave Daniels with excitement, as the doctor led him to stand underneath the two, fused creation tunnels.

“Look above you, King John the Cute,” Doctor Dave Daniels pointed up at the tunnels his human eyes could not see.

King John the Cute looked up at the tunnels.

“You see two tunnels, King John the Cute. You see two tunnels, attached, bound together. Fused together, in fact. One is white, the other is pink. One is big, one is small. One leads to the Land of All Legends. Another leads to another, separate and lost land of legends. Both of the fused tunnels are stories of creation, stories of how the world was created. Both these stories created the worlds on the other side.

“Do you not see it, King John the Cute? Do you not comprehend what is above you?”

King John the Cute looked above and shook his head, for he did not understand. Doctor Dave Daniels continued with great excitement, “The two tunnels with creation stories – they should have been two separate tunnels, but they’re not! When the creation stories were told enough times, your world was born. But it was not born alone. Your world… was twins.”


“Twin worlds, King John the Cute! Twin worlds of legends! They were told together, and so they were born together! But there are many types of twins. On Earth, we have twins who are called Siamese twins. Siamese twins are two separate people bound together, fused together, by sharing an organ, like skin, a part of their stomach, or anything else.”

“This exists in my world, too,” said King John the Cute thoughtfully. “The first pair of twins I had met in my life also shared an organ. They were born with one shadow and had to share it during the daytime.”

“Well, I’m sure there’s at least one story there and I would love to hear it, but I will quench my curiosity for a while.” said Doctor Dave Daniels. “Now I see you understand me. These twin worlds are fused together by a single organ. My guess is that the organ that they are sharing is the Afterdeath.”

“The Afterdeath!”

“Yes! There are two worlds, but only one Afterdeath between them! Your Afterdeath should have only one door, but it has two. One door was touched by your Death, while the other wasn’t. Your Afterdeath has a second, closed door that Death has not touched. This other fairy world has a closed door that Death has not touched! The second door of your Afterdeath leads into the other fairy tale world!”

King John the Cute’s mouth opened with surprise. “Of course!”

“It makes perfect sense! Therefore it’s probably true!” exclaimed Doctor Dave Daniels.

“No,” countered King John the Cute, “it is quite beautiful, and therefore it is absolutely true!”

But the smile vanished from King John the Cute’s face. “But wait! How does this explain the illness that plagues my world? What is that illness?”

“Ah, but there is the true beauty of the story of the illness, King John the Cute. The two worlds were born together, small and healthy, with one Afterdeath.

“However, because of a sandstorm on the planet Earth, one world remained small and had no new creatures, while its twin grew larger and larger, with more stories, more creatures, more land, and even Death!

“An imbalance was created, King John the Cute. And the more time passed, the greater the imbalance grew. One world was heavy with continents and oceans and cloud worlds and creatures. The other remained as small as the Original Continent.

“The older the twin worlds grew, the more the imbalance grew.

“Soon, something changed, something moved, and your world could bear no more, carrying all the creatures and the continents alone. And so the tunnels that led to new creatures being created in the Border of Nothing, changed position. They twisted somehow, and began leading the newly born fairy tales immediately to the Afterdeath.

“And so new creatures were born… into the Afterdeath. They were never seen by the living and never claimed by Death. New creatures and new land were not being created on your world.

“By another circumstance of the times, the vampire which had seen only the Afterdeath and has never seen the sun, blocked the path so that none could leave the Afterdeath. Now the imbalance grew worse, for the Afterdeath began more and more populated. All the newly living came there, and all the newly dead did not leave. The Afterdeath must now be bursting at the seams from the lack of room. If something does not happen, surely something bad will happen to the Afterdeath!

“Do you see, King John the Cute?” shouted Doctor Dave Daniels. “It makes perfect sense! It has to be true!”

“No,” King John the Cute corrected him once more. “It has perfect beauty! It is true!”

The king looked at the doctor and said, “Come! We must leave the caves! I must breathe fresh air!”

Once the king and the doctor emerged into the clear air of the desert, as the sun was beginning to set, a dark thought settled on the king’s happiness.

“But Doctor Dave Daniels,” he said. “We now know what sickness plagues the land. But do we know how to fix it?”

Doctor Dave Daniels thought deeply and fixedly for fourteen minutes and fourteen seconds. “Perhaps we should start retelling the tales that were lost? Perhaps new stories could be created in that world. But, no, even if the idea works, it would not solve an imbalance of two hundred and fifty thousand years.”

“Indeed. Time works differently. Two hundred and fifty thousand years in your world is a few million years in mine. That is the size of the imbalance. It seems hopeless.”

Now it was the king’s turn to think. King John the Cute thought profoundly and meaningfully for fourteen minutes and fourteen seconds. At the end of that time, he looked up, and said, “I know how to heal the land!”

“You do?”

King John the Cute quickly explained his solution, and Doctor Dave Daniels listened, his eyes shining as if he was a child listening to his first fairy tale.

When the king was done, the doctor said, “I think that would work!”

“I must return, then, across the ocean, to meet the person I told you about! Doctor Dave Daniels, two worlds of creatures and fairy tales owe you a debt that can never be repaid.”

“It was my rare pleasure, King John the Cute. I wish you luck in all your endeavors. You have made my life more magical.”

“Chariot! We must leave for the ocean’s shore immediately!”

And thus it was that a chariot of ten thousand butterflies minus one carried King John the Cute away from Doctor Dave Daniels forever.

This has been the fourth story (out of four) about twins in this hefty book of legends.


(To be continued on Thursday…)

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

Tickling Butterflies – The Tale of the Searcher

November 10, 2013

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 Tale of the Searcher

(Containing written evidence of a man with no home.)


“Here is evidence,” Doctor Dave Daniels pointed to the farthest rock in the farthest corner of the farthest cave in the excavated caves, “of the second fairy tale told and lost in a tragedy two hundred and fifty thousand years ago.”

King John the Cute peered at the pictures. “I do not understand the story.”

“This is perhaps where my expertise comes in,” said Doctor Dave Daniels. “I believe that despite the fact that you come from a land of fairy tales, I know thousands of stories more than you. I have read every children’s book in every language that exists. I have read bad books and good books, old books and new books. I have read thousands of grownup tales and thousands of lyrical tales. I have read every ancient manuscript that exists. And I have learned to map and understand a story even when seeing small pieces of it, as we are seeing with these drawings.

“But more than that, King John the Cute, in all my years and in all the stories I have read and heard, I can promise you that no variation of this story ever existed. This story was truly lost forever, and never recovered, when the people of these caves died in the sandstorm.

“I shall tell you the story now. This story was not told from one picture to the next, but in one, big picture. This picture, if you look at it from afar, is a map. It is a map of the area – I would say about a hundred miles in each direction. You see here there is a cave with a few people. You can actually count the men and women and children. Here is another cave. Here, too, you can count a different number of women and children. And here, too. And here is the river, where surely they drank. And here is a small forest. And here is a mountain. This is a map.”

“If this is a map, Doctor Dave Daniels,” asked King John the Cute, “then how is it a story?”

“Look carefully at the pictures of the caves. All the caves are different, except for one thing. There is a person standing there, facing the caves, in each of the caves. Next to him is a dog – actually, considering the time of the story, it was probably a wolf or some other kind of animal. This is always the same person. And he is at every cave. This is the hero of the story.

“And over here, in the farthest corner, above the forest, do you see? That is a small mound and next to it lies the hero again. And next to him sits the wolf. The hero here is dead and buried, while the wolf lived and mourned his master’s passing.

“This entire map is the story of his life. This man was a searcher. He went from cave to cave and met with people, and they liked him. But he never had a home of his own. He never has a cave that belonged to him. This is a searcher, an explorer. He went from place to place, then back again, and as he did so, he created a general map of the area, which he gave to the people. This gave knowledge to all people of all caves. And so he was revered and liked enough to be written about after his passing.

“But when he did pass, he was not buried in any of the caves, not next to any of the families. He was buried alone, next to the forest, because he belonged to no tribe, to no cave. He was a searcher, and that is his story.”

King John the Cute sat down. The grief he felt in his chest at the loss of the searcher and loss of the searcher’s story made the pain in his chest ache even more. “That is beautiful,” said King John the Cute, “and therefore it is sad that his story did not continue to live on in a world like mine. That is both sad and beautiful.”

“No, King John the Cute, you are wrong. The Searcher did get to live in a world like yours, but the world itself was limited. The Searcher found himself in this other fantasy land. There, he no doubt explored the cave of the family from the first fairy tale. But surely he continued to explore further. The land itself was small, and he did not have much to explore. He did, however, find Death’s Door. No doubt, until his death, he tried a thousand different ways to open Death’s Door. And he died outside it, without Death claiming him, simply because he had lived too long.”

“Yes, what you say is true. Now it is sad for a different reason.”

“What I don’t understand, though, was why he could not open Death’s Door? He was dying, after all. And it was only a door.”

“If that Death’s Door is like the one in my world,” King John the Cute explained reasonably, “then no one opens Death’s Door except Death. Death opened the door for the first time in the Land of All Legends, and ever since it has been open. Only souls that Death brings can enter, and it used to be that anyone who was in could walk out.”

Doctor Dave Daniels listened with a grave face. “That explains it,” he says. “And that was also the last piece of knowledge I required to put the pieces of the puzzle together. King John the Cute, with your help and with the help of this excavation, I believe I know now what sickness plagues your land.”

King John the Cute’s eyes lit up in excitement, his pain forgotten. “Please. Tell me.”

This has been the story of the Searcher, a story not heard on the planet Earth for two hundred and fifty thousand years, two hundred and fifty days, two hundred and fifty minutes, and two hundred and fifty seconds.


(To be continued on Tuesday…)

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

Tickling Butterflies – The Tale of the Ancient Superhero

November 7, 2013

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 Tale of the Ancient Superhero

(Containing written evidence of an adventurer that never existed.)


“Walk with me further into the caves,” Doctor Dave Daniels led King John the Cute deeper into the excavated caves.

“I discovered a set of pictures behind these rocks,” Doctor Dave Daniels pointed at some rocks. He moved them, and underneath, pictures etched unto the stone of the cave were uncovered.

“A hidden story!” exclaimed King John the Cute.

“Indeed. I believe this story was invented and etched into stone by a kid. Look here,” he pointed at the first picture. “This is the first picture, on the right. Here is a person, possibly young, but you can’t be sure. He is holding a very large bird, three times bigger than him. At the time, there were no birds this big anywhere in the world. This is a fantasy tale.”

“I understand,” said the king, who was thankful, for he did not know such things about Earth’s history. “Continue.”

“To the left is the second picture. Here the hero of the story, the person from the first picture, is riding the big bird. I believe he has tamed the wild bird. In fact, I think they have become good friends. This is what usually happens in these kinds of stories.

“In this third picture, the hero is on top of the bird when it is flying. While the bird is flying, the hero is hitting many other people with his stick. The other people were probably some sort of bad guys, and the hero has used his bird to become a sort of hero, even a superhero of the time.

“This, no doubt, was a story of a young adventurer who has tamed a giant bird, learned to ride it, and fought bad guys with the aid of his bird. This must have been the first adventure story ever told by mankind!”

“Fascinating, indeed,” said King John the Cute. “So you believe this is the person Samuel the Brave found near that land’s Death’s Door.”

“No, I do not,” said Doctor Dave Daniels. “I believe the person near that land’s Death’s Door was the hero from the third story I found, the one I will show you next. This second story was not a fairy tale, but just a story. I believe it was invented by one of the children. Perhaps he told it only to himself, perhaps to the other children. But in any case, he drew it here, in a hidden place, like a diary. This was his story, and it was his secret story. The hero, the bird, the bad guys, they were never created in this other world and a tunnel was not formed because the story was never told enough times.”

“Perhaps that is also sad,” the king said thoughtfully. “There must be a reason for the existence of other worlds through stories. Surely you need us as much as we need you. A story that does not come alive in a land of legends is a hope unfulfilled.”

Doctor Dave Daniels thought about the king’s statement. “There is sense in what you say. I have never given the matter thought, but now I shall. But for the meantime, shall I show you the third and last story?”

“Please do, Doctor Dave Daniels.”

This has been the story containing written evidence of a lost adventure story that never became a lost fairy tale.


(To be continued on Sunday…)

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


Tickling Butterflies – The Tale of Fire

November 5, 2013

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 Tale of Fire

(Containing written evidence of a fiery tale that no longer exists.)


Doctor Dave Daniels led King John the Cute back into the ancient caves.

“I have examined the skeletons in the caves,” he began. “And I have examined the caves themselves. I have examined the stones, which were the tools used by the ancient humans. I have examined the cave walls. And just as, years before, I have uncovered the story of the Original Monster, now I believe I have uncovered four more stories that these ancient people told each other again and again.

“Observe this spot on the wall here,” Doctor Dave Daniel pointed. “The ancient humans did not yet invent writing, but they could certainly etch on stone. It is a story in pictures. This is the first picture. It shows a family, sitting around the campfire: a father, a mother, and a kid.

“In the second picture, to the left – for the first written languages wrote right to left and not left to right – in the second picture, there is wind outside and danger while the father protects them by huddling them together in the cave.

“In the third picture of this story, you can see the father standing on a rock outside the cave, and it looks as if he is talking to the lightning. Perhaps he stood there screaming at the rain and the thunder and the lightning, or perhaps he made some sort of deal with the gods. You may not know this, King John the Cute, but the ancient humans believed in gods.

“There, in the fourth picture of this story, the father is returning. There is no more storm and lightning. You can see the clouds are clear. And you see, he is holding something.”

“What is it?”

“It is a stick with fire. He has made some sort of deal with the forces of nature or with the gods, and in return he has received fire.

“Now, in this last frame, the family is sitting around the cave again. But this time… they have campfire. Do you see?

“This is a tale that was no doubt important to the ancient humans, because it told them how they received their most important technology: fire. Fire was used to survive the cold, to cook food, and to threaten enemies. Fire changed everything for the ancient humans, and improved their survival.”

“That is fascinating,” said King John the Cute. “And it sounds like a good story. The family that Samuel the Brave had seen sitting around the campfire, they were the family in the pictures. They came from this fairy tale. Once the sand blocked the caves, no new life came into the lost land of legends, and the land did not grow. The father, mother, and child must have lived through the same story again and again for thousands of times until they died. During those years, the lightning must have burned off everything in the small land.”

“That is indeed a sad fate for a fairy tale,” said Doctor Dave Daniels. “I never knew our stories had an effect on real creatures. Shall I show you the second story I have discovered?”

“Please do, Doctor Dave Daniels.”

This has been the story containing written evidence of a fiery tale that no longer exists.


(To be continued on Thursday…)

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

Tickling Butterflies – The Land of the Lost

November 3, 2013

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 Land of the Lost

(Containing the lost story of a lost land of lost tales.)


King John the Cute called for his chariot.

Ten thousand butterflies minus one flew in and settled in all corners of the caves.

“You,” the king pointed to a single red and blue butterfly sitting atop a rock. “You seem the bravest. Come to me please.”

The little butterfly flew from its resting place and came to stand on King John the Cute’s finger. “Tell me, little butterfly, what is your name?”

“When I am born and finish the life cycle of a butterfly, my name will be Samuel,” said Samuel the Butterfly.

“Look up there,” King John the Cute pointed at the pink and white tunnels which were bound together. “Do you see tunnels?”

“I do, my king. Butterflies see all things magical.”

“Excellent,” said King John the Cute. “The big, white tunnels leads back to my own magical land, the Land of All Legends. The pink tunnels, however, probably lead to a world that has not been seen in two hundred and fifty thousand Earth years. We do not know what lies beyond it, but I would like to ask you to explore it. The fate of my entire world may rest on the answer. Will you do it, little Samuel? Will you explore the land? And then, when finished, will you return to the tunnel from which you came and report? I must warn you, that this may be a dangerous mission.”

“I am aware of the risks, my king. But I shall do as you bid, for I seek to save as many worlds as possible before I am born.”

“You are a brave butterfly,” said King John the Cute. “From this point forward, I decree that your name shall be Samuel the Brave.”

“It is my honor to be named so,” said Samuel the Brave. “And I shall begin my task now.”

The butterfly rose into the air, fluttering his little wings, and climbed up and into the fused pink tunnel, vanishing from the sight of all who were present.

“That little butterfly just disappeared in mid-air!” said Doctor Dave Daniels.

“He has entered the fused pink tunnel, the creation story,” said King John the Cute. “He shall return once he is done exploring the unknown land.”

“Astounding. I can’t wait. Is the butterfly from your land or from my land?”

“All these butterflies, Doctor Dave Daniels, were born on the magical planet Earth. Many things are magical here, and yet humans, apparently, are not aware of it. Humans tell stories about other magical places, with other magical beings and yet do not see their own surroundings. Mankind has forgotten that Earth is magical.”

“Even more astounding! I had no idea!” Doctor Dave Daniels looked up at the ceiling. “How long do you think it will take him to return?”

“A few days at least. And time may work differently in the other land, so it is hard to tell.”

“Well, then, I shall use the days to explore the caves, and during the nights I would love to speak to you and to learn about the magic of my own planet.”

“It would be my pleasure, Doctor Dave Daniels.”

And so it was that King John the Cute and Doctor Dave Daniels spent seven days and seven nights waiting for Samuel the Brave to return from the other land. At the very last second of the seventh night, just as the sun was about to rise above the horizon, the butterfly returned from the pink tunnel. He flew out of the tunnel and into the magical world of Earth. Then, seeing the ancient cave empty, he flew outside to find King John the Cute and Doctor Dave Daniels sitting around the fire. The butterflies, all around, slept soundly.

Samuel the Brave landed on the king’s knee. The king was happy to see Samuel the Brave hale and hearty. Then the butterfly said, “I have quite a story to tell you.”

“Please,” said King John the Cute. “We are listening.” And, indeed, during the seven days and seven nights that have passed, Doctor Dave Daniels has learned to talk, to hear, and to listen to butterflies of his own world.

Samuel the Brave began his tale,

“The tunnel itself was pink as pink can be. Quite soon, I could see a small light at the end of the tunnel. I flew towards the light and found myself in the sleepy skies of an abandoned land. The sky was blue, and the sun shone brightly. But the sun was asleep. I could not wake it. Everyone knows that a sun that sleeps for more than a thousand years will not be easily awakened.

“I looked down and saw a forest, but there were no creatures to be seen, no birds were flying, no insects were crawling, no fairies appearing. It was more silent than any silence I had ever heard.

“The land was dry, for no rain had fallen in thousands of years. No clouds were in the sky, as if no clouds had ever been to this land.

“I explored the land as best I could. No rivers were running, nothing seemed to be hiding under stones, no wind was in the air, and the leaves of the trees did not move. The trees themselves were old and rotten, for they did not have water to drink. All the trees were dead. All the bushes were dead. And the flowers had wilted long ago.

“I explored the land even further. I found caves, much like the caves you have excavated. There I found the remains of a fire. And around the fire were three skeletons – a mother, a father, and a son.

“I searched the land high and low, and discovered that the land was small, no bigger than three forests. Beyond that, there was no more, there was nothing to explore, not even emptiness.

“Still, I searched for any clues, for any piece of knowledge I may bring back. And then, hidden behind many rocks, I found a door. It is a black door through which nothing can pass, not even air. There was no way to open it, no way to hold it, no way for me to land on it. The very blackness of it shimmered.”

“That is Death’s Door,” King John the Cute explained. “There is one exactly like it in my own land. It leads to the dark Afterdeath. Please, continue, Samuel the Brave. What else did you find?”

“Between two rocks, next to Death’s Door, I found another skeleton, seated on the ground. It used to be a man, and he, too, had died long ago.

“The land itself was small and so I did my best to explore every piece of it at least once, that I may best serve you and help you save your land. But there was nothing else to find. No living beings were there, no creatures, magical or otherwise. And there were only four skeletons of human creatures. That is all I could find, your highness, during my short trip. Then, knowing you do not have much time, I quickly flew back to the tunnel that had brought me here.

“That is the story of all I have seen in this other land.”

King John the Cute nodded heavily. “That is a sad story. The land is dead, for no new creatures have come to live in it. The land did not grow and expand, for no new stories were told. Even Death was not born in this land, and so the door to the Afterdeath remains closed. The creatures who were there died without Death, their souls unclaimed. Like humans on this world, they turned to skeletons. A land in which only four creatures lived, for a long, long time before they died, with no one else to keep them company… It is sad, quite sad.”

Doctor Dave Daniels nodded, “And all because of a very big sandstorm.”

For a moment, silence hung in the air. “Thank you, Samuel the Brave,” King John the Cute said finally. “You have done well and have quested bravely. Join your friends now, and know that you have helped me and my world much.”

Samuel the Brave joined his brethren. As he did so, Doctor Dave Daniels spoke, “King John the Cute, I have explored the caves. I believe I know who these four skeletons were and what their stories were.”

King John the Cute’s back straightened. “Please, tell me what you have discovered.”

This has been the fleeting tale of a fluttering butterfly and what he saw in a lost land of lost stories and lost creatures.


(To be continued on Tuesday…)

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