Greetings gentle reader, today's offering is eye candy for those of you that enjoy stories set in the fantasy realm. For us writers it is known as 'the heroes journey', where the central character embarks on a life changing journey of discovery. Written entirely tongue-in-cheek, the following is meant to tickle your funny-bone as much as instill a sense of wonder...so without further adeiu: <blockquote>
It?s all Joe can do to keep a straight face.
"Uh, either way is good."
"Fine. Have you been told what needs to be done?"
"Either you have or you haven?t. Which one is it?"
"Given the circumstances, I think I?d like to hear it again."
"Very well but remember, you?ve already agreed to go and it?s too late to turn back now."
"Yeah, whatever." Joe replies.
"The Heart of Magic is missing. Your job is to recover The Heart and return it here, where it belongs, got it?"
"I got that part but no one?s told me who took it and what this ?heart? looks like."
"The Heart of Magic is not a thing but a living being and you?ll know it when you see it. As far as we know no one took it, we only know where it went."
Joe purses his lips and shoots a frosty glance at Erin.
"All will be made clear huh?"
"What part of ?you?ll know it when you see it? didn?t you get?" Erin shoots back.
Joe rubs his furrowed brow and shakes his head.
"I didn?t expect this to be easy but I was expecting a little more help. Where?s this ?guide? they?re sending along with me?"
"Right here" replies a tiny voice that jingles like a talking wind chime. Joe stares at Ulieo in disbelief.
"This is just beautiful, you didn?t tell me that you were sending me to **** with Tinkerbell!"
Ulieo jangles with fury at the mention of the famous fairy?s name.
"Ix-nay on the inkerbell-tay if you don?t want to wear your gonads for earmuffs." Erin cautions.
"Her and what ar?Ooof!" Joe hits the ground with a thud, clutching his groin.
When Joe finally recovers it is light again and he finds himself alone in the now deserted circle of stones. He looks about for Erin and her wizard friend but they are nowhere in sight.
"What happened?" Joe croaks hoarsely.
"I think you were about to apologize to me." Ulieo tinkles coolly.
"Oh, right! Uh, I?m wicked sorry. I didn?t mean to upset you." He mumbles sincerely. And you better hope that we don?t happen upon a bugzapper somewhere in our travels or you?re toast! He thinks to himself.
"Are you ready?" Ulieo asks. Joe gingerly pulls himself erect and nods in the affirmative.
"Which way?" he grunts.
"Think you can walk to Nevermore?" Ulieo tinkles, amused.
Joe gives Ulieo an astonished look; he has an idea what the fairy is hinting at.
"Think happy thoughts!" Ulieo chimes as she sprinkles him with pixie dust. At first nothing happens. Then Joe recalls the Christmas when his parents gave him a pony?and he levitates off the ground.
It suddenly occurs to Joe that his parents were dirt poor and he?s lived in an apartment all his life; there never was a pony?
And he plummets towards the earth!
"Nice pony, thanks Mom and Dad!" He holds this thought until he catches up with the tiny fairy.
"Uh, I never got a pony as a kid." Joe explains.
"It doesn?t matter. The thought of getting one made you sufficiently happy." Ulieo replies.
"Well, I?ve never had a date with Barbie either. If I imagined that I had, would I go supersonic?" Ulieo does not answer but instead shoots away into the distance, leaving a sparkling trail of pixie dust for Joe to follow. Joe does his best to keep up, flying as fast as he dares.
He doesn?t want the fairy to get too big a lead or he may lose her?and he has no idea how to get out of here on his own.
The trail of pixie dust leads Joe toward what appears to be the flickering lights of a large city. The closer he gets, the larger the metropolis becomes.
"I ain?t never seen nothin? like this in no fairy tale" Joe mutters. Ulieo?s dust trail vanishes in a rundown part of the sprawling city. Joe is startled to find himself standing at the corner of a deserted intersection, no longer aloft.
He tries to will himself back into to flight but he is unsuccessful. Either he?s all happied out or it?s more than a coincidence that he became earthbound the same place Ulieo?s trail of pixie dust gave out.
Joe reaches into his leather jacket and palms his mother of pearl handled straight razor. Joe is no stranger to the city and he knows the mean streets when he sees them.
On his own again, Joe sets off in search of the nearest bar figuring it will be the likeliest place he?ll get a handle on his quarry. He walks towards what appears to be downtown and he spots a ?bag lady? digging in a dumpster.
The ancient, toothless bearded hag farts and a lightening bolt shoots from her backside, instantly frying a nearby rat. The hag cackles with glee at her handiwork. She picks up the flash fried rodent by it?s thick tail and swallows it whole, followed moments later by a burp that shoots flames twenty feet into the air!
Joe gets a sinking feeling in his gut as the words ?You?ll know it when you see it? ring in his mind. He eyes the old girl suspiciously but decides to stick with his first impulse rather than spend any more time checking out this dangerous, albeit weird phenomenon.
His instincts serve him well and before long he sees a rowdy group exiting an alleyway, obviously drunk. Joe waits until they clear the area and cautiously enters. The alley is pitch black but a few yards ahead a single lantern illuminates a sign over a doorway. Joe smiles when he reads the sign, The Magic Harp. </blockqute>
In this tale I insert an average, er, self-styled tough guy into an extremely unfamilair set of circumstances...with the obvious results.
Anyway, you can read all about Joe's magical adventure in Big Question, my collection of short stories that in this instance asks, why would magical creatures require non-magical assistance?
Thanks for reading!