43. and she was tired of talking so he told her a story…
And she was tired of talking so he told her a story. . .
. . . about a prince in gilded armor who stormed a mighty castle and fought his way to the top of a high tower. All along the way he traded bits of gold (a shield, a breastplate) for his life, leaving a trail of blood and amber in his wake. After he had vanquished the last of his foes, he opened the door to the room atop the spire only to find a frog who forgot how to turn back into a princess no matter how many times he kissed her.
. . . about a boy who gathered pebbles in his pockets along the long and windy path to an orphanage where the ungrateful cared for the unwanted. At night under his linen sheet he would care for his little stones, giving them names and histories and legacies. Stone nations clashed and warred – epic tales complete with subplots where topaz Romeos wooed pyrite Juliets. The boy grew into a man who manufactured the first marble and his son was the first to throw a taw, collecting a grand army of ducks, starting a fad along the way. The man died a millionaire and was burried under opals, glimmers, and rubies.
. . . about a chimpanzee who, by feigning animal ignorance, tricked NASA into letting him man the first spacecraft launched into orbit. Once airborne he dismantled the computers, took control of the ship and flew to a planet populated by hamsters. He leveraged his superior intellect (and opposible thumbs) to organize the rodents and ruled over them. He used his power to teach them to grow and harvest bananas, but he was a benevolent anthropoid and didn’t tax them too heavily.
“So, what do you think?” he asks.
She smiles, thanks him and places a kiss on his cheek before getting back into her car and driving away, leaving him with these stories in his hands, barely able to contain them. Chapters, characters, and footnotes fall through the cracks between his fingers. They hit the ground and fragment into a meaningless jumble of words and letters and apostrophes before dissolving back into the ground.