Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time in a land not too far from here, lived a boy and a girl. This land existed for the sole purpose of making Ends meet. The Ends, who were a grouchy and largely uncooperative lot at the best of times, would hang out at either end of the land in large, gated residential estates. They would only come together during the tedious and extremely unimaginative high season that often, but not always, culminated in the Ends meeting ritual. 

The Ends were cared for by a tribe called the Smilers. These porcelain veneered, laptop toting danger men and women were raised from birth for this sad and lonely role. The Smilers were greatly admired for their skilled use of the Ends language which also attracted many admirers from other lands far and wide. Over the years the Smilers had gained a powerful position in the land forcing the people who lived there to do their bidding. This generally involved tasks which were very serious and altogether boring.

As the years passed the Smilers had made so many changes to the land that the people had forgotten what it was like before the Ends meeting ritual began. The boy and the girl had not forgotten and dreamed of a land where the people could be happy and have fun. They decided to travel to a neighboring land to learn the secret to banishing the Smilers and saving the people from a life of depressing regularity. 

So one afternoon they hid in the girls house and began making plans. They packed a snack of bacon & egg pie flavored with a pinch of curry for courage and a blueberry cake with bright pink icing to light the way when things got tough. That night, just as they were about to sneak out of the door they heard a voice hiss "sssstopp!" They froze in the doorway thinking they had been discovered. As the boy anxiously looked over his shoulder he saw the girls cat, eyes glowing from the corner of the room. The cat walked around them and sat in their path, barring their exit. He looked up at them and said "You cannot leave until I have given you the words of power which you can use to stop the Smilers in their tracks should you be discovered." The cat carefully said the words of power making sure to enunciate each syllable, (he may have been a talking cat, but that was no reason to be a lazy linguist). The cat then explained to the children that these words held all of the untapped potential of the land and its inhabitants. They would only work if the children believed in themselves and those they were trying to aid. The children thanked him and quickly made their way out of the town and towards the End's beige colored villas on the lands border. 

As they quietly tiptoed their way past the last of the houses, the boy looked over at the girl and gave her a smile of reassurance. Just then a light came on in the nearest house and the boy and the girl were caught from behind by a strong pair of hands. They were roughly turned to face their assailant. A huge set of smiling teeth reflected the light from the window and all that could be heard was the thumping of the children's hearts as they considered what was to come. The Smiler continued ginning at them as he said in an amicable voice that only lightly masked his unsavory intentions, "Where might you be off to children?". He waited for a few seconds, grinning maniacally all the while, then continued, "You obviously don't have to answer, but I am nevertheless curious to see two such charming and talented young people trying to leave this perfectly adequate and very well structured land for the chaos out there." He motioned towards the border dismissively with his chin, the grin soiled slightly by a small snarl that escaped the corner of his mouth. 

The girl, who had always been the more brave of the pair, defiantly stood her ground and replied, "but it is boring here and no one has any fun!" The Smiler's face contorted and he made a grab for the girl's neck snarling, "we decide the rules here little lady....Not You!".  The girl ducked quickly and yelled for the boy to use the words of power. The boy stood rooted to the spot unable to make his voice work. By this time the Smiler had the girl by the hair and was dragging her towards the house. An End had its head poking out of the door and was grumpily eyeing up the scene. The boy saw the girls face, a mixture of pain and sadness. He drew in a huge breath, taking into his lungs all of the potential that had been wasted over the years of the Smilers rule. He continued to suck in more and more air and just as he was close to blacking out he screamed the words of power at the top of his lungs... 

To Be Continued

1 comment:

  1. and the girl says, 'this is insanity'...'but I like it'...