So yes, Anna Meade (@ruanna3 through Twitter, seemingly lovely lass I started following recently), has laid down the challenge of an unexpected fairytale. It should contain 350 words max. With the deadline only hours away as of publishing this blog post I thought I would contribute something I've been pondering for a long time now. So my wonderful readers, a tale simply called The Storyteller...
Claudius sat down in the bus shelter. It was a bright day. It was a new day. Much like it was the day it happened to him. His eyes had seen many things; the world had changed so much. He rarely would look in a mirror, but only needed to see the countless wrinkles in his hands to know.
Now was the time to pass it on.
“Mommy, mommy, when’s the bus arriving?” He looked up to see a woman and a little girl, no older than seven, sit down beside him. He politely smiled at them both.
“It’ll be here soon, dear, now sit down,” said the mother.
“Oh, okay.” The little girl swayed her head, then looked towards Claudius and boldly said, “Hello!”
“Hello there,” said Claudius.
“That’s a big beard!” said the girl.
Claudius could do nothing but laugh, “Yes, it is.”
“Penny! That’s very rude. I’m so sorry, sir.”
“It’s no trouble at all, honestly,” he said. Little Penny edged closer towards Claudius, becoming curiouser and curiouser. Claudius held tightly to the ivory head of his walking stick.
“What do you do?”
“Me? It’s a secret,” he replied, giving a knowing wink.
“Secrets? I like secrets, I’ll keep it, I promise!” she jumped up and down and gave a charming smile.
“You have to promise.”
“I promise! I promise.”
“Okay,” he whispered. “I’m a storyteller.” The little girl and the mother looked baffled, never hearing such a wild title before.
“What’s a storyteller?” asked Penny.
“A father, a brother, a wizard, a hero, a villain, an adventurer and above all a dreamer. Someone who can see hundreds of lives yet live just one. Someone who can spark a revolution. All with a little imagination.”
“Wow!” said Penny.
Claudius brought out his golden pocket watch. The time was 1.05pm. “I don’t have much time but if your mother allows it I’ll tell you a story. I warn you though, once told it can never be untold. Once I’m done you must tell it to others.”
“Are you paying attention? Good. Now, once upon a time...”