It’s been a good many years since I did a five-part story, and so, I thought I would try and do one for you this week.
Our story begins at Niagara Falls, where an employee of the Six Flags corporation has decided to end his employment permanently. A ride operator for the company’s Magic Mountain amusement park in California, he was inspired by the awesome power of nature, reached into his bag and threw his access keys, polyester uniform, and “team member” mug into the frothy, violent falls. It was highly therapeutic.
Unbeknownst to anyone, the keys didn’t simply fall to the bottom of the river to find lethe. Instead, they found one small crack, where, like Marshall, Will, and Holly, it plunged to an altogether different world, at the bottom of a quiet stream.
At the moment our wad of keys arrived through the chaos to the still stream, along came Hector. It was his coffee break, and he bent his long head to the stream to gulp some cool water. The still water reflected his silver white coat, long mane and single horn. He thought he looked ridiculous.
Just then Hector heard a huge splash coming from a few feet away. Barely looking up, he spoke. “Marshall? Did you fall in again?”
Looking up from the shallow river bottom, Marshall, with his small wings, red and gold scales, and fierce-looking talons and teeth, grinned an embarrassed grin.
“Heya, Hector! If you are such a good friend why don’t you help a fellow out?”
“Marshall, how are you going to ever fly unless you use your wings once in a while?”
“Just help me, will you? I think I’m stuck in some mud.”
As Hector helped Marshall out of the stream, he spotted the discarded keys. Hector had never seen anything quite so peculiar as a loop of shiny sticks strung together. Stranger still was how they didn’t float, as sticks ought, and how they reflected so much light even under water. He stabbed at the loop with his horn, catching the collection of sticks on it.
“Marshall, look at this!”
Marshall stared at this heap of pointed things until he came to a flat, square bit that had markings on it.
“I think this is writing”
“Well, Marshall, read it! Aren’t dragons supposed to know all sorts of languages?”
“Aren’t unicorns supposed to be solitary and keep their horns out of other people’s business?” Marshall said, more hotly than he’d intended. Without waiting for Hector to reply, he tried to make sense of the markings.
“Eye-ff ‘found, Puhle-se Ree-turn. Of course! It says, “If found, please return to Magic Mountain!”
Stay tuned, fantasy fans, as tomorrow, our intrepid heroes figure out what to do with the shiny sticks….
lethe / LEE – thee / forgetfulness; oblivion. From the river in Hades whose water caused forgetfulness for whomever consumed it.