Tag: death

Charlie’s Room: Away and Back Again

It was winter, when the daylight was pinched at both ends. Isaac left home in the dark, feeling like he was going to work in the middle of the night. He arrived home just before dinner, and there wasn’t much daylight left afterwards for the long walks he enjoyed in the summer.

He started eating his lunch while wandering up and down the sidewalks, peering into the windows of the different businesses near his work just to get a little more time in the sunlight. One day, he was looking into the windows of the antique shop, and he saw a little cloth doll. It was either a floppy eared cat or a long-tailed bunny. It could have been a kangaroo without a pouch, but the shape was all wrong.

Curious, he wrapped up his sandwich, shoved it in his pocket and stepped inside the store. The man behind the counter looked up when he entered. “Can I help you find something?”

Isaac pointed back towards the shop window. “I’d like to see the cat bunny doll.”

The man looked confused, but stepped around the counter towards the window. “Cat bunny?”

“I don’t know what it is.” Isaac followed him to the window. “That’s why I’d like to look at it more closely.”

The man looked into the window. “Oh. That. Go ahead and look at it if you’d like. I’ll be back by the register if you need anything.” He left Isaac standing by the window.

Isaac reached in and picked up the cat bunny with both hands. Its eyes glowed blue, and the next thing he knew, he was hanging in the air upside down in the dark. Something nearby hissed, and then there was a rustling sound.

Trying to listen and remain still and calm, Isaac waited. After a moment, there was a spark of light, and then the glow of a candle. He could see two small figures crouched over it. Then they abandoned the candle to come closer.

He heard the hissing sound again, and realized they were whispering to each other. Up close, it was easy to see that they were children. He tried to understand what they were whispering, but it was in a language he’d never heard before.

Hanging upside down was beginning to get uncomfortable. “Could you let me down please?” he asked hopefully.

The children whispered a little louder to each other, and then suddenly he could understand the end of a phrase. “…translation spell.”

The children both looked at him and held up their hands. Isaac slid to the floor and sat up.

“Was that a spell? Isaac asked. “Was it a spell that brought me here?” He looked around for the cat bunny, and saw it lying on the floor close by him. He pointed at it. “Did you send that?”

One of the children picked it up. “It was supposed to bring us Caasi. But you’re not Caasi.”

The other child shrugged. “I told you it wouldn’t work. Mom said that spells can’t wake the dead.”

“But I asked for her to come back from another world. It should have worked.”

The child looked over at Isaac. “Are you from another world?”

“Maybe.” Isaac frowned. “I don’t think spells work in my world, but I could be wrong.”

“Is your name Caasi?”

Isaac thought for a moment. “How do you write that?”

The children scrawled alien characters that strongly resembled “C-A-A-S-I.”

“I’m Isaac. That’s caasi backwards.”

The other child nodded. “Maybe bringing you from another world put everything backwards. Maybe that’s why you were upside down.” The child hurried to a shelf, pulled down a book and started turning pages rapidly.

Isaac turned to the child who remained. “Who’s Caasi?”

“Our best friend. She’s so smart. She could purr and jump so high, and she always knew where we hid her treats.”

That didn’t sound much like a person. “Was Caasi a cat bunny?” Isaac asked.

The child frowned. “She’s a felare. I don’t know cat bunny.”

He pointed down at the doll again. “Like that?”

“Yes,” the child said. “But alive.”

Isaac nodded. “That’s important.”

“We miss her.” The child looked away.

The other child snapped the book closed. “It says the dead are in the underworld, and normal spells can’t reach there.”

“Oh.” Both children looked sad.

Isaac held out his hand for the doll. The child handed it to him and he looked down at it with a smile. “It sounds like Caasi was a good friend. It’s okay to feel sad when a friend dies. Is there something you can do to say goodbye?”

Both children turned to look at him. “Like what?” one said.

“You could draw a picture of her, or write down what you remember about her, or put flowers on her grave.”

“I guess so.” The child took the doll back.

“You should talk to your mom about it. She might have ideas,” Isaac said.

The children looked at each other and began talking rapidly. “Talking to mom is a good idea.” “We should send him home first.” “I’m not sure how.” “Look at the book again. It must say somewhere.”

They consulted the book, and after some arguments, managed to charge up the doll for a return trip. The doll’s eyes glowed blue when they handed it to him. Moments later, he was back in the antique shop. The doll was gone.

He looked around. What was he going to tell the shop owner? He decided that the truth was always best. He walked over nervously. “The doll took me to another world, but it disappeared when I came back.”

The store owner shrugged. “That happens sometimes. Don’t worry about it.”

“Really?” The man didn’t appear to be joking. Isaac nodded. “All right. Thank you. I’d better hurry back to work.”

He rushed back through the sunlit streets, eating big bites of his sandwich as he jogged. He arrived at his desk just in time. He glanced back out the window and wondered if it was time to get a pet for Charlie. Something he could keep in his room. Maybe a fish or two?

The Hero’s Journey

Once upon a time, there was an orphan. Well, his parents hadn’t died yet, but to propel him on his journey, they had to die. Okay, fine, they were only temporarily dead. The hero had to go on his journey to fix that. He had to find some sort of anti-temporary-death flower.

“Oh no! What happened here? Mom? Dad?”

This temporary death was orchestrated by the villain who was going around making people temporarily dead. I’m not sure why. I’m sure he has a good reason in his backstory. I’ll figure that out later and reveal it during the final showdown. It will be appropriately motivating.

“Who are you and what did you do to my parents?”

“What do you think?”

“But why did you do it?”

“Hahaha. You’ll never find out. And your parents will be temporarily dead forever!”

The hero found a clue in a mysterious book that led him to learn about the flower he needed to find. Maybe the book was in his house, but he’d never seen it before. Or he found it at the library. Or a nurse gave it to him when he checked his parents into the hospital. (Did he check his parents into the hospital? It seems too sensible for the typical orphaned hero. I like it.)

“I’ll be back. Just wait here. I’ll find the cure and everything will be like it was before.”

Of course, to guide him on his journey, he had a wise mentor that he met along the way. At the garden center. Or the library. It doesn’t really matter, because the mentor died too. The hero has to complete his journey on his own, of course, with the map his mentor gave him. Fine. The mentor was only temporarily dead, too.

“Nooooooooooooooooo! How much more suffering must I endure?”

This led to another showdown with the villain.

“Hahaha. You’ll never stop me. Next I’ll temporarily kill your dog too.”

“That’s what you think! I don’t have a dog.”

“Are you so sure? What’s in that box behind you?”

“What box? Huh. A puppy. It’s so cute! Hey. Where did the villain go?”

With his trusty companion at his side, our hero journeys far, in a perilous journey to find the anti-temporary-death flower. He finds clues and shows his kind-hearted side by saving kittens and old people and lost spiders and such. There are sad, slogging setbacks where he thinks he’ll never find the flower.

“What happened to the flower? I heard it was growing on this isolated mountain peak, but there’s nothing here. Wait there’s a note… ‘I’ll get you and your little dog, too. P.S. I ate the flower for lunch. It was delicious with a little salt.’ Nooooooooooooo!”

Fortunately, our hero learns that there are other flowers.

“That’s good. I was worried there for a moment.”

Finally, there is a desperate race through a ravine for the last known anti-temporary-death flowers. The villain manages to pull ahead by killing the faithful puppy. Temporarily, of course. Our hero is left to check the puppy into a hospital and grieve, uncertain that he’ll ever be able to save anyone. And then, tucked under the puppy’s collar, he finds a single petal. The local medicine maker believes it is enough to figure out the necessary properties for the anti-temporary-death medicine, and then they can make enough for everyone.

“I know what’s coming next. The villain is going to try to come and ruin everything.”

That’s right. It’s time for the showdown.

“Well, he won’t mess everything up this time. I’m going to guard the medicine maker’s house and stop the villain when he shows up.”

“That’s what you think. I’m already here.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“My parents died, so I think no one should have parents!”


No. I just couldn’t think of anything better. Does it really matter?

“How will you stop me? Nothing’s worked before. Time to temporarily kill you too!”

“Too late. While you were telling me your backstory, I took your weird, temporary death weapon. Take that!”


And the hero vanquished the villain. Everybody is saved. The puppy, the mentor, the hero’s parents, even the villain are all restored. The villain goes to jail. He’ll probably escape, but what can you do?

Our hero is newly grateful for his old boring life and his new puppy. Life is good. For now.