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.