Writers, authors, novelists, poets, and bloggers – not an all-inclusive list of humans putting words together in some recognizable form, but a start. I have a close relative who belongs in this group, although he won’t ever admit it. Stubborn older crumblecorn of a guy, he is. One short story of twenty-five pages gives him forever status into our imagineer’s workshop.
It is an Elfin tale written during a time of loss and reflection. He traveled a zig-zaggy path with a co-author, trading paragraphs with a friend, back and forth over the internet three blocks away from each other. It was word therapy – the best kind, when tears and meals at an empty table no longer worked. If for no other cause, an expression of his grief unable to be shown over the casket of his wife who recently left his side, forever.
A project of love? Perhaps. He’ll never admit to Beatrice’s true identity. He wrote of her wanting true love as she stood singing on the balcony. Recent suitors to the castle never quite measuring up to her royal standards, she remained singularly focused on her love yet to be discovered.
Pacing, singing, … our fair Princess tuned out into the woods a song so pretty, and invitingly rich, no gentleman could ever deny his heart’s insistence. When, at once, through the mist came a friesian horse so bold … upon which sat a unseen suitor with a baritone song that pierced her longing heart…..
I’ll leave it at that. She fell for him. Not off the balcony mind you, … that would have been a ridiculous story line. Ya know, Beatrice hurting herself, some guy having to take care of her non-life threatening injuries while tending to his whatevers. Above is my two paragraph summary of Beatrice’s beginning journey into her exploration of true love – as written and imagined by my older wrinklefuss relative and his dear friend in their fantastical tale, “Elfin Irving, A Scottish Fable”
Over two dozen pages, they walk Beatrice through mist-laden bogs, literally, as she treads upon lessons theretofore mist (😂 love puns!) As a Princess, she didn’t know true love, I guess. We aren’t privey to her past years in the tale, but can only assume it was a life of foot massages, long hair brushing sessions in front of a full-length mirror while humming a wispy little tune, and grapes … plenty of grapes. We are to understand there lived a wonderful father and mother, i.e. Sir King and Lady Queen. Family life after a hard day’s work around the castle must have been pretty normal – for a fictitious family frolicking fancifully about.
I can’t disclose how the fable ends…not because you’ll ever read one of the 15 copies in existence. I can’t, due to the fact I’m a bit confused myself. Pretty sure I know, just not 100%. It’s been roughly two weeks since I read the heavy, tan parchment paper it is so elegantly printed upon and my memory has been committed to other matters. Mainly, did I shower yesterday, or not?
Overall point being, Beatrice aside, I’m really quite proud of my shufflescooter author who, along with his good friend, wrote such a tale. My dad.
He found a way to write about fantasy – which is a world so uncommon to his everyday. Very infrequently did he engage the monster, dragon-filled, playful fancy side of our childhood playtimes. Work – and only work – occupied his time. So common for the everyday man struggling to meet the demands of a three-child, one income household in the 70’s. Mom played. Dad worked. Three kids scruffled to-and-fro blopping and fropping with toys that made noise.
We transitioned into more expensive toys, spouses of our own, and lives apart from what we knew as kids. Dad pretty much stayed the same. For that matter, so did mom. Dad, the serious worker. Mom, the goofy gamer. Then she died.
My world changed.
I’m not going to claim dad’s world screeched to a massive halt and he fell to his knees in a rapturous, redemptive emotional u-turn the moment mom died. We walked out of the hospital numb. All of us. The rest of 2012 – the nine months since March 19th of that year – was a blur. Our playful gamer was gone. Fantasy and fun seemed lost. A world that dad never wanted to experience with her, anyway. Or, so it seemed.
He wrote a tale. It will be his only one I’m sure. It has to be. It is a story he could never write until love was worth searching for in a fantasy – not in a present reality. The unattainable … the lessons learned, finally, when perfection among all suitors arrives upon a stallion.
When all the hard work is proven worthwhile, yet years too late for one who passed. Not too late for those of us still grieving who finally decided to pick up this little gem and read it all the way through … seven years later!
So an awesome “tip of my hat” respectful nod to my father who has turned a corner into the imagineer’s workshop this one time. To feel his connection to mom – albeit probably not Beatrice’s identity as he would definite her – is my soul’s interpretation of the Elfin Irving. As the reader into my dad’s tipping hand, I reserve the right to see mom’s heart shining forth – singing wonderfully across the forested glen from a balcony of expanding, heart-gleaming tunes.
Two loving parents. One gone.. another here. Two very different transitions seven years ago. A single story written in fictitious form that, in it’s few dozen pages, tells a story of love beyond the pages. A personal story this son is glad to finally know. It may be just my silly interpretation, or not. I don’t really mind either way. The older klankmuster of a guy is my dad who shares a past with me that was kinda rough at times.
His fault? My fault? Don’t care. He’s my surviving parent, standing in the “not an all-inclusive list of humans putting words together in some recognizable form” group with me. So glad to have him here by my side.
For mom and dad, the final words from “…. A Scottish Fable”
“For after all, they both owed their love to all the little people in the world” The End