King Lemondrop listened to his messenger as he reported about the mysterious sinkhole that was swallowing his kingdom. It was as he feared, the hole was getting larger. In the brief time since he had become King of this magical land he had experienced things beyond belief. He had defeated unbeatable foes with ease... from evil giants to cold-hearted pirates, with even a few zombies thrown in. But he had no idea how to defend his people from an apparent force of nature. He was king,though. He was the one who needed to make a decision about what must be done.
“Saddle my dragon!” Lemondrop spoke the words and three men rushed to the door to fulfill his command. The king followed after them, stopping only to grab his battle suit. Soon he had mounted his trusted beast and was flying above the vortex that sucked in everything it touched. He glided several feet above the hole, struggling to see down into its depths for any clue as to what it might be. A strange mix of light and shadow seemed to swirl like a tornado downward to a point that could no longer be seen. He was nearly to the other side and about to circle for another pass when he heard the sound...
DONG, DONG, DONG, DONG.
Notes! They were clear, bright, and unmistakable. One note, to be accurate, repeated four times, but still a definite note from some type of musical... something. It had come from the very depths of the hole itself. The king landed his steed a safe distance from the hole in the world and called for his advisers.
“I have made a discovery.” He spoke with confident urgency. “There is life within the hole. I heard some sort of musical notes coming from deep in the hole. I have decided to attempt to fly my dragon into the hole to see where it leads. If I do not return...”
“Don't fear for my safety. You know the impossible adventures I have already survived. Something will present itself because it always does. I have learned to trust in that Something.”
The king would not listen. He nudged his dragon firmly and took to the air. Never had he done anything so blinding foolish and yet, at the same time, never had he felt more compelled to follow the deep, bellowing tones if they should sound again.
He waited, hovering above the hole in the world... waited for the sound to rise again. Within an hour he was rewarded for his patience.
Lemondrop signaled his steed to dive through the hole that was swallowing his world.
Lights and shadows swirled around him, soon blending with a full range of brilliant colors.
That was three notes. Lemondrop was beginning to see shapes at the bottom of the hole. They resembled trees and rocks... and clouds.
The fourth note sounded as Lemondrop burst out of the vortex. What he saw shocked even his dragon, as the beast broke flight and hovered, trying to get bearing on where his master had taken him.
A fifth note? Lemondrop looked toward where the sound emanated. It came from a building with a steeple that housed...
Lemondrop gathered his senses and started looking around. An old man sat on a bench with two small children setting at his feet. He was pointing to things and talking in an exaggerated voice.
“King Lemondrop had made it through the hole in the world!” The old man pointed up in the sky at a dragonfly... and winked at Lemondrop. “There he is now... mounted on his dragon and watching me tell of his adventures.”
Lemondrop had his dragon fly to a different spot. The old man's finger followed his every move. That wasn't possible... the man was pointing at a harmless dragonfly.
“You see, children, Lemondrop didn't realize that he was just a made up story for the entertainment of little ones like you. To the king, every adventure had been real. Every danger was faced with genuine courage.”
Lemondrop had heard enough. He poked his dragon and they flew upwards, toward the hole in the sky. He was a made up story... his whole world was an old man's imagination. He flew through the hole and entered his own kingdom.
So be it, old man. Keep telling your stories, I'll keep living the adventures.
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