Day 396: Jovial Patriarch (Creative Writing)

For too long I languished in a dungeon deep in the earth. This abominable hole was of my own devising, though I had forgotten creating it. I lived off the crusty remains of sewer rats and foul water. I was alive in body, yet in my mind and spirit I was nearly non-existent. I was a spectre, a rake, an apparition in my own home, a ghost haunting myself. I floated through the days as if no longer attached to any physicality.

Those days now seem a dream, a dreary and thankfully-distant dream. Yet at the time, I thought it was life I was living. It was no life. It was an insipid facsimile of life, a lackluster scene in a marginal play, acted without vigor or finesse. I performed my blocking and recited my lines, but did not know why. When I looked about me, I saw only my unhappiness projected back at me through the eyes of others, though they did not suspect it.

Eventually, I wanted no more of the nightmare. I decided that I wanted to re-write the play. I was tired of maintaining a dark and deathly hole in the ground. I no longer wanted to be a poltergeist. I aimed for respectability, or at least a passable smile. I set about to exhume the repulsive elements from my lair. I opened the iron window blinds, though the rusty metal creaked as I did so, and I cleared the glass of many deserted spider tombs.

I took my eraser and worked until my hand was sore, emptying the page where before there had been miserable words and unhappy syntaxes. The rubber from the eraser made a chalky river of dust that rolled down the page, signalling so much useless verbiage undone. My canvas cleared, I set about to write a new story, one with tall men drinking cider and being cordial to the lady folk, one where dragons protected the village and magic potions cured stomachaches. I fought to shape my new story in the image of a happy legend, one I could be proud to talk about, sing about, and pass out like glitter.

As I did so, I noticed that the snow through the window became soft and cheerful, and the lady bugs on the counter laughed contentedly. I was now a conjurer of mirth, a seer of fortuosity, and enabler of warm soothing drinks. With my new-found peace, I mastered simplicity and grace. I became soft and beautiful, and like a mirage I shimmered in the distance. People wondered at my existence, but now for the right reasons. I was no longer a dungeon-dwelling apparition.

I was now an ebullient sprite emanating well-wishes. I was now the jovial patriarch of my kingdom, and I was glad.

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