“You are a different soul! Neither proud, nor humble be.
But the middle of the line, a place most un-free.
Your work demands excellence. Your daughters need guidance.
And so you found this middle ground, and built around you a fence.
“You couldn’t fail at work lest you lose your money
To provide for your family, and keep your life sunny.
And your kin must be raised, with a sense of humility
That wild dreams are work in futility.”
Yet you had a dream! Once upon a time.”
Which brings me right back to the start of these rhymes!”
He got really close to me, to make sure I could hear. It was like there was someone around he didn’t want listening in.
“You wanted to draw a building so wild!
But the jobs you took left you feeling so mild…
I had to put that spark back in your soul
There was only one problem. You had a big hole.
The hole was fear. Fear of failing, of loss
It was an experience, a bridge for you to cross.
And now with your terror, embraced and affirmed
It is time for you to find that lost feeling confirmed.”
How does he talk like that, I wonder?
He reaches into his pocket and brings out that which I had been seeking. The key was the same size as the other two, but it had a fragile look to it. Like it was made out of a fallen leaf. I had already caught on to the way this world is working, so I didn’t question it, but I still had so much to ask the strange man before me.
“Puck, I… Well, to be honest, I’m not quite sure I completely understand the lesson you were trying to impart to me, but I’ve been here plenty long and I get the feeling Death is chasing. So, I’ll just ask you one more thing. Why help me? Why teach me whatever lesson you beings feel are so important that you give them to me after I die and not before?”
“That is something I cannot tell you just yet.
But you needn’t worry about it. Don’t you fret.
Now take the key and continue on.
I swear I’ll see thee again before this journey is done.”
I take the key and turned around. Amazingly, a new door stood right next to me. Moving trees. I’ll have to try and remember those. Today’s lesson might not have made such an impact, but I certainly remembered Luna’s. Have to keep moving forward.
As I opened the door, I decide to yell back to the faerie.
“Hey, Robin. That last one was a half-rhyme.”
The light from the door blinds me as I walk through. That’s going to get annoying. Will it do that every time? Can’t this place be a little less dramatic? I suppose being the realm I’m in after I’ve died, that it really can’t.
As my eyes adjust to the light, I notice something familiar. Some familiar shapes around me- Wait…
“Most of my rhymes
aren’t perfect each time.”
Robin sits in front of me. Well, he’s standing. On his head.
“What!? I thought you gave me the key.”
“Yes, indeed you did think that.
But why, I can not tell.
You are far too trusting
Truly, an easy sell.”
He laughs to himself and jumps right side up.
“I should ask, Rodriguez, who am I to you?
What do you see standing here? Do you have a clue?”
“Um, you’re Robin Goodfellow? Sometimes called Puck? Spirit of the forest and all that?” He lifts his hand and summons a breeze that somehow becomes something he can sit on. He’s sitting on the wind. All this power and control and he just-
“You’re a prankster…”
“Correction, I am THE prankster, always seeming so odd.
My forms have been many, fox, fairy and even GOD
Your cultures revere me and used to pay me tribute.
But now my own existence has been rendered moot.
“Yet here I am, a being who can make you bleed,
Taking an interest in this little life you used to lead.
Did you really think I’d let you so easy?
Back on your quest, feeling so breezy?”
He jumps to his feet and stands on one foot while he crosses his arms.
“I have more for you mortal and I find you amusing.
So I have several tasks. Missions of my choosing.
Before you proceed-”
“NO! Stop it! I’ve had enough! I passed your little test already! Just give me the key and let me continue my futile plan to outrun death.”
“Technically you didn’t succeed…”
“Don’t care. You told me I was done. I just want to go. I can’t do this anymore. No. We’re done.”
Robin got silent. Like… really quiet. This guy likes talking too much to just get quiet for-
Oh shit, I just pissed off a god.
I have shown you patience
Which is more than I do
In all the time I have
Been around mortals like you.
So if you would, appreciate the gifts I bestow.
Because I will turn on you, before you could know.”
I’m tired. I don’t want to keep doing this. I hate this place. But most of all, I hate dealing with personified concepts, with their phenomenal cosmic powers, with their mind games, with all the bullshit that comes along with whatever the hell they do.
I’m just so tired.