Neopia's Fill-in-the-blank News Source Circulation: 192,232,007 Issue: 637 | 21st day of Running, Y16
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Once Upon a Time


by psychedelicreature

--------

Once upon a time, in a faraway place that I could no longer remember, my older brother found time to read stories to me. Every night he would grab a book then displace me unrepentantly to make room for himself on the bed. He would tell stories of grandiose -- the knights of Meridell, princesses locked inside towers, and witches and warlocks that always seem to spring out of the page and lure me into their imaginary world. He would also tell tales of woe, of love and family and friendship.

     "Once upon a time, in a land far away, lived a little Aisha and her older brother, a Lupe. They walked the whole day through meadows, through fields and brush, until their limbs were tired. They rested underneath an apple tree and the little girl, needing food, asked her brother to climb it for her. So climbed the tree he did, reaching up towards the lowest branch for the reddest apple. He picked it, gave it to her and she was happy."

     It was mediocre for me, yet indispensably magical for him. But as years grew by, his storytelling became even more magical. He would twist the words around and fabricate another story that is almost surreal to my understanding. His words were more beautifully crafted, handpicked even.

     "Once upon a time, in a land far away, lived a little Aisha and her older brother, a Lupe. One day, they went in separate ways. The brother, as the eldest, looked everywhere for his sister – under boulders, atop trees, behind bushes, everywhere! He never found her, but he tried and tried and tried..."

     Before he started storytelling, though, my brother would pat me on the head like what older brothers do, and build my anticipation with one question.

     "If I told you a story as you want it to be, will you believe me?"

     "Yes," I would answer.

     And then he weaves strings of words together, his voice sending me into another round of magic and heroes and tales that are tucked away in the pages of faerietale books. "Once upon a time," he would say. "There lived a little Aisha called Lisha. She is brave in so many ways..."

     It happens every time, my brother and his words, his using my name as the lead character of his tales when I knew that it was the other way around. He will make me smile with his fabrications, his beautiful words and worlds. Such is the nature of my ties with my brother -- like a faerietale woven into reality, like the sum of his experiences and tales that have long been told.

     I always thought of what would happen if I said no. Will my brother stop telling me stories? Perhaps my books will ever be the same, untouched by my brother's magic. They will still be stories of woe, of love and family and friendship. Only stories and not tales. Every night he asks that question and I say yes, not because I agree, but because I am afraid that he'll close his book forever.

     He does close the book at some point, when his stories end. It is the point when I would whine and prod. "Tell me more, Jeran!" I say, tugging on his sleeve.

     He closes his book. "Tomorrow night, Lisha."

     "Please?"

     And then he will ask me the same question, and go through the same routine.

     He opens his books again, and looks at me in the eye. "If I told you a story as you want it to be, will you believe me?" he asks.

     "Yes."

     He picks out another story, and, like routine, says the same first words.

     "Once upon a time, there lived a little Aisha called Lisha. She is brave in so many ways..."

     I never understood the power of words, truly understood what they were capable of, until I heard my brother weave his endless tales. It is incredible that a handful of letters and a mouthful of words can unite us in two worlds that are absolute. What a heady feeling it brings to stumble upon words that I knew are not real but I know that can be real. It is nice to hear your name as the knight in shining armor, the princess in the tower, the witch with the magic.

     "Once upon a time, there lived a little Aisha called Lisha. She is brave in so many ways..."

     "...and her older brother," I say, my yawns getting louder as the clock ticks by. "He is a good knight in shining armor. He stands proudly near the gates of Meridell."

     "The gates of Meridell?" He laughs. "Lisha, I thought you were better at words than I am."

     "I learned from the best," I say. "Do you know who he is?"

     Although he knew, he shakes his head. Ever the always humble knight, my brother. "Mind if I know?" he asks.

     I yawn, and he tucks me into bed. I raise a finger to my lips and tell him that it's a secret. He chuckles, pats me on the head like he always does, and leaves the room, always sure to leave the light on as I prefer. I know where my brother sleeps, how he manages to find inspiration to his never ending supply of bedtime stories.

     "Good night, Jeran," I say. "Say hi to the stars for me."

     Once upon a time, in a faraway place that I could no longer remember, my older brother found time to read stories to me. Every night he would grab a book and displace me unrepentantly to make room for himself on the bed. He would tell me countless stories that I have now forgotten. What I do remember, however, were the first words that he would always, ever, utter.

     "Once upon a time, there lived a little Aisha called Lisha. She is brave in so many ways..."

     "...and her brother Jeran. He found solace in the stars."

     "And they will forever be happily ever after."

     "Forever?"

     "Yes."

     "Good night, brave knight. Say hi to the stars for me."

     "Good night to you too, Lisha." He closes the book, walks to the door and leaves the light on. "I will, like I always do."

     Before he leaves, I look back to the question he always asks me. He was standing there, expectant as always, like he wanted me to ask him – the regal knight in front of a little girl, the courageous in front of his little sister.

     "If I told you a story as you want it to be, will you believe me?" I ask, sitting up to look at him. He smiles at me, chuckles and looks away.

     "No," he says, smiling to himself. "Although it's what I wanted, it contains the vague parts of the truth."

     "But why do you tell me all these stories?"

     "Because," he says, his smile turning into a grin. "— they make you happy."

     "I guess that's a good enough answer." I yawn again, bigger this time. "Thank you, for being my big brother."

     "Good night, Lisha."

     "Good night," I say, sleep almost overtaking me.

     Every night in our quaint little home, my brother Jeran tells me a story. He is the brave knight in shining armor, but every time he tells a story, he lets me be the hero.

     "Thank you, Jeran," I say again. "For everything."

     And I drifted off to sleep.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Kadoatie's Day Out
"After you eat," Princess Jules said, petting his back without noticing his lack of purring, "we'll get you all cleaned up with a nice warm bath!"

That's it, Sir Purrsalot thought. I have to get out of here.

by treeword


---------

The Earth Faerie: Part Two
"Knox was turned into a Mortog!"

by fairyxhearts

---------

Gently Used
They'll never ask to use my stuff again!

Idea by liouchan

by tsuki_the_noodle


---------

Making Friends
It is tough being prickly!

by rikarie



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.