Folktale: Tales of Hypno
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Foreword from the Creative Writing Editor: This was a submission for the folktale assignment in Creative Writing, written by junior Duke Johnson. No major edits were made.
There once was a boy named Gark, who lived during the times before history was recorded. His wanderlust for the world was only matched by his vigor to explore it. Gark’s days were similar to our own; he would eat until his stomach was full and work until his body was weak. He filled his days to the brim with excitement whenever he could. However, Gark’s nights were not filled with the sweet dreams that we are accustomed to. He couldn’t drift off into a sea of darkness with the setting sun; unable to sleep, Gark stood a landlocked sailor on a personal island during the night.
However, Gark’s mind was cluttered with many other problems. When the sun sailed across the sky, Gark was contained in his school. In the eyes of his stone-age society, education would eradicate their problems. The people strove to improve their surroundings, whether it be sharper sticks, larger bows, or hotter fires. Perhaps, they were dissatisfied with the food in their stomachs and the homes they lived in and the people they cohered to. Perhaps, if things were easier, they would be happy. In comparison, Gark was a sunflower facing away from the sun. Gark could bestow upon himself the prize of happiness with ease. To feel the world beneath his feet and in his hand or to have nature in his eyes brought him the greatest joy.
On the other hand, Gark’s parents were like miniature models of the rest of society. Gark’s ideals were not strong compared to his parents will; therefore, Gark was a regular attendee at his school. Gark would concentrate most of his time in class trying to let his mind gasp for air against a torrent of boredom, but his mind would flood with the babblings of his teachers.
“Now class, what is the square root of two rocks, when smashed against five stones?” asked a teacher.
“The sum of the pebbles. . . “ and Gark’s thoughts would be forced back to attention, as unpleasant as it was, because Gark had no ability to daydream either. In the brief lapses in between questions, Gark would pray that some solution would come to him.
During the times of Gark’s life, they worshipped many gods. But, the one Gark particularly favored from stories was known as Gibbler. Gibbler’s subversive blessings exposed his nature. With the ability to materialize in many forms, he would sometimes invisibly manipulate the world, and sometimes appear in the flesh as a satyr, a half-goat man. His horns twisted as if they had something to hide. With cold foreboding, his smile would warmly invite his victims. His eyes rattled like the end of a snake’s tail. While often ambivalent towards his worshipers, Gibbler could not resist the temptation of assisting Gark.
As Gark sat in his smooth stone desk, waiting for the sundial to strike the end of the class, Gibbler crept up behind him with a heavy and smooth rock. The rock, in its fury, headed for the center of the back of Gark’s head. The room began regurgitating the screams and wails of the students in the room.
“He’s dead! Oh Gibbler, he’s dead!” wailed one closeby student.
“Rock fractions didn’t prepare me for this!” another yelled with desperation.
When his head stopped on the desk, his mind kept flying on, far away. Gark was in the forests with his mind painting every leaf with an expertly guided hand. His mind was the careful architect of this realm, flushing out every single detail from Gark’s mind to reflect reality. Gark’s mind was intruded by the sudden appearance of Gibbler before him.
“Are you enjoying my realm?” Gibbler asked with a voice that was continuously shifting.
“It’s been wonderful, but what is this place?”
“This is what I like to call a dream. I came up with it all by myself.” Gibbler said in a child-like tone, “Don’t let Hypno tell you otherwise! It’s a place for the mind to wander alone, but with its own imagined company.”
“Why did you create this place?” asked Gark.
“I created it for you. It’s a place for the rebellious of the world to break away from the tyranny of reality. It’s a quick escape available to all. It allows you to see your desires and know what they are truly like. This place reflects how you see the world. However, it has its costs.”
“What do you mean by costs?”
“It is not only a mirror for your hopes, but all of your fears are present here as well. Your fears will twist and play with your mind just as much as your hopes. So be cautious here, this place is not for the weak.”
“Why have your brought me here?”
“Reality battered you against the shore for too long. I could not help myself. I had to save a drowning ally. When you return to reality, you will be the guide to assist others in arriving at this realm.”
His classroom had moved from panic to mourning by this point. When his eyes flicked open, everyone watching screamed, some out of joy and some out of fear. After assuring his health was in order, he was assailed by questions.
“What just happened to you?” questioned many voices at once.
And Gark began to recount his vision of Gibbler. Their eyes were portholes to their thoughts, and thrill shone out. Gark was their captain on their ship away from reality, as his voyages brought the release of sleep to all. This tradition continued to today, where we still dream to avoid the tiredness of reality.