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ALittleGoodBloodMakesTheGrassGrow.

By: Rocky M. Magana 1


A Little Good Blood Makes The Grass Grow.

By: Rocky M. Magana 2


ALittleGoodBloodMakesTheGrassGrow.

By: Rocky M. Magana 3

Part V: The Epilogue


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By: Rocky M. Magana 4

Chapter I The World Is Not Fair, But It Has One. “Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.� -George MacDonald


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Death is inescapably definite, my friend, All men die, and some die again, Not all men live; most do not live again, Even fewer forgive love, or let love in. We are but lost little ships, Chasing the stars swaying hips. O' sweet Venus, take me with ease, For Mar's hate shall not be appeased. On a blood oath of my soul, I swear our end, Is but a beginning, my lover, my friend. Upon this restless sea we set sail, Hoping to sink this ship so frail. As our fatal fate grows so late, Beneath the fog of this foreign city, I see now that there is no man there to hate, only a devil to pity.


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Everyone

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in Faerie Land greatly respected Grato for risking his life to save Josephine. So it shouldn't surprise you, that at the end of the moons cycle, when the ancient king of Faerie Land left on his eternal vacation; Grato was unanimously elected to take his place. Grato took his kingship quite seriously, swearing on the day of his coronation “To be a king of anything, even a dream land such as this is very serious business... I promise to treat it as such all the days of my life... A throne is not made of gold and glow, but of deeds and righteousness... I swear to protect our borders against all foes, and to be upright and just... I promise to defend the helpless... to take Light into the darkness... I will do my best to derive my kingly wisdom from the only true source; the all powerful, all knowing, King of The Heavens on High!� Grato, Islabella, and Josephine moved into the royal palace, which was a woodland castle that stood at the top of the tallest trees in the forest. Clothed like true royalty, they wore beautiful gowns and capes, with golden crowns atop their heads.


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There was peace in Faerie Land in those days, and no demons or hobgoblins dared to rear their ugly heads. It was a good time to be alive. During this period Islabella gave birth to a son. They named him Augustus Casablanca Fellini. He was born a strong baby at 9 ½ pounds and 23 inches long. His eyes were as green as shamrocks, and he came out of the womb laughing. It was soon harvest time in Faerie Land; which meant it was time for the king to make his annual trip to The World’s Fair. A crew comprised of King Grato, Queen Islabella, Fiant, and the king's personal bodyguard (a minotaur named Bulltosk), set out at dawn on the first day of second spring (which is when we have our winter) aboard Fiant's ship.1 The infant Augustus was still too young to be away from his mother's breast, and so he came along as well. Josephine however was unable to make the voyage, for she had suddenly come down with a 1 Which as it turns out was named The Crimson Redeemer (the

revealing of the name was The Prince's gift to Fiant for his obedience in ferrying Grato and Josephine to Faerie Land.


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terrible case of the bird flu. Islabella considered not joining Grato on the trip, desiring instead to stay behind and care for her daughter, but Josephine would not hear of it “Nonsense, you must go, it would rip your heart to pieces if you and father were ever separated again.� The fair was held in London on this particular year. They made good time sailing, and had a rather uneventful voyage; which is always good news when on the open sea. They pulled into London harbor at the end of the second day. The stale smell of salt in the fog awoke their senses and told them that they were very far from home. Leaving Fiant to guard the ship, Grato took only Bulltosk (who was in disguise) with him for protection. To hide his ghastly form from the public, Grato had Bulltosk wear a magic spell that made him look like a common street dog, and ordered him to only betray his disguise if they were in mortal danger. Otherwise Bulltosk was to follow close behind and try to blend in with the other mutts


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that littered the streets of London. There were many other bodyguards who were Faerie's (which look very near humans) that Grato could have taken with him instead; but none them were as trusted or skilled with a sword as Bulltosk. He was a true hero in the most Greek-ish sense of the word. As they stepped onto the old dock, they were greeted by a handsome cab that was painted pearl white and trimmed with real gold. The horses that drew the carriage were jet black and brave enough to run through flames. But the most fantastic part was the little coachman who drove the cab; for he wasn't a man at all, but only a child. He was a strikingly sickly and pale boy; but this only served to make his beautiful and gentle eyes stand out all the more. I cannot even begin to convey to you how priceless he looked when he smiled, which was almost always. Grato cast a queer look at the boy as he drew near “You're an awfully young child; too young to be driving around the streets of London all by yourself I'd say.�


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“No sir” he said with his eyes sparkling “I am a good coachman. The reason is, father's horse at the lead there, his name is Diamond, just like me... Except I'm named after the horse, he's not named after me; because he was born first... There ain't no way Diamond would ever let me or you or ma'am ever come to no harm... he's a good horse like that if you give him an apple, and I gave him two this morning... But if you want, father has an old friend named Phillip who is an honest man and he's fifty... I can run and fetch him if you want.” The boy spoke with such honest humility, and he was so lovable; how could Grato ever send him away? “No Diamond I wouldn't hear of anyone else driving us today, not after you gave horse Diamond two apples.” said Grato, shaking the boy's cold and steady hand. And like that, they were loaded and off, rattling through the cobble streets of London. The truth was that Diamond handled the reigns with greater agility than a man six times his age. All the other cabby's envied Diamond for his natural gift, but none of them, not even the


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drunkest or grumpiest one, could find it in their heart to despise him. Diamond took great care not to take any bumpy roads, saying “Bumpy roads are not good for baby bellies, and we have a future king in our midst.” King Grato was beyond impressed with his little driver “There will be no stopping this boy once he's grown.” he thought. They pulled into the main line at the fair, which was more destruction derby than a line. Carriages crashed into each other left and right. Tipped cabs with broken wheels and dumped masters flooded the street. The spilled lords sat in mud puddles with their fat fannies soaked, cursing. “I do wish they'd watch their sinner tongues in from of the lady and the baby sire. It is not fit for to behave so crude.” said Diamond shaking his head in disgust. At the sight of all of the people tipping and crashing, Islabella became very nervous for Augustus. Calling down below to his passengers, Diamond reassured them “Don't worry ma'am,


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horse Diamond won't let any harm come to us, we're in good hoofs.” With perfect precision, both Diamond's dodged and swerved in and out of traffic and debris. The matter was settled in his mind, Grato needed this boy in his service and was prepared to pay greatly to get it. When they finally reached the front gates, Diamond popped down off of his box and swung the carriage door open. Offering his hand to Islabella like the gentleman he was “Please watch your step your highness, the streets are filthy.” Upon exiting the cab, Grato patted the little coachman on the head and removed four gold coins from his purse. Handing them to Diamond he said “These four coins are the deeds to the four great stables of my kingdom. One is at the bottom of the ocean; it is for the seahorses. One is on the beach, it is for the Arab horses. Another is in the forest, and is for the Unicorns. And the last and greatest one of all, is at my palace; it is where my personal steeds reside. The owner of these coins carries with him the title of High Knight of The Stables; and is commander of all


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of my carriages and chariots. I would greatly like to give you these coins my dear Diamond. Would you like to come to Faerie Land and be my knight?” Diamond marveled at how the coins shimmered in his hand. The fact that these were only the deeds to the gift and not the gift itself, seemed almost unimaginable to him. Feeling the weight of them in his palm, he suddenly knew what it meant to face temptation. For the first time a sign of sadness crept into his eyes. Moments of silence past as the child deliberated within himself. At last when he finally had made up his mind, little Diamond handed the four coins back to Grato “No thank you your highness.” “No? I'm afraid I don't understand, does being my knight not sound like fun?” “O' no sire, it does! I wish to be your knight almost more than anything... It's just I that... well, I was thinking about how great it would be to go to Faerie Land and see all the horses, and to get to drive all your carriages and chariots... it would all be so wonderful...” stated Diamond emphatically, before retreating


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back into himself once more. “But?” said Grato, knowing that there is always a but at the end of statements like these. Diamond took off his hat and fiddled with it “But then I remembered mother and father, and our own little baby, and well Faerie Land is awfully far away; my family would miss me so much... and I would miss them too... I don't imagine there would be much work for my father there, since I would be the coachman.” “I'm sure we could find him something to do.” said Grato smiling. These words were upsetting to Diamond's sparkling eyes “But you said I would be the boss coachman right?” “Yes Diamond you would be the boss...” Shaking his head, Diamond jumped to his father's defense “Father is a good coachman and great man, I could never be his boss... father is the boss, not me... If you gave father the job, I'd be more than happy to work for him.” “Sadly I didn't offer your father the job Diamond, I offered it to you.” Grato placed a kingly hand on the child's shoulder “This is a very important job, and I cant give it to a man


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I've never met; no matter how great his son is. Many a great man has had a fool for a father. I know you esteem him highly, but all children esteem their fathers when they're little. Please reconsider.” At hearing this, Diamond wrinkled up his little nose, but there was nothing to reconsider, he would never take such an honor for himself if it meant leaving his parents beneath him. Diamond returned the beautiful coins to Grato's hand; and as he did, he caught a glimpse of Prince Augustus smiling at him out of the corner of his eye. This made him feel certain that he had made the right decision. Diamond winked at Augustus and grabbed his thumb playfully, saying “I knew you would agree with me, after all your father is almost as great of a man as mine!” Reluctantly Grato returned the coins to his purse “You’re a good little man with a pure heart Diamond, don't ever loose that.” Looking up at Grato, Diamond smiled honestly “I never knew I had it, and if I don't know that I have it, how can I lose it?” With that, they shook hands and made arrangements to meet back at the front gate in


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six hours with two wagons to haul all of their purchases. The fair was filled many fascinating things that Grato had never seen before. Even the building that the fair was held in was amazing; it was called The Crystal Palace, and it lived up to every bit of its name. It was nine hundred and ninety thousand square feet long, and over a hundred and eight feet tall. It was covered from end to end in flawless glass. He couldn't imagine how a man could figure out the science behind such a feat, and then he saw the hot air balloons “Undoubtedly, with the inspiration of The Prince, there is no end to what man can achieve... To see such wonders is to see a revelation of his imagination, and to see such a revelation is to see a little speck of what The Other Side will be.� The crowd was an ocean of people that rolled in from different countries from around the world... The tide came was filled with artisans and scientists and freak side shows. Sculptures of hero's. Contortionist's. Electricity.


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Bearded Women. Light bulbs. Fire Breather's. Engine's. Sword Swallower's. Telescopes. Paintings of naked women. Books. Botanical plant life. Medicines. Tumbling Midget's... But his favorite of all was an odd looking contraption called the tempest prognosticator. It was a barometer made up of a circular metal plate, twelve leeches in little glass bottles, and a bell that was rigged right above the the center of the plate. The idea behind the tempest prognosticator was that when a storm was approaching, the leeches sensed the change in the electric fields in the atmosphere and would try to climb up out of their bottle, thus triggering the bell above. The more the bell was triggered, the more likely it was that a storm was imminent. The man who sold the prognosticator stood atop a stage and called out in a voice similar to


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Phillinious's, saying “Come one, come all, to see the amazing atmospheric electromagnetic telegraph that is conducted by animal instinct. I present to you for your enjoyment, the tempest prognosticator!� For all the bright and beautiful glory the fair held on its surface, there was also an underbelly to it, a place where all the evil of the world converged. Wicked men filled this place. Grato stood in the narrow passage that served as the mouth to the underbelly. Staring into it, he contemplated the dangers. A strong voice inside told Grato to leave at once. That he must leave at once. That the fates of everyone he loved were at stake. But then came a second urge from within his darker side; his curious mortal side, it wanted and demanded that he experience all things; both good and bad. Grato allowed his curiosity to take root inside of him. Foolishly Grato ventured into the guts of


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humanity. The passage was dark and dismal, with puddles of filth everywhere. Pushing forward, Grato pretended these puddles were made up of dirty water. Some of them were; but most were a combination of bodily fluids like blood, tears, urine, vomit, and bile. For the first time in a long time, Grato felt like he was back home in his village. To his right was a booth selling human brains. To his left was an old hag selling children's toes; promising they would cure cancer. Grato was sorry he ever walked down this path, he wanted to leave. But he soon learned that the black market is an ever changing maze. There is no leaving. There is only deeper in; until you come through on the other side. If you come through on the other side. Grato shoved his way through the crowds of bandits and witches. Every eye was upon him for they knew he was not like them. Whispers from Shadow's, danced in the air saying “What business does a Son of Light have here?” and “Come deeper in little saint.”


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These voices penetrated into his heart, making his insides cold. Grato shuddered and tried to warm himself with his hands, but his hands couldn't reach his insides. Frostbite encased his heart. The Breath of The Prince sighed in agony within him. Having nowhere else to go, Grato pushed further in. The alley dipped down at a steady decline, leading underground. The villains pushed him from behind, pushing him deeper into the darkness. Grato needed help. Suddenly the crowd parted, and out of the damp dark appeared a nude glowing figure before him. It was the figure of a beautiful woman, but not as beautiful as Islabella. Her hair wafted in they air like she was underwater. Her eyes blazed pure white. Her near perfect body emanated the eerie glow. She had no mouth on her face, but somehow it didn't take away from her attractiveness. A seducing voice hissed from between her


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legs “Come to me my king, I yearn to feel your hands upon me.” Grato knew he should look away, that his eyes had no business looking at anyone but Islabella. His heart was willing, but his flesh was weak. He tried to turn around and run, but he was out of the will of The prince. He had no power. He was captive to her enchantment. Grato tried to break the temptation, but each time he did, lust latched a hold of him tighter. Her fangs sank deep into his purity. “Come to me, come to me dear king... I need you to fill me with your majesty.” begged the figure. Tressing her hand through her wild hair, she motioned him forward with her index finger. He couldn't help himself. Dear Reader, no matter how much a man may be transformed; if he allows himself to be, he is still at the will of his greatest temptations.1 Grato tried to back away from the cliff, but 1 A man who is terrified of heights does not go near the edge of a

cliff. It should be the same with a man and his greatest temptations.


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it was too late, he was already at the edge. His feet moved forward, into foundationless air. “I see that you feel great pain in your heart, do not fear, I will make it all pass away... fill me with your love, and I will fill you with undying pleasure.” said the apparition as her eyes grew wide with ecstasy. Grato quivered helplessly. He drew upon her “Please no... free me from your spell, do not make me commit this sin... I love my wife.” said Grato as his warm breath fell on her face. Suddenly a mouth appeared beneath her nose. The two juicy lips opened, and her voice spoke forth, lassoing him around the throat “Love is overrated... What I offer is the sensuality of love,2 without the price... Now enter into me and I will fill you with my enlightenment.” Her lips drew near to his. Grato's mouth opened; a tortured cry reverberated out of his throat “Please don't let 2 But Dear Reader, there is no true sensuality without love. It is

because of our immense love for another, that it feels so deeply good when our bodies come together. Without that love, we are no more than primal lumps of meat and hair coming together for a lust filled grunting contest.


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me do this.� Her eyes were like two full moons, the light shot out of them and into Grato's, filling his head with their fire. Beams of white light poured out of his mouth, flooding back into hers. She placed her hands on the side of his head; but just as her tongue was crossing the border of his mouth; Bulltosk, who was still in the form of a dog, leaped over Grato's shoulder from behind, and landed with his jaws around her throat. The apparition squealed in agony. Her seductive light shot out of her mouth and eyes like fragmented lasers, bouncing off the stone walls. Bulltosk dug his teeth deeper in. With a great jerk of the head, he ripped out her throat. Black blood poured from the wound, making one more pool of bodily fluid on the passage floor. In death her true form was betrayed. When Bulltosk at last withdrew, Grato saw that she was not a beautiful ghost at all, but rather a shrived little Goblin Witch. Her gray hair was filthy and falling out.


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Her toothless mouth was filled with blood. There was no true beauty in her. She was grotesque, in the deepest facet of the word. The parted crowd, instantly rejoined, turning upon Bulltosk, they clinched their fists. Lunging from the side, two scoundrels grabbed a hold of Bulltosk's front legs and began pulling him in opposite directions. The time for Bulltosk's spell had passed. Morphing back into his mighty minotaur form, Bulltosk arose from the ground with the two scoundrels dangling from his massive forearms. Taking one into each hand, he effortlessly smashed them together and tossed them aside. The crowd drew their swords. “Staaaaand aaaaaside!� growled Bulltosk. The pain of nearly committing adultery still filled Grato. He had betrayed his wife and children... No matter how hard he tried to be a good king, in his heart he was merely a fallible man. The pain was so great. His legs wobbled beneath the weight of his guilt. His vision grew blurry from the tears in


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his heart. At last his knees gave way. Falling forward, Grato reached out to catch himself on Bulltosk's broad back; but instead of falling upon on his faithful bodyguard, Grato found that Bulltosk had disappeared and had been replaced by a heavily cloaked figure. A figure larger than even Bulltosk. A figure as large as The Prince. The figure stood with his back turned, paying no attention to the extra weight it now bore. Grato's face pressed into its rough fabric. He inhaled its sweet aroma. The smell was familiar. It was The Breath. The convicting, shaming, loving, forgiving, Breath. Upon feeling Grato's weight on him, the large figure whispered from beneath his shroud in a low rumble “Why did you not turn back, why did you enter into this place of death?” Grato clung to the cloak “I was weak and curious.” “And in your weakness you did not call on me? Do you not know, that even a righteous man may fall seven times and still get back up


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again? But you hear my command and still disobey me... there is nothing I can do to save you from your own destruction.” “I'm so ashamed, I should have known better... I do know better.” Grato gripped even tighter to the cloak “I'm sorry.” “You are forgiven. Now you must press forward through this; because of your rebellion, things are about to get very bad for a time... You must take heart and know that this life is not eternal... Remember that I am always with you... that I will always love you.” Longing to look into the face of his savior, Grato fervently spun the figure around... The cloak stood empty like a vacated cocoon. Then the garment fell to the ground, dead and lifeless. Grato quickly scooped it up, it was still warm. The Prince's scent was all over it. It dried Grato's eyes and filled his heart with bravery. And then the cloak disappeared before his eyes like a dream from memory. Bulltosk stood before him, shaking him back to his senses “Sire, sire, are you okay?” When he came to Grato found that his heart


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had returned to him “I'm fine. I was gone for a moment, but I have returned. Forgive me Bulltosk.” “There is nothing to forgive, my life is the king's. But we must be going, for you are in great danger still.”as Bulltosk said this, Grato looked beyond the minotaur at the armed crowd. Just then, one of the more foolhardy men in the crowd jumped forward at Bulltosk with a slash. Bulltosk quickly ripped off the mans arm that wielded the weapon. Upending the fool, Bulltosk took him by his legs and swung him like a club, batting down the whole first row of villains before throwing him straight ahead, Bulltosk bowled over a clean row straight through the crowd, thus giving them a means of escape. Drawing his sword, Bulltosk walked atop the heads of the fallen people “This way sire.” All eyes were locked onto the minotaur, but few dared to challenge him. Lowering his horns and running full speed, Bulltosk charged through the passage, gouging any who dared stand in his way.


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Grato and Bulltosk soon found that the narrow passage opened up into a great underground cavern. It was the largest market Grato had ever seen, even larger than the fair that raged above. All things evil were on sale. It was as if he had stumbled into Phillinious Max's own private paradise. But Phillinious Max was not there in person. However the place was crawling with his minions; there was one in particular who Grato was very familiar with. A slimy green little man named Lombard. Upon hearing the commotion caused by the minotaur trampling the crowd underfoot, Lombard climbed on top of a table from which he sold his goods to view the spectacle. He barely recognized Grato under all of his kingly garb; but he did recognize him. The mere sight of him awoke a great snake inside of Lombard. All of the anger he felt from that night came rushing back. Rubbing where the tip of his nose had been, he plotted his revenge. Grato did not see him; he was clinging tightly to the back of Bulltosk, running in the safety of his wake, paying little attention to


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anything else. Bulltosk showed no mercy to anyone. Lombard's rage screamed, demanding vengeance. Images of cold steel running Grato through, danced in Lombard's head. Each time he imagined it became a little more vivid and violent, the blade went in slower; twisted a little bit more. More and more, these vile thoughts of the macabre took hold of him. In his mind, He cut off his hands, he cut off his feet, he cut off his head, he cut him to pieces. Ten words echoed inside of Lombard's heart “I will have my vengeance, I will have my blood.” Over and over again, Lombard repeated the words, “I will have my vengeance, I will have my blood. I will have my vengeance, I will have my blood. I will have my vengeance, I will have my blood.” Until at last the words could no longer be contained, screaming and wailing like a declaration of war, Lombard called across cavern “I will have my vengeance, I will have my blood!”


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But Grato did not hear him, for Bulltosk had just reached the light of the exit on the other side. Reaching into the sheath of a nearby assassin, Lombard stole his knife and howled across the masses “I have a quarrel with you Grato Fellini!” Spitting and cursing, Lombard quickly made preparations for revenge and set out chasing after him. It took over an hour for Grato and Bulltosk to find their way back.1 When they arrived at the front gates, Diamond was already overseeing the loading of the wagons. The child went to great ends to exhort the importance of the king’s cargo to his hired hands, saying “Be careful, your holding the kings treasure!” Islabella ran like a schoolgirl to greet her king with a kiss. Grato did his best to hide his encounter with the Goblin Witch, from her. But his deception was no good, for she could feel it in their soul “What happened?” He couldn't lie to her if he wanted to. 1 Admittedly part of this time was spent stopping to allow

Bulltosk to retake the form of a dog.


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But he didn't want to. He came clean “Please forgive me, I encountered a witch in the fairs depths, and she appeared to me in the form of a woman glowing in the nude... She enchanted me and asked me to sleep with her.” Islabella's face went white with disbelief “You had sex with her?” Tears filled Grato's eyes for he could feel her heart breaking “No... no I didn't have sex with her... but I would have...” Grato turned to and looked at the mangy minotaur-dog “ I would have done anything she asked... I'd be dead if Bulltosk hadn't come to my rescue and broken her spell. I was so foolish, I knew it was against the will of The Prince but I did it anyways... thank you my friend, you have proven yourself true.” At hearing this Bulltosk the dog spoke up from the rear “Please your highness, such words are not fit for a dog... I serve the king... ” turning to Islabella he continued “Your Grace, I beg, have mercy on the king; it was not his heart that cheated, only his feet. It was the doing of the spell, it was not the will of the king's soul... He cried out in agony at the


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thought of betraying you. I heard him with my own ears... his only sin was being in the wrong place...” “Enough! Enough, Bulltosk.” ordered Grato brokenly. Turning to his Islabella he said “I'm sorry... I'm no king.” “What am I to do?” asked Islabella “Turn my back on my lover and rip out soul apart? Am I to leave you and forced our children to grow up without their father? Should I betray all of Faerie Land and leave them without a queen or a an heir to the throne? No I won't do that, but not because I am afraid to be on my own, or because I am too weak to leave. On the contrary, I am strong enough to stay. Strong enough to ignore what appear to be the facts of infidelity. I am strong enough to look into our soul and see the only thing that matters... The truth...And the truth is, your heart could never cheat on me. For your heart is my heart, and I cannot cheat on myself. The truth is I love you more than I can bear... you big blubbering baby... you'll always be my king.” Taking his head into her hands, she kissed him deeply. Diamond did not squirm at the sight of


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grown ups kissing, for they were not his parents and so it wasn't quite so disgusting to him. “The Prince came to me down below.” said Grato once they had finished kissing. “What did he say?” “It wasn't so much what he said, It was how he said it. I fear we have darkness ahead because of me... there was great sadness in his roar.” The men finished loading the wagons. Meanwhile Lombard sprinted through the crowds. His opportunity for revenge was fleeting. If he was delayed even in the slightest, his foe would escape and live a long happy life. He reached the front gates just as the men finished loading the last of the goods. Lombard's chase was at an end. A hundred yards away stood his loathed enemy. Kissing. It was unbearably detestable. Lombard's green blood boiled and burned the insides of his veins. His fangs grew long like a saber tooth's. The taste of death was on his lips. Lombard quickly put the hood of his cloak over his head and slipped in unnoticed amongst


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the workers. Grato and Islabella loaded into their carriage and set off with Diamond at the reigns. The wagons followed close behind. Soon they were back at the docks, and the days purchases were loaded onto the boat. Lombard seized the commotion of the moment to stow away. Sneaking below deck, he hid behind a crate of ambrosia and waited. Lombard didn't just want Grato to die, he wanted him to suffer. He wanted him to bleed more than just blood. Soon the sun was setting and it was time to go home. Making bittersweet farewells to the little coachman, Grato hugged Diamond “When you grow up, come find my kingdom, I'm sure I will still be in need of a man of your character... but then again, perhaps your childlikeness is the key to your perfection.�1 1 Truer words were never spoken Dear Reader; the fact that he

saw things through the eyes of a child was precisely the cause of his greatness. Which is to say he saw everything through the rose colored lens of faith. Even his death which I must sadly tell you was only later that year, seemed beautiful to him. Even though he was so pale and thin at the end; shaking with the worst chills, and sweating through the worst fever; he still smiled.


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And then the sheets were raised; catching a strong wind they were off, cutting through the seas with the ease of saying I love you. They were already pretty far out by the time the witching hour drew upon them. All was quiet and peaceful. Bulltosk was smoking his pipe and reading Plato. Fiant steered the ship while whistling a melody. Augustus dreamed in his crib. Islabella brushed her hair in front of her vanity. Grato stood on deck staring out into the blackness of the night, keeping company with the same old constellations that have been there since the beginning of time “And so they reflect a man's life. Sporadic and tiny speckles of Light, fighting through the dark blanket of nothing... Small bright spots surrounded by black. These little lights, we choose to let them His body was there at the time of his death, but his heart and soul were already long gone, riding off on a new adventure. You may ask why he had to die so young? I choose to believe that it was not he who had to die, but rather that life could no longer contain him. That our shoe box of a universe is not near big enough for such a creature of love. There are too many Shadow's here making everything so crowded.


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be our guide, because without them we are hopelessly lost. Without them, life is dark. Without them, we don't make it home.” But then Grato's meditation was shattered suddenly by a shriek. It was Islabella. Grato spun around toward the royal quarters and was met by the grouped silhouette of two and a half people emerging from the shadows. It was Lombard, and he held baby Augustus upside down by his leg in one hand, while dragging Islabella by the hair in the other. “Release my family and show yourself!” demanded Grato as he drew his sword. “Do you not recognize my face?” said Lombard as he stepped forward into the golden glow of the lantern, betraying his tip-less nose to sight “Look into my eyes Grato Fellini, and look upon thy death!” By now Bulltosk and Fiant had both jumped to arms and raced towards Lombard from the side. Lombard's eyes snapped sideways, catching their approach in his peripheral vision. Extending his arm he held Augustus over the side of the ship and warned “Tell your beasts to stand down!”


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“Wait!” cried Grato, as he grudgingly motioned for them to lower their weapons. Returning his attention to Lombard he continued “Please I beg you... don't do this... I'm sorry I was wrong to have assaulted you, I was consumed by darkness.” “As am I.” answered Lombard tugging at Islabella's hair. “Please take me... I'm the one who offended you. Leave them alone, and do what you want with me.” pleaded Grato. “But I am... I don't just want to kill you. You took my money and my dignity; the two things I hold most dear! And now I will take yours.” said Lombard smiling. “No wait!” cried Grato “I beg you, have mercy!” “Mercy? You of all people know there is no mercy for the damned and condemned... I am damned already... and with my last breaths I condemn you!” then like it was nothing at all, Lombard tossed Augustus into the wild sea. “No!” wailed Islabella. Without a thought to his own well being, Grato dove overboard into the depths. Splash!


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Once in the water, Grato looked everywhere for any sign of his son. But the sea was as black as the sky above. Diving down he felt around round him for anything... A hand. A leg. A toe. The tickle of a tress of hair. But he found none of these. Only empty water without constellations to tell him which way to go. Coming back up for breath, the cries of his wife echoed across the open night... H e d o v e b a c k d


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e p r e s s u r e w o u l d a l l o w. He felt everywhere. Nothing. His ears began to bleed from the depth. He felt.


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Nothing. His head grew light. Nothing. He gasped for air. Still nothing. At last he came back up, but he refused to believe his son was gone. H e d o v e b a c k d o w n. Nothing.


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Meanwhile back on deck, Bulltosk and Fiant had rushed Lombard upon his throwing of Augustus overboard, but he had quickly pulled the assassins knife and now pressed it against Islabella's throat “Back away or I'll slit her throat right here before you!” Backing away, Fiant cast his long shadow across the deck “Kill her or not you're already dead.” Lombard pressed the blade further into her skin. Wincing in pain, a small trickle of blood fell down Islabella's beautiful neck. “It takes the worst kind of coward to kill a child and then hide behind a woman. I charge you, face me and die like a man!” shouted Bulltosk as he pointed the tip of his sword at Lombard. Falsely considering the subject for a moment, Lombard at last grinned his green toothed grin and replied “You're right.” Opening his cloak, Lombard revealed twenty sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest. Grabbing the lantern next to him with his free hand, he lowered its flame to the tip of the wick


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“Take your best shot old cow!” Pushing Islabella to the ground, Lombard lit the wick and let out an evil laugh. Fiant scooped up Islabella and attempted to fly to safety. Bulltosk lunged forward pull out the wick but it was too late, with his last second of life, the great minotaur shoved his sword through Lombard's face, with the point of the blade going straight through where the tip of his nose would have been. Lombard's bloody fangs flashed and splattered blood across the gleaming blade. The bomb detonated and the ship exploded. As the burning embers rose into the sky, they out shined the speckled stars, and overtook Islabella and Fiant. Shards of burning wood pierced their flesh as they fell crashing into the starless sea. Grato heard the explosion overhead, as the red glow surrounded him. Swimming back to the surface empty handed, he cried out the dirge-iest of all dirges in one word “Islabella!” Looking up he saw her body falling from the sky like meteorite. Swimming to the spot


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where she splashed down, he arrived just in time to catch a hold of the hem of her dress. In those final moments before all the burning splinters and bloody figures sank into oblivion, Grato took Islabella into his arms and held her. Her seducing pendulum hips were frail, and broken to pieces. She shivered as her perfect lips grew cold. “I'm so sorry, it's all my fault. I have failed you for the last time.� She struggled to speak, but no words were necessary for what she wanted him to know. Her smile said it all. Sinking, dying, burning, mourning the loss of her only child, she was happy to be in his arms. To have his face be the last one she would look into. In that moment; just before the pain became too much to bare. Before everything went dark. Before the tears stopped for good. Before death. Before the known unknown became known... Before all of this, it was once again just like it was the night they met; where it was only in the strength of each other’s eyes that they found the courage to take their next breath.


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They said a good many things to each other within their soul, but I love you was not one of them, for that is the very fabric of what this story is about, and thus it was too evident to be mentioned. Intertwining their hands like the trunks of the cherry willow, they thanked The Prince for giving them their union. Tears of thankfulness flowed freely, but neither one said “Let’s have none of that.” No this time they cried in each other’s arms until their tears and not the ocean overcame them and pulled them asunder. As they sank, a red cloud of blood swarmed around them. In it they saw their life together and how it was directed and guided all along by The Prince. They saw how they were reunited by unfailing grace, and how even in their darkest moments that he never left their side. That even now, as they sank, he was there in the red water with them. The bottom of the sea is their grave. But they are not there. They are in The Light of The Prince with Diamond and Fiant and Bulltosk and every


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other brother and sister who has been forgiven by divine mercy. It is there and not here that the greatness of all of their love has at last been realized for the first time. For how can immortal love ever fully shine within the confines of a mortal world? As for baby Augustus, his time had not yet come. Thanks to the obedience of a father he would never know, he was spared. He was spared because the cherry willow was reunited. And because the cherry willow was reunited it was very fruitful. Because it was very fruitful, there was more fruit on its branches than its limbs could bare. Because its limbs could not bear the weight of its fruit, the fruit fell to the ground. Because it fell to the ground it was picked up and carried out to sea by a bird. And because the fruit was so plump, it was too heavy for the bird to carry all the way home to the island it lived on. Because it was too heavy for the bird, it was dropped into the sea, where it sank in an area that was very much like an underwater


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desert. But it just so happened that in this very same aquatic desert there was a very young mermaid named Evangelina who was lost and far from home. She had collapsed and was near the brink of starvation. She was ready to give up and die... But then... She looked up, and floating down came the juiciest cherry you have ever seen. Evangelina ate the fruit and it gave her just enough strength to survive and wander for one more day. The following day, just as things looked desperate again, another cherry slipped from a birds grasp and fell into Evangelina's waiting arms. This went on for weeks like manna from Heaven, until one day Evangelina reached the edge of the desert, and was at last home. As baby Augustus sank into the deep, he fell onto her doorstep. Upon seeing the drowning child, she rushed to help him. Swooping him into the safety of her magic


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embrace, she breathed air into his lungs and carried him to safety.1 Thus The Prince’s prophecy was fulfilled. Because Grato disobeyed he and his wife perished. But because he obeyed his son lived. The Prince still had a good many plans for Augustus's life. He ordered Evangelina to toss the child ashore near a small cottage where a young maiden lived with her old father who was a woodsman. Evangelina bundled Augustus and laid him in a seashell basket and set him ashore as she had been told. The next morning, Augustus cried for breakfast. At the sound of the newborns wailing, the young maiden came out of the cottage and saw the baby on the beach. The moment she set eyes on him she knew he was a gift from the sea. Taking him into her father's house she raised him as her own. Augustus had a good and happy childhood 1 If you did not know, mermaid's being half fish half human, have

the ability to not only breath both above water and below, but to also use their gills to transfer the oxygen of the water into their lungs, which they then may breath into the mouth of a human.


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with his new family. He was never in want of love. The sea was a great mystery to him. It loomed over him, like a great enemy, or a close friend, he knew not which. It held secrets. Sleepless night, upon sleepless night he lay awake in bed and pondered “I wonder what lies beyond the sea?� On his eighteenth birthday he said goodbye to his mother and grandfather, and to the seaside home he had grown to love, and set off to find his place in this world and beyond...


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Chapter II Epilogue of The Epilogue. “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never; - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.� - Sir Winston Churchill


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When a king is dead, And his queen lays at his side, None should forget what he said, For their light has just died. None should forget his just rule, None should let up their plight, None should go back to being cruel, All should do what is right. For that alone, Is the way to honor the king, Who battled all monsters, To win the queen. Through great injury, And loss of wealth, He slew them all, The greatest being himself.


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news of the shipwreck reached Faerie Land, Josephine fell face down like a dead bird and plucked every feather from her head. Pouring ashes over her head, she put on a sackcloth and ordered every sailor in Faerie Land to scour the region the ship went down in “Bring their bodies home at all costs.” But then one night she had a dream. In the dream she saw her parents walking with The Prince and they looked happy, and she saw her brother in the arms of his adoptive mother, and he looked healthy. “Look how much he's grown!” she thought to herself. She knew at once that she shouldn't look for Augustus anymore, for he was in the hands of The Prince already. When Josephine awoke from her dream she ordered the cessation of the search and declared a day of celebration in honor of her brother who was alive. Josephine died a very old eagle. In all she served as interim ruler and Princess of Faerie Land for 35 years. She married a bald eagle who was wise and they had many children together; almost as many as


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the stars. In this way, the throne of Faerie Land speckles our skies and lights our way for us even today.1 There was peace in the land in the days of Josephine's rule, and The Land of The Dead did not increase its boundaries. There was great mourning at her funeral, even more than there was over her parents. The Land of The Dead seized the moment; not long after she was buried, Faerie Land was thrown into a full fledged war against the darkness... But all was not lost in this fight, for The Prince stands in the breach for those who call on him. It is now just as it was when King David of Israel once said “How was it that you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy The Lrd's anointed? Go near and execute him! Your blood is on your own head...� And so we pray at THE END that these words shall ring true once more... 1 All of her children were named after their grandparents

Islabella and Grato.


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The epilogue  

The climatic end to A Little Good Blood Makes The Grass Grow.

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