“..The warmest place by the fire was reserved for the Storyteller.” You might recognize this from the opening of the Jim Henson series (beautiful!). See what you can do with it.
They called her a foul shade. And, having finally seen what she had for a face, now, Katie could believe it. They thought she was a demon. They had her in shackles that even the best of her knowledge couldn’t crack. Not even her secret gift could do anything to it.
She could see that the wizard held the secret to undoing the silver hoops about her wrists. If he told her to be silent, then she would remain so until such time that he freed her to speak.
She only had one person on her side. The wiry, scrawny boy of a Squire, who could barely lift each piece of the Paladin’s armor on his own. They called him Carbuncle, and he was so incessantly chatty and full of wonder that the Wizard had absently instructed Katie to ‘keep him occupied’.
So she told stories.
Fairy tales, the thousand and one nights, retellings of movies, books, and comics that she knew and loved. Legends and lore from her travels. Even stories from television.
Carbuncle was enraptured.
Currently, she was up to Star Trek.
“And then what happened?”
“Tha’s it. That’s the end o’ that story. The bad guy got exac’ly what he deserved. The end.”
“Yes, but… what happened to Harcourt Fenton Mudd?”
“I must nae be doin’ me job if’n ye carin’ aboot him…”
Carbuncle looked down and away. “Before I was a squire… I was in the service of a man like Mudd. I had no other family an’ he was better to me than most would’a been. He never hit me.”
Katie winced. Damned with the faintest of praise, indeed. “Aye?”
“I keep wondering. Since Sir Podrik bought me off him… if he ever gets a happy ending.”
“Ah, there’s no shame in wantin’ what’s best fer those ye love,” she soothed. “Th’ trouble wi’ Mudd is, his current happy endin’ means sorrow fer those around him. The best happy endings are the ones tha’ help loads o’ people be happy, ye ken. Not just one or two.”
“Oh,” cooed Carbuncle. “So how could Mudd do that?”
“Through redemption o’ course. That’d have tae happen by carin’ fer someone other than hisself. Maybe he wriggles his way intae what he thinks he wants, yeah? An’ after a while it starts feelin’ empty. Ye can have all the things you wanted, but if there’s no-one tae be happy with… it’s all hollow.”
“The beast speaks nonsense,” said Sir Podrik. “Of course the goal in life is to gain wealth. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
“Ah, let me tell ye ‘bout King Midas…”