Friday, February 28, 2014

Peace (Part 5)

“Welcome, welcome, welcome! And what can I do for you, good traveler?” a short, stout faun in a white coat said cheerfully as he rubbed his hands together.

Judson told the doctor about the empty-achy feeling in his heart, describing the pain it caused and the hollow sound inside that seemed to get louder and louder.

“Indeed! Well, well!” Dr. Toupin said after pondering for a moment. “I know just the solution!”

“You do?” Judson was surprised and relieved, but a little skeptical of this strange doctor.

“Of course! It is a very effective remedy, though often under-appreciated by the common man with no imagination.” He pulled out a sack from his large white coat and held it out to Judson. “Just eat this bag of marshmallows in one sitting and all your worries will go away. In fact, I think I’ll join you.” He pulled out his own bag of marshmallows, popped one in his mouth, and motioned for Judson to sit and partake with him. As they snacked together, Dr. Toupin encouraged Judson to tell him more about his troubles. Slowly, Judson explained all of the symptoms: the topsy-turvy, itchy-scratchy, clogged and stuffy, empty-achy Burden of Great Heaviness.

Dr. Toupin stopped eating his marshmallows, rolled up his sack, and took his prescription away from Judson. “I’m sorry, my friend,” he said seriously. “These marshmallows are not the antidote for your problem. You need something far greater. Do you see that Great Castle, way in the distance?” He pointed to the horizon where Judson noticed a faint silhouette of a castle. “That is where you will find the true remedy. The Great King lives there, and He alone can heal all of your topsy-turvy, itchy-scratchy, clogged and stuffy, empty-achy Burden of Great Heaviness. Farewell, my friend!”

The doctor ate another marshmallow and scampered off without another word. Bewildered by the strange behavior of the kooky Dr. Toupin, and disappointed to be without both the bag of marshmallows and his cure, Judson looked with misery at the distant castle. “One more chance,” he said to himself. “Since everyone thinks this is the remedy, I suppose I’ll try this one last thing.”

But as he went along, his stomach lurched and turned again, and the topsy-turviness made him stumble; and he was out of water from the fairies’ Spring. His shoulders, back, and arms got red and irritated again, and no matter how much ointment he applied, the itchy-scratchiness became unbearable. His head fogged up and he couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t see clearly enough even to find his giant pills, and the clogged and stuffiness stole his oxygen. The empty-achiness made him so tired and so overcome that he fell to the ground at the bottom of the hill that lead up to the Great Castle. He couldn’t take another step.

“I cannot save myself! I cannot cure my pain! I cannot release this Great Heaviness!” Judson’s breaths became heavy, his shoulders fell, and he hung his head from the weight of his burden. “I’ve heard of this Great King, but can I reach him before it is too late? And what can he really do for me, after all the remedies I have tried?”

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