And I Was Tired

Once upon a time, there was a monster who devoured every story which began with “Once upon a time”.

Starting with the reader.

Starting with the ears.


But elsewhere in the Kingdom, while the Narrator was off having a good time, the King and the Other King were having an argument.

“I say the World will end in fire!” said one.

“No, in ice!” said the other.

The Court Wizard settled the dispute by frying them both with lightning.


The Narrator said to the Wizard, “If we have no reader, do we even exist?”

The Wizard could have smitten him with lightning, or smooched him, but instead said, “Let’s go see the court philosopher!”


The Reader still didn’t exist.

Or, specifically, the reader HAD existed and was now smoky remains.

(That’s you. Sorry.)


“So,” said the Wizard. “You’re wondering if we exist if we have no reader.”


“No,” said the Wizard.




“It’s a little-known fact, but Unicorns are something like 20% paint, and their horns are stolen exclusively from endangered species.”
― Jeff Mach, There and Never, Ever Back Again

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Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. He's currently working on the Great Catskills Halloween Vendor Market & Spectacle. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN", or "I HATE Your Prophecy"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.