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Fantasticoe 1996

The Story of Love

Erin Fitzpatrick

     "Something isn't right," Elmer Rich was thinking to himself as he soaked away in his fifty foot bath tub. He immediately stepped out of his giant tub and wandered aimlessly throughout his palatial Victorian mansion that stood on the side of his mountain overlooking the city where all the banks were named after his father. It was until that very moment that Elmer Rich thought that he was the luckiest man alive. You see, Elmer Rich had everything any man could ever dream of, or so he thought. Elmer was born into the richest family throughout all ends of the earth, but it was soon after his birth that his parents were killed in an automobile accident and all of the family riches were left to Elmer because he was the only Rich family member left.

     Elmer was then left alone with no family, friends, teachers, or love. He lived in his Victorian mansion with his thirty servants. He never left his mansion, for he never had the need to. He had servants to shop, pay bills, cook, and even clean for him. He even had his own doctors, nurses, and dentists. Elmer grew up pampered, babied, and sheltered from the world that surrounded him. Anything he ever wanted, he would already have or could have. He had more money than the number of stars in the sky. He lived as luxurious as if he were a king. He spent each morning in his olympic-sized swimming pool of a bath tub, and he indulged every hour in the grand meal of his choice. He would spend each and every day as he pleased without any responsibilities or cares. His thirty servants were at his beck and call each hour of every day, but Elmer now nearing the age of twenty was suddenly beginning to feel strange.

     Elmer Rich continued to wander throughout his mansion in a state of utter confusion. "Why could I possibly be feeling this way," he continued to ask himself as he scratched his forehead. He then looked into a mirror and continued to ask himself, "Is it my looks? Am I too fat, too ugly?" He looked into his big brown puppy dog eyes and then at his brown curly hair. He liked his cute little button nose and his skin was as soft as a new born baby's, but when he looked down at his feet, he could not see them. He was not extremely ugly, but he was extremely fat. He weighed approximately 350 pounds and Elmer realized, "I am fat, that is my problem. That is why I am no longer feeling happy! Now I know."

     Elmer wanted to be skinny and he knew he would get it because he wanted it. So Elmer told his servants, "Make me skinny, and then I will be happy again and I will again have everything!" The thirty servants of Elmer tried for days and days to make Elmer skinny, but it was no use. The thought of Elmer doing any type of exercise was unrealistic to begin with, and they could not get Elmer to do it no matter how hard they tried. They fed him with only low-fat meals and only three meals a day, but that was no use either because they would find Elmer sneaking into the kitchen at all hours of the day and night eating more food than ever before. Elmer grew frustrated that he could not be skinny, but found himself even more unhappy dieting and trying so hard to be skinny. So Elmer wandered aimlessly through his mansion again trying to figure out what he could be missing.

     Elmer wandered out on to the balcony of his Victorian mansion and gazed at his mountain and the city below him. He then asked God, "Oh Lord, make me happy again. Please help me to find what I am missing and why I no longer feel as though I have everything. Please!" It was just as those words came out of Elmer's mouth that he gazed even harder at the city below him. Something was telling him that his answer was in the city below, but he didn't know what that answer was. So Elmer went to his thirty servants and said to them, "Go to the city below and find for me what will make me happy so I will again have everything. Find for me what I am missing!"

      The servants set out the next day at sunrise, and did not return to Elmer's mansion until late that evening. When they returned, Elmer moved his plump body faster than he ever had before and met his servants in the grand foyer of his mansion. He asked his thirty servants, "Well, what is it? What will make me happy again? How can I have everything again?" But the servants lost all control and began to laugh so hard that they were rolling all over the floor of Elmer's Victorian mansion. They laughed so hard that they couldn't even speak. They were even laughing so hard that they wrapped their arms around their stomachs as if in great pain, and this continued throughout the entire night. Elmer grew very frustrated with his thirty servants and could not sleep a wink that night. He wanted to know why his servants were so happy. He wanted to be that happy and to laugh like they were. Elmer could not ever remember a time when he laughed as they had laughed. He was jealous! He noticed that his servants had something that he did not and he wanted it very badly!

     So the next day at sunrise, Elmer set out with his thirty servants to the city below to see for himself what would make him so happy and how he could have everything. He saw the entire city laughing and smiling and having fun. No one was very rich in this city. They didn't live in Victorian mansions, but rather simple little homes. He saw people working, and he saw people eating one loaf of bread for an entire meal. Yet they were smiling and laughing, embracing and caring for one another. They were so happy! He saw that they were drinking bottles of rum left and right, and he realized his servants were drunk when they had returned to his Victorian mansion. "That is it," Elmer realized, "I need to get drunk! I need lots of rum and then I will be happy!" So Elmer got drunk with the rest of his servants. He was so happy! He laughed and he smiled and he drank until late in the evening. When he returned to his Victorian mansion that night, he laughed just as hard as his servants had the night before. Elmer was so happy, but when he woke up the next day he could not remember all that had happened to him in the city below. In fact, he woke up feeling worse than he ever had before.

     Elmer was very angry and upset at this point. He couldn't understand what was making him so unhappy. He wandered around his Victorian mansion and out to the balcony again and asked, "Please Lord, help me to find what it is that I am missing. Help me to be once again happy and to once again have everything! Please!" It was just as those words came out of Elmer's mouth that something again told him that he would find it in the city below him. Elmer was sure it was not being drunk that would make him happy, so what else could be down there? They had no riches in the city below, so what could it be? But Elmer knew he had to return to the city below the next day to search once more for what it was that would make him happy and how he could once again feel as though he had everything.

     So Elmer set out the next day at sunrise, but this time by himself. He left his thirty servants behind so that he could find for himself what it was that he was looking for in the city below. Elmer searched all day long, but he did not see anything that he thought would make him happy. The sun was beginning to set and the night was growing dark. Elmer was beginning to think that he would never be happy again and that he would never feel as though he had everything. Elmer's hope was fading fast and he headed up his mountain, back to his Victorian mansion. Elmer was very disappointed, for it was the first time that he had not succeeded in getting what he wanted. He no longer felt that he was the luckiest nor the richest man alive. He knew that there was something missing in his life and he would not be happy unless he had it. Elmer's thoughts were spinning round and round in his head as he edged up the mountain.

     He was about halfway home when he heard a horrifying scream. Elmer stopped and looked all around the mountain, but saw no one. He figured he was just tired and imagining it, so he continued up the mountain. But just then he heard that same scream, then a few seconds later he heard it again, and it sounded like it was close by. He then heard the words, "Help me! Help me! Can anyone hear me?" Elmer knew now that his mind was not playing tricks on him so he tried to find where the voice was coming from. Finally, he saw a cave that he had never noticed before in his own mountain and he went inside of it. As he made his way further into the cave, the voice was getting closer and closer and then he saw a light. He went to the light and there he saw the most beautiful woman there ever was in all of God's creation. Elmer was stunned by her beauty. Her long golden locks flowed past her shoulders and down to her waist. Her skin looked fair and soft, and her eyes were as blue as the sea. Her slim figure that was hanging by chains had the shape of an hourglass. Elmer could barely speak nor move, but he had to do something to save this beautiful woman who made him feel so awkward. Her arms and legs were chained to the side of the cave. She looked as if she were in extreme discomfort as she spoke to Elmer, "Please save me! He will be back to make me his bride any moment now. The key is on the table over there. Please hurry!"

     Elmer found a key and quickly unchained the beautiful woman as he asked her, "Who will be back to make you his bride?"

     "The caveman will be back to make me his bride. He is the most awful man I have ever known. He captured me from my beautiful land of Canter hundreds of miles away from here. I am Princess Love of Canter and he is the caveman of this mountain. This is his home and he wants me to be his bride. He lives alone, there is no one else here. But he will be back soon for our wedding and he will kill you if he sees you with me. We have to get out of here and fast," she explained to him with the most pure and sweet sounding voice he had ever heard speak.

     So Elmer carried the beautiful Princess Love out of the cave, but just as he could see the opening of the cave, there entered the most horrid looking creature Elmer had ever seen. He had the characteristics of both man and monkey. He did not speak, he only grunted. But his grunt was enough for Elmer to drop Princess Love right on her butt. The caveman was indeed the most awful man ever, just as Princess Love had told him. His body was covered with thick, black curly hair. He carried a club in his right hand, but he was short and tiny. Elmer knew he could kill this awful caveman with one sit and he would suffocate and die, but Elmer was so slow that it would be hard to capture the caveman.

     But sure enough the caveman was an easy defeat. Growling and spitting up foam, the caveman charged Elmer, waving his large club in the air. With great force, the caveman threw all of his momentum into one swing at the 350 pound Elmer. Elmer simply smiled and thrust his belly forward to absorb all of the attack. The club sank into his spongy flesh, and then like a boomerang, ricocheted right back at the caveman. The club came screaming back at the caveman's face, knocking him out with a loud smack causing him to land flat on his back. The caveman lay there helpless on the stone floor, and Elmer moved to finish him off. Hollering out a battle cry, Elmer belly-flopped onto the caveman's body, completely covering the hairy beast. Elmer turned over on his back as the caveman slowly suffocated, pulling out from his pocket a Hershey bar, relishing the moment. "Never mess with fat Elmer Rich," he spoke through his chocolate-smeared lips.

     Elmer was amazed by what he had done and almost forgot about the beautiful Princess Love. But he soon remembered when he heard her speak, "You saved me from the awful caveman. Thank you so! You are my hero fat Elmer Rich!"

     It was just as Elmer heard those words come out of Princess Love's mouth that he realized what he had been missing all this time. It wasn't necessarily money that he needed. It wasn't being skinny nor was it being drunk off of rum. It wasn't a material item that would make him happy or make him feel as though he had everything. Those things didn't make him the luckiest man alive. In fact, Elmer even realized that he never was the luckiest man alive. Everything seemed so clear to Elmer Rich at that moment. It was the need for another that he had been trying to find for so long. It was Princess Love that would make him happy once again and make him feel as though he had everything. He now realized why all the people in the city below were so happy. They had each other.

     Elmer Rich picked up the Princess Love and carried her in his arms to his Victorian mansion beside his mountain. He proclaimed to her, "I th-th-th-think I love you Princess Love. You are the key to my happiness. If I have your love, I have everything!"

     Princess Love agreed to marry Elmer Rich because he had saved her life, but it was not until later that she fell in love with him too. As for Elmer Rich, he lived happily ever after with Princess Love from that night on. Elmer remained the richest man alive, but it didn't seem to matter near as much to him anymore. It was the love that Princess Love gave to him that made him the happiest and luckiest man alive. Her love made him feel as though he had everything.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: I would like to thank Brenda Muench and Julin Ooi for their help with spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. I would like to thank Dana Voss for her help in describing the thoughts going through Elmer's head after his day in town. I would like to thank Julin Ooi again for her help with the idea of the woman trapped in a cave. I would like to thank Brian Collier for his help in describing Elmer's defeat of the caveman. I would like to thank Terry Heller for his help in describing Elmer's palatial Victorian mansion. Finally, I would like to thank each individual in this J-term writing class for all of the wonderful suggestions and ideas that they provided to me throughout the course.

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Fantasticoe 1996