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Part One – The Greatest Love of All

The Melancholy Sigh was a tired old worrier, never more than an hour away from a crisis. He lived in a cupboard on a diet of rich tea biscuits and vimto, this never cheered him up though because that’s the kind of fellow he was. After all Melancholy by name, and so on. His cupboard was almost always bare even when it was full and he could never bring himself to have a full on breakdown, he preferred to quietly stew and regret that he ever did anything, although he loved the morning dew. A handsome individual Sigh did make and if he ever contemplated a smile the sun would shine and the birds sing but a smile on a Sigh was a rare thing, make no mistake. But he was gentle and meant no harm, just sat reflectively counting the stars, considering that they were all happier than him but had also died millions of years ago, which cheered and saddened him in equal degrees. His cupboard was cozy and in it he barely fit giving him a sense of discomfort that comforted his woes. So as he wished for rain and grey kinds of flavours he sat and whiled away his days in gloomy peace.

Meanwhile on a hill The Bitterness Of Time stomped around feeling like a lemon full of sorrow. The sun never shone on that hill I can tell you. In his youth Bitterness was no more than a scrap of an emotion but he tended to become overbearing given too much shade. Now in the twilight of his years he was as old as Time but not quite so forward, he was experienced, in all things found worry, and through every event he encountered he embraced the negative and eventually Bitterness was hardened, rugged and resolute. Not a bad fellow just knowing, he’d seen too many village fetes to be over thoughtful. He ate scones all day, especially whilst loitering in the cloisters, as he was so apt to do. Why he was so bitter it was hard to describe. But of all the arguments about custard and why he blamed his Dad, possibly all he really wanted was a cuddle and a rum and raisin with a flake.

One day as the sun draped lazily on the horizon The Bitterness Of Time got restless and rode a leaf all the way to the Canyon Of Strife. Unbeknownst to Bitterness, Love happened to be playing in the canyon. Love was a wonderful thing, full of fun and more than a bit wispy.

“Why are you sad” said Love, who was known to be friends with Sympathy and on first name terms with Concern.

The Bitterness Of Time just grumped in that way he had, his face all sour and grey. Love just chuckled, the sound like a chorus of rainbows, singing in tune, like they always do.

“Silly old Bitterness, I know someone you should meet” Love with her mischievous glint had a plan to surprise. So with some cajoling and no little fuss, Love persuaded Bitterness to come for a ride. They traveled on a jet stream that had fluffed up the sky and went to a place far far away.

In a little cupboard on the side of a cave, The Melancholy Sigh was just settling down with regret to an elevenses of vimto and jam. Love knocked on the door of cupboard number 22 and with a sigh so deep, it could have depressed a whale, Melancholy opened his hatch.

“Oh hello Love, it’s only you” An exclamation remarkable when encountering Love, but that was just his way, as all his friends knew. Love smiled and sang a refrain.

“Melancholy meet my friend and hopefully yours, The Bitterness Of Time”.

Well their eyes met and they both knew, all their lives had been building to this. Like fizzy pop and lemonade their hearts just grew, it was love at first sight, thanks to Love. Bitterness and Melancholy just embraced and they shared a cup of vimto as a sign of it all. A sign of such love, that the great Fountain of Longevity would surely approve.

Love had brought them together and even she agreed, theirs was the greatest love of all. Happily dis-harmonised off they set for the sun. They lived together for the rest of their days, until Melancholy met Bitterness’s friend, The Wicked Divorce.

©John de Gruyther 2014

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