once upon a time, a king sent a huntsman into a forest to kill a monster. but the huntsman never returned. so the king sent another and another, but none ever returned from the forest. finally, wandering explorer and his dog came and declared that they would discover the fates of the disappeared huntsmen. so they entered the forest.
inside, they came upon a lake. a monstrous hand came out of the lake and grabbed the wanderer's dog, but the wanderer himself escape. he returned the next day with men to empty the lake. once it was drained, they found a monstrous looking man with iron skin chained to the bottom. they captured him and locked him in a cage and declared that it should never be unlocked.
of course, years later, there was a boy prince who was playing with his ball and accidentally rolled it into the cage of the iron monster. and the iron monster told the boy prince that if he unlocked the cage, he would return his ball. so the boy took the key from his mother's room and unlocked the cage, where the iron monster, called iron jon, gave him back his ball and then led him into the forest and showed him his well which could turn things into gold. iron jon set the boy prince to guard the well, but the prince accidentally dipped his hair in it and it turned to gold. disappointed with him, iron jon banished the boy, but told him he could call on him by just saying 'iron jon' three times.
years later, the boy prince went to war and called iron jon's name and was gifted with many iron soldiers who fought beside him. eventually, the prince with the golden hair was able to marry a princess and iron jon was revealed to have been under enchantment to look like a monster and everyone lived happily ever after.
happily ever after. three words that have been used so much and meant so little. happily ever after just means you have ended the story before other bad things happen. because bad things keep happening.
let's revise that story, shall we? the boy prince sets the iron monster free and to reward him, iron jon tosses him into the well and drags him underwater and keeps him forever. or the boy prince is smarter than the iron monster and tricks him into falling into the well and turning into gold forever. or the wanderer doesn't capture the iron monster, he kills him.
but none of these endings are true. not even the real ending is true. the true ending is that of the storyteller closing the book and turning out the light because her children have fallen asleep.why am i just remembering her now?