This is a repost. I wrote this story about five years ago, so please don't judge me too much as I'd like to think we can all change. Please also try to overlook the Donkey Kong reference in this chapter, because it's a bit absurd and doesn't really fit in with the rest of the story.
There was once a prophecy. Like most prophecies, it spoke of the destruction and enslavement of the known world, as well as whole lot of other bad things: plagues of locust, flaming meteorites, people with lisps, the whole shebang. Unfortunately for everyone, this prophecy was about to be come true…well, it wasn't unfortunate for all the evil people because they would probably have the time of their lives.
It was, however, incredibly unfortunate for a cooper named Gary.
Gary lived and breathed barrels. And air. There was just something about barrels that made him feel less suicidal than usual. Gary was also antisocial and despised much, if not all of mankind. Although he was still young, he knew he would never find true love, unless a barrel was to somehow sprout arms and legs and a female reproductive system.
Every single day of his peasant existence, Gary would get up, make a few barrels, berate the postman, and then retire for the evening. This routine satisfied his lowly human requirements and prevented him from finding a rope and a nearby rafter to swing from. One day, however, Gary was awoken by the terrified screams of children. At first he was elated, thinking that some children were in mortal danger, but after stepping outside to see what was going on he was not so happy.
"Oh God, not again!" he moaned as he discovered the source of all the noise. A large gorilla with a red neck tie was busying itself by picking up Gary's well-constructed barrels and throwing them at innocent bystanders. The gorilla caught sight of Gary and swiftly abandoned its barrel-throwing, jumping into a nearby go-kart and speeding off into the distance.
"Yeah, you better run, you freakin' simian!" yelled Gary, shaking his fist as he watched the gorilla turn sharply to avoid hitting a crab. "Goddamnit! Why does it always go for my barrels!?"
Gary kicked a rock in anger which shot through the air, hitting a pigeon. Turning to walk back inside, he was suddenly face to face with a group of a dozen men in royal blue robes who had appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
"Who are you lot?" asked Gary.
"We are priests of Maroleta," replied one of the men, an elderly chap with a funky moustache. "Our beloved goddess from whom all living things are born and to whom all living things shall return when-"
"Oh, religious sorts," interrupted Gary with a roll of his eyes. "Look, just give me a pamphlet and bugger off."
"We're not here to convert you," said the old man pleasantly. "My name is Alan. We have followed the sun according to the prophecy and it has led us to your house."
"That's phenomenal. Hopefully the sun can lead you away from my house now," said Gary as he turned around and walked back inside, slamming the door shut behind him. A few seconds later, the door was knocked upon. Opening it, Gary found himself yet again facing the dozen robed men.
"Why am I not surprised?"
"Sir, you must come with us," said the moustached old man named Alan. "It is of the utmost importance."
"Wow, you've convinced me to do everything you just asked of me," said Gary as he slammed the door. A few seconds later there was another knock. Opening the door again, Gary found that the robed men were still on his front lawn.
"You know, most people would have gotten the idea that I don't give a damn by now."
"Please, sir, you must hear us out," said Alan, happy even after having a door shut twice in his face. "You are the Chosen One the prophecy has spoken of!"
Gary leant against his door frame "Is that a fact? Right, well, do I get a prize? Like some cheese? Or a commemorative pen, commemorating my Choosing?"
"If you consider saving the entire world from ultimate destruction to be a prize, then yes, you do."
"Hmm…sounds like I would get a lot of out that," said Gary as he slammed the front door once more. A few seconds later there was yet another knock. Gary almost didn't answer, but knew the knocking would likely continue regardless.
"Whoa, three times in a row. I'm starting to see a pattern emerging here."
Without warning, the group of robed men grabbed Gary and pulled him out of his house.
"Sorry, Chosen One, but you must listen to what we have to say," said Alan warmly.
"God…fine," sighed Gary as he shrugged away from those who had pulled him. "But only if you let me touch your moustache."
"Agreed," said Alan, leaning forward so that Gary could reach out a stroke his funky mo After a few awkward seconds, Gary stopped stroking. "Did you find that entertaining, Chosen One?"
"A bit," answered Gary, "though it's not hard to entertain me. All you need, really, is a heavy object and a kitten."
"Excellent. Now, I shall tell you of your importance."
"This should be good."
"There's an ancient prophecy that speaks of the conquering and destruction of the whole world. It also speaks of the person who can save us all from this most imminent doom."
"And let me guess: that's me, isn't it?"
"Indeed it is." Alan's funky moustache bounced about as he nodded.
"Why does it have to be me?"
"Because you have been Chosen. The sun has led us to you, just as it was foretold in the prophecy."
"Wait, how the hell did the sun lead you to me?" asked Gary as he looked up at the big flaming ball in the sky.
"'On the fifth day, the rising sun shall elevate above and make clear the Chosen One'," said Alan, as though he were reciting something from memory. "The prophecy has spoken. It is the fifth day and the sun is above your house. You are the Chosen One."
Gary cocked his head to the side. "You're kidding, aren't you? I mean, look at the sun! It's freakin' huge! How the hell can it be solely above my house? It could be above anybody's house in a five block radius!"
"It is definitely above yours," said Alan as he, too, looked up at the sun, shielding his eyes. "Now, you must come with us."
"No, I don't think I'll be doing that," said Gary. "While being the Chosen One sounds fun in comparison to – oh, I don't know - contracting cancer, I'm afraid I just don't have the time or the people skills to pull off such a fantastic task."
Alan remained unmoving. "The prophecy states that the Chosen One will deny his importance. Truly, you are the Chosen One."
"What!? Wait, now I come to think of it, you must be getting me confused with the guy who lives next door. He's quiet and hardworking and dreams of bigger things, and he has an amulet around his neck with some ancient insignia on it. Did I mention he's an orphan? Come on, doesn't he sound like a better Chosen One?"
"The prophecy states that the Chosen One will deny his importance twice," replied Alan patiently.
"Oh my God…" moaned Gary as he rubbed his forehead. "Look, the sun is, like, twenty times larger than our freakin' planet. It could easily be above my neighbour's house. In fact, why don't you just wait several minutes? By that point the sun will be hovering over someone else's house and you can go annoy them."
"It is time, Chosen One. We must take you to the castle," said Alan as the group of robed men took hold of Gary and began to forcefully lead him away.
"This is very much a form of harassment," spat Gary as he was pushed by the crazy religious men through the streets of his hometown and to the castle which stood at its very centre. The castle did not have legs.
"The King is expecting you," said Alan as the grand doors of the castle swung open and Gary was led/forced inside.
I have to say thanks to both The Tree of Life and Shadow and The Candle Thief (Lover of Ramen) for reminding me about this. Hope you enjoy it.