(Tyler Parker is ChicagoTough's newest writer. He will be contributing articles on a bi-weekly basis. He mainly writes creative articles with NBA subjects...oh, and we love him. Here's a piece he did on the mythical and fantastic world of Kevinlove.)
The fading sun painted the sky purple and The Great Bearded One, Kevinlove, stood atop a redwood, above the tree line, surveying his earth.
The wind blew and he was a statue atop the tree. He donned a sleeveless red flannel shirt, cut off jean shorts, and brown boots. Staring at the horizon, he chewed on a wheat stalk.
Off to the east, away from the setting shine, he heard Wolf.
Where have you gone?
The Great Bearded One turned his head toward the bellow.
He let out a sigh.
“Not while I’m home, boy. This was supposed to be a vacation.”
You are needed. Time does not wait.
“Let me be.”
Impossible. You are the hope. You know that. Come.
The Great Bearded One placed his hands on his hips. He put his down. He pawed at the top of the tree with his foot. Bark flaked and fell with the leaves, raining down on the forest floor.
The Great Bearded One looked up as the sun finally sunk into
the mountain below.
“Very well. Fate cannot be shook.”
With that, The Great Bearded One gathered himself, bent his knees, and leaped. He hopped from treetop to treetop treating them the way a frog treats Lilly pads. It would be a long way back to The Lakes. Night was coming but One leaped and navigated with feel, not eyes. As he trampled on
branches overhead he raised his head toward the Dipper overhead.
"Is this what I am? Some errand boy savior? Am I not entitled to a holiday?"
The Dipper stared back. Kevinlove continued his trek.
Enraged. The only noise his feet shaking the trees.
Angered, Kevinlove continued, shouting.
"Am I not worthy of a response? Have I not always done what you wanted? Does work not earn play? Speak to me! Answer, I say!"
The sky shook and clouds rolled in. The blackness flashed white and was black once more. The world rumbled.
"I owe you nothing! You ought start the day on your knees in thanks for the gifts I have bestowed upon you. How quickly you forget your old self. Chubby handles at your hips, your beard nothing more than a chinstrap.”
“You were but a descendant of coastal children. That is it! Now you are spoken of within the same breathes as The Bird! Your beard full and your body lean. Despite all this you would dare complain when you are called upon? I ask for your loyalty, in exchange I give you all that the land of
Hardwoodian has to offer. And you want a holiday? A vacation? I scoff at you."
Kevinlove stared ahead at the blackness as the Dipper ripped. All the while, he kept moving. With each jump it got colder and soon he'd made his way to an oak that he'd rest in for the night. He reclined on a thick branch where it met the trunk, legs crossed at the ankles in front of him. He scratched his bearded face and started a fire in the tree. He ate a squirrel, graciously provided by the Dipper, and closing his eyes he nodded off.
Sleep set in and he dreamed. He saw things.
His dreams were soft and clouds were pillows and he dreamt of the rings that come with being king of Hardwoodian. He was but a prince. Promising, yes, but still a prince. In the dream he had been walking in the wilderness of The Lakes for days without food or shelter. Finally he came upon a young Spaniard. The Spaniard dressed in the royal red of his native land and his hair was black as night. The Spaniard was a quirky fellow, fun and full of life. They ran and jumped throughout the trees. They were the best of friends. They made plans to leave The Lakes for good. They would live off the land and travel all throughout the kingdom. Then, a snake came along and bit The Spaniard in the knee. One saw The Spaniard fall and tried to save him. He did all he could, but as the Spaniard lay there, poison seeping into his veins, he spoke to One.
"This day does not have to be an exception. It can be a rule. And you, you can rule."
One held the Spaniard's head, brushing his hair out of his brown eyes.
"Spaniard! You will be better. Do not go! Do not go, Spaniard! Please! Please!
And with that, Kevinlove, jolted awake. Confused and sad, he rubbed his eyes and tried to readjust them to the night sky. He was still alone.
Morning would come to meet him soon and he would need his rest for the cold journey tomorrow. Despite being afraid for what dreams may haunt him further, he knew he must sleep. He looked to the heavens before he shut his eyes. He said a prayer.
When he awoke the birds chirped and the sun warmed him. He leaped down to the ground below and found his way to a nearby spring. He dipped his hands into the water, cupping them, and drank until quenched. As he raised up from the spring, he saw a man, towering and tall, mustachioed, dressed in all the colors of nature, his hair in rows like corn about his head, a green head wrap keeping the sun from his eyes.
"Hello," said the stranger.
"Good day," said Kevinlove.
"You've a fine shirt there."
"Aye. It does me good."
"Your face tells me you aren't from these parts. Where is it ye headed?"
"I am from the land of Ozwaygo. I was back there, vacationing for a time, but I am headed to my new home now. It is far. Perhaps you have heard of it? The Lakes."
"Aye. Perhaps I have. A fine land that is. Cold, yes. But fine nevertheless. What is your name?"
"I am The Great Bearded One, Kevinlove, son of Stan, nephew of Mike. And you?"
"I am The Miller, but you may call me Mill. I am in charge of the hunting for a nearby village, Bradness."
"Tis a joy to meet you, Mill."
"You as well, my boy."
"You are down here gathering water for your village?"
"No, son, no. It is time for me to move on from this place. I am tired and do not wish to continue my service here any longer."
"Aye. I see. I fear I am not strong enough to make it to The Lakes alone."
One stopped and looked away. He felt The Miller's eyes on him as he stared at the bank below his boots. He raised his head and looked Mill in the eye.
"Would you join me?"
"Aye. I would."