The Prince’s Poltregeist

I think fairy-tales should be inspiring, and that is why nearly all of them have happy, inspiring endings. They are meant to be ethically challenging and edifying. Not everyone will enjoy these, but I enjoy writing them, because they help me reflect on things in an allegorical way that I can’t quite write without writing in the mode of a story.



       The prince had always fretted about the poltergeist within-a female poltergeist with a soul-tingling, beautifully articulate voice. She pervaded his dreams, and let him think of verdant forests, twittering birds, and a soulful mandolin. He couldn’t remember the dark figure that played upon the mandolin, but he knew he loved this figure-this shadow. Both him and the female poltergeist within loved this dark figure: the dark figure that played a beautiful,heart-rending tune upon that mandolin.

      As the sun shone through the opaque, dust-covered windows, the prince forlornly looked about his dimly, candlelit bedchambers and didn’t see the dark figure, the verdant woods, nor that mysterious mandolin. But, he felt the presence of his female poltergeist that lived in him, ever since the unremembered days of birth, sigh longfully, while he mused about the mystery of why he couldn’t remember anything before birth or existence. His thoughts often lingered on the nature of existence, until the female poltergeist within him shushed him, in the most impertinent manner.

   “Always philosophizing, How are you ever to woo a princess, or fight off a dragon, with those wandering thoughts of yours? You need mettle, you need direction, you need convention, you need focus, really, above all else, or you might as well be a pauper,” his female poltergeist said, humming the the mandolin tune from the night before.

    He didn’t want to be anything that involved such violence, such danger, such mayhem. He once spoke to the king about the follies of war and violence, only to be called “a sissy.” He felt like crying, but the female poltergeist had always chided him with some consoling sass.

    “Crying won’t get you anything, you need to hold to your convictions, and try to prove yourself as a “man.” the female poltergeist said, making the prince then and there feel even worse. That word, man, that seemingly insipid, valueless word did not define “him,” nor did sissy. Why couldn’t he just, well, be??
   
      He knew the female poltergeist was trying her hardest to be reasonable, given all the social regulations that ruled over his life. She was just as exasperated, as the prince, for she felt like she was an intrinsic part of this prince. She was the prince, in a weird sense. This was the prince’s hidden poltergeist, which every human being is born with. They are almost always of the opposite gender, and they are often are bestowed with all the gendered traits that do not adhere to society’s regulations.

         The female poltergeist felt honored that the prince respected what she had to say, most of the time. She knew other men completely repressed their female poltergeist, and often went into blind, murderous rages, when such things happen. All men needed their female poltergeists, and women needed their male poltergeists to give them a certain form of healthy pride. If society never had any gender restrictions, the poltergeists would probably be no more, as people would thus be wholly paradoxical.

    After he had woken up on this fateful, the prince seemed to have a strange burst of energy, as he dashed into the king’s throne-room. He had finally found the temerity to speak his peace, which the female poltergeist had been alluding to.

  “Father,” he spoke with a slight nervous tremor, only to find his resolve from relying on his female poltergeist’s wise advice. “I wish not to be conscripted into the army, and I ask that I do not have to marry any woman, for I feel like devoting my life to becoming a scholar; a philosopher.” He had thought over his whole speech, in the morning, before being disturbed by his existential woe. He felt his female poltergeist cheer him on, as he looked apprehensively at his burly, white-bearded father.
      
    The king’s face lightened with mocking amusement. “My son, or should I say “my daughter” wishes not to forswear warfare in the name of books. You are to be a man, you are a disgrace, much like a bastard son. Or, worse than bastard son. You have been in touch too much with your female poltergeist, and you know that it is a grave sin to listen to “her” too much. You cannot let a woman’s thoughts rule over you son. A woman must submit to a man’s will, including that female part of you that you must learn to somehow suppress.”

   Some unknown, locked-up anger inside the prince came unbidden to him, once he let his female poltergeist temporarily take over his mind. “I will fight you then, in a game of logic, a riddle contest. According to the law,  a prince may challenge his own father in a game of either logic or violence. The violent challenge, of course, results in death, but I am merciful, and do not believe in violence. And, the law honors such ethical thinking, and this is the first time that a logic challenge has been called, for the powers of the mind and the rare ability to be diplomatic are actually the highest order of human gifts. They go beyond custom, and the law honors an ethical, calculating king, who can think deeply beyond masculinity and femininity, for that king recognizes the worth of all humans. They are to be prized, and the law orders that a reasonable man, henceforth, that defeats their father in a game of logic, shall be called king of the land.”

   The king glared at his son with a mutinous expression that belied a recognition of his defeat. But, the king was not about to forfeit his chances to beat his own son in a test of wits. Riddles are stupid.   

       One of the wizened scholars was thus called into the throne room, where he spoke aloud in a monotonous tone, “Is there anything that has no objective reality?”

  The king laughed aloud at the riddle. “It is nothing, of course. Isn’t that the default answer for all of these deceptively simple riddles?”

   “Actually, there are many mysteries in the universe that have no objective reality. Father, you speak from the mind of an arrogance; a mind that thinks if you just believe that something exists with a certain amount of wishful thinking; it might have the semblance of  being something that posses objective reality. When in fact, the word “ nothing,” or the concepts that we have in our religions have no objective reality outside of the mind’s perceptions and neurotic ways of thinking. And even so, nothing has a clear, objective reality, because everything is much more complex than “just existing” and “having the property of reality,” when we really begin to tease more information out of things.”
   
     
  The scholar looked befuddled, as though he was not accustomed to hearing such nebulous thinking. For some reason, the scholar felt stumped, and so did the king. But, the scholar warily spoke up, nonetheless, “Unfortunately, no one is exactly right, but the prince wins for clearly displaying that the idea of objective reality is one that we scholars are constantly scrutinized, and there can’t be nothing that has no objective reality, when we aren’t sure of everything that exists. Obviously, the reasoned person accepts the limitations of the mind, in finding out whether something objectively exists or not, and lives life as courageously and ethically as possible. I declare the prince as the winner. This was meant to be a trick question to determine, who had the most reasoned mind.

   The king raged, but he accepted that the law was the law. While the prince felt triumphant, he did not hear his female poltergeist speak within him no more. She had gone silent, and never spoke again within his mind, even when he was crowned king over the next few weeks, The new king, who was formerly a prince with a divided mind, ruled in an egalitarian fashion, establishing schools for everyone, food for everyone, socially permissible laws, a doctrine of freedom of religion, an overturn of all the binding, conservative values that once made all the townspeople have a divided mind.

   War came to a sudden cessation,once people accepted the depth and paradox of their minds.
 Of course, small skirmishes were always broken out amongst small parties of people, but it never extended to large wars that involved everyone to kill others against their own ethical belief in not killing others. As long as the king was of a sound, prudent mind, who thought ethically at all times, no petty thoughts of starting wars over land and other small trifles ever became a reality.

   Many townspeople started reporting the vanishment of their poltergeists, as they continued educating themselves. But, the prince never did find that dark figure with the mandolin, who continued haunting the prince’s dreams with a beautiful tune that served to remind him of the ineffably beautiful mystery of existence.

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