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The Magical Tale of the One Eyed Woodall

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posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 03:46 AM
There exists a place, if you choose to believe in it, where magic is real. This place is located on every map you will ever look at – though only those who really have eyes to see will recognize it. The directions to find it are overwhelmingly simple yet nearly impossible to grasp:

Simply find the birthplace of Fire Dragons, just west of the Toxic River, and then look east.

There you will find an inauspicious forest called Stewart. A tiny little wood containing a tiny little village that does not stand out a bit from any other such places. At least not to the naked eye. But hidden in plain sight, there, are wonders beyond ones wildest imagination.

I know this because I was there.

It would be easy for me to say that I went there with deliberation, sensing the power of the place, on a quest to uncover all of it's secrets. But that would be a lie and lying about the Stewart is a sin because each lie told robs it of a tiny fragment of it's magic. Enough lies will, one day, be told and the Stewart will cease to be what it is and become what it appears to be; Just another place. No. The truth is that I got lost and accidentally found the forest of Stewart. Being that I was in pretty bad shape from my journey the inhabitants showed me kindness and took me in to heal. That is the truth of it all.

Even then it took me a very long time to actually see and understand the magic. Real magic, you see, is such a subtle thing. It's not like TV magicians who make elephants or planes disappear to rousing applause. Real magic is as subtle as a kittens breath but as powerful as gravity. It pulls you along without you even realizing that you are being pulled.

When I arrived in Stewart I was told that the only open place for me to sleep would be in a very crowded room with two other travelers who had also lost their way. Oh, and there was one more in this room. An ancient being who looked human but claimed to come from the stars. He was called “The One Eyed Woodall” but also answered to “Joe”. I think the whole “Joe” bit was an inside joke that only he understood because he giggled whenever anyone said it. But that is a tale to explore on a different day, after I have had years to reflect upon it all.

It was with a mixture of apprehension and gratitude that I found my way to the crowded little hut in the back corner of the Stewart and claimed the small, open and left area for myself. At that time I was, as stated, a lost traveler and should have been utterly thankful for any place to be and in a mindset to totally ignore even the most drastic of inconveniences. Yet that was not the case.

You see the One Eyed Woodall... He was unbearable. He spoke only in riddles and seemed to have a child's mind. Oh, and the riddles never ceased – not even when he slept. His mouth was always moving and arcane and mysterious – indecipherable phrases were always pouring out. On top of that his body seemed to have it's own tale to tell and it never stopped making noise either. It was if he had a didgeridoo stuck somewhere inside of him and it never stopped making it's odd wailing sounds.

My very first night I realized that I hated the One Eyed Woodall. I also realized that the other two travelers in that hut hated him as well. My nature is to not insult. I tend to be the type who keeps silent and tries to politely nudge things along – right up until the point where I explode in a furious outrage. The two other travelers, however, were not like me. Every minute of every day they viciously attacked the One Eyed Woodall.

If those attacks ever phased him in the least, I cannot say. He never once reacted. He never once showed the least bit of pain or hurt. He simply laughed and kept being himself.

As for me? I spent my time studying the One Eyed Woodall and several of the other strange creatures who inhabited the Stewart forest. Through this intense study, one by one I found the means of making these creatures more tolerable. Some even eventually became close friends. But the Woodall? I could never figure out his control point. Well, at least not until much later on.

A few months into my stay in the Stewart Forest I finally lost my temper and approached the Mayor, demanding that I be allowed to move into another hut – one far away from the Woodall. The Mayor laughed and spoke some prophetic words... ”You just don't know the real Joe yet. Give him a chance. Not a kinder nor more gentle creature will you ever meet in all of your travels.”.

My further protests went ignored and I finally slumped and accepted my fate. I was still not well enough to leave, so I would cope, to the best of my ability, until the day finally came when I could finally head out to find my way back home.

Months passed and, one day, one of the other travelers who shared our hut fell into old habits – habits that broke the rules of the Stewart Forest. Though many tried to help him through his ordeal, his pride and his addictions were so strong that, in the end, he was banished to live on the edge of the woods, far away from shelter and safety.

Shortly after that, the only other remaining traveler ( other than myself ) felt that he was strong enough to return to his own home. Bennie was his name and I was quite fond of him. He and I had developed an odd sort of rapport that I could never find a way to put into words.

While trying to travel home Bennie was robbed and murdered by the outcasts who lived on the edge of the forest. They placed his body in-between two stationary train cars. When the train began to move, all evidence and most of Bennie was destroyed.

One of the saddest days in my life was the day I visited the makeshift memorial someone had created at the spot where Bennie died. It is a loss and a shame that I will never come to accept. He was a beautiful person who would have given the robbers what they wanted without any violence. A total waste.

With Bennie gone – it was just the One Eyed Woodall and me left. For a day or three I honestly thought I might go insane. Maybe I did. Who's to say.

But then, quite suddenly, my senses attuned and I began to see the magic. I saw it all over many of the other residents of the village. But especially upon the One Eyed Woodall. There was a light on him – in him – that was impossible to ignore.

I began listening to the endless riddles and realized that they were not riddles at all. They were truths. Vital truths. It was if angels were speaking from the mouth of a simple creature. It was amazing.

Once my mind was open to it all, I began to become curious and I asked Joe what strange journey had brought him to these woods. He had been there longer than most and did not seem to ever want to leave.

He told me his story.

A very long time ago he had seen a man with a knife trying to hurt a woman. He knew this to be wrong so he, with his bare hands, slew the assailant. He knew this to be the right thing to do. However those in power were less pure and were blinded to what is right and what is wrong – so they banished the One Eyed Woodall from their world and drove him into the woods, where he found the little village of Stewart. Just as they had done for me, they took him in with open arms, and he never forgot their gift. So he stayed. He stayed because it was the right thing to do. He stayed so that he could help those who had helped him. And so that he could help those who came along after.

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 03:46 AM
That is why he smiled when mocked or attacked. These things were simply part of the price he paid to help others and he never took it personally.

Once I understood it all, I realized that I cared about the One Eyed Woodall. I cared about him very much. In fact I began calling him “Joe” just to enjoy the giggle doing so elicited. I even learned his weakness – a particular beverage that he could not find in the woods. Rather than seeking to control him, as I had done with some of the others in Stewart – I began traveling out to get this beverage for Joe whenever I could. I did this out of love and friendship.

My final few months in those woods were some of the best months of my life. The magic of that place took hold and filled me and miraculous things began to happen. My children, long estranged, both sought me out. One even came to the woods to visit with me. The illness that had caused me to wander into the woods to begin with began to heal. While I will always carry it, the help I was given and the magic offered promise to keep the symptoms at a level which allows me to function. The wall I had built around my heart melted in those months and I began to open up as a human being again. I was given back my ability to see things through the eyes of a child. A gift so precious that words cannot do it justice.

Sadly the day came when I was well enough to leave those woods and to return to this world. It was a bittersweet day for me. I was ready to return to my home, but knew that I would never ever again know a magical place such as the one which had been my home for nearly a year.

My first order of business that final day was to recruit those I knew could be trusted to take care of the One Eyed Woodall after I left. Few others understood the magic that Joe possessed so I had to use my will and a few well placed threats to feel like I was leaving Joe in a safe place.

I said my goodbyes to all of the residents of that small village, one by one. Then I came to Joe... to the One Eyed Woodall... and I was speechless. I had no idea what to say or how to say it. But in his true genius and fashion he simply said:

”See ya later John.”

I stood for a moment, fighting back tears and replied;

See ya later Joe.

This is nowhere near my usual subject matter and I have no clue if it is even readable. But writing this is the fulfillment of a promise made to a certain One Eyed creature and friend.

The real Joe is autistic and really does have only one eye. He really does talk all day and all night, every single day of the year. And, yes, once you get past the judgment and begin to listen, he truly is a genius and quite possibly a gift from above. In 48 years of life I never met anyone else like Joe and I doubt I ever will again.

So, Joe my friend... You wanted a story that told your tale? I pray I did you justice.

Your friend and former roommate,


edit on 10/9/14 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 03:55 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

Magical story with beautiful dedications to your dear friends and those you met along your journey.

I've lost a friend to violence, he had also been lost in a forest and had almost found his way back home. He'll never be forgotten, just as I'm sure your friend won't.

edit on 9-10-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: autocorrect

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 04:46 AM
a reply to: Hefficide
" Real magic, you see, is such a subtle thing. It's not like TV magicians who make elephants or planes disappear to rousing applause. Real magic is as subtle as a kittens breath but as powerful as gravity. It pulls you along without you even realizing that you are being pulled."

It is with this sentence right here, that you pulled me into your story, and though you spoke metaphorically, your real life journey came across loud and clear. You have a true gift of writing Heff, and everyone of us here knows it and appreciates you for it, who you are, and who you have become after your time away. I cannot even imagine what you went through, with Bennie, and Joe, but I applaud you for sharing it .
edit on 9-10-2014 by AccessDenied because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 04:54 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

As I was reading through your fairytale, I wondered if it was a metaphor for a real journey that you took, and by the end of the story I realised that it was.
There is a wonderful book called 'On being met as a person', the premise of which is that which we all seek - to be met as a real person, not as a label. That is what happened with you and your One-Eyed Woodall -you met him as a person, and he met you, and there is nothing more powerful on this earth than that experience. You described it as magic, and I agree with you, it is real magic.
I also liked your need to have a real ending with him, your desire to ensure that he would be cared for in your absence, which shows real love and compassion.
He sounds like a wonderful man, and I'm so glad that you allowed me to meet him through you. When we meet someone who genuinely reaches us, it changes us for ever.
I loved your story, and your writing.

S&F (for what it's worth!)

B x

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 10:54 AM
A wonderful and inspiring story Heff! I really enjoyed this!!!!

posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 11:19 PM
a reply to: Hefficide

I wanted to comment.. So I can come back and read.. My eyes going crossed ..I'm so tired., I will read and comment more.. I'm sure it's great,,
Nice to see you on here again.. Missed you friend

posted on Oct, 11 2014 @ 03:38 AM
Thanks for the kind words folks!

I've written more than a few short stories here, but this is my favorite by far and away. I sent a link to the community home director in hopes that he would let Joe read it. I have not heard anything back about that. I sincerely hope Joe did get a chance to read it though, I know he would talk about it for months and that his smile would shine the entire time.

IMO he's a rockstar.

posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 08:57 AM
a reply to: Hefficide
Okay I just got done reading this one.
Beautifully written john. Tears started rolling as I was reading and I didn't know why, I guess cause it was speaking to me. Then I read at the bottom that you were writing about someone you had really encountered and were roommates with, beautiful.
Thanks for sharing this.

Everyone is different in their own way, and if we just look deep enough we all have a heart of love.

posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 09:09 AM
I just reread this and I feel a desire to point out that the "beverage" discussed in the story was not alcohol or anything forbidden. The Stewart Community Home provides residents with $15.00 per week "allowance" and they have two soft drink vending machines that charge .60 cents for a can of whatever one wishes to drink.

Joe drinks about ten diet Cokes a day, on a slow day. So he would bankrupt himself quickly.

The roommate who was kicked out ( for drug use ) had a scam for awhile - charging Joe a premium to go out and purchase him 12 packs of whatever was the cheapest diet drink he could find. He always managed to charge Joe a few dollars too much.

Once I started to appreciate Joe as a person I began going to the grocery store for him and buying him 12 packs of either diet Coke or diet Pepsi ( whichever was on special that week ) and hauling them back to the Stewart - uphill. I did this for Joe with no surcharge. If the 12 pack cost three bucks, he paid three bucks.

One of the things I made sure of, before leaving, was that there was a person who agreed to continue this practice - walking to the store a few times a week - to get Joe his drinks at no extra cost.

posted on Oct, 12 2014 @ 09:17 AM
a reply to: Hefficide

Thanks for sharing this lovely, heart warming story.

You think Joe is a special person?

I think you both are.

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