The Hero (II/IV)

The hero is taking the Ogre Express. Four big ogres run up to his house. They have tusks. They have yellow eyes. They’re holding a wooden platform. They put it down. He stands on it. They pick it up. They run! That’s the Ogre Express.

“I don’t like the stage, ” says the hero. He’s very dashing. He’s got black hair and dark eyes. His skin’s a little gray. “It’s only there because my sister died.”

“We run!” say the Ogres. “We’re the Ogre Express!”

“I could have saved her, ” the hero explains. “But I didn’t. So I sealed my heart in a box.”

“We run!” say the Ogres. “We’re the Ogre Express! Look, run on big gray hill. Thump, thump, thump—that’s our feet!”

“I’m a giant elephant!” says the hill, somewhat perturbed. “Don’t run on me.”

“Thump, thump, thump!” say the Ogres. They leap off the hill’s head. Perfect landing!

“I thought I wouldn’t go,” says the hero. He’s dressed in silver chain armor. The sunlight does not fall on him. He’s held back tears for decades. “I thought I wouldn’t see the performance. But I couldn’t help it. I wanted to see what her death wrought.”

“We’re the Ogre Express! Look, run on rainbow. Thump, thump, thump.”

The rainbow is made of light. Their feet don’t thump at all. The ogres look embarrassed. JUMP!

“Look,” say the Ogres, hopefully, “run on Armani. Thump, thump, thump.”

The man under their feet falls down. “I’m a stockbroker,” he says. “It’s just an Armani suit!”

“Run on gold,” say the Ogres. They’re looking desperate now. “Thump, thump, thump!”

“I’m a road made out of gold!” says the road. “Thump, thump, thump!” This pleases the ogres no end.

“So that’s why I’m going,” says the hero. “That’s why I’ll watch, with sad eyes and a sword at my side.”

“We’re the Ogre Express! Look, run on stage! Thump, thump, thump.”

“Actually, this is my stop,” notes the hero.

“RUN ON STAGE,” insist the Ogres. “We’re the Ogre Express!”

The hero kills the Ogres with one sweep of his sword. The platform falls neatly to the ground.

“Now we’re dead,” say the Ogres, annoyed. “Look, run on Hades! Thump, thump, thump—that’s our feet!”

The hero smiles wryly. He knew they’d be okay. That’s why he’s the hero, after all!

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