I love circular stories. Octavio & the Lotus is my attempt at creating something similar. It does however venture further afield and in here you will find crusades, heroes, berserkers, fairies, magic enchantments, new worlds, aliens, minstrels, robots, gangsters, wars, dragons, time travel, Mahicans and many other wonderful twists and turns.

DOUGIE

Somliga går - med trasiga skor
Säg, vad beror det på?
Gud fader som i himmelen bor
Kanske vill ha det så

Somliga Går Med Trasiga Skor
Cornelis Vreeswijk

Some people walk - without any shoes
Pray tell me, why is that?
Almighty God who is in heaven alive
Maybe he wants it so

Some Goes Away
ESL


Dougie was nine years old. It was August 28th so just as in other years his mom had baked him a birthday cake. She decorated it with berries and slices of mango and pineapple and wrote on it 'Happy 9th Birthday Dougie.' It was a Saturday and his daddy was home as well, so the two of them sang him the birthday song and asked him to make a birthday wish and blow out the candles. He thought that birthday wishes were quite silly, but he made one anyway. What he wished for, more than anything was to have a girlfriend.


Some people may think that nine is too early for a girlfriend but Dougie had been raised on faerie tales and heroic fantasy. He had started reading at a very early age and he wanted to be like The Dread Pirate Roberts, or Tarzan, or maybe John Carter. But The Dread Pirate Roberts had Princess Buttercup, Tarzan had his Jane and John Carter had Dejah Thoris. So he wished for a girlfriend and blew out all the candles. The cake was quite tasty but somehow, it did not sweeten Dougie's day. His mom put on a vinyl LP and the uniquely sarcastic voice of Cornelis Vreeswijk filled the room. Mom was a Swedophile, with a nostalgic streak dating back to when she was five years old and still living in Malmo where she was born. Her parents had left Sweden for a better life in America on that year.

Dougie did not speak Swedish though his mom had tried to teach him. He did however know what Cornelis was singing about and every time he heard this song he wondered why God would want anyone to walk without shoes? Didn't he have more important things to worry about? It probably contributed a lot to Dougie's healthy skepticism towards the God concept.

-%- Skipping a few paragraphs. -%-

He went back to his rock to contemplate the river and think about what had just happened. He had no idea who that girl was, but somehow he decided right there that she was his birthday wish come true. He resolved to find out more about her and talk to her. He also wondered if The Dread Pirate Roberts had ever seen Princess Buttercup naked, or was that a forbidden thing? Did Jane ever take her clothes off and bathe somewhere where Tarzan could spy on her? And was there enough water on Mars at all for that kind of scenario?

Back at the house he made some inquiries and found out that the old couple had moved away and one of their children with their children had moved into the house next to theirs. The children were actually three girls, but in the days to come, he did not see any of the other sisters. He did however manage to spy on the red head a few more times before the school year started. Once school started, he would see her every day in the hall. Apparently, she was two years older than him so where he was in third grade she was in the fifth. At that age, that was an insurmountable gap, so he decided that he will take a different approach to the problem. If he could not have a real girlfriend, he will have an imaginary one. The first Saturday after the school year started, he sat down on his favorite rock by the brook, with a fresh notebook and a pencil. He opened the notebook to the first page and wrote in large block letters and under that in a smaller script he added his name:

OCTAVIO & THE LOTUS
By
Douglas Sturmeyer.

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