Deep in the heart of the forest, a lonely house rests hidden away from sight. Its neglected state might make it seem as though it were abandoned, but it is home to an old man and a jack-in-the-box. This toy, tattered by age, was once animated by magic, and is now a living companion to the man whom people call “the coin spinner.”
Every night, without fail, a girl wanders to the depths of the forest to visit. Tonight as she approaches the old house, its broken roof illuminated blue by the light of the full moon; she felt as she always did, as if it were from a dream. It seems so close but also so far. As always, the door was left unlocked for her, and as she slowly opens it, a loud creak breaks the silence.
Upon hearing the sound, Jester jumps out of his box and hurries to the door to welcome her. The old man remains at the table spinning his coins, completely entranced by the spinning motion and oblivious to the girl in the doorway. She picks up the little jester toy and embraces it, while closing the door. Walking towards his cube, a barely audible lullaby escapes her lips. She lowers him gently down into the box and coaxes him to sleep with her soft voice. Then, she looks up at the old man and silently watches him as he spins his coins over and over.
Tonight, she suddenly asks him, “What are you looking for, old man?” His hypnotic stare breaks, and his eyes roll towards the girl. “The Truth,” he mumbles in a low voice. “Do you seek it too, little princess?” She shrugs. Looking up through a hole in the roof her big, green eyes gaze up at the bright, blue moon. “Are the moon people still watching us?” The man spins his coin again and waits for it to fall onto one of its sides. The jester, apparently still awake, calls “Heads,” and indeed it is as he said. The coin spinner smiles. “Sorry princess, no tales for you tonight!”
As he starts spinning his coin again, a tear rolls down the girl’s cheek. “Could you please continue the story about the triplets?” she asks with a jittery voice. He heaves a deep sigh and replies, “Oh… Alright.” To his right two books lay on the table and picks up one, blowing off the dust, revealing an elegantly engraved title: “the little match sister” in gold lettering.
He opens the book, and thus the story continues…
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