Looks like Grat is not joining the party today Ambi”, said Del. “You’ve grown big overnight Ambi”, Grat said cheerfully before Ambi could respond to Del. “More than you can think Grat, who needs touchy-feely ones like you anyway? You slow us down! Let’s go Del, tonight we celebrate”, said Ambi and the two of them vanished hand in hand. ”Try to be selfless up there”, Grat said but heard his own echo in what appeared to be a dark dungeon. He heard a silent swoosh as two shadows rapidly flew by, “leave them alone Arro and Anxi”, shouted Grat but they were gone too soon.
“Peter needs to learn soon”, Grat told himself out loud. “Don’t give up yet on him”, Grat heard the reassuring voice of Opti. “Don’t you ever age?”, Grat asked cheerfully. Opti was genuinely beautiful he thought, and she could walk into any group and find a place just by her grace and appeal. “I know you think of me that way, but sometimes my presence is ignored grandpa Grat”, Opti teased him. “My age is my strength, I have so much to carry, so many Grat…err great memories, and I remember each one of them”, Grat looked far as if remembering a sweet memory from the past. “Yes, they say all those memories are responsible for your Snow White beard Grat”, chuckled Opti. “Thanks for keeping me alive Opti, I am frail, but still alive just because of your care”, said Grat as he tried to slip into a long nap. “Its my job! I hope you get better and lead us all again with your former glory”, Opti spoke softly with a kind voice but Grat was already sleeping deep.
“I won’t give up on you old man…now what is that noise”, Opti looked around in darkness as there was a loud thud as if someone was hurled from the high tower. “Asp? Is that you? Oh dear! What happened, you look bruised all over!”, Opti helped the boy, who appeared to be in his teens, to a nearby place. “This place is so dark and cold but for your presence Opti, oh it hurts all over.”, said Asp. “But what happened, you were up there in the party along with the others”, Opti was shocked to see the bruises as she looked closer.
“It was all fine until Ambi made way into the room. She is so big, she doesn’t leave space for the others. I knew it was just a matter of time. If only Grat was around to keep everything in check and creating the right room for everyone, but I know that he was kicked out as he didn’t fit with the rest. And then Arro came in along with his sister Anxi. Those two cunning maniacs, Ambi went out of control and threw me out”, Asp was out of breath as he finished. “I think they are jealous of my youthfulness also. Ambi can grow big or die, but can’t be young and pure like me and she hates that”, said Asp.
“Is that the old man Grat, oh I hope he is not dead yet, I am glad you are right beside him Opti”, Asp uttered his final words as he slid into a slumber beside Grat.
“What keeps you hoping around, when your friends are going out of steam one by one”, said Cou with a curious expression appearing out of nowhere. Must be Pete’s friends giving him company, thought Opti as she tried to interpret Cou’s sudden appearance. “Your company may be, I was hoping to see you brother”, cheerfully replied Opti. “But I am not happy to see you here, I would have preferred to have come up to meet you myself, you are not needed anymore?”, she added. “Ah! We’ll see, right now Peter is relying on Ambi to build & run the high tower, and it seems to be working. Del is keeping him in good spirits. But I sense Anxi getting stronger in a subtle way without being noticed”, Cou expressed it in his curious style. “So why were you not needed? Without your strength how will they manage up there? Oh look the crackers are sliding up now”, Opti pointed Cou to what appeared to be two sliding snakes going up the high tower making way to the party. “Remo and Disa! This is too soon! And I don’t have the reassurance of Grat to fly back there and tackle these snakes!”, Cou looked angry, but his curious composure quickly returned to him. “Let’s hope, Grat wakes up and brings us all back…”. “don’t worry I won’t sleep”, he quickly added looking at Opti’s concerned face.
It was a year since Ambi and Anxi went up the high tower and Asp and Cou being thrown in the dungeon. Opti waited patiently barely keeping herself alive and making silent suggestions to Peter, the host of the high tower, “take counsel of your friends and look deep down, we are here for you”, she kept saying. “I hope your true friends will tell you to look deep down”, she hoped and hopped to feel alive. She also remembered grandpa Grat’s words “this is not the first time, and Exper is right up there hanging around the corner, out of sight of the likes of Ambi and Disa, Peter will look up to Exper one way or another”. I hope he does before the crash, she hopped again.
Another year passed and Opti was herself giving away to slumber when Cou shook her “look!”, there were huge cracks on the walls of the high tower and it was about to crash. “Opti? Cou? Are you here?”, they heard a very pleasing voice. “This voice is so sweet, makes me even forgive Arro”, said Cou as he saw Rep coming down the stairs with a torchlight along with Exper. “Peter realizes what he is missing and sent me out along with Exper to find you, I am so glad to see you are around Cou, I sense purpose. Oh by the way Guil you are not needed”, Rep was happy to see Guil vanish. “You need to give light to Opti, she has been most in the dark, wake her up before she sleeps and then all of us will be doomed, quickly, hurry Rep”, said Cou.
The tower came crashing down in a thunderous sound. Rep barely managed to focus the torch on Opti as the debris hit him, Cou did his best to guard and protect Rep and Opti. After what seemed several days of effort, Rep and Cou finally succeeded in bringing back Opti to life.
“With you back, I am not needed any more, please wake up Asp and grandpa Grat. I will join his snow beard as yet another strand of white”, Rep started to bid goodbye to his old friends. “Not this time Rep, you will not just be another sweet memory in Grat’s beard, there is no point of repentance if there is no resolve. The high tower crash will repeat. You will be forever with Cou and Asp as a Resolve”, said Opti as she awakened the young kid that they called Asp. “I have some new ideas for Pete”, he said as he sprung back to life.
“Aha! A new beginning, we did well after all”, said Grat as Opti woke him up. “You will lead us along with Asp in the front with Courage and Optimism right along side” said Resolve as he placed his arm tightly around Courage.
Epilogue – In the real world :
Peter smiled with optimism and new aspiration in life. As he found courage and composure after the recent set back, he reflected how he got carried away by success 2 years ago. He very quickly forgot his team, his friends and family and grew ambitious living in his own high tower. It dawned upon him that being grateful and true to ones roots is essential to sustaining growth. He thanked his friend Bob for not giving up on him and helping him rediscover who he really was.
Cast in the order of appearance:
1. Grandpa Grat – Gratefulness
2. Ambi – Ambition
3. Del – Delight
4. Arro – Arrogance
5. Anxi – Anxiousness
4. Opti – Optimism (aka Hope)
5. Asp – Aspiration
6. Remo – Remorse
7. Disa – Disappointment
8. Exper – Experience
9. Guil – Guilt