Fantasy Adventure

The Green Traveler stood at the Start of his journey, contemplating the winding path before him. He shifted his gaze upward to the castle looming on the horizon. Between him and the palace was a perilous road of monsters, fiends, and frosting. But with will and the Gods’ favor, victory could be his. And so, he began walking.


His trek through the Gummy Hills was tame. The Green Traveler left the path only once to avoid two roving gingerbread savages. They carried spears and growled at each other in their beastly tongue. These cannibals could usually be frightened away in small numbers, but they were unpredictable enough that it was best to avoid a fight than be forced to win one.

Eventually a ghostly coating of frost formed on the rainbow path as the Green Traveler reached the Peppermint Forest. The cool scent of peppermint tickled his senses as he donned his wool cloak and entered the woods.

An hour later the Green Traveler could barely see the trees. The blizzard came without warning. He became disoriented as the storm knocked him about and hid all landmarks. Numb and exhausted, the Green Traveler sank to his knees and began shivering.

He closed his eyes and found an image of Llenore. She was sitting before their lit hearth, wearing a pale blue dress and a single blue ribbon in her hair. Cradled in her right arm was their sleeping daughter, and in her left she held a bouquet of lavender near their daughter’s cheek. The image steeled the Traveler, and he began to wrench himself to his feet.

As he did, he heard a shout that was lost in the wind, and turned to see a hooded figure emerge from the blank surrounding. The figure shouted something again and motioned for the Traveler to follow. The Green Traveler began walking, one heavy step after another. After a short distance the hooded figure latched an arm around the Traveler and guided him into a rock candy cave.

Inside was a small fire of burning peppermint bark. Next to the fire was a sack, a thick animal-skin blanket and a pot containing the remnants of a meal.

The stranger put a cup to the Green Traveler’s mouth, and the Traveler felt the welcome burn of red-hot cinnamon cider snake down his throat. His shaking eased as he accepted another drink, then he studied the figure who had pulled him from the whiteout.

It was young man with a lean, strong build. He was dressed in tight green leggings, tall brown boots and a green coat with a fluffy white collar and cuffs. His face was handsome, almost womanly. His skin was smooth with red freckles, and he had a head of wayward red hair that hung into his green eyes. The Green Traveler recognized him as an elf of the Peppermint Woods.

“I’m Reeve,” said the elf, smiling.

The Green Traveler gave a nod. “Thank you for helping me,” he said.

“You’re lucky I was here. The direction you were going, you would have walked until you froze.”

“I did,” the Green Traveler responded dryly. Reeve laughed.

“You risked your life coming to get me,” said the Traveler.

“What else could I do?” Reeve shrugged. “I’m just glad I saw you. That storm pounced like a cat, huh? Here,” Reeve said, handing the traveler the cup. “Drink as much as you want, you need this more than me. It has some cinnamon whiskey I make myself. It warms you to your toenails,” Reeve said with a smile. “There’s some food left too that you're welcome to.”

The Green Traveler accepted the cider and the meal.

“Where are you going?” Reeve asked.

“The castle,” the Green Traveler replied.

“Ah,” said Reeve. “You’re one of those racing for the King’s favor. I thought so. Do you believe what they’re saying, that he’ll grant the winner anything he desires? I’m not so sure. You hear so many things, they can’t all be true.”

The Green Traveler took another warming sip.

“Do you have a family?” Reeve asked.

“I did,” said the Green Traveler.

“I see,” said Reeve. “Is that why you’re going to see the King?” 

The Green Traveler nodded again as he stared into the fire.

“Then I hope you succeed, friend, and that the King can give all he promises.”

The storm lasted until morning. The cave dwellers awoke to the warmth of each other’s body and the taste of spiced cinnamon on their lips. After collecting their provisions, the two emerged from the cave to a brilliant white landscape.

Reeve turned to the Traveler, unsure how or whether to acknowledge what had transpired during the night. Sensing the elf’s uncertainty, the Green Traveler put a hand to Reeve’s cheek and pressed their brows together.

“Thank you again for helping me,” he said. Reeve smiled. The Traveler then began trudging north.


Just after midday the Green Traveler entered Peanut Acres, where the air was heavy and hot. He feasted on ripe plums that burst at the first bite, and drank from a cola river nearby. As he filled his canteen, he heard a whimpering above the roar of the river. He scanned the surface and saw a dog stranded on a small gumdrop crag, nervously pacing back and forth. The Green Traveler anchored himself to a tree with his whip and entered the rapids. After wrestling the current and the panicked animal, the Traveler brought the dog to shore.

The dog gagged and vomited froths of cola. It shook its fur dry and used its nose to push the Green Traveler’s hand up while nuzzling its head under his palm. The Green Traveler petted it and fed it a handful of spearmint wildgrass, which the dog ate before licking cola off the Traveler’s face.

The dog had to be chased away three times. Finally satisfied that he was alone, the Green Traveler continued onward.


Evening approached, and the Green Traveler heard humming as he entered a clearing. Within stood a quaint brown cottage with clouds of cotton candy puffing out of its chimney at rhythmic intervals. At the bottom of the cottage’s steps was an old, plump woman in a pink smock and a white apron. She stood still and symmetrical, facing him with a closed smile on her face and a silver tray in her hands.

“Hello young man,” she said. “I’m Nana Nut. Why don’t you come rest and have yourself something to eat. I’d be grateful for the company, and these just came fresh out of the oven.”

The Green Traveler was overcome by the savory smell of roasted peanuts. While he had not been hungry, his stomach now felt knotted and empty as if he hadn’t eaten in days. Without realizing it, he walked to the old lady and saw that her tray held an assortment of nut shaped cookies. Nana Nut’s voice began to echo as she spoke.

“They look scrumptious, don’t they? Why don’t you come in. Have some tea. Oh goodness, the stories I bet you could tell.”

The Green Traveler could not resist following Nana Nut up the steps. The scent of the cookies unleashed a craving within him that he could not overcome.

He reached the top step, but before he walked inside he heard the sound of barking and something rushing through the grass. The dog from the river was suddenly in view as its jaws sank into Nana Nut’s arm, sending her cookies flying and her tray clattering down the steps.

“Oh!” Nana Nut shouted as she was dragged to the ground. Seizing on this break in the spell, the Green Traveler unsheathed his crystalline candy cane blade and held it to the woman’s neck. He used his free hand to pry open Nana Nut’s lips, revealing a row of sharp candy corn teeth.

The Traveler grabbed one of the cookies and held it up. “What magic is this, witch? Answer me!”

Nana Nut looked scornful but said nothing. Before he could ask again, the Green Traveler heard the sound of metal clanging. Nana Nut’s eyes shifted toward her cottage, then back to the Traveler. He put the cookie in his pocket and, using his whip, left Nana Nut tied to a tree with the dog baring its teeth.

Inside was a small kitchen. A tea kettle sat on the stove, flour lightly dusted the countertop, and a man lay bound and gagged inside a large cage hanging by the fireplace. It was the Blue Traveler. Their eyes met, and for a moment both men wondered what the Green Traveler would do.

After a long pause, the Green Traveler shattered the iron lock with his sword. He untied the Blue Traveler, who was both surprised and grateful for his rescue.

“Thank you,” the Blue Traveler said. “Thank you. I thought you were going to leave me. The other Travelers would have…”

“It’s done,” said the Green Traveler, putting his hand up. He sheathed his sword and began walking outside.

“Wait,” yelled the Blue Traveler. “Take this. Please. I owe you nothing less. My journey would have ended here otherwise, so it’s no real loss to me if you have it.”

He handed the Green Traveler a small pouch hanging on a string. The Green Traveler opened it and a tiny ice cream cone fell into his hand. It was no bigger than the Green Traveler’s thumb. The cone was not cracked despite being carried across unforgiving terrain. And the ice cream maintained its upright swirl, not a drop having melted. None of this surprised the Green Traveler, who recognized the artifact.

The Green Traveler looked at the Blue, who conveyed his insistence by closing the Green Traveler’s hand around the dessert. The Green Traveler then put the item in the pouch and hung it around his neck. As he left the cottage he said, “the witch is bound outside.”

The Green Traveler scratched behind the dog’s ears as he placed his brow to the dog’s head. “Thank you for helping me,” he said.

The dog barked and ran off. The Green Traveler continued in the other direction.


Nightfall came as the Traveler reached Licorice Lagoon. It was a poor place to camp, but a worse place to cross at night because of its black licorice tar pools that were nigh impossible to see in the dark. He found a patch of soft ground hidden by blackberry brambles, laid his head on his satchel and fell asleep.

He dreamed of Llenore. They were sitting near the lake at the bottom of the hill behind their home. In his dream she was still with child. She gently took his hand and placed it on her stomach, and he felt their daughter flutter, then somehow tug. Llenore’s grip tightened and she began to pull him closer. He awoke to being dragged across the ground, tendrils of licorice coiling around his body.

A weaselly cackle filled the night. The Green Traveler looked up to see a tall, skinny figure standing over him. The man wore a long cape and a hat with a large feather on top. With his thin mustache and hooked nose, he had the face of a strangled rat.

Lord Licorice grinned as the Green Traveler was dragged feet first into a pool of tar. “So, Traveler, you thought it safe to rest on my lands? Your journey ends here, trespasser!”

The pool had risen to the Traveler’s chest and only one arm remained free. That arm grasped the small pouch that hung from the Green Traveler’s neck. Using his teeth, the Traveler opened the pouch and ate the ice cream inside. His body flooded with a surge of energy. He ripped free of the licorice and pulled himself from the pool’s suction.

Lord Licorice gasped as the Green Traveler struck him across the chin, sending him unconscious to the ground.

The Green Traveler saw every detail of the world around him as if it were morning. Revitalized, he picked up his satchel and began to run, bounding over every tarpit with ease. He ran all night, passing the sleeping Yellow Traveler as he left Licorice Lagoon.


Dawn broke and the castle lay before him. But the drawbridge was up, forcing passage through Molasses Swamp. One word rang in the Green Traveler’s mind: Gloppy.

A grotesque blob with the mind of a simpleton, Gloppy was a creature of immense strength and no restraint. Passing through the swamp would be a test, but there was value in crossing, too. The molasses would provide a disguise at least. With that thought, the Green Traveler sunk his feet into the ooze and began moving slowly toward the castle.

At its deepest the swamp reached the Green Traveler’s shoulders. But as he neared the opposite bank, the level had receded to his waist. At that point, the molasses began to bubble and rise. The white orbs of Gloppy’s crossed eyes appeared, followed by Gloppy’s gaping maw and gelatinous tongue.

The Green Traveler stood still as Gloppy aimlessly looked in different directions at once. Then the Traveler felt something tighten around his waist. Gloppy’s stubby, fingerless arm lifted the Green Traveler into the air, and the Traveler heard Gloppy make a satisfied moan as it swung the Green Traveler down onto the surface of the swamp like a toy. It felt like being hit with a wave of glue.

Up and down he went three more times. Each smack accompanied by a brainless chuckle from the monster. The Green Traveler was dazed and his vision blurred. His satchel had fallen into the swamp. As Gloppy raised the Traveler a fourth time, he reached into his pocket and grabbed the cookie he had taken from Nana Nut’s house. He tossed it into Gloppy’s mouth. Gloppy stopped and its grip loosened, allowing the Green Traveler to fall freely back into the swamp. Globby began to sink down into the muck, as if it were a child being sung to sleep. Finally, it was gone.

The Green Traveler climbed out of the swamp and up to the Candy Castle. Bruised and covered in syrup, he pounded on the door until it opened.


The Green Traveler stood in the throne room, surrounded by the King’s royal court. Before him was King Candy, ruler of the realm. He was in a purple robe with a brown belt that held up his enormous belly like a catapult sling holding a boulder. He was decorated with every color and size of jewel; even his thick white beard was braided with gems.

The tyrant.

King Candy beckoned to the Green Traveler. “Come, come!” he bellowed. “You are the first to have traversed my kingdom and arrive safely at my door. You have proven yourself worthy to join my legions.” The onlookers applauded daintily. “Come forward and be rewarded.”

The Green Traveler walked to the King. “Tell us, brave knight,” asked the King, “who do we honor? What is your name, Traveler?”

The Green Traveler wiped the molasses from his face. The King’s mouth fell open and the crowd gasped. “You,” whispered the King.

In an instant, the Traveler was upon the King, his blade against the monarch’s throat.

“Did you think you were rid of me? While your vermin are skilled killers, I am more so.”

“Please,” The King pleaded. The crowd kept its distance, looking more enthralled for the Traveler’s next move than afraid of it.

“You dare ask for mercy after what you did?!” shouted the Traveler.

“Sh..she was a www…witch,” the King protested.

The Green Traveler pressed his blade into the King’s neck. “My wife’s only crime was speaking the truth. But words are like knives to a coward like you. Murderer!”

“Please,” repeated the King. “You can have anything.”

“And what of my daughter?” asked the Green Traveler. “Can I have her? Was she a witch too?”

The King was silent.

“Nothing to say villain?” the Green Traveler asked. “It’s just as well. No words could douse my fury.” The Green Traveler slashed the King’s neck, releasing a warm spray of hot cacao across the Traveler’s face.

The King gurgled and twitched. His tongue fell from his mouth in a ream of taffy that unrolled down the King’s chest and onto the floor. The oppressor of the land was dead.


Later, the Green Traveler stood atop the tower of Candy Castle, holding the King’s crown triumphantly in the air while looking down on the cheering masses that had gathered below.

“The King’s reign is over,” he yelled as the crowd roared. “A new era begins, in the name of my wife and daughter. In the name of all the innocents we have lost. An era of freedom, of peace, and of unity.”

The Green Traveler saw amongst the cheering crowd the Blue, Yellow and Red Travelers. Scanning further, he saw Reeve leaning cross-armed against a tree and smiling. He saw the cola dog chasing laughing children. Even Gloppy slapped its arms as he cluelessly joined the celebration. The Green Traveler was the hero of all Candyland.

Then, he was overcome by a euphoric sense of weightlessness. It felt as if he were being cradled and lifted into the heavens. White light filled his mind, and he let the purifying force wash over him. Closing his eyes, the Green Traveler sank into a welcome oblivion. Rest now, Traveler. All is well.


The Green Traveler stood at the Start of his journey, contemplating the winding path before him. He shifted his gaze upward to the castle looming on the horizon. Between him and the palace was a perilous road of monsters, fiends, and frosting. But with will and the Gods’ favor, victory could be his. And so, he began walking.

June 24, 2022 21:55

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Graham Kinross
15:27 Jul 04, 2022

Great title. Came for that alone, got a great story out of it.


Brian Wilson
22:53 Jul 04, 2022

Ha, I just needed one person to get a kick out of the title and I can sleep better. Thanks for commenting, and for reading!


Graham Kinross
10:08 Jul 05, 2022

I saw a photo book a few years ago called Fifty Sheds of Grey. Just photos of grey sheds, very of its time but I browsed it with a smile.


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