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Piqued - A Toki Ponist Adventure
Chapter 3: Pantaleone

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sina li tawa ala e sina. kon li tawa e sina.
Toki Ponist Pu

In the morning, Tipi jumped out of bed with the enthusiasm of someone whose mind was just wiped clean. While he did not remember his former self, he knew he was now the same self as who he had been yesterday.

The jump had created a pile of sheets on his mattress. On the other bed, the sheets looked as pristine as a giant cake with icing, dented by his fall into self-sorrow yesterday. The almost uncorrupted sheets did not grab Tipi’s full attention, though the disordered pile did. It looked nothing like a tuft of whipped cream. It resembled the result of Tipi trying to fold a napkin at a fancy dinner party once, but he did not properly remember that. Instead, he shrunk himself in his imagination and hiked the barren hills towards the top.

The hunger pangs overruled his imagination. It was time to see whether this hotel served breakfast. He had seen a small room with a few sets of tables and chairs that would fulfill the purpose of breakfast hall very well. He put on his one remaining bath slipper that he had tried to clean after last night’s adventure. It was cleaner, but also very soggy.

Tipi left the room on his bare feet and tip-toed to the hall he had predestined to be full of Russian breakfast delicacies. The room was empty. It was also still, which would not be scary had it not been for a woman in an apron standing in an underlit corner.

Tipi yelped and fell sideways onto a wooden chair. This triggered her to walk towards Tipi and then she gestured frantic eating movements.

Da?” Tipi said, although the Swedish word fjärilsträdgårdssorg had been on the tip of his tongue as well. This was the right choice of words, because the woman turned around and wiped her clean and dry hands on her apron. This could only mean they would get some action in the kitchen.

What if I am the sole guest in this hotel? They can’t keep this place open just for me. Tipi was not even sure someone had paid for his room and felt guilty already for eating away their profit. He let the feeling slide.

After ten minutes, the woman returned with an immense tray. She put a generous bowl of porridge in front of Tipi. Next to it, she placed a dish filled with a sweet smelling sticky muck oozing with prunes. She left without saying a word. Tipi nodded a thank you and mumbled a sayonara.

There was a considerable amount of porridge and eating it was like digging a train tunnel through the Mont Blanc. Determined not to give up, he munched faster and faster to out-eat feeling full. This resulted in an approving look from the aproned woman, who, Tipi now realized, had been staring at him from her dark corner.

This made his full stomach catch up and so he got up, gestured another thank you and headed back to his room. He then hop stepped jumped into his carpeted bathroom.

A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. “Tipi! Are you there?”

“Yeah!” Tipi said.

“It’s Alex, and Ford,” the voice behind the hotel door said. “We helped you yesterday, remember?”

“I know, I know.”

“Please, open up! We know you’re here. Why are you ignoring us?”

“I’m not! Hold on, I’m coming, I’m coming,” Tipi said while folding his body in an uncomfortable position to roll out a sufficient amount of toilet paper.

The knocking became louder. Tipi heard the voices talking to each other now. “Do you think something happened to him?” “Maybe he jumped the window?” “Why isn’t he opening up?”

“If I can hear you,” Tipi said while waving around a white flag of unused paper. “Why can’t you hear me?” He pulled up his shorts. Because his hands felt covered in an unsanitary mental film, he needed to wash his hands before opening the door.

“I hear running water,” Ford said behind the door.

“Because I am washing my hands. But nobody is hearing what I say, anyway.”

Tipi stumbled towards the door and opened it. Ford barged in and Alex followed directly after, carrying two bulging shopping bags. “Is everything alright?” Ford asked, relieved. “How are you feeling?” Alex added.

“Yes, yes, fine.” Tipi said. “I feel like an asteroid heading for earth about to flatten an entire continent.” He let his body fall back on the bed, crushing the mountain of sheets.

“But are you back to normal again?” Ford asked.

“When you say normal, you mean enlightened?” Tipi asked, curling up in his sheets so the porridge could settle. “Because that would be an odd normal state to be in for most people.”

“He’s not.” Alex sighed to Ford.

“Shit!” Ford replied.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, fellows. I’m not who I am not, on purpose. But neither are you.”

“But our master must be in there somewhere,” Alex said to Ford in a comforting voice. “We just have to set him on the right track again.”

“I have two questions,” Tipi said and made a peace-sign with his right hand. “One. What’s in the bags? And two. Can you please tell me who I am? Because yesterday people called me a racist, satanist, false breatharian, hypocrite vegetarian, blood-drinking socialist and more bad things too.”

“We saw the videos, online.”

“Good. Now answer my questions.”

“According to the prophecies,” Alex started.


“Yes, that you wrote yourself. You were a man called Joakim. A scientist of some sort, but anguished.”

“An anguished scientist? You mean a philosopher?”

“You battled forces within and without and put yourself on the path of the simple life, the nasin pona of toki pona. And it was right on time. The world is in terrible shape now, but it was even worse before. We’re heading for a climate disaster. Democracies are crumbling all over the world. Every year a new rampant virus surges somewhere.”

“That all rings true. The world shows all the signs of a shitty place. Then what did I do? Did I science some of those problems away?”


“So I am a fraud?”

“No!” Ford interrupted Alex. “Never say that.”

“We’re still figuring out what you were doing. Ever since you proclaimed yourself as the The Toki Ponist on the Mountain, good things seemed to happen. You changed a lot of lives for the good after you met them, even though what you said made no sense to us. People noticed more and more, and soon good seemed to triumph over evil in a lot of places.”

Toki Ponist? Is that why you’re calling me Tipi?”

“It’s endearing,” Ford said. “And less threatening.”

“Also,” Alex continued. “You seemed to have moved on from toki pona at some point and felt the title The Toki Ponist on the Mountain was a premature choice. You warned everyone that your actions attracted evil and that people should stop spreading the goodness.”

“That was a confusing time for many people,” Ford said. “Everything you told us changed us into better human beings and we could still see plenty of evil around us to battle, but then you said -“

Tipi rose. “Evil is when you silence something out of existence, so fighting evil is an act of evil itself.”

“Yes!” Alex said. “You remember?”

“No,” Tipi said. “It seemed like a reasonable conclusion. And I think my former self read it somewhere in a book about games. Until this porridge has left my body, I will be neither lighter nor enlightened.” He dropped back into the sheets.

Alex opened the curtains to the room to let in natural light. “After that statement, you announced you would take refuge in the mountains to gather your thoughts.”

“Nobody saw you for months,” Ford said. “We were all on edge awaiting your return. And when you did, everyone realized you reached enlightenment. Matter could not touch you and light went right through you.”

“Since that day, you would come down from the mountains once every few weeks and appear in countries all over the world to deliver important messages.”

“When we saw online that some spotted you in our city, I called up Alex and Lenny and we went to seek you out.”

“And then you found me stumping my toe and abusing a poor woman.”

“Yes,” Ford said.

“So if I did so much good stuff, why did people harass me yesterday?”

“Because the world is rotten, still,” Alex said. “There have been rumors about you ever since you titled yourself The Toki Ponist on the Mountain.”


“Fake news,” Ford said. “Not a word of it is true, as far as I know and care. But when you went out of character yesterday, people jumped on it. I heard almost half our mailing list has canceled their subscription.”

“I have a mailinglist?”

“No, not you, your, well, fan-club, so to speak. We are still old-school interwebbers,” Ford said, somewhat embarrassed. “The thing is. We want you to get better because we think the world will end otherwise.”

“Right. So what’s in the bags?”

Alex walked to the door where two white bags waited below a light switch. He picked them up and up-ended them on the empty bed next to Tipi.

“We brought you clothing,” Ford said.

“Lederhosen, to be exact,” said Alex. “We want you to get back into the mountains.”

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