The Candy Man Can
Sugary sweet little things that bring man and child alike great pleasure.
That quick burst of sugar comforts those who partake of it, it binds them to its magic, causing them to crave another.
Soon, no pleasure compares to that which candy brings. Surrounded by death, what can bring them joy?
They build their lives around its consumption, through holidays and traditions, symbolizing a reward for their longsuffering in this broken world.
Yet it destroys them, first their teeth begin to rot out, then their body begins to fail them under sugar’s deadly assault.
And in the end, the unnatural turns the natural into a shell of its former self. Their eyes turn away from the candy…
…to glare at the one who sold it to them.
A man they once worshipped as a god, for he gave them the supplication they so desired.
Teddy O’Toole is such a man.
To some, he is their god. Descending from his lofty perch, O’Toole makes sure all hands hold an O’Toole Bar.
Eating one piece after another, all bow at the altar of O’Toole. People exchange Teddy Hearts with their lovers, reward their children with Teddy Bears.
With every bite, they are further bound to him and his mantra.
The Candy Man can.
Can bring them the sugar rush they need to get through another miserable day in the Slums?
Can allow them one sliver of joy in their broken world?
Perhaps he can, but when that rush fades, what can the Candy Man do?
His religion begins to crumble as those who once worshipped him begin to feel the ill effects of his confections.
Staring in the broken eyes of those who made him the mogul he is, Teddy O’Toole has no answers, only hands fumbling in the Grove for… something.
He’s just a man, looking for the same magic he tries to sell to his followers.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Teddy O’Toole: One is either a man or a god, and those who try to be what they are not can not.
You are a man pretending to be a god, no different than those who worship you.
You know, as I do, that in the end, the Candy Man Cannot.
Cannot make anyone, least of all himself, stronger with his cheap sugar magic.
Cannot save himself or his followers, from the pain of life in Arcadia.
He cannot do this, because he is just a man.
I bid you, Teddy, to bow to that which you are not.
He does not offer false hope to fools, nor magic to embolden the weak.
There is only the truth that this world’s harsh reverie cannot be soothed.
It can only be endured.
Grimskull offers no false hope, no holidays in his name. Yet he will not erode them to dust, only sharpen them into weapons.
He will show them that power, true power, only lies in turning away from the sugar sweet, and towards the darkness.
That is Grimskull’s only message:
Embrace the pain.
Because what the Candy Man Cannot.