Long before I was a writer, I had ideas for stories. Some of these, haunt me to this day, like just now, as I lay my body on my bed, I couldn't stop thinking of all the cartoons I was going to do, when I was 19.
There was an idea for a cartoon, there is an idea, which I have kept with me for years, and I never got to do it. If I die, I guess at least the story will be here.
This is a cartoon, because it can only be a cartoon. It cannot be anything else.
It started off with an image of an old man, scarred, on a horse, on top of a hill, overlooking an ancient city. Ships approach from the horizon, bearing the Portuguese flag.
Flashback 50 years ago, and there was a huge commotion as people of an alternate reality island in the middle of the Straits of Malacca rush to the palace bringing news of the arrival of a huge army from the empire of Majapahit.
Also arriving, unnoticed by almost everyone, are two companions from their lengthy travels. The duo have arrived home after leaving for so long.
They follow the commotion to the palace, where the Prime Minister is tasked by the King to go and find out what the Majapahit want. He starts by enlisting conscripts to his makeshift army. The duo joins, as well as five other young people of their age. These will be the seven companions.
The army marches, 10,000-strong, as part of a gunboat diplomacy tactic, to face the approaching Majapahit army.
In the night, as they set camp, 90 per cent of their fighting fore deserts them, as this was a ploy by the corrupt ministers in the palace in cahoots with the invaders, to kill the Prime Minister and get rid of the King.
With only 1,000 men, facing 20,000 of Majapahit's best, the Prime Minister looks to be in trouble. However, the duo come up with plans of diversion and tactics gleaned from travelling to such places as China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, etc, plus the individual skills of the seven companions, they fought a winning battle the next day, managing to scatter the Majapahit formation and elephant armies enough to escape back to the palace and saving the Prime Minister's life.
The seven are awarded positions and titles, and after this, go their separate ways, following their own agendas in the political labyrinth that is the palace and the kingdom.
Each new arc would explore each character's past history and introduce another character/tale from the rich vein of folklore in this region. It is to create a universe where all the legends can interact, as well as explore the meanings of dreams and life's goals.
This universe is filled with elephant cavalries facing teams of were-tigers. Shamans can summon armies of imps and ghosts, while people who control flying machetes fight invincible men. All the stories you have ever heard, is true.
Throw in classic scientific discoveries and classic battles relived on that small island as the kingdom fends off ancient empires at the time. Strategies employed by Sun-Tzu and Muhammad face off against Tokugawa's backhanded politics and betrayals.
Imagine a 15-year-old boy jumping up and slicing a fanged giant in two with an over-compensating dull giant blade. One of the shady characters using the keris to pierce and inject poison in rapid machine-gun-like attacks.
Valor, loyalty, and ultimately, betrayal as the draws to its final, shocking conclusion.
It would have been great.
But it will never happen.
Oh well. Time to try and sleep again. And maybe dream of it.