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The Story of My Heart

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Fernando stretched out on the couch and turned on the television. "Let's see how Sergio does today," he told the Locco plushie in his arms. "It won't be easy, but I don't think Sergio would like an easy version nearly as much."

As images of the Spanish national team warming up filled the screen, Nando couldn't help smiling. "I'm so glad the national team brought us together." He looked down at Locco and chuckled softly. "How about I tell you that story, hm?"

Once upon a time, there lived a very handsome prince who had three great loves: horses, flamenco, and football. Unfortunately, he couldn't really do all three of those at the same time, so he consulted the horses, who told him he could always come back and visit. Then he consulted the wisest flamenco dancers in the kingdom, who told him flamenco was in his blood and therefore always a part of him. Then he consulted the football spirits, who told him to play football. So that was what he did.

He was able to channel his fiery flamenco spirit while playing football, and it was beautiful to watch. It was so beautiful, in fact, that the Merengue Galatic Vikings asked if he would like to join them on their spaceship. The prince was reluctant, as the spaceship was far away from the horses. But when he consulted them, they told him they would always be in his heart, just like flamenco. And so he boarded the spaceship.

Meanwhile, not far from the spaceship, there lived a freckled young prince in a mattress factory. He, too, loved football, and played it constantly with his friends in the mattress factory. One day, he was called upon by the red deities of the kingdom to play football against other kingdoms. It was there that he met several other footballing princes, including the flamenco prince.

The flamenco prince offered to teach the mattress prince how to dance. Naturally, the mattress prince agreed, and they danced whenever they were alone together. It wasn't long before the mattress prince fell in love with the flamenco prince. But he just couldn't tell if the flamenco prince returned his feelings.

On the very last night of their time with the red deities, the flamenco prince surprised the mattress prince with an offer to visit the horses together in a few months' time. The mattress prince knew nothing of horses except that they were very important to the flamenco prince, so he agreed right away. The flamenco prince jumped for joy and began to dance with the mattress prince, who decided to take a risk and kiss the flamenco prince. The flamenco prince let out a flamenco yell and kissed back, confirming that he was in love with the mattress prince.

After they parted, the mattress prince felt lonely, even among all his friends in the mattress factory. So he wrote letter after letter to the flamenco prince, who replied with beautiful songs written specifically for the mattress prince. It helped the mattress prince feel better until he was able to visit the flamenco prince and horses.

To the surprise of both princes, the horses spoke to the mattress prince right away. They said that he would have to travel to a rainy land to help a red bird fly, then travel to a different part of the rainy land to help a lion and lioness roar. After that, the prince would travel to a land with very yummy food to help a red devil, and only after that would he return to the mattress factory. It wouldn't be easy, but the mattress prince needed to learn from all of those experiences so he could help the mattress factory be the best it could be. The flamenco prince then kissed the mattress prince and vowed to support him every step of the way, no matter how much the spaceship and mattress factory battled. And so the mattress prince was reassured that it was true love, which can survive all odds. And, of course, through all the trials and tribulations, they lived happily ever after.

The sound of the national anthem caught Nando's attention. He kissed Locco fondly and mused, "I hope Sergio tells the story to his Indi some day. It's a good one."