Fate of choice

She didn’t like this dream, someone was putting something wet again and again on her face and lips and there was a curious weight on top of her. She woke up with a start and shoved something off her. She heard a thud and a curse simultaneously. Looking down she saw a strange person dressed in sequins and gold, it had on something that looked like a heavy purple blanket and as it rose it fell around it. “What the hell,” she gasped palming her dagger. “Hey, hey, relax! I am not here to hurt you.” a male voice said as the volumes of blonde hair fell to reveal a perfect male face.

She stared at him in confusion and anger. “How did you get into my house”, she asked “and why the hell were you on top of me”. She kept the dagger pointed at him while thinking her options. If he was a burglar he could be armed, he looked strong and she spied a sword strapped to his waist. The sword looked more of an ornament than a weapon but she was not taking her chances.

The man run a hand through his long blonde hair and the skin in his face turned bright pink. “I really didn’t mean to startle you, I was told to come to these woods and find the sleeping princess?” he looked at everything else in the room but her and the color in his cheeks deepened. She could now see the youth in his face, this male was barely out of his teens. “and…” she prompted. He looked down at his fingers “kiss her,” he said barely above a whisper. She let out such a menacing growl that he stepped back and his hand instinctively went to the hilt of his sword.

She hopped off the bed and paced about the room. He watched her closely as he felt the need to be careful around her. She was beautiful, tall, pale skin, brown eyes that seemed to be spitting fire at him every time their eyes met. She moved with grace from one end of the room to another, not like an antelope but like a predator sizing up her prey. This was no princess, this was a warrior he thought as he held his sword more firmly ready to draw.

She suddenly stopped in the middle of the room and faced him. “What is it with you princes just going around sneaking into cabins in the woods kissing sleeping women?” she asked. He felt his face become even hotter and looked down a his peeping boots. “No”, he mumbled and she didn’t seem to believe him. “Tell your men to keep a 50m radius from my cabin if they want to live”, she said as she put her dagger on the table and sat on her bed. Before he could wonder how she knew he had men with him he stepped out and asked them to stand down and then came back inside and stood looking around awkwardly.

“Tell me who you are and what you want prince, I don’t have all day”. She said in a bored voice, “you better have a very good reason for waking me up from my sleep with your stinking spit”. He tried to smell his breath it really wasn’t that bad, was it, he had eaten garlic earlier though. Her voice was strong, she reminded him of the commander of his kingdoms troops. He cleared his throat “I have but one request, that you come home with me and be my queen”, he said standing up straight. Her laughter was loud, so loud he thought he felt the walls shake. “My dear boy,” she said between chuckles, “Go back to your kingdom, I am not interested”. She then stood and went to a small table and sat down opening a scroll that she seemed to start reading.

He stood there shifting his weight from one foot to another. He looked at her as she read and marveled at her beautiful curly short hair forming a crown around her oval face. She completely ignored him even when he tried to cough like she had already finished the conversation and dismissed him. ‘I don’t understand”, he muttered finally, “I am supposed to kiss you out of your sleep and you’re supposed to wake up happy and come home to be my wife. I don’t get it”, his voice was laced with frustration. “No shit”, she smirked, “who told you this?” she said not looking up from her scroll. Would it kill her to look at him? “The royal wizard”, he said matter of factly. She laughed again that high pitched boisterous laugh of hers. “Boy I have been awake for a long time, many kings and princes have come here and tried to take me, some by force, but I am still here. So unless you would prefer bloodshed I would advise you to turn, take your men and leave.” She said turning the scroll gently in her hands still not looking up.

“But I have broken your curs”, he protested. That chuckle again “Boy I broke that curse thousands of years ago and I really don’t want to kill you, you seem pure of heart”. He believed her, she looked very strong and skilled probably from having to take care of herself. In the kingdom they didn’t allow women to train, who trained her? “Wait did you say thousands of years ago! how old are you?” He gasped. “Didn’t they teach you never to ask women their age?” she said in a bored tone as she continued looking at her scroll.

A slight creak made him turn his head as a side door opened and a little girl with long dark hair came skipping into the room, she looked around with wide eyes like she had just awakened from sleep. She yawned noisily and rubbed her eyes before settling on him. He gasped, she had ruby colored eyes under long dark lashes. “Another one,” she nodded towards him as she headed towards the lady at the table and stood behind her. “Yup”, the older lady nodded tracing some lines in her scroll. “Should we kill him?” she asked a tad too excitedly. The older woman sighed, “No beauty we don’t kill people”. He released the breath he didn’t know he was holding and stared at the beautiful little psychopath. She returned his stare with a curious intensity her ruby eyes glowing.

The older woman started moving around making barely audible words. He wondered what the relationship between the two was, was she her daughter. They had the same color of hair the little girls went all the way to her waist but nothing much else in common. After a while the mumbling turned into a rhythm and he figured she was chanting. “What is she doing”, he asked ruby eyes who was still staring at him wide eyed. “We are leaving again”, she sighed looking at the other. “Every-time someone comes across our cabin, we move”.

He looked at the older woman, she stopped chanting and went back to her chair. “So are you the sleeping princess of the legends or not?” He asked, she smirked “Yes”. “You are not asleep, though,” he pressed. She snorted, “No shit”. Ruby eyes was still looking at him beneath her eyelashes. “You need to leave”, ruby eyes said “or you shall be sucked into a vortex you can never come pout off”. He started fidgeting, he didn’t want to go back to his father, he didn’t want to go back home and explain things. He also didn’t want to die.

“Interesting”, ruby eyes said “he wants to stay”. He felt the heat rise in his cheeks and he ran his hand through his long blonde hair. “Will I die when I get sucked into this vortex?” he said looking at the older woman, “I mean you can drop me anywhere in the world,” he continued quickly, “you have magic powers don’t you? How are you moving cabins without moving?”. “What about your kingdom prince?” she asked “They will manage”, He replied without hesitation.

He thought of his brother who wanted to be king more than anything. If he was not in the picture the crown was his and his brother was a better leader than him in so many ways. This will also put an end to the constant family squabbles at home. Yes they will morn but then they will get over it.

“What is it you really want prince?” said the older woman suddenly in his face.

“Freedom”, he said.

The older woman pinned him with her stare. He became instantly immobile and felt a probing in his brain like someone was inside it. He blinked fast and it ended as fast as it had started, he fell on the floor with a thud. “He is being sincere”, ruby eyes said surprised. Suddenly he felt a weightlessness about him.

“Wait” he said, “My men?”

“They won’t remember a thing”, came the answer, he nodded. “One more thing”, he had to know before he went to wherever they were taking him. “How did you break your curse?” I asked the older woman looking her in the eye.

They both chuckled, “The legend says true love breaks the curse, why does everyone assume it is a kiss from a random prince?” she said bemusedly.

The last scene he saw was brown eyes looking fondly into ruby eyes.

Tale Weaver/Fairy Tale # 138

I started with the above prompt in mind but I might have digressed :-). I look forward to comments.

Advertisements