Sunday Stories: Sleeping Beauty – Part One
Okay, so here’s what I promised you all yesterday. I’ve decided to start this new series on my blog sharing my old short stories. To start things off, I’ll share a short novella I wrote when I was twelve. I wrote this as a gift for Hannah, if I remember correctly. 😉 It’s my semi-snarky version of “Sleeping Beauty”. Oh, how I cringe at it now. But at twelve years old, this story just tickled me to death. 😉
So enjoy! I’ll continue posting parts every week. There may be six or seven….
I must have heard the story of my birth a thousand times. I’m a legend, you know. The first ever princess, born in Caledonia, with a spell cast on her.
My nurse, Flora, likes to tell my story like this:
“Once upon a time, actually, about ten years ago, right here in this castle, in the beautiful land of Caledonia, a baby was born. But not just any baby. This was a special one, for she was the only daughter of our beloved King and Queen.”
Right here I’d break in and ask, “Mother and Father?”
“Yes,” she’d continue, “If you saw them today you might call them that. But, on with the story: the only daughter of the King and Queen, she was. The most beautiful baby ever.”
“Was she born pretty?” I’d ask.
“Heavens, no! When she was born she looked just like any other baby, face all purple and scrunched up and everything.” Then Flora would scrunch up her face and yell, “Waaah!” which always made me giggle.
“How’d she get pretty?”
“Everyone knows that fairies give princesses beauty. All princesses are born ugly, you know. Beauty is the first gift they usually get.”
“Was it her first gift?”
“Actually, no. the princess was all wrapped up in a white blanket, so ugly that the fairies thought she was a boy! The King and Queen tried to correct them, but everyone knows fairies are stubborn creatures, without a lick of sense. So instead of love and kindness and patience, the little princess was given bravery, honesty, strength, and loyalty! Good things, nonetheless, but not exactly appropriate for a princess! At least the fairies were smart enough to give her good looks, though, for a handsomer princess I’ve never seen,” she’d say, patting my black curls and smiling into my dark eyes.
I wrung my soft hands, tanned from the sun, like I always did whenever someone complimented me. I despised my good looks and wished to look like the common girls. Maybe then I’d have a friend instead of a paid playmate. “Go on,” I’d say instead.
She’d go on to tell me about each fairy. What color each was (I’d like to have seen a purple one) and so on until she came to Malkaka. “She fell through the ceiling, ripping off tiles! She landed on a heap on the floor, she did. But that didn’t stop Malkaka! Everyone knows she’s an evil fairy, she is. Hates her sister Morivina to death, she does. When she heard that Morivina got invited somewhere she didn’t, she was furious! Stamped her foot so hard the marble floor cracked! Then she lifted her scaly purple arm—everyone knows fairies have scales since they’re kin to mermaids—and she pointed it at the King and Queen.
“‘You,’ she said to Queen Marissa. ‘You favor her. You like Morivina better than me! But she’s just as worthless as you are. Couldn’t even tell this baby is a girl.’ The room of fairies gasped. Then she bestowed her curse. ‘This baby is as useless as all of you.’
“She walked over and looked at you, and lifted you in her arms and almost smiled. ‘I was firstborn, too,’ she whispered in your ear. ‘What a miserable life I’ve led. I just wish I could spare you, too.’ Her beautiful purple eyes lit up. ‘I will save you from a life of misery, princess. When you are sixteen, you will bite into a poisoned fruit, and die.’ Then she looked at you, and looked a little sorry, she did. Then she said, ‘If you can’t find a way to break this spell, you’re as useless as I thought.’ Then she placed you back in the crib and flew back up the ceiling. Everyone was astonished but only one person could save you. The last fairy, Faulina, walked up and quickly announced, ‘My gift to the princess is this: Instead of dying, she will just fall asleep until her true love kisses and awakens her.’ Then she smiled, and there was much rejoicing in Caledonia.”
This was my favorite story in the world. More than King Arthur, more than Canterbury Tales, even more than Queen Esther. But the fact still remained: I was cursed.
I am Princess Valerie Antonia Clarisse, heir to Caledonia, and this is my story.