My Take on a Classic

The story of Sleeping Beauty has always kind of upset me.  The age difference between the love interests (in the original Grimm tale) makes the whole story a little awkward.  Yeah, time was suspended and whatnot but still.  Anyway, here’s my version.  A little different, but sort of the same.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, yes, I love fairy tales.


Once there was a Princess born to an elated King and Queen.  She was as perfect a child as anyone could ask for, and the proud King and Queen invited all of the fairies in the kingdom to bestow blessings upon her.  That is, all of the fairies except one.

The fairy they excluded was always causing mischief in the kingdom and the King and Queen did not wish to have her mischief bestowed upon their precious daughter, so they tried to keep her birth a secret to the ornery fairy.  They sent her on an official royal vacation which she was enjoying very much when she heard the news of the Princess.  Now, this fairy may have been cruel, but she wasn’t dull and she discerned straight away that the King and Queen had sent her away from the child.

Angrily, she magicked herself to the palace and marched up to the Princess’s cradle.  She peered in and saw the perfect little child, which only angered her more.  She placed a spell on the young Princess so that, when she was grown, she would prick her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel and die.  One of the kindhearted fairies watched as the curse was laid.  Quickly, she rushed to the child’s side and tried to lift the curse.  But, alas, the curse was too strong for the kind fairy to eradicate.  Determined to help the little Princess, the fairy changed the curse so that the Princess would only fall into a deep sleep when her finger was pricked.  A sleep that could only be awakened by true love.

The years went by and the little Princess grew into a beautiful young maiden.  There was no prince near or far who did not come to ask for her hand.  But with every prince who came, the Princess became more and more withdrawn.  Each prince was lacking something, be it intelligence or good looks or personality.

Frustrated, the spirited Princess escaped the confines of the castle to the forest cottage where the kind fairy who had saved her life lived.  The Princess thought that she had run away unnoticed, but the fairy sent word to her mother not to worry.  The fairy was very wise and knew that the maiden would be farther than ever from any spinning wheels out in the forest.

For weeks, the Princess lived happily with the fairy and she grew in beauty every day.  The fairy taught the Princess to bake and to do chores, but she never let the girl know how to sew.  Every time the Princess asked, “Please godmother, teach me to sew.” the fairy replied only with “You do not know the magic it involves dear child.”

One day, while the Princess was pruning the rose bush in front of the cottage, a man rode up to the cottage on a bony old horse.  The Princess looked up to see who it was and saw, to her amazement, an extraordinarily handsome young farmer.  He was bringing flour for the fairy so that she could bake an extravagant cake for the Princess’s upcoming birthday.

The farmer, like all of the young princes before her, was instantly smitten with the Princess.  However, it was not her wealth that drew his eye initially, for he knew not of it, but her kindness as she invited him into the house and offered him some tea.  She quickly washed up and changed into a dress more suitable for hosting guests than working in the garden and hurried to help him as he fed and watered his horse.  When the young farmer saw the Princess in her true beauty, he fell at once in love with her.

“You are beautiful, both in body and in heart.” He told her, “And you have captured my own heart.  Might you consider taking my hand in marriage?”

The young girl was shocked, but she had fallen in love with him just as quickly.  She promised him that, when the time was right, they could indeed wed.  She thought to seek out her parents and ask for their permission and then reveal herself to him as a princess and marry him in the palace.

However, the fairy knew that the Princess would soon need to return to the palace to take up her responsibilities as the future queen.  On the Princess’s birthday, the fairy gave her the extravagant cake and then took her to the palace.  The princess thought this the perfect time to speak to her parents of her new found love, so she went happily.

When the pair arrived at the castle, the Princess became rather bored hearing her parents drone on and on about the impossibilities of a Princess marrying a farmer, so she slipped away to pout.   As she was roaming the corridors, she came across a staircase that she had never seen before.  Curious, the Princess climbed the stairs, only to find a spinning wheel before her.  Eagerly, she approached it, certain that it couldn’t be very difficult.  In her enthusiasm, she indeed pricked her finger on the needle and fell instantly into a deep sleep.   Within hours, the fairy had discovered what happened and put the rest of the kingdom in an enchanted sleep as well.

Meanwhile, unaware of the events transpiring in town, the young farmer rode his horse to the fairy’s cottage, intent on seeing the Princess again.  When he arrived, he found it empty, with no trace of where she had gone.  He was heartbroken, but he vowed that he would find her again one day.  Far and wide he looked for the Princess, but he always came up empty handed.  Nonetheless, he continued to search for her for the next one hundred years.

During this time, rumors began to spread of a most strange kingdom which had once been mighty, but now seemed to be cursed.  A tall and thorny hedge grew up around the palace, but not before travelers managed to see the entire kingdom fast asleep.  It was rumored that a beautiful princess was asleep there as well and if one could only find a way to wake her, they would be allowed to marry her.

Many brave young men tried to enter the town, but every one was stopped by the hedge or the dragon who had taken up residence beneath it.  After a hundred years of intrigue over the Sleeping Beauty, the rumors reached the farmer, who was now very old.  He recognized the description of this beautiful maiden, and so he set off to conquer what the young men could not in a final attempt to find his long lost love.

When he arrived at the kingdom, he walked through the hedge without difficulty, for his many years as a farmer had made his skin nearly impervious to mere thorns.  The dragon was extremely surprised to see such an old man emerge unscathed by the great hedge that he questioned the old man.

“Why are you here, old man? ”  The dragon asked, “Surely there is nothing in this kingdom for you.”

“I have come to wake the princess.” The farmer replied calmly.

“That, I cannot allow you to do, old man.”  said the Dragon, “In fact, I must devour you.’

“For that, I pity you.”  Came the farmer’s reply, “For I am old and would taste of nothing more than leathery skin and brittle bones.”  The dragon, who had rather an elite sense of taste, was repulsed by the idea, and therefore let the farmer pass unharmed.

Every step that the farmer took toward the princess, he felt a little younger and his love for her burned ever brighter in his heart.  At last, he reached the tower where the princess slept.  Slowly, cautiously, he climbed the staircase, feeling as though it would never end.

Finally, the farmer reached the top and beheld his princess, as beautiful then as she had been when he first met her.  The farmer wept with joy and was overcome by the urge to kiss her.  As he did so, something magical happened.  His skin became soft and his bones became strong.  The wrinkles in his weathered face smoothed themselves and returned to the handsome visage of his youth.

As he marveled at this transformation, the princess awoke.  Upon seeing him, she too was overcome with joy.  The pair descended the tower to find the entire kingdom waking from its sleep.  After the farmer’s story had been recounted, the king and the queen happily declared him the only match for their daughter.

And so it became that the farmer married the princess that very afternoon and there was feasting and rejoicing in the land.

The End.

Unavoidable

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do or Die.”

Love.  It’s unavoidable, part of human existence.  Live in a cave your entire life without ever meeting another human being and you will find something to love.

The creator of the universe is love so love is the fabric that knits this world together.  Without it, God would not be God and life could not exist.  We love because He first loved us.

Even if we wanted to escape it, we couldn’t.  We can twist it, certainly, but that isn’t the same as avoiding it.  We don’t want to escape.  Everyone, somewhere deep down wants to love and be loved.

Without love, our lives would not mean anything.  Love is the driving force behind everything that is good in this world.

Love is essential.

River of Time Fanfiction Part 5

Here are parts one, two, three, and four.

Hope you enjoy!

We spent the next hour trying to decide what would be the best thing to do.  Eventually, we decided to leave nearly everything in the apartment.  I took my massive tote bag, which I was so glad to have found, stuffed with a few changes of clothes, the gold, and a few other things I thought we might need.

When we finally got out of the apartment, I had Luca wearing his clothes just slightly wrong so that he would look like a modern actor.  It was the best we could do for the moment, but he agonized over it all the way to the nearest clothing store.  To be honest, I thought it was kind of funny, and some of the looks we were drawing were straight up hilarious.

“Americano?” the store owner asked as we walked through the door, the little bell tinkling merrily.  She eyed Luca’s odd assortment of clothes and both of our blond hair.  She was no slender woman, but she bustled over to us and gestured us to a plush love seat with surprising speed.

“Si.” I smiled at her, warmed by her instant friendliness.

“Ah.  You will be wanting something a little more…” she trailed off, looking Luca over as if she were sizing him up.

“Modern?” he offered unexpectedly, breaking into that characteristic goofy grin that I loved so much.  The shop owner and I laughed along with him as she ushered us over to the men’s section.

“I do not have much, but you can find something to fit, I think.” She started pulling things off the shelf like a madwoman, tossing them all into Luca’s slightly overwhelmed arms. “There.  Try these.” She pulled a curtain aside and helped Luca into a dressing room.  “You have questions, you ask.  Okay?”  Luca nodded and she bustled off as other customers began to trickle into the shop.

I sat outside the dressing room for a few minutes, nervously hoping that Luca was alright.

“Lia,” he whispered finally, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” He confessed.

“The tags always go in the back.” I whispered back, trying not to giggle.

“Tags?”

“The little bits of fabric with words on them.”

“Oh.”  There was a pause.

“These clothes are so soft.” He said, sounding thoroughly amazed.

“I know.  Just put them on.” I said, shaking my head.

A few minutes later, he emerged, dressed in a pair of dark-wash jeans and a maroon button-down shirt.  He looked amazing.  Definitely out of place, but I was going to have to work pretty hard to keep the Italian women away from my man.

“How do I look?” He asked, spinning around for me to see.

“Extraordinary.” I replied, standing up to give him a little peck on the cheek.

We bought him a few outfits, then headed into Sienna, toward Il Campo.  Luca gaped at everything and I tried to explain the sights as best I could.  As we were walking through the square, I spotted a gelato stand.

“Wait here.” I told Luca, making a beeline for the delicious frozen treat.  I bought raspberry for myself and chocolate for Luca.  He took the cone hesitantly, eyeing it suspiciously.

“What is this?” He asked dubiously.

“It’s gelato.  Might be the yummiest thing you try today.” I said, promptly attacking the deliciousness with vigor.  Luca hesitantly licked the ice cream and his eyes lit up.

“What is this?” He said again, this time enthusiastically.

“I told you you’d like it.  Do you want to try mine?”

The Passive Aggressive Apocalypse

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cause, Meet Effect.”

Blizzards and Girl Scout Cookies.

I have recently discovered that my favorite type of apocalypse would be a passive aggressive blizzard apocalypse.  The kind where suddenly, overnight, there would be like twelve feet of snow all over everything and the world is silent.

Okay, let me back up.  That sounds kind of morbid.  Not like me at all.  Eh, maybe it is a little bit, but allow me to set the scene.

A zombie apocalypse generally looks a little bit like this:

  • Zombies start existing.
  • Everyone flees to large cities for government support.
  • Zombies rapidly infest large cities due to proximity.
  • No one knows who to trust and everyone carries guns and hatchets and things to stop the zombies.
  • There is a lot of gory bloodshed and stuff.
  • An ever dwindling group of tough survivors attempt to stick it out as long as they can.
  • The end.

Nobody wins.  There is a bunch of blood.  Everyone hates everyone.  There is no hope for a new society to rise from the ashes or any of that.

A massive societal collapse apocalypse:

  • One day, all of the power goes out or something similar and everyone goes into a panicked frenzy.
  • People loot stores and hoard things for themselves.
  • Everyone goes insane from the resultant lack of structure and people become increasingly violent in their attempts to take over society for themselves.
  • After everything finally settles down and lots of people are dead, a dictator takes over and the people don’t even realize that they are being oppressed.
  • Hundreds of years down the road, someone finally stands up and they overthrow the government and the cycle repeats.

There is at least a little possibility here for eventually creating a stable and happy society, but I wouldn’t bet on it.  It is still not an ideal way for the world to end.

Now here’s my idea:

  • One day, completely unpredictably, it begins to snow.
  • The snow becomes this massive blizzard, but it builds gradually so that people have time to get home and bunker down.
  • Once it reaches its full strength, no one can go anywhere, so they simply sit at home.
  • Most people had time to get some food and generators before it happened, so they aren’t dying in droves.
  • There is the one guy who has been saying this was going to happen for years so he has a massive basement that is crazy insulated and stocked with a ten-year supply of bottled water and thin mints (because thin mints would be the perfect apocalypse food, especially if all you had to do to freeze them was to store them outside).
  • Once the initial storm dies down, some desperate people struggle to make their way to his house.
  • He gives them some warm pajamas and lets them live in his massive insulated basement.
  • The more resourceful people are staying in their own homes, only going outside to shovel the snow off of their roofs so that they don’t collapse.
  • People find a bajillion ways to melt the snow and it is completely drinkable because snow is like that so everyone has water.
  • Eventually, most people make it over to the one guy’s house.  They all bring whatever resources they have and huddle together for warmth.
  • As the winter wears on, people start thinking about how everything ever will flood come spring so…
  • They kill two birds with one stone and start bottling snow and storing it in the now empty houses.
  • By the end of winter, there have been a few more bouts of snow, but people know how to handle them by now.
  • As the snow melts, there is minimal flooding due to the people’s resourcefulness and the land is well-watered for a good harvest.
  • Obviously, the one guy becomes the new mayor and literally everyone ever gets thin mints for the rest of their lives.

I’m not saying everyone survives the winter, but doesn’t that sound like a happier apocalypse than mass destruction and chaos?  I certainly think so.