Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]


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    Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]

    Post by IZZY on Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:26 pm

    Divider Graphics


    I beg to differ

    Back in June, I began a story that wasn't the most creative thing I've ever thought up (It's posted a little bit further down on the "All Stories" page). It's not revolutionary, and the work may be amature, but I wanted to finish it. It's simply a fairytale, and I realize it's not wonderful (but the only way we can improve is with practice, right?). Well guess what. I FINISHED IT! I'm sure that nobody really cares, and I don't expect anybody to, and I'm not trying to fish for compliments. I'm only posting this because I finished it and people who may have kept up with it once upon a time can see how it ends.

    Anyways, thank you for reading, and please enjoy...


    Happily Ever After.

    Three words of pure dragonshit.

    We all know that even after the handsome prince ran away with Cinderella the weekend after he finally tracked her down (by way of a shoe-- how reliable is that?), they didn’t get married and have little angel children.

    NO! This is the real world, and keeping your family in power means having your son engaged within two weeks after the ball to the potato-nosed Duchess of Giffersim (who, unfortunately for the prince, is his second cousin).

    That Fairy Godmother of yours may be able to give you a gown and slippers, but she can’t grant status. So while your pretty face may get some pecks from old Charmie one night, you won’t be inheriting the royal family jewels anytime soon.

    How do I know this? Well, they don’t call me Prince Charming’s Ho for nothing.

    My mother’s name was Grace, and so was her mother’s, and so is mine. You may think it’s weird that somehow, through the Curlem Kingdom grapevine, I got nicknamed “Cinderella” (the least insulting and most PG of them all), seeing as it’s not even close to the original. I blame it on my stepmother. She thinks she’s the cleverest person in the world (she may be smarter than her daughters, but that’s not saying much at all). Back when I was still living with that horrid woman, I once “tripped” (we all know that’s NOT what happened) and fell into a pile of ashes from the fireplace that I had just swept up.

    A chorus of venomous titters and one low, devilish guffaw followed, and when I rose from the ashes, soot encasing my face, of course Diphtheria (I refuse to call that hag “Mummy”) had to spit out something that would be, in her opinion, humorous and insulting.

    “You don’t quite fit your name, do you, Cinder…” She paused to think, “…Ella? Oh! That’s a good one, isn’t it, Dysentery?”

    And, as I expected, that stupid girl just stood there, laughing, even though she probably didn’t understand it in the first place. Next to her, Ebola stood gazing out the window, unaware of the situation until Dys elbowed her and motioned for her to laugh along.

    How in the Queen‘s bloomers, I asked myself, did I end up here?

    If only then I knew then that my life would be so much better off if I had stayed in my room that day when the slipper-bearing knight dropped by…

    1. Dungeons are never good signs. The floors are dirt and bone ground together. The walls are damp and always have something growing on them. The air is heavy with the moans of other prisoners. You constantly hear the whispers and squeals of rodents and ghosts alike. Darkness sits on you like a bully who has wrestled you to the ground.


    Almost four stories above me, that doofball Prince Charming is going to bed with his beloved new wife. I could hear the wedding bells tolling throughout the city all day long, as well as the hours of parades and parties following it.

    I’m not jealous-- I’m not!

    Charm was no good in bed anyways.

    I REFUSE to go into any specifics (although the Curlem Columnists have probably divulged in you all the dirty details), but I would like to point out to any of you noble ladies out there who think he’s a stud (because he sure acts like one), he’s not. I had to teach him practically everything! And I don’t even get out that much!

    Didn’t. I didn’t ever. Now, I’m locked up in this stupid cell surrounded by stupid, toothless law-breakers. And I didn’t even get the chance to plea my case to the King and Queen-- in fact, they were the ones who ordered my arrest! And “public indecency”? What kind of dragonshit excuse for my seizure is that? We were in the privacy of the Prince’s country-side hunting lodge, thank you very much!

    But I digress. There is no reason for anger, for if I let it boil up inside me any longer, I will surely explode and accidentally tackle (and tear the toes off) the next innocent sentry taking guard down here. It’s got to be a hard job.

    I look down at myself. I’m in tatters. In shambles. I would be totally used to this (and enjoying my vacation from Diphtheria’s choking grip) if not for the two days I spent getting a blissful royal treatment. That, added on with the injustice of my arrest, has caused for my grim attitude.

    Is it my fault that the King and Queen expected their son to chose a Princess (despite giving him the “freedom” of selecting his wife). Just because things didn’t go their way, do they have to punish me?

    So they want me “out of the way”? I will GLADLY go take an undetermined-length trip to Walua, the Island Kingdom several hundred miles from Curlem-- and never return, if that’s what they order! But, no. I guess they don’t trust me. I mean, yes, I lied about my background and then seduced the prince, but come one! I’m a human being! I don’t deserve to--

    “Hey, missy!” Next to me, a toothless, haggard man hisses at me. The palace is landlocked by other Curlem provinces-- what is a pirate doing here?

    I gag before answering, “What?” I keep an eye on the sentry, who has been slowly nodding off to sleep ever since the chime of eleven. Newbie.

    “I be thinkin’ me an’ you pritty laday ought to bust out o’ ‘ere,” He whispers mischievously, eyeing my body hungrily.

    “Ew,” I humph, “With you? No thanks.”

    “Oh, naow, dat’s no’ fayer!”

    “I’d rather take a visit to the GUILLOTINE. Okay? Now back away.”

    There is a set of widely space bars between us, and even though both he and I are chained and shackled to the wall, I’m still wary.

    He grits his, er, tooth, and slowly retreats into the dark corners of the cell.

    “And STAY that way!” I roll my tired eyes and again curse the Queen and King --despite the blasphemy that is-- for my imprisonment.

    The dungeon grow silent, eerily so, except for the growing chorus of drips echoing off the walls. A small scratching, tinkering noise arises as well. I listen, straining my ears, for nearly a half hour until I notice a small fireworks show of sparks coming from over by the ragged pirate’s handcuffs. He unconsciously moves into a patch of moonlight, and I realize what he is doing.

    “Are you-- Really? I--” I sputter, trying to gain control over the reeling thoughts in my mind. “Do you honestly think you can break out of a heavily guarded prison cell simply with your hooked hand? You’re an-- an idiot!”

    He simply looks my way and grins determinedly as he twists his wrist around and around, fumbling in the dark. Eventually, I hear a click.

    He waves his arm in the air like a celebrating infernoglobe athlete. “Idiot, am I?” He laughs gruffly.


    He shrugs and turns around, heads toward a slim window, and begins lifting himself up to the ledge, so he can use his magic frikinmazing hook to undo the latch on the bars of the window. Again, I hear a small click, and he begins to pull himself out into the night.

    He’s going? He’s really going to leave me, a beautiful (when not all ramshackled up as I am now) damsel in distress? He’s-- HE’S GOING! What now? Am I just going to sit here?

    “Hey, ratface!” I call out behind him. “Get your dirty beard back in here and unlock me!”

    And the adventure begins.

    2. “Ooof! Get your grubby hands off--!” I cry as I struggle through the little window opening.

    “Whut? It’s no’ me faul’ youer too fat to fit!” The pirate huffs, exasperated.

    “I am NOT fat, you scrit, my legs are just dangling about ten feet above the jail cell floor. And since you, so gentlemanly that you are, insisted on going first and leaving me, a LADY, behind, I am struggling. Do you think this--” I wiggle my hips, but get an angry expression on my face, “--is fat?”

    The pirate waves my comments off, then grabs my hand and yanks me through to the other side. We quickly swivel our heads around, searching for any wandering knights or patrol guards. As of now, everything seems to be safe. And thank goodness, too. Now we can finally get out of here.

    I pivot on my shredded-slipper heel and head to the river just east of our location. You can always catch a ride with one of the fishermen there. “Well, I’m off,” I spit, not waiting for his reply.

    “Wait! Arncha gunna kiss meh?” The pirate’s tone changed from greedy to helpless.

    “No, you creep! Don’t bother me!”

    “Whut’s yer name? Grace, right? I’m not really a disgusting ol’ pirate, or a ratface, or a scrit, or WHATEVER else you called meh! I’ve been cursed!”

    “Yeah,” I scoff, “I believe you. Totally.”

    “No, Grace, ye must! I am dee real prince of Curlem!”

    I pause. “What?”

    He sighs, a glum look settling on his features. “When I wuz jist an infant, Ponolp, the witch who lives on the western outskirts of town? Well, she kidnapped me one day when dee Quin wuz making an excursion into town. She swapped in a little baby she had also kidnapped an’ raised as ‘er own for a year. She took meh back to her hut, and cursed me with these ‘aggard looks, so me parents woold never recognize meh. She tol’ meh only a kiss from lips who have also touched royal lips would cure meh. And you, Grace are me antidote.”

    The compassionate side of me, the side that drove me to save the trapped mice and feed parts of my meals to nesting birds, told me I should just kiss him and be over with it. But the damaged side of me, the part that had been sliced and minced by my step mum, step sisters, Prince Charm, and so many more, the realistic side of me, told me to keep walking. And honestly? My heart’s been ground into chalky nothing too many times.

    I make a face. “Nice try, dragon drool, but I’m not falling for you-- or anyone!-- ever again.”

    “But it’s dee truth!”

    “The truth? I don’t even know what that is anymore! If you were really some noble, golden-hearted fellow underneath, why do you sound disgusting? Why have you been treating me like some object to be used for your pleasure? You are disgusting.”

    “Grace! It’s dee curse! I promise! Wait!”

    But I’m gone. Far gone, off into the forest.

    3. The ancient trees stretch tall like castle spires all around me, and I am enveloped in a dark hunter green. At first, I am only in awe of their majestic grace, but soon, as the night grows darker, and the lighted moon slims, my fear catches up. Instead of my heart fluttering at the adventure I’m heading into, it begins to sprint with ragged breathing.

    A chorus of noises-- none very musical at all-- tornado around me. Creaks, whistles, snaps of twigs, and-- grumbling men?

    Too late, I notice them. They take note of me, as well, long before I can hide. They’ve all got bottles and flasks (of alcohol, no doubt) grasped in their hands. They’re loud, and drunkenly stumbling through the forests. The man who seems to be the leader is sitting on the center perch, flailing his arms everywhere, and the whip in his hand is dangerously swinging past all his men, as well as brutally beating the horses dragging the wagon along.

    “Hey! It’s a little lady!” Their eyes go from glazed over to fierce.

    I turn, and begin to run, but they are too close, too fast. Arms stretch around my front, and I get a mouthful of the man’s wool sleeve. I gasp for breath, but only get darkness. I can feel him dragging me across the forest floor, my dress getting even more shredded, until he finally dumps me on the ground, just in front of the feet of the rest of the men.

    “Who ARE you, and back away!” I spit as they creep towards me. Geeze, can a girl never catch a break?

    “We are the Bank-Emptying Band!” Booms the main leader, a man with a psychotic red lion’s mane. I can’t help but laugh a little at the name of their gang. I don’t even consider myself that creative of a person, and yet I could come up with a better title.

    When I tell them this, the Lion grabs my wrists.

    “We won’t be scoffed at by stupid ladies such as-- hey, men, isn’t this Prince Charming’s pretty little--?”

    “Yeah! YEAH!” A small roar of agreement follows.

    “Hmmm,” the Lion eyes me, and I shudder, “What I wouldn’t give to take a ride on that obtuse prince’s tiny toyboat…” (A little vomit erupts up my throat, but I swallow the burning substance).

    While I struggle in his grip, I notice a hard-bristled broom one of the robbers dropped almost two feet away. I know I’m quite talented with the broom (you’ve got to have SOMEthing as a source of entertainment when you frequently get locked in the family supply closet for hours at a time), and I figure I can do wonders, if it were only in my hands…

    “Toyboat, eh?” I rasp, “Is that what they told you about me?”

    “YEAH!” Another robber cries, “Everybody in the kingdom is talking about the dirty, house-cleaning wench who tricked that dense prince into taking her home. And everybody KNOWS you, er, rocked his world, so to speak. Your name--and various other nicknames for you-- echo throughout taverns, the whispering gossip of ladies having tea, and even the general marketplace. Right now, except for the royal family, you are the most popular, most talked about person in this Kingdom.”

    “And every man, wants to--?” I pretend to jump gleefully, to edge closer to the broom.

    “Oh, yes, missy, indeed!”

    “Oh!” I cry like a stupid girl. I’m standing near the head of the broom.

    “Mm-hmm,” I can see the coldness in the ring leader’s pupils. I shiver involuntarily.

    But I am in the perfect position. I slam my foot down of the square head to the broom, causing the shaft to fly upwards and hit the main robber in the back. It’s not very hard, but it takes him by surprise, and it gives me enough time to grab the broom.

    First, I wack the leader in the head with the hard broom. He falls back, and I stomp on his nose once he’s hit the ground. And with that, a sudden swell of men come rushing at me, fists drawn.

    I don’t know what in dragon’s feet I’m doing, but I swing my weapon around, knocking down anybody in broom’s reach. Suddenly, I’m transformed into some warrior, from some far off country, fighting breezily through my attackers. I’ll admit, they are a tad drunk, with as much intelligence as a jar of pickles, but still. I fight. I win.

    I escape.

    I stop wacking the brains out of the robbers and then run. Run, out of the forest, towards the city lanterns. To safety.

    What I think is safety.

    Ooof! “Hey! Watch it!”

    4. I was looking down at my feet when I was running. It’s much easier to just get lost in the blur that your feet are than to run while aware; aware of how tired you feel. So I didn’t notice, as I entered city limits while the sun rose, the moleskin vested-man with an angular, semi-stubbled chin and wavy nut brown hair that stood just in my path. And, as expected, I ran head-on into him.

    “Ah!” I yelp, and he jumps.

    “Grace?” He asks, squinting in the half-darkness.

    Who is this dude? I never get out much, and I have an impeccable memory, so I should know who this is.

    “How did you know my name?” I decide this is the safest reply.

    “It’s me! From the jail cell--”

    Huh? “The pirate?”

    “Well,” the guy (who, might I add, is GORGEOUS), “My name is actually Leaf, if you don’t mind.

    I laugh. “LEAF?! Wait-- if you used to be the King and Queen’s son, why don’ you go by ‘Charming’? Isn’t that your birth name?”

    He sighs. “The birth name for the prince. I’m afraid I will never be one, so I decided to name myself. AND I think Leaf is quite a gallant name. So don’t be hating on it, CINDERELLA.”

    I let his remarks slide and continue with my questions. “Well, um, how come you’re no longer ugly and disgusting?” (Translation: How did you get so hot?)

    He beckons me to start walking with him towards the town, and then begins speaking.

    “After you ditched me, I wandered over to that tall brush over by the river’s edge. I figured no one would notice me napping over there, as it’s pretty good protection and camouflage. However, I didn’t get a wink of sleep, for I was soon enveloped in a swarm of small, buzzing lightbugs. They are quite annoying, wouldn’t you agree? Anyways, I snatched one up in my ‘grubby’ hands (as you so described them), only to find that it wasn’t a lightbug at all.
    “It was a little marshpixie! And as soon as I had her trapped, all the rest of the pests zoomed away, thank geeze. She bit my finger, and I almost let her go, so then I stuffed her in my empty gin bottle that I always keep on hand.

    “So then she started shrieking and demanding I release her, which I would gladly do, after she helped me.

    “‘A witch put a curse on me, to be put simply,’ I told her, ‘and it can only be stripped away with the kiss from a girl who has also kissed royalty. What can you do?’”

    “‘I’m not doing anything, for you, but a kiss-curing curse can always be lightened with a kiss from a pixie. I’m not saying you’ll go back to be yourself, but you definitely won’t be looking like that anymore!’ She informed me. So, I had my answer, but unfortunately, pixie kisses are even harder to snatch than a kiss from you, so I didn’t know what to do.

    “‘I’ll release you if you kiss me,’ I bargained, but alas, no.

    “‘You wish! The only thing that my lips touch are clovers, and that’s when I’m eating the delicacy!’ the little pixie squeaked. So I put her back in my pocket while I thought. Planning and plotting has never been one of my strong points, so I decided, after withdrawing my bag of spare clovers, grass, and other greenery (you never know who you’ll run into when you’ve had a life like mine), I would simply wing it.

    “I held a clover near my lips. Stupidly simple, right? I shook up the gin bottle (to disorientate the pixie, of course) and then pulled the cork off. She zoomed out, super swiftly. And soon, she was gone. I LET HER GO! But, just like that, she paused mid-zoom, and sniffed the air. She turned around spotted me holding out the clover.

    “She bee-lined towards it, like she’s a--a, uh, I don’t know, but she closed her eyes and like a dart-- that’s it!-- she came speeding towards her target. She puckered her lips to get ready to open them at just the right moment to eat the clover, and then--! I whipped the clover out of the way, and her puckered lips met mine.

    “Next thing I know? I’ve woken up hours later, looking like this! I was just going to look for the pixie to repay her with a couple of clovers of something, but instead of finding her, I found YOU when you so kindly ran into me!.”

    As he finishes speaking, I look up to meet his eyes. “Wow. I never pegged you as so desperate for affection, you’d have to trick a pixie into satisfying your appetite.”

    “Oh, shut up!” He cries. “Now, it’s been too long of a night. I think we deserve some brew.”

    5. “Oh, look!” I cry and point at a long line of other “commoners” line up along the main road, each carrying a thin plum-colored candle lit in their hands. As the flames flicker in the early pink morning light, they seem heavenly, like little stars.

    “What are they doing?” Leaf scrunches his hazel eyes, inquisitively.

    “Aren’t you a Curlem native? The morning after the wedding of a royal folk, all the kingdom parades to the palace gates, to see off the…prince and his-- his wife as they depart on their honeymoon. Then the celebration continues!”

    What can I say? I’m only human, and jealousy is always present in our species.

    “Oh, well, after the witch cursed me, and I grew up, I ran away from Curlem to settle in another kingdom where I had no history. So, I’m not exactly an expert on the activities of the royal family…” He trails off, dolefully.

    “Even though they are you flesh and blood?” I ask gently, my voice just a whisper.

    His voice wavers as he answers, “Yes, Grace.”

    We figure that attending the parade isn’t the best idea for the state of either of our hearts and decide to hit up the Broken Rockingchair tavern just off the main street. We enter through the low doorway into the nearly empty bar. Only an ale mistress stood at the counter, furiously scrubbing away at a stain on the counter.

    “I wonder what her issue is? Look at her expression!” I laugh into Leaf’s ear, and he chuckles alongside me.

    We settle at two bar stools and wait for the mistress to come tend to us.

    “So,” Leaf turns to me, “I kinda got the vibe that you’re still not over the prince?”

    I blush a little. “Honestly, he’s a balloon inflated with hot air. He’s conceited, a little rude (and he ISN’T cursed!), and somewhat stupid. I had to explain a lot to him…about everything. But…”


    “But he still gave me the best weekend of my life. Before he knew that his parents wouldn’t approve of a common housekeeper, all he did was profess how much his love for me is, about how he would make sure I would be taken care of for the rest of my life. Ever since my mum died, all I’ve known is cleaning, taking orders, and bending for people who don’t deserve to be fawned over by a rat. I never spoke my mind, and I never did something that I wanted to do, for me, and only me.” I sigh. “He was the original signal of hope for me.”

    We both sit in silence for a moment.

    “But now I know about the real world. Life doesn’t always turn out like pastries and strawberry jelly. You know that, you’ve been stripped of your status, privileges, and family. Life, love-- it’s a bunch of dragonshit.”

    “I don’t think that,” Leaf murmurs, his eyes gleaming. “I still have faith that happiness can exist, and I think you know that, too…”

    “I--” I start to defend my opinion, but the words are lost some where between my brain and my tongue. All I can see are the swirling pools that are Leaf’s, pouring into mine, the expression on his face purely hope, affection, and concern…for me?

    I can feel my heart racing, but now it is not struggling along, as if running from a hooded monster. It’s galloping, like a horse gleefully flying through a pasture, taking in scenery and frolicking among the green that is its home. For now, it’s no longer weighed down with grief or pain. A whole life of being trampled on seems to slip away.

    All that matters is right now, in an empty tavern, with him, and a grinning tavern mistress not far off, knowing better than to interrupt us right this moment.

    And I’m grinning, too. I forget about the world, the rumors, my arrest, everything. All I see are his lips, so soft and serene and inviting, that are approaching mine. I lean closer, to meet him half way, but I never taste the sweetness.

    Because just then, the other side of the room collapses with a deafening crash.

    6. “MOTHER--!” Leaf cries, and a swarm of splinters explodes everywhere. The roof collapses, and he grabs my hand as we rush towards an opening leading out to the road. Towering up out of the tavern is a giant scaly leg.

    Golden scales.

    Is it-- Suddenly, it feels like the just-risen sun has swallowed us. My eyes are temporarily blinded by columns of bright fury, which, thank goodness, is NOT directed towards us.

    “Dragon,” Leaf whispers, his face pale, and his hand feels clammy in mine. At the same time, we glance at our entwined hands and drop them to our sides, smiling sheepishly.

    But we don’t have long to think-- the dragon turns towards us. “Where is the prrrrrrrrrince?” She rasps, smoke clouding out of her mouth and invading my lungs. I’m too busy coughing and hacking, so the bar tender answers for us.

    “At-- He’s leaving the palace on his honey-- honeymoon!” She is tearing up.

    The dragon gives one last murderous look at us and moves on.

    We are left in the demolished building, alone, dust and smoke swirling. The bar tender puts out a small fire with some water. I look to Leaf, and he looks to me. At the same moment, we exclaim, “The Prince!”

    We take off running towards the road. Fortunately, in our case, and unfortunately, concerning the dragon, the palace is not far off from the main portion of the city. My feet are flying one after another, and my leaden legs are hardly noticeable compared to the size of my fear. I think we both know that even if we do beat the beast, we won’t be able to stop her from… whatever she’s planning to do. But I can’t just stand in place. I have to move, to run. It’s the only thing keeping me calm.

    We can hear the screams and cries before we see the commotion, for we have to charge up a hill that is blocking all views of the palace gates.

    When the scene does come in view, I almost wish I never saw it.

    The Queen has thrown herself on the ground and is sobbing. The sobs seem to be choking her, and her face is a deep scarlet. Not far off stands her husband, and by the concerned, saddened look on his face, I can’t help but feel extremely guilty based on my previous hatred towards them. I follow the Queen’s line of sight, and then gasp.

    The dragon has Prince Charming clutched tightly in her claws.

    Sitting beneath her is a fractured, luxurious ecru stagecoach, lying open like a cracked egg. The reins that held two royal horses in place have long snapped and the creatures are no where in sight. I spot the prince’s new wife huddling behind a boulder about twenty feet away, her blemish-veiling paints smudging on her face.

    Smoke is dancing maniacally throughout the scene. Flames flicker, and arms of people everywhere are flailing as they run to and fro. The prince looks like a trapped carpetbug, wriggling his arms and squealing.

    The sight is breathtaking, but in the most horrible way possible.

    I almost wish my hand was still interlocked with Leaf’s, but before I can continue with that thought, the dragon roars one last time and takes off, instantly a hundred feet in the clouds.

    There’s a small rain of fire, directed towards the palace, and a huge gush of wind (caused by a single flap of the dragon’s wings), and she’s gone. All that’s left is wreckage.

    The prince

    Is gone.

    7. Everyone is sitting in silence. Sitting, standing, sprawling across the scorched grass. Nobody dares make a sound (excluding the Queen, still hiccupping from her forceful sobs) until the King does so first.

    He is staring at his palms, like he can’t believe what has just happened. I can’t believe what just happened. Dragon attacks are common in the far western boundaries of the kingdom, but from a small group of the dwarf-breed dragons that are easily fought off (but usually come back asking for trouble).

    I’m shocked that such an ENORMOUS creature would ever venture so far into the city limits. But everybody knows who it is. Ichthy. I’m not sure if it’s a shortened version of her name or what, but I know, from old mice-tails and such, that she is the most feared creature in not only the Curlem Kingdom, but all of the surrounding nations. She lusts after not human meat (as some one might predict), but riches. Gold, rubies, pearls-- all of it. She is rumored to travel from palace to palace, doing whatever it takes to gain more bling.

    The last time she was in Curlem, she kidnapped a princess and took her to the caves at the mountain ten miles out of town and waited for a ransom. However-- and just now I remember-- a moleskin-, dragon leather-wearing hero charged to the rescue, swiftly slicing off her toe and causing her to fly off to her home, wherever that may be, to drink from her (rumored) elixir. And blahblahblah, like every mice-tail, it cures her and she moves on to the next place.

    You’d think that she would learn to change up her plans, but she is a woman, er, dragon of routine. When she took off with Prince Charm, I saw her head towards the same caverns from her previous rampage.

    And suddenly, the Queen’s eye’s flash upwards, to the hill where Leaf and I stand. I watch her eyelids fly back, her pupils widening. She gasps, and like an ancient, blinded prophet of old, she raises her rickety finger to point straight at Leaf. She mumbles something.

    The King, along with the rest of the bystanders, swing their eyes to us.

    “It’s the Pacifier! The beast trainer!” He cries, and Leaf jumps back.

    “What? No, I’m no--”

    But the King would not hear of any denial. “He who wears the vest of moleskin, and-- your boots! Boots of dragonskin! He is the one!”

    Leaf is looking quite confused. “Me?” He whispers to me, as if pleading for me to do something to help.”

    “Hey! I mean, Your Highness, we think you may have made a mista--”

    “ME? MISTAKEN? I will not hear of it!”

    Then, the prince’s wife stands up, “Especially not from a wench as foul-hearted as YOU are! SHE’s Cinderella, father!”

    Father? That’s disgusting.

    Before we can speak up again, a knight, wielding a bayonet that is just barely prodding Leaf’s “magic” vest or whatever. We both shriek a little. The knight just grunts and forces Leaf (which means me, as well, since I don’t dare leave his side) down the hill to the King.

    “Name?” He gargles.

    “Um, Leaf, s-s-sir,”

    “Will you accept the mission?” In Curlem, mice-tails nearly rule the land. We already know the mission. And if, by chance, Leaf’s travels have prevented him from this, he doesn’t bring it up.

    Leaf is staring at his boots, probably regretting tricking the pixie into turning him “normal.”

    “YES,” I answer for both of us. I’m not staying in this town by myself when I’m supposed to be in jail (which, coincidentally, the King has forgotten about).

    Leaf looks at me quickly, probably giving himself some whiplash, and just as quickly, the knights start pushing us along the path that will take us out of town.

    We don’t dare stall or turn back, despite our lack of a plan, but continue down the road.

    To our doom?

    8. “So, do we have a plan? I mean, you obviously know where we’re going to, but I haven’t got a clue about…anything,” Leaf says, stopping to adjust his fancy-pants boots.

    I pause, too, and sigh, for my mind has been reeling through every detail and fact stored in my brain, searching for a solution. We don’t have a sword-- or even a mere cross-bow, for that matter! We are practically walking right into Ichthy’s jaws, and yet I am hardly concerned. My family, if they can even be called that, never cared for me, and I’m too much of a joke in the kingdom to find a job to support myself (because I doubt--nor would I want-- all the average pea-brained bachelors of Curlem would be attracted to a “wench” such as I).

    “Nope,” I smile, “you don’t!”

    “Don’t mock me! You haven’t either!”

    I reach for the flask of water hanging off his shoulders and take a swig, a sign of dominance when it comes to this guy. He instantly snatches for it back, but I dance off, giggling as I swallow (which makes for a messy situation).

    “Aw, come on, Grace! Give it back,” He whines, not even caring for how soft it makes him appear. He lunges after me, but I dodge him easily, my nimble limbs hopping about on the dusty road. I squeal and spray water out of the flask, which hits him square on the chest.

    “Aaack!” He reaches out and ruffles my curls, and I feel the frizz rising. I HATE frizz. I wack his arm away and push him with all the strength in my arms, which have grown strong in all my years of scrubbing and mopping and stirring. He stumbles backwards, hits a stone, and trips forwards. He is flying at me, and grabs my waist to gain his balance.

    We both pause. And breathe. And think of something to say without making the situation awkward.

    “Um, Ichthy is told to be a rather prideful dragon, as the females usually are. She does not submit, and will not back down. She always must be on top…” I recite, remembering the words of my rodent friends from a life that seems so long ago.

    Leaf let’s go of my waist and then strides forward, down the path way. “Dang. She must be brilliant. There’s no way--”

    “We just have to use that to her disadvantage!” I cry, hitting my “Eureka!” button.


    “Every person who is not a drab speck in the world has a personality. And the characteristics of their personality can ALWAYS be used as a disadvantage, or advantage. Like your tendency to fail when it comes to fishing. For you, it can suck, because I can poke all the fun I want at you for your lacking. Or it can be a good thing for you, because you not catching them means that you can enjoy MY delicious meals of berries and other foraged goods--”

    “--Hippie freak,” he mutters.

    “It’s pretty obvious that from all my years of only having animals for companionship and friends, I’m not going to turn and EAT their species! It might be somebody’s cousin, or…” I trail off, catching sight of something odd in the sky.

    It’s a little black speck, but it’s growing larger. All I can make out are the silhouette of the bat-like wings.

    “What is it?” Leaf has lost his nerve. He squints upwards, trying to make out the image.

    “I--” I know that dragon’s are speedy flyers, but you’d think I’d be able to finish my thought before Ichthy came roaring down, landing straight in our path.

    “Have you brought the ransom?” She rasps, and this time, I do grab Leaf’s freckled hand, hoping to keep my composure.

    9. “R-ransom?” Leaf whispers.

    Ichthy chuckles. “Why, yes! Human, don’t you know me? The only thing that will give you the slightest chance of recovering your precious prince-- and escaping alive-- is that Eventide Crown, what with its excess in amethyst and rum crystals, that belongs to your ruddy King.”

    Before Leaf can offer another clueless, dense-headed answer, I step up and throw back my hair. “Please! Like a simple dragon of your sort deserves that crown! We have it save for someone-- more impressive.”

    Her sunglow eyes widen, a fire of fury igniting in her pupils. She opens her gaping mouth--whether to retort or blast us with inferno-- but I cut her off, turning to Leaf and giggling, “I bet she can’t even fly higher than the observation spire!”

    Leaf gives me a look, telling me to shut up! I wave him off. The observation spire is the tallest object in the kingdom, reaching higher into the clouds than even the mountain at the end of our path. It’s purpose is to provide a view of the entire landscape, to see approaching armies or whatever.

    The dragon eyes the tip of the tower, snickers a tad, and takes off, instantly soaring nearly twice the height of it, and crashing back down. “Please,” She moans, “give me a challenge.

    “You’re right,” I pull my shoulders back, “I once saw a dragon--way more beautiful and breathtaking than you, might I mention-- zip all the way around the earth in less than six minutes.” I turn to Leaf and mutter (just loud enough for Ichthy to hear) “Bet she couldn’t beat that!”

    She glares at me and again takes flight. I can only measure time by the fluttering beats of my heart, but I know that she’s back within three minutes. She swoops in looking giddy with pride.

    “Don’t gloat yet,” I pipe up, “the dragon we saw had two ENORMOUS boulders in her claws, right Leaf?” I nudge him and he nods, despite his discombobulated state.

    Ichthy huffs and smoke immediately encircles us, not unlike the company of bandits I ran into forever ago. “Come with me, humans-- grab onto my tail!”

    She hovers above the ground, and I have just enough time to snatch onto her golden-hued tail and yank Leaf with me before she takes off. We land just at the base of the sheer cliff-side of the mountain. Without speaking to us, Ichthy scurries up the steep edge, slipping on countless rocks, until she arrives on top. She looks down at us and breaks off two large stones, one for each claw, and raises her eyebrows. I raise mine back, daring her to prove me wrong. With two flaps, she is off into the stormy sky, and we are silent as we wait for her to descend.

    I can see the struggle in her wing-flaps as she races back, and she is panting when she lands. I can only hope that this means my plan is working.

    “Is that enough for you humans? Will you now admit that I am the best?”

    “Well…” I prod. “Flight and speed are one thing, but what is a dragon without her fire?” I can feel the light drizzles as the clouds give way. “I bet you couldn’t even obliterate that forest over there!”

    The rain is steadying. I watch at Icthy raises herself up, opens her jaws wide, and lets out a deafening roar. Fire blasts out, but it soon sputters and is lost in the torrents.

    “Huh?” Ichthy mutters to herself, and she cocks her head, almost like a little puppy. She tries again, to no avail. She repeats, but meets the same consequences.

    She is seriously panting, and I can tell she is worn out. “So, I guess--”

    “Shut your forsaken little mouth, human! I CAN DO THIS!” Ichthy roars, but her voice is hoarse and rough.

    She breathes deeply and prepares for one final blow. With all her might, Ichthy releases all that is left in her before collapsing backwards in a massive crash.

    The beast has fallen.

    10. “Do we slay it?” Leaf asks, rummaging through his satchel for some kind of weapon. Well, it’s nice to know his wits are back.

    “First of all,” I say, “SHE is not an ‘it.’ And NO we are not going to slay her!”

    “Why not?”

    I widen my eyes. “It would kill her. Duh.”

    “Well, I’m pretty sure that when she wakes up, she is going to kill us, so…”

    “That is no excuse! This is a living being with a soul, and passions, and probably has a family she loves-- don’t laugh!-- or others who love her. She’s not so different from us. She’s probably mended a broken heart, or fallen for a guy she barely knows, and--” I pause. “WE ARE NOT KILLING HER!”

    “Fine, Grace. For now, we’ll show some ‘mercy’ or whatever. Let’s just go fetch this pansy prince, and then we’ll see what--”

    Coming from inside the darkness of the cave, I hear a mildly high-pitched bellow, and soon spot none other than my ex-almost-husband sprinting towards the dragon with a sword pointed outwards.

    He looks like a maniac, with that wild look in his eyes. When I suddenly realize his intentions, I cry out. “No, Charm! Stop!”

    He charges up the upwards-turned belly of the beast until he comes to the purple spot that marks the location of the dragon heart. He plunges the shining point deep into her body, then tries to pull it out, smoothly. Either it is lodge into something rock solid, or Charm isn’t very strong (I’m betting on the latter), because he cannot get it out. He groans, but I don’t care.

    I swallow my tears and turn into Leaf’s shoulder. I know he could care less about the mortality of a dangerous foe, but he pretends to be sorry about her death and pats my back, comfortingly.

    And then, like nothing has happened, Charm struts over to us, and begins speaking. “So, because I have saved the entire kingdom from this impending hazard with my quick reflexes and enormous amount of impressive skills, I demand that we scurry back to the palace, so I can inform my citizens of my…deeds. Where is my carriage?”

    I tap his foot with my slipper. “There ya go, boy. The sooner we get going, the sooner you can get back to your palace. Or is walking too hard?”

    “Town is nearly seven miles from here! Ridiculous! Why would you suggest such an idea, you--” I can tell an expletive is coming, so I (mentally) flinch.

    “Actually,” Leaf steps in front of me, cutting the Prince off, “it’s ten miles. But a man with such great skills as you have ought to have no trouble with that, eh?”

    But Charm is stubborn. He plops down on a rock and starts combing his hair with his fingers. Gah.

    Leaf turns to go. “Come on, Grace, we haven’t got time for this.”

    “No! We cannot return without the prince. We’ll surely be thrown back into prison-- or worse.”

    “He is adamant with his decision. I’m sure neither of us can sway him.”

    “I--” I strain my eyes as I spot a moving figure round the bend, coming into view. “Carriage.” I mutter.

    “What?” The prince pops up. “Carriage? Is that what I heard? Oh, yay!”

    “Not just any carriage,” I say, recognizing the signature electric blue color of my step-mum’s in the trimming on the vehicle, “MY carriage. Well, my family’s. Well, actually--”

    “Yes, yes, interesting…now, I will distract the ladies with my charm, and you two will filch the horses up front. I’m sure your sisters will be honored to serve such a patriotic duty. Now, tut-tut1” The prince sends us off.

    Leaf perches behind a boulder, and I nest myself next to him. “Can you believe this guy? He’s making me want to-- I dunno,” he murmurs, and I can feel his pulse racing.

    I nod, understanding. “We be through with him soon enough, Leaf. Oh, there’s Diphtheria! I always hated that woman…”

    We watch as my step-mum and two sisters come stumbling out to meet the Prince, their grins widening by the second. Their greetings are flustered and cheeks are blushing, and the Prince’s head is getting bigger. What a peacock.

    I see him bow, then he struts off to the west, flailing his arms like a sales girl calling attention to…something. Whatever he is talking about, it matters not, for now all passengers in the carriage are distracted and looking off in the opposite direction.

    We take it as our cue to go.

    The horses are willing and happy to come with Leaf and me, probably because we are the first humans to ever speak to them in a tone that is not as harsh as a winter’s night. Leaf mounts one and makes space for me, as well, but I laugh out a “you wish!” And then mount a steed of my own. I grab the reins of one more horse, holding tight as we take off.

    We circle in front of the prince and my family, and I release my second horse so it can be mounted. The departure is clean and quick, and we leave my whining sisters behind in the dust.

    11. “The sun is making my curls go limp! I look almost as atrocious as you do, Grace!” The Prince is trailing about ten feet or so behind us, and this is just another round of complaints/insults. You’d think we we’re traveling on foot, how exhausted he sounds, but we aren’t the animals doing all the hard labor here!

    I listen to Leaf mumbling a couple threats and other expletives, just barely loud enough for me to hear. I, however, am used to the Prince’s type of behavior, so it is easy for me to simply ignore him.

    “I think I turned out better off being raised by myself than by the dipdrops that are his parents,” Leaf says.

    “You know,” I reply, “Those parents that you’re bashing are really yours, remember?”

    “Not after the way they treated you, throwing you in jail and feeding the Kingdom lies, just because you don’t have ‘noble blood,’ or whatever. I refuse to call anybody as closed-minded and cruel as that my family.”

    “But…” I prod, “Don’t you wish, even a little bit, that you could be a Prince? Live in a lavish palace, be respected, get your opinions listened to? I bet that the Royal Physician could probably do some blood tests or something, and they’ll welcome you with open arms, and--”

    “--Grace, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this psychotic life of mine, anyone can be happy, no matter the circumstances. It just depends on who you’re with, y’know?”

    “Yeah…I’m pretty sure I’ve read that cliché in a book before…” I laugh sarcastically, but secretly lock his message into some deep compartment of my heart.

    Leaf cocks his head, ready to retort, but we are interrupted again, by the Prince.

    “You two are disgusting me, really. I hate this little banter bit of yours; we all know that Leaf here just wants to get the dirty wench in bed. Now that we’ve established that, let’s all shut up, okay? Thank you.”

    In seconds, Leaf has whipped his horse around so he’s close enough to get in Charm’s face. “No, you shut up. And don’t you ever, ever again--”

    “Okay okay!” Charm whimpers, his eyes flashing wildly at the large size of Leaf’s biceps. “I’m sorry, I‘m sorry!”

    Leaf remains stone silent, glaring at the Prince. “I’ll…I’ll make sure that you all are thanked with a parade on behalf of the royal family! I’ll see to it that you are well taken care of for the rest of your lives, I’ll--” Charm continues to stutter, and I can see tears rushing down his face.

    “C’mon, Leaf,” I call and then set off down the road at the same pace as before.

    Slowly and reluctantly, he turns and follows me, soon catching up.

    “Sorry, Grace, but that was uncalled for. He may look at you as…as…” Leaf is trying to form thoughts, but apparently this basic human ability has abandoned him. “But I don’t.”

    “Well, thanks for sticking up for me; us. And now, at least I have a guarantee that I won’t be locked up again when we return to Curlem!”

    As if on cue, we wind out of a thicket of trees, and the vast spread of the Kingdom is laid out before us. I smile at Leaf and then give my ride a swift kick, sending him into a brisk gallop.

    The sooner we get into town, the sooner I’ll be rid of Prince Charming.

    12. As soon as the Prince realizes how close we are to his palace, he zooms past us, leaning over on his steed, racing home. Leaf and I both glance at each other, wondering if we are required to escort him all the way back into the King and Queen’s arms, but it is silently agreed that we should spend as little time as possible with the ruddy twig.

    The kingdom is still picking up from the wreckage Icthy inflicted, which makes sense, seeing as our journey--though it seemed to last eons-- only took a couple hours. Not as much as an epic quest as one you might read about in a lengthy poem or hear about around a blazing campfire, but still. We did defeat a vicious monster. And save a Prince. I think that Leaf and I at least deserve a strong mug of rum before we move on into the chaos that is our lives.

    I announce this to Leaf and he stoutly agrees, so we dismount our horses at the nearest pub that hasn’t been demolished. I sip in silence, as does he, until the hear the familiar trumpets of a royal summoning.

    In the front door bursts about twenty of the king’s best men, armored and grumpy looking.

    “Grace the Wench of Curlem and Moleskin Vested Dragon Slayer?”

    Well, that’s one way to address us, I suppose.

    “Yes?” I reply, standing up.

    “The King and Queen of Curlem summon ye to their courts. Immediately. We will escort you. Come.” The soldier in the front of the pack pivots and about faces as soon as he finishes speaking, swiftly setting off.

    Leaf and I hurry after, untying our horses, but not mounting them. The soldiers have their swords pointed towards us, for whatever reason, so we don’t want to risk drama that could lead to (our) bloodshed.

    In the exact center of town resides the royal courts, a place more for politics and the law, whereas the palace is for recreation. They look uniform and simple on the outside, and I see the pattern is carried out on the interior, as well, when I enter in. I hear a low roar, almost like a continuous growl from a wolf, coming from behind a second set of doors.

    Inside this chamber are about fifty-something babbling authorities-- whether they are advisors to the king, or scribes, or law enforcers, or even the royal chef, who is cheerfully dispensing cups of cherry pudding and goopy pastries throughout the crowd.

    Almost all of them silence when they spot us, except for a solo voice coming from the back. Charm is still whining (or something) to his parents.

    “Yes, yes, it was all me! Slaying the dragon was so difficult, and it would have been nice to have some help…”

    His lies should have bothered me, but the familiar feeling of not giving a dragonshit about it came back.

    The Queen silences him and turns toward Leaf and I to address us. “Ah. The dirty maid and the random man have returned. Thank you for being so cooperative. Now, guards. Accompany the girl back to her cell.”

    The crowd closes in on us, but I smack their arms away. “Wait!” I protest. “You,” I begin, pointing my finger at the prince, “are a lying piece of worthless scum. You might have a nice side-- and I got a glimpse of it, once upon a time--but you are prejudice. You all are. You think you’re above others simply because of the position you were born into? That you automatically have the right to screw around someone’s life? You didn’t do anything. I know ‘commoners’ with more heroism and skill in their elbows than you all. You,” I point at the king and queen, “throw me in jail with out any legal pretext or reason. Then you expect me to go rescue your son? And yet, there I go, obedient as ever. I don’t expect a reward-- although that twat DID promise me one-- but I would think that any ruler with an ounce of respect for justice, for themselves, would at least grant us freedom.”

    There is a silence, but it is shattered by the Queen’s cold laugh. “You dare speak like that, and expect freedom? There is a reason people are born into the class that they are. Some of us are scholars, schemers-- we belong in palaces. And then some of us are mere tarts who don’t even deserve to live. You want freedom? I’ll give you freedom. Guards!”

    But they all seem to be in a daze, or just stupid. I turn and run out of the courts, mount my horse, and race to the first place I think of-- the barbequed, deconstructed Rockingchair tavern.

    I collapse in the far corner of the room, behind a part of the bar that is still standing. Tears flood from my eyes, and all I can think of is darkness.

    13. “Grace?”

    Far away, I hear the tender call of Leaf. I want to answer, but at the same time I don’t all I want is to die. Morbid as it sounds, deaths to be the only place where I won’t be surrounded by complete idiots all the time. My only escape.

    So I remain on the ground, willing my life to evaporate. I feel a warmth at the small of my back and I quickly imagine this is how death feels. A spreading glow throughout your body. No pain.

    My eyes fly open, and I am met with the sight of the broken-down pub and the boots of another. I sit up and gaze right into Leaf’s face. “What are you doing here? Aren’t I being hunted down by vicious knights right now?”

    “No. I mean, yeah, but I am, too.”

    “Why? Don’t they think you’re just some random citizen? She didn’t order for your arrest,” My head is hurting, and I’m sure my appearance is disastrous.

    Leaf helps me up. “Not after what I told them. Now, let’s hurry and get out of this place.”

    “What…what did you tell them?”

    He pauses. “That…they have no idea of intelligence, or beauty, or any positive qualities, for that matter. All they’ve ever done with their lives is sit around a palace and screw with the lives of others. And let other people do the hard and stressful work. I told them…that you are amazing, and I love you. And then I said they could lick my dagger.”

    I want to laugh, smile, and cry all in the same moment, but I don’t have time for either. We hear the war like cries from a mob somewhere in the vicinity. Only my horse remained, waiting patiently on the street, so Leaf mounts and then pulls me up behind him.

    We take off, speeding faster than I’ve ever gone. I buckle my arms around his waist, whisper “I love you, too” in his ear, and we disappear from the city limits, far from our enemies, deep into the sunset.

    Just like some cheesy fairytale I’d hate to read about in a book.


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    Re: Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]

    Post by courtneyluvsya:) on Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:04 am

    Leaf sounds amazing! I want one!!!

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    Re: Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]

    Post by caitlynn<3 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:10 am


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    Re: Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]

    Post by IZZY on Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:48 pm

    oh my gosh thanks ffor reading all of that, guys:D

    and thank you

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    Re: Fairy Tale? [the COMPLETED story]

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