Once upon a time, a prince rescued a princess and killed the evil witch holding her captive. The prince and princess became the King and the Queen, and lived Happily Ever After.
I'm not going to dispute the 'evil' part. Melly was my sister and I loved her, but she'd always been a bit off. No matter how evil she was, I couldn't just let her death go unpunished. Yet since she did kind of deserve it, I didn't want to do anything to bad.
So, I cursed the King and Queen's daughter to die when she touched a spindle on her sixteenth birthday.
That is, I said, "Your daughter will die by touching a spindle on her sixteenth birthday!" while wearing a black wig and cloak and gesturing my arms in a suitably dramatic fashion. I didn't actually use any magic. I figured sixteen years of worry would be enough punishment.
But no. The girl's fairy godmothers just had to try to negate my 'curse.' They said, "No, your daughter will fall into a sleep of a hundred years after touching the spindle on her sixteenth birthday." And they used magic, unlike me.
Poor girl. By the time one hundred years passed, everyone she knew would be dead and she'd be stuck reintegrating into society with no money or power. (Royals have never been kind to superfluous royals, and society has never been kind to women on their own.)
So, yes, I did use a bit of magic. I countered the godmothers' countercurse. The spell could be ended by a kiss. Not True Love's Kiss, because I am skeptical of anyone who claims to be truly in love at sixteen. (And I am horrified by anyone much older claiming to truly be in love with a sixteen year old.) All it would take is a kiss, and surely her parents would kiss her one last time after she fell to the enchanted sleep.
I should've known they weren't that smart when they assumed I cursed the princess because I hadn't been invited to the christening. I mean, c'mon, who wants to attend a christening? Aside from the doting parents and godparents. No one. It's all boring ceremony and squalling baby and giving yet another gift to someone just because they managed to reproduce.
(Hint: It's not that hard. You put Tab A in Slot B without proper protection. I do sell protection, for a reasonable price, I might add. I've been told there is no loss of sensation with Scarlet's Simple Solution.)
So here I am, attempting to scale the tower they put the princess in, in order to kiss her.
Honestly, what were they thinking? How is the girl supposed to get out when she wakes up? There's no door left, since they bricked it up. The brambles planted around the perimeter are already out of control, after only two months. (Hey, I had other stuff to do. And it's not like I live around the corner. As if I would pay taxes to the people who killed my sister.)
I am not an athlete. I am a witch. I help women prevent pregnancies and aid their other reproductive health issues. I'm pretty specialized, and you may think a midwife would be just as good, but I'm far more effective and less likely to judge. Believe me, when a woman is in labor the last thing she wants to hear is some smart comment about the father. I hear that five midwives a year die that way.
Back to the tower, I suppose. You know I'm trying to distract myself, don't you?
I bought climbing equipment (and I've been using it), but I've still managed to scratch my hands up. I do have a lovely potion I could make to soak them in. I'm going to have to soak my whole body in something after this is over, or I'll be ridiculously sore.
And, oh thank goodness, there's the window.
. . . Holy yule goats, it looks like a unicorn threw up in here. Surely the princess wasn't that fond of pink. Or feathers. Or whatever that shiny material is. For that matter, where is the princess? They've crammed this place with junk. She's in an enchanted sleep, she doesn't need a racquetball set.
Oh, there she is. The bed, of course.
She looks like someone who received fairy blessings for beauty. Each of her individual features is quite striking, but the whole doesn't quite work. No one blessed her thinking about what gifts others would offer. Although the half raven's wing, half liquid gold hair is pretty cool. I might try to dye mine that way; I've been getting tired of brown.
I bend down to kiss her, making sure to make firm lip contact. My enchantment might be too weak to register a peck, considering I was trying to override a fairy godmother spell.
She begins to breathe, and then color returns to her cheeks. After a bell or two, her eyes flutter open. She stumbles getting off the bed and I offer her a hand.
"Thank you," she says. Suddenly, awareness returns to her eyes. "Has it been a hundred years?"
"Two months, actually?"
"Two months? What happened?"
"It turns out a kiss could break the spell, your highness."
She pales. I'm not sure why, I thought she'd be happy to wake up ahead of schedule.
"True love's kiss?" she asks, clearly not happy with the prospect of me being her true love. Which is completely fine with me, considering I don't stir my cauldron that way either.
"No," I state firmly. "No, any kiss." I look around, wincing. "Now let's leave because this place is giving me a headache."
The princess looks around and winces too. "They mean well," she says. Then her gaze stops. "Is that a giant heart covered in rubies?"
I look. "I think it is." I never thought rubies could be that tacky.
"They mean well," she repeats. "But I agree, let's get going."
I start to walk to the window, but she grabs my arm to stop me. "There's a hidden tunnel that leads to the castle; didn't my parents tell you?"
A hidden tunnel? And I climbed this ridiculous tower? "No, they didn't. Why is there a hidden tunnel?"
"They thought the witch who cursed me might come in and do something terrible to my body, I suppose."
I must admit, I did break into the tower. I don't think kissing the princess to revive her was particularly terrible, however.
"To the tunnel!" I cry, dramatically pointing my finger. (In the wrong direction, I'm sure.) "Lead the way, your highness."
"Sure," she says. With a kind smile, she adds, "Thank you."
And so we began our descent from the tower, into Happily Ever After.