Introduction: Honestly, there was no prompt or idea at the start of this. I have had one of those days, so by the time I got a chance to write, I just sat down and went for it. Fingers crossed it came out alright.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away. Well, kind of far away. It depends on your definition of the word far. Where you live is also going to affect it. If you’re from Milton Keynes, I wouldn’t even bother trying to get there, but if you’re from the North of Scotland, it might be closer than you think. There’s magic in the air up there.
Where was I? Oh yes, in this land far away that might either be quite close to you but is more likely to be unreachable, there was a kingdom, and in that kingdom was a king. Yup, even the magical people haven’t managed to get rid of the unelected bigwigs who think they can lord it over the rest of us. Let me tell you, kiddies, we should guillotine the monarchy, redistribute their wealth and give their land to dogs. I like dogs.
Now, what was I saying? That king had a problem. The kind of problem that only people with far too much time on their hands get. You see, he had a daughter, and by the luck of her birth, she was a princess. Now, we don’t know why, but princesses are particularly susceptible to magic. We’ve tried to look into it, but so far no-one has been able to figure it out. Phil, our head magician, reckons it has something to do with crowns, but Phil also thought that princesses could pee through fifteen mattresses, so we don’t trust him any more. If it weren’t that magicians are quite hard to come by, I’d have sacked him months back.
Sorry, got distracted again. What have we covered? Far away, unelected kings, magical princesses and had we got onto the bit with the swan? No, great. Well, you see, every night the princess would get into bed all cosy and warm only to turn into a swan. One second you had a pretty little princess, the next there was a pop, and a big old swan took her place, all flapping wings and anger. I don’t like swans much. Do you know they steal puppies sometimes? Or is that eagles? Wait, let me check. Yea, that’s eagles. Oh well, I still don’t like swans. There is something pompous about them, kind of like the monarchy. OOOHHH! There’s a link I didn’t notice before. Gosh, these old stories are incredible, aren’t they?
Anyway, our not particularly exceptional apart from the fact that her dad’s great-grandfather murdered a bunch of people and took their land, princess was struck by this condition the second she came of age, which when you’re a royal is a problem. A royals’ second favourite activity after lording it over the plebs is making more royals. I assume it’s so there are more hands to hold the whips, but I can’t say for sure. And while I can’t speak for everyone out there (do what you got to do folks), most people aren’t too excited by the prospect of marrying a lovely princess who turns into a swan every night. I can only imagine it would ruin the bedding.
Oh dear, I am running out of time to tell this story, I’m going to have to speed it up. The king and queen – I haven’t got around to mentioning her, but I promise you her right to rule was built on as flimsy a pack of cards as her husbands – were in a pickle. They wanted some little grand kids but had no chance of marrying off their daughter while she continued to spontaneously burst into wildlife. It was that conundrum that led to them to do something that no king or queen should ever do, seek out the evil witch in the woods.
Of course, the evil witch wasn’t actually evil. She was just a nice old lady who lived alone and knew some basic medicine. History, however, is not kind to nice old women who live in the woods. It tends to turn them evil with barely a blink of its eye, and people like our king and queen don’t even wait for history to happen. They’d spent their entire reign casting this poor woman out and making sure she had no chance of living a normal life. Not that she wanted a normal life. I tend to find witches in any form are pretty cool and have no wish to hobnob with boring people. She was pretty happy living in the woods, chilling with her awesome dogs, and helping out anyone who asked nicely.
Argh, I’ve only got minutes left. Unsurprisingly, the witch wasn’t too impressed by the king and queen and was tempted to dismiss them. However, she concocted a better plan. She promised to help their daughter, but in return, she wanted one hour a day with her. An hour in which she could teach her anything she wanted. Of course, the king and queen were not thrilled by this idea, but what they could do? The royal line must continue.
Oh dear, I am out of time, I better skip to the big things. So, the witch cured the princess, but while her parents celebrated and searched for a perfect husband, the witch introduced her to a few new ideas. She started with anarchism, moved to feminism and quickly destroyed any faith the poor wee thing had in the divine right to rule. That inspired the princess to pick up an axe, chop off her parents’ heads and give the land back to the people they’d stolen it from. She then realised that while cute dresses and peeing through mattresses is lovely for some people, she was a lot more interested in punk and beer, so she left the kingdom to find those things instead. The end.
Wow, I did not see that ending coming, did you? Sorry, I had to rush a bit, but you know what it’s like. You get so caught up in the details that you sometimes forget the plot. I got there, though, and I hope you all enjoyed this classic fairy tale, nighty night.