Fiction logo

Delivering Daylight

A Sleeping Beauty Fractured Fairytale

By Poppy Published 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 22 min read
Top Story - February 2024
32
Image Created on Midjourney

What if Sleeping Beauty had Depression?

______

❀❀❀❀❀

Day One – Discovering Darkness

“Where is she?”

It was the question he’d been asking himself far too often in the past few years like an overly obsessive school boy. He might’ve been ashamed if he hadn’t been so curious.

Of course, he knew she had been at Cadworth Castle almost the entire time he’d been away but, like the secretly lonely boy he’d been, he’d wondered exactly where she’d been in the castle at which times, doing what.

If he had friends of his own, she might not have been the thought that stuck to the inside of his head like sickly sweet honey. At least, that’s what he told himself. He should’ve been here, smiling with her, laughing with her, but, as his father had put it, he had, ‘matters to attend to’.

“Where’s Ayla?” he asked again, the name delicate and addictive on his lips.

Ayla was one of a kind. Not just to Knox, but to everyone. Knox had often heard her referred to as ‘the happy one’, or ‘the smiley one’, or ‘the one who’s always laughing’. Of course, she was also known to be incredibly beautiful. But somehow, her joy was that contagious that it trumped even her looks.

Knox had read poetry that described girls like her as dripping sunshine wherever they went and starlight shimmering in their eyes. Her own mother had once compared her to a pale pink rose. All those things were certainly accurate, but Knox personally considered her to be more like a candle, burning with a flame that somehow never went out.

She was the life of every party, the centre of every crowd, the smile on every face. The kind of person who gathered attention without meaning to, barely even noticing.

That’s why it was a surprise when one of the young nobleman said, “I haven’t seen her in months.”

“What?” Knox asked, his mind already processing what that meant. The only way somebody would not have seen her in months was if she wasn’t here. But where would she be? Did he really have to wait even longer to see her again?

The man shrugged. “She could be dead for all I know.” Knox tensed. He’d almost forgotten about this man. His name was Oakley, or so Knox thought. He thought about him so little it could’ve been something completely different for all he knew though.

The noblewoman beside him elbowed him – not hard enough in Knox’s opinion. “She isn’t dead,” she corrected him. Knox remembered her too. He was pretty sure she’d been friends with Ayla, but then, hadn’t everyone? “She’s sleeping,” she added.

“What do you mean?” Knox asked, forehead creasing. “You haven’t seen her in months because she’s sleeping?”

The young woman shrugged, echoing Oakley’s half-hearted gesture. “She hasn’t left her quarters in months,” she explained. “People say she’s sleeping.”

Knox absent-mindedly ended the conversation, wandering a few steps away and gazing towards the East-Wing – where she and her mother had last been staying. What could make her not leave her quarters in months? Maybe she was sick. It brought a bitter taste to his mouth to think that seemingly nobody had cared enough to truly find out.

He barely hesitated before heading to the East-Wing, a million thoughts and possibilities filling every corner of his brain, like sea-spray, flooding and fighting for space. When he knocked on the door, her mother answered, throwing her arms around him when she saw him and sending a wave of relief over him.

“Oh, you’re finally back! Welcome home. It’s so good to see you.”

Mrs Ambrose was a widow; the kind that kept her husband alive in paintings. They were hung on walls, placed on shelves and half-finished on wooden easels, all splashed with colour, capturing a family mid-laugh.

“How was your time away?” she asked, ushering Knox inside and closing the door behind him. Her blonde hair was about the length Ayla’s had been last time he’d seen her, curling around her neck and chin. Mrs Ambrose had the same smile – the kind that reached her eyes – but lines were beginning to show beside each corner of her lips, evidence of her happiness.

“Boring,” he answered honestly. “How have you been?”

That’s when her smile faltered. She sat down after offering him a cup of tea and he couldn’t help thinking she almost collapsed into the chair. “Concerned, mostly,” she admitted.

That’s when Knox asked the question that had really been plaguing him. “What’s wrong with Ayla, Mrs Ambrose? Why has nobody seen her in months?”

She ran a hand over her face, and suddenly he saw weariness seeping into every pore. It didn’t look like physical fatigue though. It seemed more like a mental weight pressed down on her shoulders and lungs.

“Somebody told me she’s sleeping.”

She barked out a laugh at that. It didn’t sound like her. He’d heard her laugh endless times, just like her daughter, but not this kind of laugh. It was more disheartened than anything. “Sleeping,” she repeated. “So that’s what they’re saying. Sleeping. Yes well, I suppose they’re right in a way.”

Knox tilted his head at her. He’d thought the explanation had been absurd, now he didn’t know what to think.

Mrs Ambrose looked up at him, her blue eyes suddenly looking more like tears than the usual windows of bliss. “Most people see sleep as a necessity, a means of rest. When Ayla was little, she considered it more of a boring, useless timewaster than anything else.”

Knox smiled, almost involuntarily, remembering how she’d seemed almost allergic to rest of any kind. She’d always been on the move like a little puppy, eager to explore everything.

Her mother sighed. “Now she views it as an escape.”

“What?” Knox stared at her, his thoughts racing. He couldn’t process what she meant by that.

Looking him right in the eyes, the faint shadows beneath her eyes suddenly starkly visible, Mrs Ambrose told him, “Ayla is depressed. That’s why nobody has seen her in months.”

❀❀❀❀❀

Ayla could hear her mother talking to somebody in the next room. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a little voice pondered who it might be. It was the same part of her that was fighting and fighting and fighting. The same part of her that kept losing.

Eventually, her bedroom door creaked open, the mysterious stranger stepping inside. She couldn’t make out his features in the darkness, just the wide set of his shoulders.

“Hi.” His voice was incredibly gentle as he eased closer. The sound was familiar, it prodded at the furthest parts of her memory. She shut out the little voice who kept asking who he was.

“Can I open the curtains?” he asked politely.

“No.”

“Oh well, I don’t need sunlight to cure you. I can do it myself.”

The laugh that came out of her was a hopeless, criticising one, nothing like the sound she used to give people in public. “You can try,” she corrected.

He sat down on the edge of her bed. “I brought a book to read to you,” he told her.

Once again, the quiet voice confined to the darkest corner of her mind kept asking questions. Who is he? What’s he doing here? Then it started making observations. He seems nice. Maybe we should let him in. Ayla ignored her. That voice had caused her enough pain. Sometimes optimism was the sharpest kind of blade.

“Once upon a time…” the young man began.

Ayla turned away and tried not to listen.

Day Two – Dogged Darkness

The stranger came again the next day. This time Ayla couldn’t help studying the line of his jaw in the flickering candlelight. There was something familiar about the planes of his face, the creases of concentration shadowing his eyes.

That little voice kept asking and asking and asking who he was. The others told her not to care. Her demons were constantly warring over whether or not everything mattered, or nothing did. It seemed the only middle ground they could ever find was agreeing that everything mattered… except for her.

She closed her eyes and wished him away. She couldn’t handle another person pretending to care about her, couldn’t handle waving goodbye to another unresponsive silhouette. If optimism was the sharpest blade then disappointment was the deepest wound.

❀❀❀❀❀

After Knox had read to Ayla, he sat with her mother in their dining room. She seemed to appreciate the company. He knew he enjoyed her’s.

During a lull in the conversation, Knox’s attention caught on one specific painting. Ayla was wreathed by pale pink roses, dressed in a marvellous ballgown of a matching colour. Her blonde hair curled like the ocean’s waves, the ruffles of the dress falling around her like seafoam. She was holding a bouquet of the blushing roses too, and yet the painting was impossibly alluring because of her, not the flowers.

It was just a piece of art, he knew. This moment her mother had painted might never have even existed, and yet… it captured her almost celestial elegance anyway. He suddenly wished he could use words the same way Mrs Ambrose could use paint. The world deserved to hear about her beauty as well as just see it.

After a few embarrassing moments, he realised Mrs Ambrose had noticed him staring in awe. Idly, he moved his gaze to another painting, this one smaller and less noticeable but housing more laughter.

It was him and her. Knox and Ayla. They were ten years old in the picture. He knew this moment was real, and yet, despite the bright colours, it was still a shadow of the sheer joy he’d been enveloped with in that moment.

They were in the palace gardens, standing under the pear tree, posing in front of her mother’s easel. He remembered Ayla giggling and him grinning ear to ear. Ayla had been wearing a strawberry-coloured dress. He remembered it had dirt stains on it from when they’d raced down the hill outside the castle walls. Of course, Mrs Ambrose hadn’t included those blemishes in the art piece.

Nostalgia settled around Knox’s shoulders like a cape, like a cage. And yet, despite that, he found himself smiling – a bittersweet kind. The story of Knox and Ayla’s friendship had been simple really. Loneliness had been pressing in on him to the point of panic and she had handed him happiness gift-wrapped with companionship and tied with ribbons of laughter.

He still couldn’t understand how somebody who gave happiness so freely and endlessly could be chained down by a fatal lack of it.

As if reading his mind, Mrs Ambrose murmured, “She deserves to be happy.” He looked at her and saw a mirror to Ayla’s despondency creeping into her face.

Placing a reassuring hand on her slim shoulder, Knox answered, “She will be again. Don’t lose faith.”

Day 10 – Darkness with a Dash of Daylight

The room was still blackened by closed curtains. Ayla was still quiet as midnight. He still felt like he was holding his breath, waiting for her to start glowing with sunshine and smiles.

Knox paused at the end of the chapter, gently closing the book. “Did you know the Prince has returned?” he said to the darkness.

“Oh?” came her response. “Which one?”

He smiled. It was the most curious he’d heard her since he’d been back. He willed his voice to sound nonchalant as he said, “Prince Knox.”

She gave a thoughtful hum but didn’t say anything more. Was that inquisitiveness he sensed from her? Or was it just his hopeful imagination? He couldn’t be sure.

“I heard he went on many wonderful adventures,” Knox informed her, letting sarcasm seep into his tone. “He told me he rediscovered this thing called loneliness.”

Was she smiling? Her face was cast in too many shadows to tell. Silence filled the air between them like smoke. It tickled his throat.

Then, when he was calculating what he should say next, she asked softly, “Has his loneliness been banished since he’s been back?”

A smirk tugged at his lips. Classic Ayla. She would always put her own sadness aside when she noticed somebody else’s.

“He’s trying. I think he’s looking for his old best friend,” he answered.

“Oh,” she said. “Bad luck I guess.” There was no malice in her tone, just a deep enduring melancholy.

“No matter,” he replied with false confidence. “I hear he’s pretty persistent. He’ll just have to keep looking for her.”

“Maybe he needs to find a replacement,” she said as he stood up and blew out the candle, heading for the door.

“There is no replacement for her, Ayla.”

❀❀❀❀❀

Day Eighteen - Discerning Dawn

Knox finished reading the book he’d brought for her. That small part of her that still cared began worrying that this would mean the end of his visits.

As if reading her mind, he said, “Can I tell you a story of my own now?”

He was baiting her into a response, prodding her to implicitly admit she did want him to stay. Even so, the little voice in the shadows of her mind won out this time. “Sure,” she let herself say.

She knew he was smiling without being able to see it.

“Once upon a time, there was a little boy who always frowned and a little girl who always smiled. The little girl gave her smiles away, to the boy and everyone else. But they were all naïve you see, and believed her selflessness wasn’t harmful because her famous smiles were endless. The boy only just discovered that even her happiness has a limit.”

Ayla couldn’t help herself. A fierce flood of feeling bubbled up inside her, threatening to water her eyes like rain.

“The girl deserves every type of joy, but then, those are usually the kinds of people who are haunted by sorrow’s ghost. Afterall, misery loves company and opposites attract.”

She let out a laugh at that which seemed to surprise him. She shook her head, the smile lingering on her face. “I’m depressed because opposites attract?” she asked incredulously.

He shrugged. “Best reason I can think of.”

It was at that moment that she couldn’t help herself any longer.

She pulled open the curtains.

Sunlight streaked through the window, illuminating the stranger’s face, a gentle breeze ruffling his hair affectionately. Knox sat before her. She had suspected, of course, maybe even known deep down, but the sight of him still made her release a little sigh.

Knox, like her, had grown up. His once boyish face had been replaced by high cheekbones and a sharp jawline. Yet, his eyes were the same. Kindness danced amongst the green irises like leaves swirling in a forest.

She barely thought before leaning closer and hugging him. She didn’t know if it was a hello, or a thank you, or maybe even an I’m sorry. Never-the-less, he returned the gesture, stroking her back in the universal way of saying you’ll be okay.

When she pulled away he said thoughtfully, if not cautiously, “Why are you depressed Ayla?”

She fiddled with the fringe of her blanket, debating whether or not to answer. In the end, the closed off part of her let the door slip open a crack.

“You ask that like it’s a simple question, like I can give you a straightforward answer. This thing inside of me isn’t like a broken bone or a flesh wound, I can’t pinpoint the exact cause or moment it began to fester. Asking me why I’m depressed is like asking the sky why it is raining. It just is.”

“Then tell me what you’re thinking,” he said gently. “Tell me what cruel things the monster tells you.”

“I care more than anybody else,” she murmured, cringing at how pathetic she thought she sounded.

“But that’s something to be proud of,” he insisted.

“I tried, you know,” she said softly. “I really really tried to be happy. I tried for a long time.” She couldn’t stop the tears brewing like a storm in her eyes then.

“I know. But you made other people incomprehensibly happy. Isn’t that worth something?”

Her vision blurred as she murmured. “It isn’t enough. I just want to matter.”

“You do,” he said fervently, voice filled with raw emotion.

She almost believed him then. He seemed so sure of it. But there were a million observations that hinted otherwise, so many voices that promised she didn’t.

She tugged the curtains closed again, trying to ignore the way she noticed his hopeful expression crumple. “You can’t save me Knox.”

“No,” he admitted, and she looked up at him with a start. “But you can save yourself. You once fought so hard for other people’s happiness. Why don’t you fight that hard for your own?”

Day Twenty – Delivering Daylight

“Where is he?” Ayla asked her mother. She’d finally ventured into the dining room, hair a mess and blanket wrapped around her, after waiting all morning for him and failing to convince herself she didn’t care if he didn’t show up.

Ayla almost flinched with guilt at the way her mother’s eyes lit up when she saw her.

“I’m sure he’ll be here soon darling,” she reassured her, immediately searching the pantry for food to feed her.

“He’s always here by this time.”

“He’s just running a little late,” her mother told her. “I saw him when I was out. He told me he’d be here soon.”

“He did?” Ayla asked. Her mother nodded and that’s when she noticed the concern pinching her brows together. She was familiar with the look but this time she asked, “What’s wrong mum?”

Her mother sighed as she sat down across from her, placing leftover dinner from the night before in front of her. Ayla eyed it unenthusiastically as she waited for her mother to answer.

“He was crying when I saw him Ayla.”

Her head jerked up at that, gaze snapping to her mother’s. “What?” Ayla had never known Knox to cry, even when they were younger. She wasn’t sure he ever had cried or ever would cry.

“I saw him under a tree, that one you used to climb when you were kids. He was crying,” she said again.”

“Why?”

“Because of you, of course,” her mother answered, saying the words to her as gently as she’d once treated her cuts and scrapes when she was a child.

Ayla looked down, finally eating the food merely to occupy her hands, as she asked, “What do you mean?”

“When people truly care about someone else Ayla, that person’s pain becomes their own. He’s absorbed your sadness honey. The circles under his eyes mirror your own. You gave him happiness, time and time again, and he’s devastated that he can’t return the favour.”

Tears brimmed in Ayla’s eyes, and when she looked up at her mother, she realised she wasn’t just talking about Knox. She was skinnier than she’d once been, the lines on her face starker, her smile slower to appear.

“He needs you honey,” she whispered, pain melting into her voice.

When Ayla got up and hugged her mother, that little voice in the back of her head grew louder. You have to beat this, it told her. The sadness has been winning for months now. Isn’t it time you claimed victory over it?

❀❀❀❀❀

When Knox had seen Ayla last, her hair had been a mess, her covers rumpled, and her clothes clearly well worn. When he walked through the door this time, however, her hair was wet from being washed, her clothes fresh and smooth, and she was sitting in the dining room.

Knox stood in the doorway speechless, glancing at her mother to confirm he wasn’t dreaming. Mrs Ambrose was sitting in front of her easel, dipping her brush in pink paint, but she glanced over her shoulder and offered him a small smile full of barely contained hope.

Looking back at Ayla, he thought she might be prettier than he’d ever seen her. Prettier than in her mother’s paintings even. She was wearing simple clothes and the corner of her mouth was only turned up at the sides slightly, but he thought she looked like a warrior in that moment, having fought off the worst kind of monster.

She brought her hands out from underneath the table, and it was all he could do to take his eyes off her face and glance at what she held. A book.

“I figured it was time I read to you.”

He nodded wordlessly, sitting down at the table silently, as if the whole room was a tightrope, and any wrong moves might send them all tumbling off, falling and falling and falling. His gaze flicked to Mrs Ambrose and noticed she hadn’t drawn anything. She was still swirling her paintbrush through the magenta-coloured paint.

Ayla’s voice was quiet and soothing as she read chapter after chapter to him. The sound took him back to his childhood, to a time when a bright candle shone obstinately amongst the darkness. A time when happiness was as easy to reach as peaches on the low hanging branches in the royal gardens. When he looked back over at Ayla’s mother he realised she had laid the paintbrush down altogether, clearly listening as intently as him. Knox wasn’t sure either of them were hearing the words of the book over the unmistakable sound of hope that echoed in the room.

When Ayla had put the book down, Knox worked up the courage to ask, “There’s a ball in five days’ time. I was wondering if you’d come with me.”

Mrs Ambrose angled her body slightly towards them – clearly waiting for the answer with bated breath as much as Knox was.

Ayla’s shoulders slumped slightly, and Knox felt the word no in the air before she answered. But when she looked up, she must have seen the desperation in his eyes, because she answered softly, “I’ll think about it.”

The sheer hope of the response made goosebumps appear on his skin. He tried to hide his grin as he said, “Awesome!”

❀❀❀❀❀

Day Twenty-Five – Dancing in Daylight

It was the day of the ball and all the pesky voices in Ayla’s head kept screaming at her not to go. But she stubbornly refused to listen to any except for the one telling her she had to. The one that promised it was worth it for the look of joy in her mother’s and Knox’s eyes when she’d told them she would.

Her dress was a strapless, satin rose gold colour which her mother kept saying went perfectly with her skin tone and her blonde hair. Ayla couldn’t help thinking it didn’t go even slightly with the melancholic feelings that still clung to her like chains around her ankles. When she practiced her smile in the mirror though, she realised nobody would even notice the invisible weight on her back.

When Knox came to her door, he was clad in a blue royal jacket, black breeches and boots, a golden belt and white gloves – all which pointed to his princely status. But Ayla just noticed the affectionate gleam in his green eyes and the way his smile appeared so effortlessly when he looked at her.

“You’re beautiful,” he said softly, but his real meaning was clear. You’re finally fighting for your own happiness. The look in his eyes said something else too. That means there’s hope.

Ayla wasn’t sure if he was right or not, but she knew that when she wasn’t fighting, there wasn’t hope, so she may as well try just in case.

❀❀❀❀❀

People were staring. Ayla did a good job of pretending she didn’t notice. Her dress was the colour of a sunset, but her eyes were the shade of kindness, and Knox couldn’t stop staring into them.

He lead her to the dancefloor, and she twirled under his arm like a dandelion seed floating through the air, unaware of all the eyes admiring her.

He still couldn’t understand how somebody who gifted happiness as she did could be chained down by so much misery, but now he wondered if maybe, it was because those were the kinds of people who were secretly strong enough to fight – to fight and eventually win.

❀❀❀❀❀

For Ayla, happiness had always been like stars – beautiful to look at, but too far away to touch. Sometimes there had been shooting stars – times when it was closer and she could wish upon it, but still never managed to touch it. Tonight, it was more like a firefly, flitting around between her fingertips.

Knox walked her home from the ball and as she gazed up at him, she was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Maybe some people did care as much as her after all. If happiness was the night’s stars, Knox was a painting of it. Something within her grasp, if she only reached out her hands.

“Thank you,” she whispered to him, when they arrived at her quarters.

“Thank you,” he answered, and when they hugged each other, holding on tightly, she thought maybe she could grab hold of those glowing fireflies after all.

It was only when Knox said goodnight and she slipped inside, that she realised he wasn’t her only hero. Her mother waited for her, painting a picture of her daughter in her new rose-coloured dress. When Ayla arrived, her mother looked up eagerly. “How did it go?”

“Good,” Ayla said with a soft smile as her mother pulled her into a loving embrace. “Thank you,” she whispered, “for caring.”

Her mother had fought for Ayla’s happiness longer and harder than anyone. She thought about her previous words. When people truly care about someone else Ayla, that person’s pain becomes their own. She hoped it was true for happiness too, because she intended to fight for hers now, however long it took for the stars to fall into her palms.

THE END

❀❀❀❀❀

Image Created on Midjourney

Image Created on Midjourney

______

If you enjoyed this story, you may also like:

LoveYoung AdultShort StoryPsychologicalfamilyFableClassical
32

About the Creator

Poppy

‘Wasted Love' available to purchase here in paperback and eBook format.

Find me on:

Instagram. Facebook. Tiktok. Pinterest. Twitter. Medium. Patreon.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  5. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

Add your insights

Comments (28)

Sign in to comment
  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Nice

  • J2 months ago

    Finally, a princess I can relate to

  • River Joy2 months ago

    Yay!!! I'm so glad this has more eyes on it now :)

  • What a well deserved victory.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Back to say congrats on Top Story!! I remember reading this a while ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday… at least this week!! 😅😅 This was so great, I love that you’ve gotten top story after all this time!! So well deserved!!

  • Omgggg I'm soooo happy this got a Top Story!! I still remembered how much I cried for this!! This story would always be in my heart. Congratulations!!

  • Yay!🎉 This excellent piece finally got Top Story!🤩 I love this take on the fairytale… well done for shining the spotlight on such a prevalent issue !✅ Great job!🙃

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    What a marvelous tale, Poppy! I felt little hints of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and maybe a few others woven in. A well deserved Top Story!

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    Top Story!!!!!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    This line is so powerful and true to any one who had to live through, with or witness depression. 'You’re finally fighting for your own happiness.' Well done and probably what it is really based on. Congratualtions

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    You made her the distressed damsel and the hero. What a great retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Poppy. This is the kind of story that holds maturity in every word. I particularly love the parallelism here: "Sometimes optimism was the sharpest kind of blade." AND "If optimism was the sharpest blade then disappointment was the deepest wound." So powerful! I think my favorite aspect to this story is that Ayla was able to see how her mother had been hurt by her depression, and make the fix at the end. I love that we ended on that note, rather than the love story. You were able to use Knox as a loving impetus for Ayla's self-healing, yet not have their relationship take center-stage in terms of the plot. It was like the sweetest form of plot filler after the inception of the action and resolution, but not the part to become invested in. (Perhaps a different installment could focus on it, but this story isn't telling the love story.) You masterfully walk the line between the reader's sense of romanticism and their desire to see Ayla come out of her fog and begin to work on getting better. And ultimately, the latter wins out, while still reserving appropriate attention for the former. A story of "everybody wins" while not being sugary or cliché. It took me too long to read this, but I'm so glad I did. This one will stick with me. ❤️

  • River Joy2 months ago

    This was gorgeous, emotional. Your characters were realistic and engaging. The language and writing is exquisite. Well done.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    Poppy this was such a beautiful adaption of a classic tale! It felt relatable, realistic and carried such important themes through out! I love the concept of fighting for your own happiness! Brilliantly executed all around! Great work!

  • I enjoyed rereading this... tugs on the heartstrings!

  • Marie Sinadjan7 months ago

    I love fractured fairytales. But this one's just so good - "When people truly care about someone else, that person’s pain becomes their own."

  • Cathy holmes7 months ago

    Beautiful story. The characters felt so real and the message is one of hope through struggle. Well done.

  • Lilly Cooper7 months ago

    A really sweet way to examine a difficult topic. I wish we could normalise talking about these things. But stories like this one go a long way to changing the rhetoric from depression being something shameful and taboo to being something we should be able to talk about with our loved ones.

  • Excellent! “When people truly care about someone else… that pain becomes their own.” So true.

  • Erin W M7 months ago

    You brought your characters to life and gave the story a very real essence. It wasn't just a twist on a fairytale, but a step into the exploration of 'what if sleeping beauty were real?' Lovely work!

  • Ruth Stewart8 months ago

    This is so beautiful. I love the way Knox and Aylas mother helped her so much, and took care of her so well. That spirit of never giving up on her must have been what made her crack open her heart to healing again. Wonderfully told.

  • Suze Kay8 months ago

    Glad she found her way out. I love the distinction you clearly draw here between *saving* a friend and *helping* a friend. Well-nuanced, and definitely fractured without sacrificing the fairy tale. And a lot less... rapey than the original for back of a better word, lol.

  • Tiffany Gordon 8 months ago

    What a gorgeous story Poppy! Ayla (a beautiful name by the way) was an empath with a heart of golf! What a beautiful legacy she held. I love these three characters hearts so much! People who truly care for others are life's treasures! Thanks for writing such a lovely, uplifting, and utterly inspiring piece! Simply Phenomenal work Poppy! BRAVO! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.