King William went on a crusade. claiming land under the control of native tribes for his precious kingdom. His knights traveled from town to town, sacking villages and stealing from the local townsfolk. No one could stand up to the ruthless king.
Yet as years went by, King William grew older in age. He feared the worst, glancing at his hideous reflection. Although he thought of pagan customs as blasphemy, he secretly believed in an ancient plant that could restore some of his youth, keeping King William alive for a few more years. So he sent his best and brightest group of knights in search for the mysterious plant which brought them to the location the plant was said to grow.
" Wait!" a young, stableboy amongst them shouted as they approached a grim forest," we can't go in there! Stay out of the woods!" he said, standing in front of the of knights.
" Why?" another asked perplexed.
" Cause a witch lives in these woods..... A dark and powerful witch who would turn us into mutton to feed the frogs who live in the murky swamp beside her crooked house,"
Yet the knights commander only mocked him," Foolish boy. That's an old wives tale. There is no dark witch in these woods. Even if there is we shall stab her and slice off her head. This is king William's land and we shall claim it for him!" the commander boldly shouted, gaining cheers from his knights. The commander knew well they must find this exotic plant or else King Williams would have each of them beheaded.
" But-" the stable boy tried pleading once more, yet his worries didn't trouble the rest of the men. The knight commander smacked him across the face then ordered the rest of his legion of knights to follow him deep into the woods.
They went further and further into the woods in search of the magical plant. The knights also spilt up, hoping to beat nightfall. Yet night soon arrived. The knights agreed to remain in their groups and go to sleep. But as the knights fell into a deep sleep, they began to disappear one by one.
" Where is everyone going?"
" It's the witch. I told you there was a witch living in these woods. She's going to kill us all," the boy said alarmed.
The knight commander pulled out his sword, pointing it toward the stable boy" You go find this bloody witch and kill her with this sword. No ounce of pagan magic could dare meddle with this fine steel,"
He nodded his head then took the commanders sword and went in search of the witch. He thought about turning back, yet knew he was as good as dead remaining with those knights, so he kept walking and walking growing more tired and hungry. He started becoming delusional, walking in circles. The precious stable boy stumbled over and fell on the ground, thanking God he didn't strike himself dead with the commanders sword.
As he opened his eyes, the boy realized he was laying on the front steps of the witches old house. He sensed fear, yet also curiosity coming from inside the cabin. He noticed a beautiful hand, enticing him to come inside. He stood up and walked into the witches house like a puppy in search of dinner. Instead of finding a frail, grotesque woman, the witch was pretty, alluring, and not a day older than he.
" What brings a handsome young devil such as yourself into my woods?" the witch asked gleefully, biting into a juicy green apple with a posh grin on her face. Even her voice melted his heart. He tried to resist, yet the impressionable young man couldn't stop himself from admitting the truth to her.
" King William desires to take this woods for his own. My commander sent me here to kill you by cutting off your head," he said out loud, fearing what she might do to him" but what the king really wants is a plant.... It's suppose to revive his youth they claim,"
" Ah! Of course! What the king wants the king always gets, right?" the witch said, chuckling. She dropped what was left of her green apple on the floor then approached the boy" This commander doesn't control you any longer, boy. I am your mistress now. Bow and worship me," the witch ordered, raising her chin toward the stars. The boy nodded his head then fell to his knees like a loyal subject.
" They will surely kill me if I don't kill you," said the boy terrified.
" We will see about that." the witch said, amusingly.
" Well did you kill the witch?" the commander asked.
" No," the boy said.
" No? Is your memory short, boy? You were ordered to kill the witch and bring back her head. Give me back my sword and I will finish you,"
" Actually it's each of you who will die today," the boy said being controlled by the witch. He started laughing hysterically.
" The witch has stolen his heart. Kill him now before it's to late!" another knight suggested. They grabbed their swords and attacked, yet each were swiftly defeated by the witches power.
The commander took his sword back and swung it toward the boys stomach. Yet the slice in the boy's stomach repaired itself within seconds. Then the commander was lifted off the ground by the witch, revealing herself from the shadows.
" Long live the witch!" the dark witch declared, tearing the knight commander's flesh in two. She turned and faced the boy, releasing her hold on him" Thank you so kindly for bringing these men into my woods. My frogs were growing so hungry."
" You're going to let me live?"
" Of course. I'm not heartless. Go return to your home and tell your folks all about me. You know where to find me, handsome. Oh! I almost forgot. Silly me," the witch said, yanking the plant from the ground beneath her feet" here is the plant you were searching for.... Give it to your king and he shall live a long and happy life." then the witch vanished into the dark.
The stableboy quickly returned home. He told everyone he knew about the witch and what had happened. Yet they assumed he lost his mind and had him tossed into jail. They brought the plant to the king. He devoured it on sight. His youth returned to him, yet he died shortly after from frog poisoning. The end :)