Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty
A Dark Twist on a Classic Fairy-Tale
It had come to that point in Prince Charming's life where he must take a wife. His family had stopped trying to keep the bloodline pure many years ago. Besides, he didn't have a sister to be married off to and all his cousins were men so far. No, he'd go questing for his lady, find himself a true, blue-blooded damsel in distress like his father did before him.
He had heard many tales of princesses under evil spells, poison apples, evil step-sisters, and cruel curses but the one that intrigued him most was the tale of sleeping beauty. Some witch who felt she had been wronged in some way put a spell on Beauty and her whole kingdom. Apparently, they had all been asleep for over a hundred years or more, only a kiss from a certain Prince Charming could break the curse.
That wasn't the best part though, there was a fearsome dragon guarding her tower—a huge tower that some say would take the whole day to climb. He would have to defeat the dragon before he could ever start climbing the tower, a true challenge, and he loved challenges. Being particularly dashing and daring he would have his sleeping beauty in no time.
He set out that day taking no one with him, in full armor. A brilliant flash of blue silver in the sun; that's what people would see if they saw him coming from a distance. He rode that whole day with no sign of the tower. Two days later he was still riding his horse hard, out of water, very tired, and seriously considering turning back when he saw the tower in the distance. Suddenly invigorated by the sight, he urged his horse onward. As he got closer he started to notice how odd the tower looked. Overrun by vegetation and truly deserted. He couldn't see any sign of the dragon, which didn't seem too odd to him, since it was probably waiting in hiding for anyone who would dare to try and take its treasure. His Sleeping Beauty.
"Dragon! I'm here for my princess. Come out and meet your end!" He was shouting at the top of his lungs, his voice cracking. Moments passed and the dragon never came. Uncertain of what to do and impatient, he started to climb the tower. At first, he tried to climb up it quickly as a true Prince Charming would but his armor was heavy and the stones were weak. He fell two or three times from varying distances before he slowed his pace and chose his hand-holds more carefully.
He wasn't sure how long it had taken him but it was nightfall by the time he pulled himself up over the last few stones. The tower smelled of rotten meat and everything was dark. For some reason, he had expected things to look more magical, and to smell more enchanted. The smell could have been from the dragon's past meals or even the dragon itself.
He toyed with the idea that another prince had made it there before him, claimed the sleeping beauty as his own and had been happily married already. That could explain the less than magical state of the castle but he wouldn't be deterred. He hadn't come all this way to leave empty-handed; he would at least have a good tale to tell.
He passed through a large dark chamber with what looked to be an old broken bed in the middle of the floor. Bones of all sizes littered the area. With a heavy heart, he realized that most of the people under the curse must have been dead, eaten by the dragon or victim to some other foul fate.
He had been making his was back towards where he came in when he saw it. A hulking figure was lurking in the darkness. Bones clattered as it started to move towards him. He drew his sword ready to fight the beast, sure he had finally encountered the dragon. As it came into the moonlight he realized it wasn't a dragon, but what looked to be a huge woman. Bigger than any he had ever seen before. She was almost naked except for dirty tatters of what possibly could have been a dress hanging in random spots. A small crown perched delicately on her massive head.
"My prince?" she wheezed.
"Stay back!" he shouted unsure of what to do. This creature was no dainty beauty.
"Finally you've come to give me the kiss that will break the curse!"
She was still wheezing, out of breath just standing there. Just the sight of her made him ill and he couldn't imagine kissing her.
"My kiss will do what exactly?"
"Break the curse, silly prince." She was licking her lips, watching him closely.
"What exactly is your curse, you aren't sleeping like the tale said. Where is your court? The rest of the people?"
She looked away from him as she did an odd little shuffle, wringing her grubby hands. "I was so hungry..."
"Hungry?" he asked as he took another look around finally noticing all the bones, most of them were human-sized but he noticed a few large ones scattered around the room.
"Oh god!" he moaned as he stepped away from her in terror.
"Just kiss me," she screamed as she lurched forward reaching for him. He took a few steps back not realizing how close he was to the tower stairs and tumbled down them head over heels, his armor crunching all the way down.
When he came to, it was to the sound of her labored breathing, a loud wheeze for each stair she took. She was almost to him, a hungry look in her eyes. "Silly prince took a spill, now you're like a broken egg. No reason to waste a broken egg," she mumbled as she grabbed his foot and started to drag him back up the stairs.