Well I was going to make a separate topic for this excerpt but I think I'll put it here instead. This came about from a previous topic I started here
. Sorry if this turns out to be too long!
The premise behind this is gender reversal in fairy tales.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful kingdom with two benevolent rules who desired a child above all else. After many years, they finally had a baby boy and the country rejoiced for their rulers. The king and queen named their son Beau for he was the beauty in their lives. At his christening, they invited noblemen and gentry alike as well as fairies. The fairies each bestowed a gift on the infant prince: strength, bravery, beauty, humor, and justice.
However, it was only before the sixth fairy was about to give her gift that the Queen realized she had made an error in the guest list. One fairy had been forgotten. At this moment of realization, a strong, chilling wind swept over all in the hall. A billowing column of smoke announced the arrival of the last, uninvited fairy.
The scorned fairy wasted no time in casting the first horrible spell she could think of:
“He may be strong and brave in war,”
“He may be beautiful and full of humor in company,”
“He may be righteous in diplomacy,”
“But forever more he will be a fool!”
“On the eve of his sixteenth birthday,”
“He will prick his finger on the spindle on a spinning wheel and die!”
With a satisfied cackle, she disappeared in another wave of billowing smoke and chaos erupted in the hall. The Queen clutched her small son to her, weeping and the King begged the last fairy to undo this curse. Though the fairy knew she could not undo such magic, she offered an amendment to the curse.
“Though he will prick his finger on the eve of his sixteenth birthday,”
“He will not die,”
“But instead, sleep for 100 years.”
“Only the passing of time,”
“Or the kiss of true love will free him from this curse.”
Though grateful for the help of the fairy, the King and Queen lamented over their son's fate and sought to keep it from happening altogether. Spindles and spinning wheels were banned from the castle altogether and the entire kingdom soon followed suit.
Almost 16 years passed and the prince grew strong and handsome, brave and charming, and with a clearly defined sense of right and wrong. However, he was indeed foolish beyond reason.
Though he had a sense of justice, his believes started more fights and disputes than he could handle. Though naturally strong and brave, he insisted on taking on opponents twice his size and was often beaten in fights that he started. Though naturally handsome and good humored, he would often say or do something foolish to offend someone or other. He never backed down from a challenge, whether he expected to come out victorious or not. In all, it was a rough 16 years.
It was on the eve of his 16th birthday that he was strolling the castle halls when he noticed a staircase that he had never seen before. Deciding on a bit of exploration, he set off up the stairs. The stairs wound higher and higher but the prince kept climbing, feeling unnaturally driven to reach the top.
He finally came upon a door at the top of the stairs. Opening the door revealed a barren room, empty of anything except a spinning wheel.
Now, the prince was fully aware of his curse but the spindle on the spinning wheel seemed to be taunting him somehow, challenging him. Never one to back down from a challenge-
“Woah! Wait just one second. You're talking about Prince Beauregard of Hamill aren't you?” Princess Adelaide interrupted, sitting up straight. “I thought that curse was just a rumor!”
“No princess! The curse is true. The prince sleeps as we speak,” her nurse answered her, never missing a stitch in her sewing.
“I always said he was an idiot,” Adelaide replied, returning to her lounging position on the chaise.
“Princess! You shouldn't speak of other royalty so,” her nurse chastised.
“He is a fool and everyone who didn't know so before knows now,” the princess continued. “And that nonsense about being awakened by love's true kiss! He'll sleep for 100 years, that's for sure.”
“Now princess, how can you say that?” the nurse exclaimed, finally setting her sewing down.
“Easily. He's offended every noble or royal lady that he has ever come into contact with and a good many more that have only heard of him through word of mouth,” the princess explained. “He's a fool that no one but his parent's could ever truly love.”
“Maybe my princess is still upset about that incident a few years back,” the nurse commented, resuming her sewing.
“I most certainly am not,” the princess argued, stiffly. “I'm not upset about that at all. It happened ages ago and after all, he can't help being stupid.”
“Well, maybe someone will surprise you and step up to the task,” the nurse continued. “After all, they say love is blind.”
“Then it must be deaf and dumb as well if it applies to Beauregard of Hamill,” the princess finished with a huff.