Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a princess was born with a curse befallen on her by an evil witch. When she reached her prime, she would fall into an endless slumber. No cure could save her; no method could wake her up. For the evil witch’s spell to be broken, she needed the kiss of young man who, with love and courage in his heart, dared to enter the heart of this dark castle.
Thousands years had passed and still the princess waited, buried deep in the castle ruins beyond the woods.
He was a young man of great valor. With fearless steps, he trampled upon all dangers and obstacles in his way and thus became a legend among his folks.
Traveling the world, one day the young hero heard about the tale of the cursed maiden and was deeply moved. She was my destiny, he told his folks before setting on his adventure.
Through the thick mass of branches and leaves he rode, driving back all vicious beasts with a wave of his holy sword. Soon, the castle stood in front of him, its ominous shadow looming over his valiant form, threatening to swallow him whole.
Blessed with god’s protection since birth, he confidently entered its heart.
The young hero was greeted with various statues as he penetrated the maze of vines and cold stones. Grey and worn with time, still, their different faces spoke of the same terror.
Who put them here, he wondered, to scare away the intruders, perhaps.
The statues lined up before the altar where she laid. With fire burning madly in his chest, he approached her.
She was even more beautiful than the tale had done her justice. Her sleeping countenance emitted a pure, almost scarce radiance unrivaled among Heaven and Earth.
He kissed her cold, pale lips with his fervent fire and watched as they slowly regained their warmth and shade.
Her eyes met her savior’s, her eyes which could command all the men in this Earth with only a look.
“I’ve been waiting for you.” She spoke her first words after thousands years of silence. Her tone was holy music in his ears.
“Now you have to wait no more.” The young man replied.
So drunk in this cup of love that he did not question the presence of those stone statues as he carried her out of her life-long prison.
In blessings and wishes of his folks, he said his vow to her, to spend his entire life loving her, protecting her from all harms.
She did not stop him from his latest adventure; instead, she bid him farewell with her sweetest smile.
When he returned with his prized trophy, the young man was greeted with the same sight he had witnessed that day at the castle: stone statues with unspoken terror carved into their faces lied up his way to her.
There she sat, his goddess of a wife, unblemished by the calamity she had brought upon those innocent folks.
There was another version of that fairy tale not known by many. In that tale, the princess was not cursed; in fact, she herself was the worst disaster to her kingdom. And the witch who had cast a spell on her had shared the same fate as the princess’ other victims, stone statues laying waste to the merciless hand of time.
Her eyes was staring at him, making his blood run cold.
“As always, my gaze has no effect on you, my beloved.”
His heart of fire, a gift from god, could burn up even the strongest spell; however, this time, it had lost to the one called love.
His sword hand trembled.
“You’ve vowed to love me, to protect me from all harms.”
That he had, and still wanted to, despite her being a monster.
Would he destroy her, and himself along with it?
Would he free her and let himself be condemned as the greatest sinner before god?
She held out her hand.
“We can have that happily-ever-after ending all for ourselves, as long as we’re together.”
He looked at her hand, hesitated.
A petit hand, smooth and white, yet his most severe ordeal as a hero.
In the end, what would he choose?