A Magical Sacrifice

February 28, 2008
Sometimes in life, we must make certain sacrifices that are hard for us but that also give the ones we love a chance to be happier than ourselves. Sacrifice is a big part of our lives and plays an even bigger role all throughout history. That is precisely what our story is about, a young boy’s sacrifice for love.

One day in a far away land, deep in the thickest part of a mountainous forest, there was a giant wall, covered up by the kingdom’s vineyard and a few fuzzy coats of moss. No one had seen this wall in a long time, but when a young girl wandered into the woods, she was desperate to find out what was on the other side. Her name was Hailey. When she came to the big mossy wall, she instantly longed for an adventure. It took a while for her to conquer the wall, but eventually she fell to the other side. She brushed herself off, looked around and found the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, a castle so magnificent she had only dreamt about it. Almost immediately she wanted to meet the Princess that lived inside. She ran as fast as she could, blazing a trail through the heavy fields.
When she made it to the gate, there were people running everywhere; chefs making food, servants decorating, and maids cleaning and dusting. Hailey wondered what could be happening. As curious as she was, she decided to have a look around. Since all the people were busy preparing for a big party, no one noticed her casually walking though the castle. When she heard a voice singing a breathtaking melody, she assumed it was the Princess’ voice. She followed it until she came to a set of doors.
“This must be the Princess’ suite” she said. Carefully, she opened the door and stole a glance at the Princess in her red silky gown. Suddenly she was overwhelmed with the strong sensation of a sneeze that she couldn’t hold back. “Ah-CHOOO!” This startled the Princess and she yelled, “What are you doing?” Hailey fumbled for words as she tried to explain herself. In the smallest voice imaginable, she responded, “My name is Hailey. I got lost in the woods and wanted to meet you.” The Princess sensed fear in the little girl’s voice and tried to calm her down, “Oh I’m sorry, you just scared me. Will you help me with my dress?” Nervously, Hailey nodded and helped the Princess tie the big puffy bow behind her back.
In the ballroom, there was a young man named David. David first started out working in the castle as a waiter, but just recently he had been assigned as an accountant for the King. David anxiously awaited the Princess’ glorious entrance. Since the day they first met he had held a crush on the Princess. Although no one knew, his love for her grew every day. Given that he was merely an employee in the castle; his admiration had always been from afar. When he was passing the front gates of the castle, he noticed that the kingdom’s wizard had arrived. As soon as the brittle old man set foot in the castle, David felt a chill of fear run down his spine. Long ago, the King and Queen of the kingdom had the most of the wizard’s power revoked and he was banished deep into the woods for reasons not many knew. To this day, the wizard still holds a grudge against the royal family.
Back in the Princess’ suite she and Hailey had been discussing their past and the reasons for the big party. Hailey found out that the Princess had to choose a groom. If she failed to do so, her father would force her to marry the jerk of a Prince from the neighboring kingdom. Of course she didn’t want to marry him, but in order to be eligible to inherit the crown; she needed to marry by her 18th birthday. “I think it’s about time to go downstairs Hailey.” said the Princess “Would you like to accompany me?”
“Really? Can I?”
“Sure, why not?”
Smiling, Hailey borrowed an older dress from the Princess and both girls finished getting ready and started to walk down the big marble staircase. Slowly heads started to turn and a slight murmur rushed through the crowd; wondering who the little girl was. The chatter continued until they reached the bottom step and then everyone was silent. While the girls were making their entrance, David was struggling to make his way to the front of the crowd. When he finally got there, all anyone could see was a dense cloud of orange smoke. After the crowd fanned away the smoke, Hailey and the Princess were gone.

A state of panic quickly rose and soon everyone was yelling and running into each other. That is, everyone except David. He was thinking, maybe too hard to think clearly, but he was thinking about where she could’ve gone. Was it a trick? Or was his true love kidnapped? Then he remembered stories his older brother used to tell him; old stories that he hadn’t heard in a long time. They all had to do with the grouchy old wizard. Whenever he cast a spell or healed someone, a small poof of orange smoke evaporated into the air around him. David ran into the kitchen as fast as he could and found the chief chef hoping that he would have an idea of where the Princess was. The aged chef pondered over David’s theory and came to a conclusion. First they would check in the wizard’s shack on the edge of the forest. Hastily, they went out in search of Hailey and the Princess who were almost guaranteed to be with the old man. When David and the chef reached the broken down shack, they almost laughed when they found what was inside. It was a set of plans written by the wizard. They contained castle blueprints and pointed out exactly where he had taken the Princess. It said the Princess would be waiting in a small room in the basement of the castle and the only people to come were the King and Queen. The chef remembered how his powers had been taken from him and said to David, “He must want his magic back!” For the moment, David ignored the chef and began to notice that even within this elaborate strategy; nothing gave a clue to where Hailey was. Finally, he found a small folded piece of paper underneath the folder containing the castle blueprints. On the paper was a hand drawn map of the castle grounds and which tower Hailey was locked in.

Nothing had changed when the two heroes arrived back at the castle except that the Prince was there now; the same Prince that was scheduled to marry the beautiful Princess. This changed everything, because David knew that now the Prince would want to rescue the Princess alone. Once they agreed to go together, David and the Prince went down into the cold, dark basement. When they heard the distinct cry for help, they both went running. They came to a thick wooden door with bars over the opening. Inside laid the Princess whose face was now stained with tears. “Hold on darling. I’ll get you out of there!” cried the eager Prince. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked. But as soon as he passed through the doorway, there was a bright flash of light, a loud BANG, and a thin cloud of orange smoke. Knowing who else was in the room with the Princess, David decided to stay in the torch lit corridor. Then he heard a soft raspy voice that said, “Enter if you want the same fate as your friend.” Boldly, David responded “He wasn’t my friend.”

“Well then, why are you here?”

“I know you want your magic back, but I‘m just here for the Princess.”

“Sorry son. I can’t let you have her.”

“How about a trade?”
“I’m listening…”

“You can take me, if you let the Princess go.”

“No David!” interrupted the Princess, “I won’t let you go!”

“How do you know my name?”
“I noticed you when you first came into the castle. They day you waited on me and spilled a pitcher of water.”
They smiled from a distance and David wondered to himself, “Does she feel the same way about me as I feel about her?” But before he could say anything, she asked, “David, do you love me?” Suddenly he was out of breath and couldn’t match words with the way he felt. “I hate to break up this love scene, but I want my money!” the wizard interrupted. “And if you don’t give it to me now, I’ll have the little girl killed too.” The Princess was startled and had forgotten about Hailey, “OH NO! HAILEY!” David calmed her down by telling her about the plans he found in the wizard’s shack. Then he remembered the chef and got on the phone to the kitchen. Luckily, the chef answered right away, “Kitchen, how may I help you?”
“Hello? Chef? This is David.”
“Oh. Did you find the Princess?”
“Yes, she’s here. Listen, I need you to go up to the south-east dining tower and find the little girl that came down the stairs with the Princess today. Her name is Hailey. Call me when you bring her back. Hurry!” Then to the wizard he said, “So how is this trade going to work?”
“What are you worth to me boy?”
“I am the Kings top financial advisor” said David.
“OK then, we will wait for the King and you will ‘advise’ him to give me money as well as my power back.” Time passed, but eventually the chef called back, “David, I found the girl. She was right where you said she would be. What should I do now?” David proceeded to tell him to get the kingdom’s new wizard and send him down into the basement. Then he told the man, “I am going to go upstairs to get the new wizard. He will be able to restore you magical power.” Nervously, the man let David retrieve ascend up the staircase. When he came back with the new wizard, the Princess was antsy and yelled “He’s back. Now let me go!”

“Not until I get the boy and the magic!”

David responded quietly and peacefully, “Alright, fine. Just let go of the Princess and we will come in.” As soon as the wizard let go, the two entered the room and turned back to watch the Princess escape to safety upstairs. The wizard empowered the old man with his new magic and he also returned upstairs. But for David, life would be much different from now on. A painful different that he would have to endure until the day he died, or until the wizard decided to release him from captivity. Nevertheless, David believed his actions were justified through his sacrifice. A sacrifice made in the name of love.

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