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Vidalia This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   In the mists of the Greekmountains arose a shimmering castle of gold. Although thecastle was splendid, it held a great curse.

Once,mighty King Menius and Queen Arlae had ruled over Athens.Their reign brought prosperity to the city. The Athenianspraised King Menius for all he had done and began to ignorethe goddess Athena. This upset her, for it was she who enabledMenius to do such wonders. In a fit of jealousy she sweptMenius and Arlae into the mountains. There, she created thegolden castle with a stroke of her hand.

"Do youthink yourselves better than I?" bellowed Athena."Athenians praise you instead of me! This castle is agolden prison, fit for a king and queen. You are never toleave! When you feel the urge to break down these invinciblewalls, remember - it was I who built them!"

Onenight, Arlae dreamt of an oracle, who told her she would havea daughter. The child would be free to roam outdoors, thoughshe would encounter her death there. Just as the oracle hadtold her, Arlae had a girl, whom she called Vidalia. The kingand queen agreed never to let Vidalia out of the castle. Theydid not tell her why so they wouldn't frighten her. They lether assume she was also under Athena's curse.

Atsixteen, Vidalia was beautiful. She often prayed to thegoddess Demeter for knowledge of nature and the world shecould never know. Demeter gave her dreams of the outdoors. Forher birthday, she gave Vidalia one wish. On her knees, Vidaliaprayed, "Dear Demeter, I am so grateful to you! Let me gooutside; make that my wish!" Demeter set Vidalia down ina field and promised she could stay until sunset. Far offVidalia saw a young man. He was Ridyllus, and she instantlyfell in love with him, and he with her beauty. They spent theday together. Before she left, Vidalia told him where to findher.

Ridyllus came to the castle and begged Vidalia tocome with him. She explained she couldn't leave the castlebecause of Athena's curse: Ridyllus fled in fear that he mightbe punished by Athena for communicating with this outcast.(Besides, he only loved Vidalia for her beauty.) Vidalia wasbrokenhearted. She prayed to Demeter for help who told her touse her wish; her first one didn't count because she wasallowed to leave the castle. Vidalia wished to be rid of herbeauty and to cause others to cry as she had.

Vidaliawas immediately transformed into an onion. Her beauty wasreplaced with a dull skin and she was set outside to stretchher arms and legs into the Earth, where Demeter could protecther. Demeter told Vidalia, "From now on, child, mayanyone who breaks your heart be the one who cries."




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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