The Frog Prince

Princess Issy loved the meadow. No one could stop her from going there; not all the staff in the castle; not even Sir Issac. On sunny days, she’d run off with her lovely golden ball, given to her for her fifth birthday by King Sinus and Queen Marius, and roll it over the soft, fluffy grass. But exactly why such a pointless pastime was so enjoyable puzzled the castle servants and their royal majesties. None of them could recall having rolled balls back and forth when they were young. Perhaps it was just a fad of the new generation.

As for little Issy, she could never figure out why her parents were so strict about keeping away from the meadow. It was delightfully inviting. The sea of soft green would sway rhythmically in the fresh breezes that seemed to go on forever. Hissing grasses snaked and curled in the air, melding with the rustling of bordering trees, making hush hush sounds; a warm breath tickling pale skin until her hairs stood on end. It was like the paradise from her storybook in the royal library: The Frog Prince. The little meadow even had a tiny creek running through its supple vegetation that compensated for the lack of well, its placid waters bubbling over worn stones, gurgling as if making conversation.

When Sir Issac was preoccupied, Issy would slip silently down to the meadow and roll her ball, where it’d sparkle daintily in the sun like an orb of bubbling oil. Today was one such day, and Issy knelt among the tall stalks, tossing the golden ball to and fro. She hummed while she played a tune her mother had sung when she was an infant. The hedge of surrounding bushes rustled as she rolled. And much to her surprise, out tumbled a small, green ball, much like the one she held in her hands. Issy peered down at it curiously.
Dropping the golden ball, she gingerly lifted the green one up to her eyes and scrutinized carefully. It unfolded into a strange sort of creature with a lime green, orb-shaped head and plump, stick-like body, complete with tiny webbed limbs. It squeaked at her cheerily, beady black eyes blinking rapidly. Issy regarded it with childish delight. But, zeal evaporated to horror as the creature hugged her left leg with suffocating pressure, as though it were its last life line. A small golden crown sparkled on its round head. The thing was slimy, and Issy yelped a little as it began to crawl up her calf. She tried to shake it off, but the creature didn’t budge an inch. It rubbed affectionately against her leg.

The princess made a bolt for home, but the green monster weighed her down. It seemed to grow heavier with each step, and soon she was crawling with the might she could muster, struggling under an invisible weight. Sweat beaded dripped down her face and back. The blob seemed to be dragging her down towards the creek. They neared the water’s edge, and soon the little monster was submerged up to its tiny neck, still tugging on the little girl. The thing spoke in a froggy, high-pitched tone, and Issy’s eyes widened as she heard it utter two words.

“Marry me.”

The little princess was dragged completely under into darkness, the golden ball laying forgotten in the overgrown meadow.





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