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The Gypsy, the Fortune, and the Beast
Ever since their first day to the throne, the King and Queen demanded order. They soon made their Kingdom the prettiest and tidiest in the land, forced civilians to follow a dress code, and enforced laws to their full extent. And so it went, that on the 21st day in the month of November when the King and Queen were surveying their Kingdom in their royal carriage, they noticed an ugly, old hag of a woman on the side of the road. The King and Queen, disgusted by such a disruption, demanded that she be executed immediately and had their guards detain her. However, this harpy was a very poor Gypsy who asked for mercy in return for her telling them their futures. The King and Queen, who noticed a growing crowd of spectators around them, laughed and accepted her foolish offer.
“Entertain us!” the King bellowed out between bursts of laughter.
Thus, the Gypsy proceeded to tell the royal couple her vision of a child that would be born on a stormy night to the wealthiest royal family in the land. This child would not be like any other and would bear the physique of a hideous, unnatural beast.
Knowing they were the wealthiest royal family in the land, the King and Queen cried out “surely you must be joking. No such beast could come from us!” The audience agreed, showing so through their hysterical laughter. But, the Gypsy continued her prophecy. She told them how they must keep him and raise him as their own as he would prove to be of use to them one day.
Disgusted, the King and Queen refused to show mercy to the Gypsy. The King, about to make his fatal decision, glanced straight into the Gypsy’s eyes only to be surprised to see a sort of desperate inaudible plea.
“For such an amusing story” he said, “I will spare her life. Take her to the furthest point of the Kingdom and set her off.” commanded the King to his servants and the Gypsy was taken away from their sight. That night, the King and Queen paced in their chamber discussing the fortune that had been told to them.
“Surely she must be out of her mind!” cried out the Queen.
“There is no way that that vermin can tell us what our future holds.” stated the King who angrily started to get into bed. “Come, we cannot let this fiend control our lives!”
“You’re right.” exclaimed the Queen as she calmly got into bed beside her husband.
A few years passed and quite quickly, the King and Queen completely forgot about the Gypsy’s fortune telling. They conceived a child and joyfully told the entire Kingdom. After the announcement, the King and Queen were flooded with gifts from all over. Some brought blankets, others brought clothes. However, one gift was exceptionally odd. It was a pair of chains and shackles which was anonymously placed at the entrance of the King and Queen’s castle. But, enwrapped with the joy of a new baby, they thought nothing of this strange gift.
Nine months later on a stormy July night, the Queen, surrounded by the most experienced midwifes in the land, gave birth to her child. What was born was a child like no one had ever seen. This child had horns, was covered in fur, and had sharp piercing claws. It was… a beast!
“Kill it!” cried one of the midwives.
“It’s hideous!” screamed another.
“No, no. Go away!” cried out the Queen and she was left alone with her beast of a child. Moments later, the King came rushing into their chamber and screamed when he saw the child.
“Its atrocious.” he bellowed then suddenly he froze in his tracks. He slowly turned his head to his wife and inquired “Remember the Gypsy?”
“What?” she asked.
“The Gypsy! Who told our fortune so many years ago!” he shrieked. Suddenly, it all made sense to the couple. “Don’t you remember! She said we must keep him.”
“How could we keep such a hideous monster!” demanded the Queen. “We cannot tell the Kingdom about this. We must kill it!”
“But the Gypsy. She said he would be of use to us one day. If the first part of her prophecy came true, I’m sure the second will follow.” Thus, the King and Queen began to scheme.
“Who else knows about this demon?” he demanded.
“Only the midwives!” muttered the Queen.
“Then we must kill them and it seems we must keep the child” said the King. “But he must remain out of sight.”
That night, they chained their son to the deepest, darkest dungeon in the castle using the chains and shackles anonymously dropped off months ago. By the end of the night, they had come up with a plan to fully conceal their secret from being uncovered. The next morning a crowd of scared villagers rushed to the castle.
“King, King! Please help us!” cried the people of the village.
“What is it?” the King inquired.
“Our wives have gone missing!” exclaimed the spouses of the midwives who assisted the Queen that previous night.
“And my son!” shrieked a woman. “He was only born a day ago. He’s missing! He was kidnapped during the night.”
“There must be some kind of horrible beast in the Kingdom!” hollered the villagers. The crowd grew louder and more violent by the second.
“Enough!” shouted the King. “I can assure you that the most noble men of the Kingdom and I will be mounting a full scale investigation about these events. In the meantime, let us be merry as last night, the Queen and I welcomed a new baby boy into the world. We are pleased to announce Prince Justin.”
The Queen held up a baby blue blanket which was wrapped around a beautiful newborn baby boy. No, this was not the beast the Queen had given birth to only hours before, but a different, charming, handsome normal baby boy. The village people gasped with excitement, cheered, and were merry with the King and Queen. Even those whose wives or sons were gone still celebrated with the King and Queen. Little did the townspeople know that deep within the dungeons of the King & Queen’s castle was chained their true son; hidden from all worldly contact and that the “Prince” they saw before them was stolen from the home of a local village woman during the night by the King himself. Many years of this deception passed. The King and Queen raised Prince Justin as their son and seldom visited their real child.
One overcast gloomy day, a group of scared villagers ran to the King and Queen’s castle.
“Help us!” they cried. “There is a beast in the Kingdom! It is a huge fire breathing dragon! It was spotted by our houses.”
“Nonsense!” boasted the King skeptically. “There are to be no beasts in my Kingdom!”
"What should we do?" the townsfolk inquired.
"If there really is a beast, then kill it!" scoffed the King. "Slay the dragon. Send the strongest men to do this deed." The town responded. The men in the Kingdom began to gear up for the battle ahead of them. They sharpened spears, made armor, and prepared themselves for the imminent battle. They set out and through the gloomy fog, the brave men could just barely make out the silhouette of the great dragon before them. Finally, they caught up to the monster and drew their swords, flung their arrows, and planned their attacks, but none were strong or powerful enough to kill this massive beast. The more they fought, the angrier the mighty creature became and many perished in their attempt to kill it. The survivors went to the King and cried out for help.
“The dragon is too powerful for us. We cannot kill it ourselves.” exclaimed the men.
“Of Course, the dragon… Try again.” ordered the King. “This menace cannot roam our Kingdom and terrorize our people!” Again, the remaining men tried but they could not kill the beast which became even angrier and started to head for the grand castle of the King and Queen.
Once more, the concerned village people told the King about this horrid creature which was headed for their very castle.
“Ha ha” the Prince scoffed yet again. “Don’t worry, I will deal with beast.” He then climbed the many staircases up to his royal suite which was in one of the highest towers of the castle. Looking out the window over his Kingdom, he froze as he saw the massive creature approaching his grand castle.
“Guards!” he screamed. “Guards! Kill it! Kill the beast!”
But, the guards were all gone for they too had seen the dragon and fled for their lives. Hopeless, the King frozen at the sight of the approaching dragon, saw in its eyes something he had only seen once before. From within the eyes of the beast, he could see the same desperate inaudible plea that he had seen in the Gypsy so many years ago. He then immediately ran towards the deepest, darkest dungeon.
Down many flights of steps he went until he reached the musky cavern that kept his real son, the monstrous beast. Now nearly double the King’s height and thrice his weight, the King rushed to unchain his son. When finished, the true Prince stumbled out of his dungeon and followed his father up many flights of stairs to the castle drawbridge.
“Go! Kill the beast!” cried the King to the real Prince as the large, heavy drawbridge receded before them shedding light on the Prince’s misshapen, warped face. Sword in hand, the creature stumbled out of the castle and toward the intimidating dragon. This additional monster caught the townspeople’s attention as they began to stop and stare at the battle which was beginning to play out between these two beasts.
After a long and horrid fight, the dragon dropped to the ground, a sward skewered through its chest into its massive heart.
“Another beast!” cried the village people, uniting once more for another fight.
“No.” said the King. “That creature is my true son.” The people of the Kingdom were shocked. “Many of you may remember the Gypsy who foretold this oddity many years ago. Well, obviously her prophecy came true and, like she said, he did come to be of use to us.” For the first time, the King was not embarrassed to acknowledge his biological son.
“But what about Prince Justin!” questioned one of the villagers.
“I kidnapped him in an attempt to cover all this up. I am very sorry for what this has caused.” The town, disgraced with what they heard, forced the King, Queen, and Beast out of the kingdom, Price Justin was reunited with his real birth mother, and as the years went on, this tragedy faded from the minds of the busy villagers. However, seldom forgot the lessons they learned from these past events (including the King and Queen) and all lived happily ever after.