Once Upon A Time...
Author's note: Inspired by my beautiful imagination ;) and the brothers grimm collection or fairytales
Hope you people enjoy it!
Hope you people enjoy it!
Chapter 1Chapter 1
Fake. Fake. Fake. Fake! All of them! I bit back a groan as yet another girl came up to me, laughing at anything I said even I it wasn’t anywhere near funny. None of these girls were real. None of them acted normal around me. All they wanted was for me to choose them as my wife. Yeah, right.
I looked around the ballroom, not wanting to look at the girl in front of me for the mole on her nose was too distracting. Thank gods that chatter of the room drowned
The ballroom was probably the most decorated, expensive, and beautiful of all of the palace with the exception of the throne room, and to me, the kitchen. With towering ceilings painted by the most skilled artist in all of Lynivar and tall glass windows that was currently letting in the beautiful moon and starlight as the grand, purple drapes were cast aside, there was no doubt in mine or anyone else’s, that this room in itself would amount up to the standers of even gods homes. Balconies lined the wall of the room avoiding the windows as to not ruin the dramatic effect, allowing more guests to mingle and chatter as the railing wrapped around the room, meeting at the end and twisting into the rail of shining stone stairs, parting to each side in the most elegant of ways. At the opposite side of the stairway, the main doors stood tall, guards standing emotionless on either side, more then ready to assist if it need be. The door itself was made of imported wood from Avvidina with gold and iron enforcing it’s strength as it was met by short and long, curved stairs, radiating from the doors ends in a wide semi-circle for guests to make their theatrical entrance. A similar set of stairs awaited on the outside of those doors as well.
But, honestly, who cares about the stairs. I was too busy gaping at the arresting girl that had entered, capturing my heart and everyone else’s at just the sight of her. She wore a sky blue floor length dress that seemed to shine silver as she walked into the light. Her long golden hair was set in twists and curls and yet, it still managed to reach her waist. How long her hair is when straightened? I have could only imagine. She wore a mask that matched her dress, the blue fading into a shining silver over her left eye but I could still tell she must be around my age, 18 or 19. The mask covered most of her face with the exception of her eyes, ending in a beck shape for her nose.
The girl seemed startled to see the many people watching her and she at first, stepped back as if the leave the ball though it was only 9. She seemed to think better of it, standing a little taller with her shoulders set back, her chin held high as she grabbed a bunch of her skirt, lifting it as she descended the stairs. I caught sight of silver, almost clear slippers. Her steps echoed in the room and I had realized that even the band stopped playing just to marvel at the new guest.
I felt a smile coming on as I noticed she was heading in my direction.
“Prince Phineas,” she greeted me with a slight nod as she came closer and I caught sight of electric green eye that seemed to look right through me.
Even with my golden mask on, anyone was supposed to recognize me since I wore the royal insignia on my coat, a golden lion and a silver serpent in battle. It was the most important emblem that has ever existed and the one I wear now could be worth as much as a small fortune.
“Madame,” I started with my best smile and bent deep into a bow, “it would be my honor if-” I stopped talking as I realized the girl was no longer with me.
I search around and caught sight of her, laughing. With another man. I felt an unpleasant feeling bubble in my stomach I took a deep breath, calming myself as much as possible and completely forgot about the first girl talking to me, leaving her as I smoothly and slightly calmly, walked up to the mystery girl. The man she was talking to abruptly stopped the conversation and glared at me through his mask. I ignored them and turned my attention to the girl.
“May I have this dance?” She looked me up and down with those rapturing green eyes and eventually met my gaze.
“With all apologies, you Highness,” She seemed to spit out the word as if it were acid, “but how can we dance if there is no music?”
I felt my face heat up slightly as I realized the band still had not started up again. I turned to them, waving my arm and they stumbled over each other to get in their proper positions and soon, the music once again filled the room.
I turned back around with a smirk that instantly fell away as I saw the girl was gone. Again. I groaned in frustration and later felt like ripping my hair out as a girl, not the one I so desperately wanted to speak to, slithered in front of me with a suggestive smile. This is going to be one heck of a night.
Music? Check. Hair? Check. Tied shoes? Check. Anything in my teeth?
I looked over into a silver platter, running my tongue across my white, flawless teeth.
Check. Ok, she can’t deny me now, I thought to myself as I had my gaze set one the girl across the ballroom, divulged in what must be a very interesting conversation is she I still standing there with that dunce and not here with me.
In the past hour I have approached and been rejected by the untouchable maiden, not once, not twice, but five times! She criticized my hair, my teeth, anything to distract me enough to just slip away.
Nooo. Not this time sweetheart. You will dance with me tonight.
I looked up at the giant diamond embezzled clock that hung above the stair way as it rang 10 times loud and clear, catching the attention of many others in the room as well.
That’s my cue.
I quickly strolled over to the girl and she look very unsurprised to see me again.
“The night’s awastin’. Shall we?” I said, sweeping my hand towards to dance floor without my sight never leaving her.
“You’re shoes’ untied, I’m afraid. I would not like to be the cause of your injury,” she said with that innocent smile that tugged down at the corners as I returned it with a smirk.
“Not this time. Come on.”
Before she could say anything else, I grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her to the empty dance floor. Yes, it was improper touching her without her consent and I was sure to get a beating from the queen later on, but my only goal at the moment was to get her to dance with me.
I wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her closer, holding her hand in mine as she placed her other on my shoulder. She frowned at me but didn’t say anything.
“Might I have the honor of asking your name?” She hesitated for a second.
“Gwyneira. I like it. I’ll call you Gwen.”
“Only my friends call me Gwen,” she spit out and she seemed as surprised as I was. She recovered quickly and tried to change the subject. “Well if your name is Phineas, then I’ll call you Finn.”
“It would only be fair.” I grinned at her and returned it with a small, almost reluctant smile.
I wondered who she was, why she would avoid questions of herself and only speak questions to me. She seemed interested in who I was, what I did during the day, and who I talked to. I didn’t mind much though, as long as she was talking to me the way she does without faking her entire personality, I would answer any question she asks me.
I told her about my step-mother, the queen, and how awful she could be at times though she was a very good queen. My step-brothers hated me, mostly because they were older and yet, I was still next in line for the throne. Deverell and Anastasius once tried to make me pick lentils out of our fireplace and it ended up with them face first in the ashes. Ever after we had finished dancing, we still continued our talk and I felt more and more certain, that if I had to choose someone to marry, it will be her.
Our conversation went boring and I glanced at the clock. 10:55. Now has to be the time to ask.
“Yeah?” She looked at me expectantly with those beautiful green eyes and suddenly, I felt as if everyone within a 50 foot radius could hear me.
“Will you meet me upstairs in my room in 5 minutes? I have something really important to ask you.”
She looked at me with curious eyes and her smile twitched a little for reasons unknowns. She nodded and I breathed a sigh of relief. I gave her a warm smile and left her to head upstairs and wait for her.
As soon as I stepped in the carriage, I ripped off the clear slippers and chunked them on the floor, growling as their harmlessly bounced off. What, you think their made of glass? Only in fairytales. No, these cured things were made of plastic and not the comfortable kind if there is such thing. I slumped on the cushion and hissed slightly as I pulled out a pin in my hair, yanking out a bit due to my hast. Al looked at me with a raised eye and sighed, holding some golden scissors.
“Are you sure about this, Gwen?” he asked once more and I stroked my loose, golden hair.
Now that I had let it loose, it was tumbling around my shoulders and cascading down onto the floor with length to spare. I loved my hair, as much of a pain it could be. It was useful at times, like the one time a green dragon escaped at carried me off to it’s nest, my hair proved to be a handy rope for me to wrap around the twigs of the nest and lower myself down. My scalp was hurting for weeks but at least I wasn’t baby dragon food. I had already made this decision long before we came to the ball but now, I wasn’t so sure. I heaved a breath, knowing that if I didn’t then the prince would recognize me for sure.
“I’m taking one for the team, Al. This has to be done.”
“Alright then let’s get started.”
I winced as I heard the snips and clicks, watching as locks of hair fell away and slowly darkened into a brown color. My hair will never be it’s same golden color again.
I recalled the time when our camp was invaded by a swarm of pesky pixies and our band of 8 was forced to run and find shelter. I was separated from my 7 little dwarf companions at some point and found myself entering a clearing where a dilapidated house stood, that being the home of a witch who had not seen me and was currently hunched over on a stump and muttering in incoherent words. If I was greeted with the same situation today, I would have simply walked away like anyone else would only, at the time, I was still a feeble minded 6 year old who thought everyone was my friend.
Now, had this witch been sane, I would have most likely been killed but luck was at my side and this witch was probably the loser of a battle I hear goes on between witches and sorcerers, so to state it simply, she was crazy.
I had walked up to her, asking where I was and if she could help me and she started shrieking, laughing, and going through the most abrupt and insane mood changes in the history of Lynivar. One second she was laughing at nothing (giving poor 6 year old me a fright, might I add) and the next, she was murmuring something about honey, gold, and sunshine.
With a snap of her fingers, her nature magic did their job and volia! You got yourself a scarred, petrified, alarmed little girl with the most beautiful golden hair the world has ever seen.
A scare I must have giving my friend when they walked in the clearing to me blond and crying on the ground and a crazy witch muttering about donkeys tasting good with butter on the side.
I hated the color and we tried dyeing it but nothing would change to color. After a while, when it grew long, we tried cutting it every scissor broke trying to break even a strand. So we let it grow out to it’s crazy length and I grew to love my hair. And now, it is finally disappearing with the help of the golden scissors Fairy Candace created for this very purpose.
After what seemed like hours, which was only a few minutes, Al set the undamaged scissors down and handed me a mirror. I gasped at the change. Every trance on golden hair was gone, replaced with the original chocolate brown color I was born with. I marveled at the maneuverability I had now that my hair reached just below my shoulders. Me green eyes looked back at me, as wide as saucers and I put on a bright smile, remembering how much I had loved my brown hair as much as I did my blond.
“Thanks, Al. I’ll meet you and the others outside of the wall. Did Bash take out the guards yet?”
“Yup. I’m gonna go wake up Slug.”
“He fell asleep again?”
“Well could you blame him? I would have to if I had to sit outside on a carriage for 2 hours. By the way, how did you manage to get the prince to go to his room?”
“I didn’t. He did it to himself, the idiot. He was expecting me to meet him at 11 although I’m sure he’ll wait a little long.”
Al snickered and exited the carriage, giving me privacy to change out of the dress and into something more comfortable. I slipped on a pair of trousers and a shirt and sneaked out the carriage so that guards didn’t see a lady running around in men’s clothes. That will definitely raise suspicion.
I hid in the shadows and wrapped my cloak tighter around me, pulling the hood up. I was now just a faceless ghost passing right next to people with skilled silence, so perfected that I could stand next to them and they would not notice until I spoke or made any sudden movements. I slipped past the first rank of guards surrounding the castle with ease and caught sight of Grog, hiding a group of bushes. I grinned and slipped right next to him, tapping him on the shoulder and laughing as he jumped in fear with drew is short sword. He nearly tackled my until I pulled my hood down.
“Jeez, Gwen! I almost sliced, diced, and deep fried you! Stop sneaking up on me like that!”
“Wow, Grog. If didn’t know you were a chef. Maybe you could start making your own meals.”
“Oh put a sock in it. Come on. The pollen is up and Pig is this close to giving us away.”
I smiled and pulled the hood back up, following silently behind him and soon, I saw Pig, Slug, Snig, Dour, Bash, and Al, all waiting patiently by the palace wall with 3 guards knocked out and tied up behind them, each of them only wearing their undergarments. I shook my head at the dwarves humor.
“Uh oh. Guys? It’s coming again,” Pig panicked.
Instantly, everyone dove at him and pinched his nose. Pig huffed in rapidly, squinting his eyes shut as a sneeze came on. When it didn’t come and Pig could open his eyes again, we breathed out a sigh of relief and stepped away.
“Gosh, Pig. This is why we never bring you on these kinds of missions!” Dour scowled.
“Hey! You need me if you’re going to get up to that balcony!”
I rolled my eyes at their playful banter and looked up at our target, some 50 feet in the air. The stone wall was luckily build with round edged blocks, providing us with crevasses and foot holds to scale the wall up to the balcony above us. Seeing the my 7 companions didn’t have the reach and were not fond of heights, I was the only one up for the task. Shame, I could have used my hair as a rope to lift up the others once I was at the top but since I had no longer had that advantage, a rope would work the same.
I secured my hood and took a running start, leaping high onto the wall and concentrated on my feet and hands. Then I reached that part where the next secure handhold is too high. I glance around the wall, sighing as I knew going sideways won’t help either.
“I’m going to have to jump!” I shouted down the them.
“Be careful Gwen! You still owe me 10 copper coins!”
I rolled my eyes. Leave it the the Snig to lighten the situation. I took a deep breath, settling my shaking leg and situated myself to get a better reach on the next handhold. I leaned back a little and launched myself high, almost missed it but catching it just in time to not fall to my doom. I smiled and let out a breath, calling out to the others that I was all right. The rest of the way was a breeze and I found myself even with the balcony railing and pulling myself over.
I unraveled the rope and tossed it down over the side, glancing at the doorway into the prince’s room just to see if he had heard me. When no one came through, I looked back over the balcony and saw Bash and Dour making their way up quiet easily. Years of mining has really paid off only, now their talents are used for a better cause.
The clock struck 12, the bangs of bells from the clock echoing through doors and windows and out so the whole town could hear it.
Wow. Kidnapping the prince will be easier then I thought.
That was my last thought before I felt the point of a sword against my back.
Where is she!
I ran my hand though my hair again and at this point, it must be sticking up in all directions.
She should have been here minutes ago!
I looked at my clock that hung on the wall, a miniature version of the grander one downstairs. It read 11:30. 30 minutes late. Could something have happened? Was she in trouble? Did she know what I was going to ask and ran off? Should I go downstairs to wait for her? After debating over it, I decided to giver her 30 more minutes, and then I will go in search for her. Perhaps I can convince the queen to give me an extension on my decision.
To make the time pass, I humored myself with the safe. It was the last thing my father gave me before he passed away a few years back. No key, combination, nothing. Just a note saying, I will open to you one day. The lands greatest lock smiths have come and used every technique there is to open it and none of them left even a scratch. I don’t know why but half of the lock smiths say it magic. And half of the time, I believe them.
That also, is probably my dad’s fault. Ever since I was a little kid, he shared storied with me, about common people turning into princesses and princes with the help of fairy godmothers. Since at first, he only shared tales like Snow White and Repunzel, I hated them and thought they were girly and childish. But I never asked him to stop telling them. Some of them like Rumpelstiltzkin and Robin Hood really caught my attention. I hadn’t thought about those tales since my dad passed away, I realized. I guess all thoughts of father was packed away in the deepest corners of my mind.
I jerked up and looked at my doorway, hearing the echoes of 12 bells going off, one after another. It’s midnight. And she still isn’t hear. I sighed and stood up, heading towards the door when I heard a rustle just outside on the balcony. I paused, turned around and grabbed my sword before pushing aside the fabric that acted as a doorway.
There, leaning over the railing, was a figure in a dark, blood red cloak that reached just above the floor. The hood was thrown up and I went on attack mode, pressing the tip of my swords against his back. He noticeably tensed and his grip on the railing tightened, only making me dig the tip of the sword deeper in his back.
“Who are you?” I hissed.
The figure seemed to c*** his head to the side as if in thought and slowly turned around to face me. The hood shadows his face, making it impossible for me to see him.
“Why, dear Phineas, I’m your worse nightmare.”
Suddenly, two pint sized men jumped over the railing and one of them charged at me with his own sword, it being much shorter then mine though. I parried, and switched from offense to defense, dodging and ducking blow after blow without having to raise my blade.
“Hold still will ya!” He growled and I backed up into my room.
I deflected against a swing and knocked him back a little, just in time for me turn only to find the door blocked by the other little man. I turned back just in time to parry another swipe and this time, swung my leg out and tripped him onto the floor. I raised my sword for the final blow when something knocked me over onto my side. I fell into my wardrobe tipping it over and crashing onto the ground with me along side it. I turned over onto my back and saw yet another small person, this one wielding two short daggers. Before I could raise my sword, he ducking inside my guard faster then I thought possible and had the knives ready to kill at each side of my neck. I glanced behind him out the door and saw 4 more short people climbing over the balcony. What was going on?
“Pig. Don’t kill the poor boy.”
The sword was kicked out of my hands and I saw the man standing above me. He pulled back the hood and I was shocked to see this him was a her. She had brown hair ended just below her shoulders and green eyes, exactly the same color as Gwen’s. But, no. This couldn’t possibly be Gwen! This women in front of me was wearing trousers of all things! Men’s clothes! This couldn’t be the same Gwen I danced with, the one not trying to kill me. Right?
“I’m won’t. Don’t you worry. Grog! Do you have the sack?”
“Aw jeez Grog! We put you in charge of one thing!” Another man yelled.
“Boys! Be quiet or you’ll have the guards coming up here!”
That’s right! The guards! I immediately began shouted at the top of my lungs, calling for help. It didn’t last long. Instantly, I felt my mouth being stuff with my bed sheets as the small men and girl glared at me furiously.
“It’s ok, Dour. I brought the sack. How are we going to get him down, Al?” The girl asked. She seemed to be leading this little band of misfits.
Another midget, who must be named Al answered, “Bash is the strongest. We strap the prince to his back and we can lower them down from the top so Bash doesn’t have to climb his way down.”
“Either that or we can always through him off the balcony. You think he can survive that, Al?”
“I doubt that, Snig.”
“That was supposed to be a joke.”
“Everything is supposed to be a joke with you,” Dour said with a frown.
“Lighten up, Dour! You’re always so grumpy!”
That’s when everything clicked.
“The seven dwarves from Snow White and the Red Rose!”
“You know of us? I always knew we were famous in some way!” Snig said with a smile.
“And you! You must be Snow White!” I shouted, pointing at the girl.
“Snow White? Please! Like I would be anything like that little spoiled brat!” she snapped, startling me quiet a bit and I almost cut myself on the daggers Pig still held against my neck.
“Yeah! That good for nothing backstabber! And after all we did for her! Gave her a home, a place to stay and as soon as she finds her prince, what happens to us? Dumped. Like last weeks garbage. Well I say good-riddance! She couldn’t even clean the house properly anyway!” The dwarves all chimed in.
Well this certainly is a turn of events. I noticed the still unnamed girl roll her eyes and pull a sack out of her cloak. She gave me a strangely familiar smile and yanked the sack over my head. I could hear grunting and cursing as something valuable was knocked over and broke on the floor.
“Whoops. Sorry your royalyness. Hope that wasn’t expensive,” a voice called.
I was yanked up into a sitting position and I felt rope being tied around my wrists and ankles, one of my shoes slipping off in the process. Shortly after, I was tossed over the shoulder or someone I suspected to be Bash. I could feel it as Bash was being lowered down, detecting a jolt as he hit the ground. After that, I wasn’t sure what was going on. I knew I was being tossed around and, at one point, was thrown into some mode of transportation, most likely a carriage since I heard a horse whinny.
The whole way I was just trying to wrap my mind around the whole thing.
I’ve been kidnapped.
Queen Clara stomped swiftly down the empty hallway. It was 1 o’clock in the morning and she was furious. Her step-son was supposed to announce his wife an hour ago! Clara could not believe he’s been staying in his room the whole time when he should be downstairs in the ballroom where many young women waited for him.
She passed many nobles and lords, all of them looking at her with lust and want. How could they not? The Queen’s beauty was like no other. Her skin was white as snow, hair as black as ebony, and lips and red as blood. It was her beauty that drew the attention of the widowed king and thus, taking her as his own.
The Queen lifted her golden dress up, slightly, carefully walking up the spiral staircase up the tower to Prince Phineas’s room. She entered a single hallway where two guards where stationed, quickly scurrying out of her way as soon as they saw her.
Clara knocked on the door, calling out Phineas’s name and when there was no response, she tried once more, quickly becoming impatient with her good for nothing step-son. When he still didn’t answer, she decided to let herself in.
“Phineas! What are-”
She stopped her yammer immediately as she saw the state of the room. The wardrobe was knocked over on it’s side, it’s contents spilled all over the floor. The rope that held up the grand tarp over the bed was gone, leaving the tarp twisted and tangled in a bed, bare of it’s sheets. The mirror was shattered, it’s shards left behind on the floor and the door to the balcony was blowing in the wind, giving the whole scene and ominous look.
“GARRET!” the Queen screamed as soon as she over came the shock of the situation.
In a matter of seconds, the tall, burly head guard was there, awaiting his Majesty’s orders. He took in the state of the room and in a matter of seconds, reached the same conclusion the Queen had.
“Send out a search party immediately! Give a reward of 10,000 gold coins! We will find Prince Phineas!”
Garret nodded and hurried out of the room to carry out the order. The Queen looked around the room and there, her gaze fell on what seemed to be the only thing left behind of the missing Prince. His shoe.