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A Royal Bedtime Story MAG
No one really liked Princess Missi. She was bossy and spoiled and an all-around brat. The castle servants all agreed that she would benefit from a good grounding.
King Axter and Queen Lila gave Princess Missi everything she wanted, never made her eat vegetables, and never, ever sent her near a sewing needle.
They knew about the curse.
Since Princess Missi was royalty, at her birth, the fairies of the kingdom had come to give her presents.
After cooing and calling her “sweetie” and “cutsie-poo,” they lined up in the classic order.
Adele gave Princess Missi acute vision. Barina gave beauty. Clia gave charisma. Danielle gave dancing skills. Elle gave energy. And so on and so on.
Lastly came Zyphera, puffing as she flew in.
“Sorry!” she gasped. “Absolutely terrible headwinds! Is it my turn? Um ...”
Yami sighed. Zypera was not very creative. Of course, Z gifts posed a problem. (Xera felt rather proud of “not xenophobic.”)
Suddenly, Princess Missi started crying. Loudly. Zyphera frowned. How could she concentrate? Shushing the baby did not work. A puppy appeared, but then Princess Missi began screaming. Zyphera grimaced. Then she lost her temper.
“Go sit on a needle for a century!”
Zyphera gasped and clamped her jaw shut as the other fairies grew pale.
“What? What happened?” demanded King Axter.
The fairies all burst into tears.
“I’m sorry! I’m so terribly sorry!” sobbed Zyphera. “You see, magic is tricky, and when I yelled at the baby, it came out as a curse! I didn’t mean it!”
King Axter’s face drained. “What? You put a curse on my daughter?”
Zyphera sniffled and nodded. “I don’t know exactly how. The safe thing would be to keep Princess Missi away from all sewing implements. Who knows what might happen?” And with that, she and the rest of the fairies flew off.
It really was no excuse, but after that Queen Lila and King Axter tried to make Princess Missi’s life as pleasant as possible. Who knew when she might meet some terrible fate?
The other inhabitants of the castle, who did not know about the fairies, just tried to ignore Princess Missi.
“Cook! I want cake!” Princess Missi burst into the kitchen. Cook, who baked several cakes at a time for just this reason, cut a generous slice and handed it to the 18-year-old girl. Princess Missi snatched the plate and stomped (gracefully) off.
Rain poured down, making the castle dark and damp. Princess Missi decided that she hated rain. That settled, Missi flounced up to her room and looked at her closet, which always made her feel better. It was such a terrible day that Princess Missi could not keep still. Now seemed a good time for hot cocoa. But no one walked in the hall to fetch it for her. Princess Missi scowled. How dare they! Someone needed to be sacked. But first, she would have her drink.
Princess Missi started up toward the servants’ quarters. She kicked open a door, but the room looked empty. Her eyes narrowed. Two sackings. Princess Missi pouted and plopped down on the bed. It was a very small room. A bit of mending lay on a stool.
Hmmph, she thought. Ugly weave, and worse color.
When she tried to fling it across the room, her finger caught on the needle. A spot of blood appeared. She gasped, then (gracefully) sank onto the bed.
Immediately, the entire castle fell asleep.
A hundred years passed. No one visited the castle. The surrounding forest grew wild. A few woodcutters glanced at the ruins, but never thought to explore.
Except one man.
His name was Prince Robert Edward Alexander Henry Charles. Everyone just called him Bob. Prince Bob fit his longer name, though. He talked all the time. For hours, nonstop, hardly pausing for breath.
Finally sick of him, King Jacobson kicked him out of the castle to “go on a quest or something.”
So he rode off, with many speeches and farewells. He rode for days, looking for adventure and talking to his horse. Blackie soon bucked him off and galloped home. Then Prince Bob walked and chatted to the plants.
When he came across the castle, his face lit up. “Aha! Adventure fit for a king! Or a prince, anyway. How can I leave this mystery unsolved? I must go forth and plumb the depths of this crumbling ruin. Who knows what I may find? Treasure, maybe. Or monsters to slay.” Bob strode across the drawbridge and through the door. He gasped when he saw the people lying asleep. Then he grew even more excited. “Come! Let me discover who caused this! Do not despair if I never come out again, bright world, for I will never stop adventuring.”
He climbed winding stairs up to the attic. A door was ajar, so he peeked inside. There lay a beautiful princess! If I must do anything, I must rescue her, he decided. So he walked up to her.
“Princess, wake up, please. You mustn’t sleep. I am here, and I long to talk to you. Please, arise from your slumber and tell me your name.” Bob grew tired and frustrated, but tried to speak kindly. Then, finally, he cracked. “Why won’t you wake up?” he shouted. “You lazy girl! Get up!” Bob leaned in closer and bellowed right in her ear, “Wake up!”
Princess Missi was never scolded.
She woke up.
“You’re awake!” cheered Bob. “It’s amazing! Oh, beautiful princess, I now see that you are even lovelier awake! No other woman or girl can compare to you! No flower on earth ...”
Princess Missi smiled. She liked compliments. Then King Axter and Queen Lila walked in. Bob wheeled and knelt at their feet. “Oh, mighty rulers! I beg you that I may marry your daughter, whose beauty outshines the sun! Please let me marry this pearl among pearls, this rose among roses, this-”
“Does she agree?” asked Queen Lila.
“Uh ...” Price Bob turned red. He had not asked her. “D’you wanna?” Princess Missi nodded happily. Prince Bob sighed in relief. She could get used to a lifetime of fawning.
“Well ...” mumbled King Axter.
“Um ...” mumbled Queen Lila.
“Take her!” shouted all the nobles, cooks, servants, jesters, scribes and gardeners lined up in the hall.
“All right!” he cheered. Off went Prince Bob and Princess Missi.
King Axter and Queen Lila’s realm soon grew more peaceful after that.
King Jacobson’s grew a bit louder.
And Zephyr? She never could make good spells. Her next subject ended up a frog.