The princess of the Howling Waste. Part one.

A fairytale for you xxx

The Princess of the Howling Waste.
by JR Manawa.

Part One

This story begins just like all good fairy tales have since the dawn of time itself, before the young sun had made his first dance across the heavens and before the moon had seen her stars.
This is how the great bards and story tellers of a bygone age began their nights by the bonfire. This is how your story was passed on through the generations, from the lips of the old to the ears of the young. This is the point where you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, of tomorrow, and the forgotten realm of your imagination…
Once Upon a Time…
A very long time ago when dragons still roamed the earth, and fairies still danced over the beds of young babes while they lay sleeping there lived a king in castle, the king of a great kingdom.
Outside the walls of the kingdom there was a desert land, a barren and howling waste where a princess lived in rags, beautiful and forsaken, with a heart of fire and gold and a life of unfulfilled dreams and torn promises.
She was the ruler of her lonely little kingdom, in which her subjects were the vultures and hyenas who fed on the flesh of those that could not survive the harsh land. Her friendship was abandoned to the crows, the sleek minions who told her what she wanted to hear and never the truth. She slept on a bed of stones and she knew each stone by name, each stone that pricked her soft skin at night when she tried to sleep.
Her heart she kept outside her chest in a box she called Hope. This box had many locks and the princess had many keys, keys she had found all across the face of the wasteland. But none of them were cut to open the locks.
For most of her day the princess wandered the dry earth of her kingdom in search of keys. She upturned stones and rolled aside mighty rocks in her search, though most of the time she only found ashes and dust beneath. If she found a beetle, she ate it. On the odd occasion she found a key, and when she did she went running back to the place where she hid the box called hope only to discover her efforts had been in vain. There was not a single key that could open even one of the locks.
The princess did not remember why she was a princess, and she did not remember how she had come to be in the wasteland. She did not even remember why her heart had been taken out and put in the box. She remembered that it hurt, but not the reason for the pain.
But this story is not about that. This story is about the King in his castle. Now the King could see for miles from his castle, for miles into the paradise of his kingdom and in contrast he could also see for miles into the desolation of the lands beyond his walls.
Most interestingly he could see the princess from his castle window, and while the King had his whole beautiful kingdom to observe and be well-pleased with, he liked to watch the princess in rags.
He could watch her all day. Everything she did, every step she took and every choice she made either amused him and made him happy, or made him sad. He watched with sadness when she listened to her crows and fought with the hyenas for her food and with sorrow when she searched for keys. Other times when she lay spread-eagled in the sand with her face upturned toward the sun he smiled a little, warmed that she was warm, happy that she had found a moment of peace in the storm of her existence.
He adored her. He adored her passion for life, her will to fight, and her delight in even the smallest of things. He watched on in awe of her beauty, despite her cuts and bruises and her garment of rags. Even the scars on her chest which told a bitter tale had become part of the make-up that was her, and in his eyes she was flawless.
Flawless, and captivating.
He learned that he was in love with the princess. Her life fascinated him more than all his riches and anything in his kingdom, and he was desperate to rescue her from the abandonment of the wilderness.

For part two, click here

Written by JR Manawa

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