The Prince has ordered all the village maidens to a ball and plans to marry one unlucky guest.
By Brenna Schafer
Once a upon a time there a little village called Notch. The sun was shining, the birds were singing with not a cloud in the sky. The walls of the small cottages were made of cobblestone and wooden pyramid shaped roofs, and all the houses surrounded a statue of the ruler of the village, Prince Ben.
Ella had a younger sister Emma. She got along with her so well they did everything together. She had beautiful green eyes and short brown hair and fair skin. Her brother Chris on the other hand always resented Ella and Emma and tried to put the blame on them for everything he did. He had dark brown eyes and pasty skin and an evil glare that even frightened grown men. Every young boy in the village fell in love with Ella. All they cared about was her fair young skin, light blue eyes, and wavy long blond hair. Even the prince was in love with her.
“Hear ye, hear ye,” bellowed the royal messenger. Everyone stepped outside to hear what he had to say, for surely it was something important. “By order of the Prince Ben’s decree, all young woman of 15-18 years of age will attend the ball this Saturday night and the young prince will pick one of you to be his wife. You are required to attend and there will be no exceptions,” he announced. With that he hopped back into the royal chariot and headed back to the royal castle made entirely of marble so tall birds crashed into the towers all the time. Everyone buzzed with excitement as they prepared all the young girls for Saturday night.
Ella and her family went to Burttle’s Clothing Store and spent hours picking out the perfect dress for Ella and Emma. Emma picked out a beautiful pastel green dress that went down to her ankles. But Ella had a hard time picking out an outfit.
“But, Mom,” Ella whined, “why do I have to go? I have no feelings for this Prince, and I do not wish to marry him if he is to choose me.”
“But you must, for if you don’t you will be disrespecting the king and putting all our family’s lives in danger.” Ella finally settled on a light blue dress that only went down to her knees. Ella did not wish to marry the Prince if he chose her, so she came up with an idea so she wouldn’t get picked. As she thought up her plan, Chris was hatching a plan himself to get rid of his sister.
Ella’s idea was to make herself ugly so the prince would refuse to choose her and pick some other beautiful girl. She applied a dark pink lipstick all around her lips and little on her lips—her lips looked as if they fell on a cactus. She put the lipstick on her cheek as if it were blush. The she put on so much mascara that she looked like a poofy raccoon. Lastly, she tousled her hair like she hadn’t brushed her hair in 10 years. When she was done de-beautifying herself she looked like a madwoman.
Ella knocked on her parents’ bedroom door.
“Ella what have you done to your face!” cried her father aghast. “You need to go wash off your makeup and put it on correctly right now young lady,” he said, pointing up to Ella’s bedroom.
“No father,” Ella responded defiantly.
“Listen to your father,” exclaimed Ella’s mother.
“No mother, no father, the prince never said how we had to look. He only asked us to show up,” Ella explained calmly. With that the parents had nothing to say so they headed out the door, hopped in their carriage and rode off to the castle.
As Ella and her family stepped out of the carriage and headed into the castle all the young girls, families, servants and guards in the castle gawked at Ella’s hideous face. Ella just waved and smiled. A chandelier hung high above the ball room. It was so big the light made the entire ballroom glow like the sunset. There were tables with a luxury white and gold tablecloth and all the families each sat at their assigned table to eat. The servants served a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and steamed Brussel sprouts.
Then the trumpets signaled the arrival of the prince. All the young women lined up in a horizontal line trying to look as regal as possible so the prince would choose them. Ella on the other hand slouched and glared. The prince walked regally down the stairs of the second floor and walked toward Ella first.
He only took one look at her and passed on, for he only wanted to choose Ella and she looked nothing like Ella. Neither did any of the other girls that showed up. Then Chris stood up and walked up to the prince and bowed.
“Your highness, the one you seek is my sister,” he bellowed for everyone to hear, “and she is the one with the hideous makeup. She did not want you to choose her, so she made herself look as ugly as possible.”
“Get a wet towel and wipe off her makeup,” the prince demanded.
A butler walked up to Ella with a towel and wiped off her face to reveal Ella’s beauty. Everyone gasped at the beautiful girl that only a second ago looked like a hideous madwoman. Ella smiled sheepishly at the prince and Chris smirked at her. The Prince smiled at Ella and said, “I choose you as my bride to be.” But Ella did not want to marry this prince; she did not desire him or any young boy in the village.
“No, she said, “I do not wish to marry you, you are going to have to find someone else. How about my sister? Surely she is as beautiful as I am.” Emma smiled with glee.
“No, I choose you, and if you choose not to marry me then I’ll sentence your family to death,” the prince said angrily. The prince had a menacing look in his eye that scared her.
“No, never, I will never marry you,” Ella exclaimed. “Hurry, guys, we need to get out of here!” she shouted. Ella, her mother and father, and Emma all ran out the castle doors and fled all the way to the way back to their house. Chris stayed with the prince to plot his revenge.
Once everyone gathered into the house Ella shut and bolted the door so no one could get in. “We need to get out of here, we are all in danger if we don’t hide somewhere safe,” explained Ella.
“But where would we go?” cried Emma. Ella’s father pulled out a map from a drawer and unfolded it. Everyone gathered to look at it.
“We could go to Camelot. It’s very far from here and the prince will won’t bother trying to search the entire land for us,” said Ella. “Plus I have always wanted to go there.”
“So, it’s settled then,” said her mother. “We will ride to Camelot in the morning. Someone grab the vacation jar and only pack one suitcase.”
At the Castle:
The prince and Chris headed to the dungeon. Chris had no idea why since the Prince knew he was helping him catch his family. When they reached the cell, Chris finally understood. In the cell was an old hag in a black dress with a broom leaning on one of the prison walls. A witch.
“Here is the deal,” the prince said. “Make us a potion and we will set you free.”
“But what kind of potion, though,” croaked the old witch.
“One that will help me and Chris here to catch a beautiful maiden and kill her family so she will have no choice but to marry me,” replied the prince.
“I can make a spell for that easily, but it comes with a price,” she croaked.
“Like what?” the prince asked.
“Why, your soul, of course, dear boy. I’ll take your good soul and replace it with an evil one,” she answered. “But your friend here doesn’t need a soul exchange, for he is already evil.”
“Deal,” said the prince. A butler came down to the dungeon and brought the witch her cauldron and wand.
Once the witch was done and the liquid in the cauldron was a dark red, she poured it into a glass container and handed it to the two boys. “Now remember that once your drink this all the good in your souls will be gone,” the witch warned. But the prince and Chris didn’t listen as they drank the potion. The boys writhed in pain and when the transformation was complete, they had both turned to giant hairy beasts with blood shot eyes and snarling teeth. They set the witch free and they marched out of the castle towards Ella’s cottage.
Neither Ella nor the rest of her family could sleep for fear of their own lives. They sat in the living room drinking coffee when they heard a thump on their door. When Emma opened the door and peaked out, she saw the two drooling beasts and screamed. The prince grabbed her and swallowed her whole. Being very strong, the two beasts tore down the walls of the cottage and grabbed Ella’s parents and threw them all the way back to the castle, hitting the tall walls so they fell to their death. The beast-prince grabbed Ella and looked at her and said, “Marry me now or you die too.” But when Ella looked in his eyes she saw not just a beast but an evil soul that just killed her family.
“I’d rather die!” shouted Ella. The prince, seeing that Ella would never marry him or truly love him for that matter, tied her up and threw her in the pond. As Ella drew her last water-filled breath, the two beasts walked back to the castle.
Photo: Fairy Tale Castle by Jim Roberts on Flickr