Thursday, March 12, 2009

unfinished fairytale

One day, a very long time ago, in the land of witches and wizards, princes, princesses and even a fairy or two, there was born a little girl. This was just an ordinary little girl, nothing special or extraordinary about her… with one exception…she was afraid of people. She was so afraid they would hurt and abandon her that she pushed them all away. No-one knew what had happened to make her so afraid, least of all the little girl herself, but it was rumoured to have been a curse by an particularly evil witch. The older the girl got the more afraid she became. The fear created a wall around her, and the more she afraid she was the higher the wall got, until you couldn’t see the girl at all. You couldn’t even hear her if she screamed. Over the years the wall got so high that if you stood next to it and looked up all you could see was the tower endlessly stretching up into the sky.

The witch decided to call the tower Loneliness. She painted a picture of a beautiful princess on the tower wall and inscribed the promise underneath that whoever could find a way to get past the wall could have the princess. The witch designed the tower so that that it was invisible from the inside and the girl could see and hear everything that went on outside the walls, but that no-one could really hear or see her…only the pretty picture on the outside.

And through the years the princes came and went. They heard about the rumoured beautiful princess trapped in a tower and they came from far and wide to claim her. Some of them tried for years to get past the walls and earn their princess, but eventually even the most persistent gave up and went away. And still the ordinary girl sat inside her tower of Loneliness and watched and waited for some prince to succeed in reaching her. So it continued for years until the girl gave up and stopped even watching the princes trying, for she knew that her fear was still causing the tower grow even higher.

One day another prince (just tall enough, dark and very very handsome) came riding past on his white horse and saw the impossibly tall tower called Loneliness stretching up into the sky. Intrigued he rode up to the tower and saw the painting of the beautiful princess on the wall and decided he simply had to have her. So he started making plans to get past the wall.

First he decided to try climbing over the wall. And so he packed himself a backpack and set off on his journey to conquer the wall. He climbed for days, but every time he looked down he saw that the part of the wall that lay ahead was still greater than what he had already climbed. So after a few days of making no progress he climbed back down. Next he decided to tunnel underneath the foundations of the wall. He dug for days until he had the deepest hole man had ever made, but still he kept finding himself stopped by the wall’s foundation. But still he did not give up on reaching the princess. He decided to try to break through the walls. This whole time the girl had been completely oblivious of the prince trying to reach her. She had become so disheartened by the previous failed attempts of all the princess that she had given up on ever getting out of Loneliness. Now, for he first time she started watching his progress through her see-through prison walls.

The prince took up an ax and attempted to make a hole in the wall. As he was hacking away at the wall he looked at the painting and talked to the “princess” he hoped to find and whom he hoped could hear him. And inside the girl sat and watched his efforts and listened to him talking. She looked into his melted chocolate eyes and she saw the kindness there. Later she even started answering him and so they spent their time: him working away at the wall talking to his princess while she sat and watched him and answered him even thought she knew he could never hear her. And over time she even started feeling a spark of hope again that maybe this time someone would finally be able to breach the tower walls.

But after a few days the prince noticed that although there was heaps of stones littered all around the tower that he had broken from the wall, he never managed to pierce through it. He realized that behind every stone he removed from the wall there appeared another one. For the first time he understood why he kept climbing but never reached the top and kept digging, but could never reach the bottom…it was a magical wall. And so the prince sat down on a pile of the rocks that he had broken from the wall and hung his head, for how could he hope to fight a magic wall? The girl watched him give up through her invisible wall and turned away from him, a single tear running down her cheek. And so again she lost all hope for yet another prince had given up on her. The prince sat dejectedly on his rock for a full day, before he jumped up, got on his white horse and galloped away. The girl watched him go, believing he had finally left her and would never return.

The prince decided to fight magic with magic and went to the first witch he could find. He traded his white horse for a pair of magic wings to fly over the wall. And so the prince returned to Loneliness – minus his stallion, but with a giant pair of wings. The girl didn’t even notice his return. She had given up looking at her wall altogether and spent her time thinking up pretty stories and painting pretty pictures to forget her ugly reality. He walked up to the tower and started talking to his princess again. At first the girl didn’t even hear him. She thought the voice only a part of her dreams and when it stopped she thought herself waking up from her dream to find him gone again, as she did every morning. But the rustling of the giant wings as he left the ground roused her. She jumped up and ran to the wall astounded to see that a prince had finally returned. At first the girl soundlessly watched him fly higher and higher, too afraid to hope. But as he flew higher and higher she started cheering him on…only to see his wings start to disintegrate as he came close to reaching the top of the impossible tower. She watched him slowly floating down again like a leaf on a breeze.

The prince left again…and the princess cried for him not to give up on her and banged her hands against her invisible walls until her voice got hoarse and her hands bled, but still he couldn’t hear her despair. The prince went to the wisest wizard in the country and asked him what to do. The wizard told him that the key to releasing the princess from her tower would be Trust. For with Trust there could never be fear. The prince immediately wanted to set off across the country to go earn her trust. The wise wizard told him that trust could not be earned nor deserved, but could only be given freely as a gift. The prince was greatly surprised to hear that he could do nothing to reach her, but that his only chance was to just be himself.
He returned to the tower and the princess. He sat down to next to the wall and talked to the princess day and night for seven days. He showed her the contents of his heart. And the girl sat on the other side of the wall listening to him speak and saw that his heart, the very core of his soul, was good and kind. After a week of talking continuously the prince fell asleep next to the wall and the girl reached out her hand to touch his sleeping face …and suddenly there was no wall, for there was no fear anymore. The prince felt the hand on his face and awoke…and the tower was gone and there was no beautiful princess…only an ordinary girl, nothing special or extraordinary.

And the prince was perfectly happy with his perfectly ordinary girl… for a short while. Until a bird came to warn him and whispered in the prince’s ear. The prince told the perfectly ordinary girl that he had to leave. He had also been cursed by a witch and had a dragon chasing him. He had been running from the dragon for a long time and every time he thought he had left the dragon behind it caught up with him again. The girl told the prince that she did not care about the dragon breathing down his neck, she would run with him. He told her that she had to stay, for he needed all his strength to evade the dragon and could not look after her too. The girl told him she could look after herself and after him too when he needed it, but he only shook his head and turned away from her. And the perfectly ordinary girl stood and watched the prince that had finally released her from the tower walk away without looking back.

But she had nowhere to go for Loneliness was gone forever. The prince had saved her from it. So the girl ran after him and told him that she would fight the dragon with him. The prince told her to leave, for it was his battle alone and he was not ready to fight his dragon. The perfectly ordinary girl refused to leave and vowed that if he did not fight the dragon with her, she would do it alone for she could not watch him run. And the prince finally agreed and so the prince and the perfectly ordinary girl fought the dragon together. The prince’s brother and the king and queen all came to join the battle and the dragon was finally defeated and has not been seen in this land since that day.

Yet, although the tower and the dragon was gone, their problems were not over. Part of the spell that the evil witch had placed on the prince was to create an invisible shield around him that caused everything he heard and saw to be twisted and which caused him to remember only the sad and bad stuff and not that which was happy and beautiful. It drained all the colour from his world and he lived only in shades of grey. She called the shield Misery. If the girl told him that she was unhappy without him, he heard her say that he made her unhappy. If she told him that he is perfect just the way he is even with his flaws, he heard that he isn’t good enough. And he couldn’t hear it at all when she told him that she loved him. That she would give her everything to spend her life with him alone. The girl did everything she could, but she couldn’t break through the shield. She cried and screamed, got angry and begged. All to no avail. She finally searched far and wide until she found the famous Wizzard of Wait who knew how the shield worked. But although he was an expert in destroying Misery, the witch’s shield was simply too strong for him to break through.

No-one knows how the story ends. Maybe the ordinary girl (nothing extraordinary) is still there trying to break through the shield. Or maybe the ordinary girl gave up and started rebuilding Loneliness while the Prince waits for the love of a true princess to free him from Misery.
But, eh, boys and girls life just ain’t a fairytale. There’s no such thing as a happy ending. The prince probably decides that the dark side looks a hell of a lot more appealing and decides to shack up with a witch. While the not-so-little-anymore girl finds out that true love truly never dies (try as you might to kill that fucker) and rules over her very own kingdom of Loneliness. And kids? While I’m at it… the Easter Bunny is pure crap. And you know the fat guy in the red suit…

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