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Library: Waiting for a Prince

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Author: doot
Date:Jan 15 2008

At last he had reached his sleeping princess. He stepped into the clearing and
saw her lying in the glass coffin. A shaft of light shone through a hole in
the canopy and lit the coffin like a chandelier. She radiated beauty. Her hair
was black as ebony, her skin white as snow, and her lips were red as blood.
The prince opened the lid of the coffin and looked at her. Her hair framed her
head and shoulders in a black curtain of silk and her hands were crossed at
her chest. The prince leaned over her and softly kissed her moist red lips.

The princess opened her eyes and exlaimed, "Oh, my handsome prince! You are my
hero and one true love!" She kissed him again. Birds and rabbits gathered at
their feet and the air was full of song.

Suddenly, there was a violent screech and a black figure blocked out the sun.
A black dragon circled once and landed in the clearing. Its long claws tore at
the ground and its wings raised a hurricane of leaves. It screeched again,
this time spewing flame from its gaping maw. The prince leaped to the beast,
swinging sword and bearing shield. The prince was strong of both sword and
courage, but the dragon was wise and cunning. They fought, night and day and
night again. Thrust, dodge, parry, riposte. The princess watched in awe,
admiring his bravery and skill. "Surely he must be my true love!" she thought.
The fight raged on, blood and bile, fire and steel.

The dragon, fatigued by days of battle, faltered and the prince saw his
opportunity. With the last of his energy, he swung the shining blade in a long
graceful arc. The blade whistled through the air and then struck. The severed
head of the dragon fell to the ground, followed by the massive body.

It was the sixth such beast the Witch Queen had sent and it was the sixth such
beast that the prince had destroyed. The Witch Queen had conjured many trials
and horrors that the prince had fought through: a massive, thick hedge of
briars and thorns, various spells, creatures, curses, summons, and even seven
surly dwarves. But the black dragon was the last. The prince had fought well
for his beautiful princess. She was all he wanted and he was all she desired.

"Oh handsome Prince," she said as she nursed his battle wounds, "you fought
gallantly! It is a wonder you have not been taken by another princess by now!"
Her eyes sparkled and her smile shone like the midday sun. "I am fortunate to
be your first princess!"

The prince looked blankly at her, but didn't say anything.

Princess raised her eyebrows. Both sparkle and smile wilted. "I am," she said
"your first princess, right?"

The prince sighed and said a quick "No."

The princess blinked but said nothing. She glanced around, looking for a
distraction. Finding none, she said, "Why didn't your last princess work out?"

"Well," he said, "we dated for about three years, and then she broke up with
me -- claimed she wanted to see other people."

"Oh my!" said the princess. "That ungrateful wench! You poor man."

"Oh, it wasn't that bad," said the prince. "We're still friends."

Princess glanced at her feet. Her hand came up and started twirling a lock of
hair. Round and round it went about that one finger. She untwirled,
straightened her hair, and then started all over again. Twirl, untwirl,
straighten, twirl.

"When's the last time you saw her?" asked the princess.

"Oh, it was ummm..." The prince stroked his stubble and rolled his eyes up
slightly, as if it would help him remember. "It was Tuesday. We went swimming
together at the pool, and then ate dinner. I walked her to her room and then I
walked to mine."

"You had dinner with your ex?" she asked.

"What, there's some rule against being friends with your ex? Besides, it was a
cafeteria."

"But.." she paused, twirling feverishly. Her eyes looked moist. "Maybe you're
not over her. Maybe she's really perfect for you."

"Of course I'm over her. She ripped my heart out. You call that perfect?
Besides, some prince from upstate is nailing her. She doesn't even want to
touch me for the last nine months of our relationship, and then she starts
banging him a month after we broke up. Yeah, that just makes me feel
peachy-keen. She's just perfect for me."

The princess's eyes were large and round, like a Chihuahua's. "Maybe you
unconsciously still have feelings for her," said Princess. "I mean, you don't
just fall out of love."

"Well, I still love her as a friend," said the prince.

Tears began flowing. "What if, one day, you want her back?" she cried. "Maybe
deep down you still love her."

"Look," he said. "I've fought dragons and creatures and wild hedges and
dwarves for you. I've not lied or cheated or anything of that nature to you.
Why don't you trust me?"

"I do trust you. It's just... " she couldn't find the words. She wiped tears
aside and then held her hands on he knees. "It's just," she started again, "I
hope one day, you'll hold a place in your heart for me like you do for her."

The prince looked weary. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "Princess,
the battle has drained me. Could we continue this in the morning? If I don't
get sleep, I fear I shall say something foolish."

Princess nodded. The prince found a tree to lean against and was soon fast
asleep. The princess curled up at his feet, and after her eyes had run dry,
she eventually found sleep.


When the princess woke, she was alone. She called for her prince, but no one
answered. There was no sign of him. She wept. She called up her friends and
told them what happened. They all consoled her as she cried, and told her how
men were bastards and that she was better off without them. She ate chocolate
bars and cried about the prince. She ate cake icing with a spoon and cried
because she was out of chocolate bars. She gained three pounds and cried
because her jeans were tighter. She dieted and exercised and lost the three
pounds, but cried because her diet didn't allow chocolate. Eventually, she was
done with tears and thought about her life, the universe, and everything. She
faithfully climbed into her glass coffin, crossed her arms, and with just a
moment's hesitation, closed her eyes. Her perfect prince would come. It was
only a matter of time..


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