Tickling Butterflies – The Prince and the Queen

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

The Prince and the Queen

(Containing the delicate negotiations for the throne of the Land of All Legends.)

 

This is the story of Prince Charming the Fifth.

The story begins when Prince Charming the Fourth stabbed King John the Ugly with his deadly sword, mortally wounding the king. The prince had been waiting to kill King John the Ugly for so long, that he felt deep satisfaction when the sword went in.

But when the sword came out seconds later, Prince Charming the Fourth felt revulsion. He had felt the sword cut flesh and bones and blood vessels. On its way out, he felt the sword running against those very things, and disgust filled him.

Before the prince knew what was happening, King John the Cute had vanished with a few of his aides. Prince Charming the Fifth was glad that for some reason Shadowy Secret had accidentally delayed Death and that King John the Ugly was perhaps not officially dead.

With the king defeated, Prince Charming the Fifth led his army back to the palace of his youth in Capital City.

Emptiness assailed Prince Charming the Fifth as the army walked for five days and five nights. He did not even notice that Shadowy Secret no longer walked by his side.

A feeling of purposelessness filled the prince as he sat on the throne and claimed it for his own. A feeling of worthlessness echoed within him as he asked to put the prisoner, Minister Azriel Jones, in jail.

Whenever he looked up at the sky, dark clouds hung over him. The darkness of the clouds matched his mood, for it was dawning on the prince that he had taken a young man’s life.

On the third day of his return to the palace, a blindfolded woman entered the court. To her right was an elderly man, and to her left was the king’s security man, the man who had failed to protect King John the Ugly from the prince.

“My name is Sarah O’Connell,” said the blindfolded woman. “And on the order of the king, I am the queen.”

“I am no longer in the mood to fight,” answered the prince, sitting listlessly on the king’s throne. “I am now king, for the old king is dead. I will take you prisoner if you truly want. But you three can simply turn around and leave if you do so now.”

“I do not seek a fight,” answered Queen Sarah O’Connell. “Nor can I win one. But please tell me, why do you sound so disappointed?”

Prince Charming the Fifth made a face. “I feel regret now that I have taken a life and killed another person. The reward was hardly worth it. The hatred was hardly worth it. The pain was hardly worth it. I am busy now, rethinking my life. But tell me, for I am intrigued, why do you claim to be queen while wearing a blindfold?”

“My heart has been broken into two before by a false love. At first, I wore the blindfold so as not to be blinded by false love again. I did not desire to experience another heartbreak. But now I believe I have found my True Love. I have vowed that when next I open my eyes and remove my blindfold, I shall look into his face and his face alone, and I will know that he is my True Love, for I will fall in love immediately, just as he had fallen in love with me. Until then, I shall walk with a blindfold. I hope that answers your question, for I have good news for you and bad news.”

“You have answered my question indeed,” answered the prince, intrigued and afire by the feistiness exhibited by the woman in front of him. “What news do you bring?”

“The good news, my prince, is that…King John the… Cute,” she spoke his full and true name for the first time, “is still alive. You did not kill him yet. The king has been transported to another world by an evil witch. There, he hopes to discover the ailment that has beset the Land of All Legends and to solve it. King John the Cute shall return in less than a year.”

Prince Charming the Fifth’s ears perked. “Then my suspicions are correct and he is not truly dead? My sword did not kill him?”

“It did not.”

Prince Charming the Fifth was visibly relieved, as his conscience grew lighter. “What bad news do you bring, then?”

“The bad news,” answered Queen Sarah O’Connell, “is that when he returns in a year, you must help me kill him. King John the Cute must die.”

Prince Charming the Fifth now sat up in the king’s throne. “I do not understand!”

“The king is under a curse,” answered Queen Sarah O’Connell. “He lives and he dies, and Death does not claim him. Rather, he is reborn again, to make the same mistakes again. I am under the same curse. Together, we have lived for more than a thousand years and hundreds of generations. Each time we have played our part, each time we strove to perfection beyond reason, and each time it killed us and the cycle began anew.

“When he returns to the Land of All Legends and dies from the wound you made, Death shall not claim him, for the curse shall grasp the king’s soul from Death himself and put it in the body of a newly-born baby.

“That cycle must end, and that cycle can end. Now, for the first time in a thousand years, I have learned of his death a year before he died, and thus I have a recollection of all our previous lives while he is still alive. I have the opportunity to end this terrible cycle, for the cycle must end, no matter what. When he returns, we must make sure that when the king dies, Death claims him. And we must make sure that Death carries his soul into the Afterdeath and whatever lies beyond. King John the Cute must truly die!”

Prince Charming the Fifth considered the queen’s words carefully. After one minute and nineteen seconds, he said, “What will you give me if I go along with your plan?”

“I will give you nothing you don’t already have. When the king dies, whether Death claims him or not, you shall inherit the land and become king. I suggest that I rule by your side and you rule by mine. We shall be queen and prince and we shall rule wisely while preparing for the return of the king. And when the king and I are gone, perhaps you will feel a sense of redemption, for in slaying John the No Longer Cute, you will know that have done a good deed.”

At her last words, Prince Charming the Fifth jumped to his feet. “I will do it! We will kill the king together! Come, sit on the queen’s throne and rule by my side!”

“I will. And once I do, we must both agree to refer to the king by his true name… King John the Cute.”

“Agreed!”

And thus it came to be that Queen Sarah O’Connell and Prince Charming the Fifth ruled the Land of All Legends together.

This has been the story in which Prince Charming the Fifth learned that killing another person changes you.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

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