A Fairytale Ending

The prince races up the stairs toward his sword, narrowly avoiding the dragon’s fiery breath against his back. As he reaches for the glinting hilt, the prince looks upward to the tower where his princess resides, stuck in slumber. The dragon roars again, and the prince braces himself and arcs his weapon into the beast. The dragon lets out an agonized noise, and the prince feels the heat of its breath subside, until nothing remains but the bloody scales of the monster. The prince stands slowly and begins climbing the stairs toward his beloved. 

The prince enters the room and looks around slowly; a smile spreads along his face as he sees the bed in which the captive princess lays slumbering. With the dragon defeated, the prince knows that he is free to rescue his wife, and what will soon be their kingdom. The prince walks over to the young woman and sits at her bedside. He lifts her hand, gently kissing the spot where her wedding band rests. A few beats, nothing. The prince’s heart drops, and he begins to weep. With his head bowed, the prince sobs bitterly. He feels movement, and is convinced that he is dreaming, but lifts his head regardless. Brown eyes flutter open in front of him, and the princess awakens. 

The next few weeks are spent rebuilding the kingdom, the now king and queen working together to help their people find a new normal following the attack. There is still fear, fear that the witch who sent the dragon and cursed the kingdom was not truly gone, and trepidation from the older townspeople that their new rulers might be too young to truly take care of them all. But there is also peace, and the announcement of the king and queen’s child being born in the springtime fills the land with content. In the evenings as they lie down, the king and queen smile, and dream of their beautiful world. 

In her cottage beneath the gnarled trees, the witch looks up from her scrying bowl. She sees the prince sleeping soundly, seconds away from reaching his lover. He had defeated her pet, it is true, but the young man was no match for her power, his sadness no warrior against her anger. Her curse has taken effect on the prince at the perfect time, and while she took pleasure in seeing him fail after coming so close, she was not entirely cruel. The witch made sure to give him sweet dreams, dreams of saving his wife and land, dreams of victory beyond his scope of thought. The witch smiled slowly, her fairytale ending with the happiness she has always deserved.