The Prince Bride
Illustration by Charlene Grace Tan
Once upon a time in a country so small and a population so few, there lived a hunter and his wife. They had two children, a boy and a girl, with hair golden and fair and eyes green like the forest.
But a jealous witch who had been in love with their father and could watch the family no more, threw a curse onto the little girl who had inherited her mother’s beauty that she may lose her charm and be unable to marry.
The boy, who loved his sister so, threw himself into the curse’s path before it reached her. He screamed and writhed as his hair turned black as a pit, his eyes burned and glowed red. His body contoured and cracked, grew larger than normal, angular like a beast. However, the transformation also gave him the strength and roughness of a brute, with which he used to quickly end the witch.
The boy grew to be the fiercest and strongest in the land. So renowned was he that the King knighted him, entrusting him the life of his son, the Prince.
The Prince was the fairest in the land, with a crown of golden locks and eyes glinting like sapphire. Neither princess nor prince could hold a light to the prince’s beauty.
All wished for his hand in marriage and many from far off lands traveled long and hard to profess their love. In the midst of all of them there was one whose love held true: the warrior boy turned Knight, who has served him faithfully by his side since their introduction. In polished armor, his beastly form stands tall behind his prince, silently watching him with more than just knightly loyalty.
Unfortunately — because all fairy tales come with misfortune — the Knight was poor, his blood was not noble and was certainly a beastly sight to behold. But he would not be resigned to standing by, just watching his prince love another.
The Knight knew of the world of the fae, with as much magic and ethereal beauty as anyone can believe, but with untold danger. He believed there would be no greater test of his love and decided to seek the fae for an end to his ugly curse and for a gift
as enchanting as his prince. Bringing back treasures from a quest as dangerous as this, from the fair folk no less, would bring honor to the kingdom and to the prince. Maybe this, he thought, would make him worthy.
However, as he reached the world Other, he was welcomed by the fair folk and fell into the trap of their hospitality. A buffet with different kinds of platters and dishes appeared before him, and as he partook of the delicious meals, he slowly began to forget all about his world and his prince.
He grew old, as mortals do, and he did not return.