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Waiting (A story about a princess waiting for her prince)
Alyssa opened her eyes and all but jumped out of bed. She ran to the window, her footsteps echoing against the walls of her prison.
“Good morning, good morning! What a glorious day. Surely this is as fine a day as any for a princess to be rescued!”
Alyssa withdrew to her chamber and sat upon her silken sheets. She crossed her legs, clasped her hands, and waited. She twiddled her thumbs, trying to pass the impossibly long moments until her rescue. She whistled for a while, and then she sighed.
“Surely my knight in shining armor will be here soon.” She began to tap her foot. “Surely any moment he will come rushing through that door to carry me off into the sunset.” Her foot tapped faster. “Any moment now. Whenever it’s convenient.” Her foot tapping was frantic now. “It’s not as if I have anything better to do. I could wait all day.”
Alyssa harrumphed, then began to pace. She paced and she fumed and she stomped. She wept and groaned and was on the verge of having a full-blown fit when she heard a half-hearted knock. Alyssa rushed to the door, flung it open, and beheld her savior. The knight stumbled through the doorway and fell to a knee.
“Princess, I have traveled many years to lay eyes upon your beauty. Tales of your grace are known throughout all the land. Now that I am finally witness to your serene—“
“Oh no. No. No, no, no. This will not do. I am waiting for a knight in shining armor. You sir, are wearing charred, chipped, scratched, dented armor.”
“But princess, surely that doesn’t matter! Just a moment ago I was waging mortal battle with a dragon and—“
“Look at you, honestly. You’re basically falling over with exhaustion. Not one speck of you is shining properly. How can you have so many burns and be soaking wet? You’re making puddles.”
But, your highness, the alligators! The vicious sea serpent whose deadly grasp I was barely able to escape! Of course I’m going to be wet. But why does that matter? I am here to save you. Don’t you want to be rescued?”
“Without love, what’s the point?”
“Why can’t you love me?”
“Because you’re not perfect.”
Alyssa walked to the far wall of her chamber and pulled on one of its many candles. The floor beneath the knight wrenched itself apart, sending him to a watery grave.
There was a loud pop and a tiny mouse of a man appeared in Alyssa’s chamber. He took off his sorceror’s hat and bowed, nearly touching the floor with the mole on the tip of his wrinkled nose. “Yes, dear, sweet Alyysa?”
Alyssa threw up her hands in frustration. “Another dud. That’s the twelfth one I’ve had to kill this week. I don’t ask for that much, do I? I just want someone brave and handsome who doesn’t have much trouble with vicious monsters and who will love me for my tender heart. And he has to be rich. That’s all!”
“Be patient. The day will come. Your true love might appear even sooner than you realize.”
“But I need to be loved now! We have to speed up the process. The challenges must be too easy; too many runts are getting through. Really, when is the last time the lion killed anyone? He’s slacking.”
“Maybe we should starve him more?”
“Yes, that’s a good start. Conjure a kracken too.”
“Of course. Eight arms or ten?”
“Twenty. I want this done right. Make sure he has plenty of razor sharp teeth too. And make him breathe fire. I don’t care that he lives underwater, just make it work.”
“Yes, princess, and if I may be so bold--” Chester produced a dozen roses from the depths of his robe. “—to present you with a gift as a consolation for your tardy husband?”
“Aww, Chester. You shouldn’t have.” Alyssa blushed. “See, I need a man who will love me like you do.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” Chester took a step towards the princess.
Alyssa turned towards the window and crossed her arms. “But I do wish he would hurry up. I’ve been through almost a thousand suitors! Why can’t a gal just find somebody worth loving?”
“Princess, you did say you wanted someone who would love you like I do, didn’t you?”
“So, what’s your point?”
“Well, I love you like I love you.”
“And…? I don’t follow.”
“Well, you could marry me then, couldn’t you?”
Alyssa blinked in confusion. For a moment she was speechless. Then she laughed. She laughed so hard she fell to her knees and tears rolled from her eyes. “Me, marry you? Are you joking? Chester, I’m a good foot taller than you and you’re posture is horrible. What would people think?”
“No. It’s simply not possible, Chester. I’ve already turned down many suitors that were far closer to perfect than you are.”
“But don’t I make you happy? I can love you better than anyone else can! I could conjure entire fields of flowers for you! I could even write your name in the stars!”
“Oh Chester, of course you make me happy. But I don’t need to marry you for you to make me happy, now do I? And you could just as well do those other things now, couldn’t you?”
“Well, yes, I suppose I could, but—“
“Oh thank you darling Chester! Thank you ever so much. Remember that marigolds are my favorite, okay? But now I think I hear another one coming.”
Chester sighed. “Of course, princess.” He snapped his fingers and disappeared in a puff of violet smoke.
Alyssa turned towards the door and her jaw dropped. Standing in the doorway was the hunkiest hunk of a man she had ever seen. His muscles rippled under his shining, flawless breast plate. His wavy locks and chiseled jaw were almost more than she could bear.
“My savior!” she cried, throwing herself into his protective arms.
“Dear, sweet princess, I have rode for many miles to find you with every moment spent in anticipation of this day. I have defeated the lion, the python and the mighty kracken. I come to you as prince of Holtland to ask for your hand in marriage.”
The prince fell to a knee and produced a sparkling diamond the size of a small toad. Alyssa swooned and kissed her prince.
“I can hardly wait! Tell me darling husband, when is the wedding?”
“This very eve my love.”
“What a wondrous day. Only tell me one thing more. What is your name?”
“Eugene my dear.”
Alyssa went limp. “Your name is Eugene?”
“Yes my sweet Alyssa, I am Prince Eugene, destroyer of dragons, savior of damsels…”
Alyssa was no longer listening. She stomped to the far end of the chamber and yanked down the candle, sending Prince Eugene to the waiting crocs with a curse: “Bloody hell!”
But nothing happened. Eugene was still there. Alyssa looked to the candle, then to where the trapdoor should be, then back to Eugene. “Chester!” she screeched. “It’s broken!”
“No, it’s not,” said Eugene, and he snapped his fingers. There was a puff of smoke, and Eugene was gone, with Chester in his place. “Princess… I have tried ever so hard to make you happy. But it seems you never will be.”
“Chester! You were Eugene…? What is the meaning of this?”
“I can’t stand any longer to be abused by you when all I ever did was love you. The pain is too much. I just figured I’d give it one last go before I did what had to be done.”
“Chester, what is this gibberish? What on earth are you talking about?”
“Darling, just remember that I love you. And don’t look down, okay?”
Alyssa looked down just as the floor beneath her wrenched itself apart. She fell into her own trap, screaming, “CHESTER!!!!”
“What a pity,” he said, watching her as she fell into the abyss.