Tale of the Wolf Prince
Prologue: The Accursed Prince
Myths: No slash yet. This just sets the reader up for all the fun in store.
Once upon a time, there lived a prince who loved all things that were beautiful. The Prince's aestheticism was not innocent or vain, as most loves can be; it was destructive and cruel. He went to any measures to pursue a desire, sometimes paying the high price of human lives, and, though he spent so much time chasing his materialistic desires, his infatuations never lasted long. One day, a flower or an artistic masterpiece could be the most beautiful thing in his eyes; but the next day, the flower would be plain and the artistic masterpiece hideous. Blinded by his shallowness, the Prince felt no lasting love.
One day, the Prince was out riding in the forest without his attendants. As he passed into the deepest part of the woods, where the trees blocked the sky and the air was thick, he came across an unexpected clearing. Sitting in the center, making a chain of clover and daisies, was a maiden. She was by far as beautiful as the sun that shone down on her, and her voice, humming an unknown song, was better than the most melodic arrangement the Prince had ever heard. Instantly, the Prince was enchanted; he desired her more than all he had ever seen. Sliding off his horse, the Prince approached the maiden, falling on one knee. With the most poetic lyrics and sonnets he had ever read, the Prince courted the maiden, promising her his heart and his kingdom. Despite the impressing declarations and promises of love, the maiden simply laughed in the polite way that all pure maidens laugh, and refused his courtship. She then turned him away, bidding him good day.
The prince was not easily dissuaded. Day after day, for an entire month, he returned to the clearing. Each day, he promised her the same things, and each day, he was turned down with a polite laugh and a "good day." Finally, frustrated by her constant response, the Prince asked her why she kept refusing him.
"Because you have not come bearing the most beautiful rose in your garden, dear prince," she replied. "Roses are a symbol of love. They're much stronger than your simple words and promises."
The next day, the prince returned with the most beautiful rose in all his gardens. Once more, he courted her, declaring his love and his kingdom along with the rose. This time, she answered him not with a polite laugh, but with a kiss.
"But," she told him, "we must keep our love a secret so that my mother and the kingdom will not find out. For my mother is a very powerful witch and would never approve of her daughter marrying the prince, and the kingdom is a very powerful critic that would never approve of their prince marrying a witch's daughter."
From that day forward, their love was a secret. Everyday, the Prince would ride out to meet his maiden. None of the servants ever thought twice about their master's daily ride, for he often went out in search of new beauty. The maiden's mother never thought twice about her daughter's daily activity, either; she assumed that her daughter was communing with nature. For a year they courted innocently. Then, one day, they consummated their love the way that lovers do. The affair continued this way for another month. Then, one day, the Prince did not show up.
The Prince did not lose interest, as he had with his other obsessions. Duty simply interfered. The day he did not return, the Prince had been called to another land, where he was to meet the newly-appointed king, a cousin of his. He spent the months away from his kingdom. Though there were new sights to see and new beauties to indulge, the Prince never forgot about the maiden. She was a lingering thought, like a ghost haunting him and riddling him with longing. Silently, he would anticipate the day when he could return to the clearing and see her lovely face.
The day arrived when he returned. Instead of resting or even talking to the court, the prince rode out to the forest, back to the place where he would meet his love. However, he did not find his maiden-love sitting amid the clovers, braiding the stems together and humming her unknown tune. Instead, he found a woman- worn and tired in appearance and far along with child.
"Wench," said the prince, "have you seen a young maiden who possesses beauty that would make the sun jealous? She comes here often, making chains of clover and daisies, while humming a melody."
"I am she," said the woman.
"You lie" sneered the prince. "You look nothing like my maiden. She was never as dull as you, and she was never with child."
"Look closer," she said, "for all things are not always what they appear."
The prince looked, studying her features closely though it pained his temperament to do so. Within the woman's eyes, he found his maiden. Her eyes had lost their magic, and her hair had lost its shine, but it was still the maiden. Though he saw these things, the prince did not believe. He could not grasp that his young maiden was now this pregnant hag before him. Perhaps sensing his disbelief or sensing to justify herself, the woman said, "The child is yours, dear prince."
Anger filled the prince. He denounced the woman as a liar and a whore. He threatened to throw her in the dungeons if she insisted on telling this lie to the kingdom and bringing him disgrace and embarrassment. If he saw her again, he told her, he would have her killed within a heartbeat. Then, in a fury like no other- a fury of betrayal- the prince rode off and shut himself in his palace, refusing to see anyone. Shallowly, he tried to find solace in the treasure he brought back from his travels. Yet, there was no satisfaction to be found.
Four months later, the prince was to be crowned king. Though his father had been dead for many years, the laws of the land had prohibited the prince from becoming king until his twenty-first birthday. The coronation planned was like no other that the kingdom had ever seen. Guests from near and far gathered to partake in the festivities put on by magicians and jesters and bards. Sovereigns and ambassadors from foreign nations arrived every hour to show their respect and alliance to the prince and his nation. At midnight, under the full moon, the formal ceremony would take place, and the prince would be crowned before his allies and his people.
The prince stayed in his chambers the entire day not desiring to see the wondrous attractions that had been planned by a committee. Nothing would bring him joy, for in his heart he felt as if today was going to be spoiled somehow. He tried to dismiss the feeling, but it lingered darkly in his heart. Every now and then, he would attempt to distract himself by greeting foreign dignitaries or finishing the paperwork he neglected to do the days leading up to this day. The distractions never worked, and soon the prince gave up. Something bad was going to happen, but all the prince could do was wait in his chambers, alone and not wanting company.
In the evening, hours before the coronation, the prince found himself totally alone in his study, enjoying the silence. The feeling had relented and his heart was calmed. Perhaps he had been nervous or too anxious. Tonight's ceremony was, after all, the most important ceremony in his life. There were many rituals he would have to perform- all ceremonious now, having lost their original meaning centuries ago. The meaningless rituals and the perfection they were performed in were meant as a show for the people- to prove to them that he was their king. As he sat at his desk, the prince had convinced himself that the bad feeling and everything that came with it were all in his head.
"My daughter is dead."
The sudden words, said in a low, husky whisper, chilled the prince to the bones and took away any reassurances he had moments before. Yet the future king persevered. He turned around (for the voice had come from behind) and faced the speaker.
Standing by the locked door stood a very tall and elegant woman dressed in the finest robes of midnight. Severe was her pale face, yet it was also beautiful; it was the face of a woman who was intelligent, cunning, and cruel, no stranger to the world. Her eyes were sharp and cold like the frozen tundra to the distant north. Their color and purpose was that of a hawk's- golden and searching, then spotting and swooping down to attack the prince as he stared at her. She had come for him.
"What do you want?" the prince asked in spite of himself.
"Revenge for what you did to my daughter, dear prince." Her words were sarcastic and cutting.
"Woman, I did not do anything to your daughter," the prince replied.
The woman narrowed her sharp eyes. From the depths of her midnight robes, she produced a rose more beautiful than any other. With a simple flick of her wrist, the rose fell to the floor. The prince remembered the maiden whose love he won with a rose. He had completely dismissed the days he spent with the maiden from his memories in a shallow attempt to feel guiltless and continue on with his life. He had buried the image in his mind, and purged all love for her from his soul. Or so he had thought.
"You're the witch," he said softly.
"The child was born last month," explained the witch. "Before the child even had a name, my daughter killed herself. From her blood grew this rose, a symbol for her love for you. She never told me who the father was, but I have heard stories of your gardens and the roses that grow within. This rose is similar to your roses- roses that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This and the child are the last things my daughter gave me."
"What do you intend to do now?" he asked. "If your plans are to kill me, I'm afraid I will not go down without a fight; tonight is my coronation, and tomorrow begins my reign as king. I refuse to take the child; it is a bastard and has no right to live here. And I will not honor your daughter's memory; in the end, she was too ugly and painful to look at."
The witch's eyes widened with frightening amusement, and she laughed as if the prince's impetuous speech was the funniest thing she had ever heard. "You are so shallow to love only beauty? And you choose your kingdom over your child and the memory of the woman who dared to love a horrible creature such as you? Oh, how the fool incriminates himself with his foolish tongue! You are not deserving of a kingdom or a crown or even the love of a woman! Rather, you are fit only for despair, sorrow, and exile- all of which shall be yours after tonight's full moon!
"I curse you, dear prince. Your form shall remain that of a man's, but each night with the waxing and waning of the blessed moon your true form shall be revealed. Madness will overtake you on the nights when the moon is at its peak. All shall come to hate you for your insanity and the destruction it brings. For one hundred years, you shall be alone and feared by all, living in this curse between man and beast. If in that hundred years, you do not learn to love someone for their beauty within, you shall remain forever in the form the full moon reveals."
The prince scoffed. "You lie, witch! Leave me before I call the guards and have you hung."
Still laughing madly, the witch vanished in a cloud of smoke before the prince's very eyes.
The next day, guests, nobles, guards, and servants were found slaughtered in the palace. There were no survivors, and the culprit was never found. A large pack of wild wolves was suspected to have come through at night, for the throats were ripped out and the bodies were mangled in such a way that suggested only a wild, vicious animal could have done it. A group of hunters went into the forest but found nothing. Angered by the murder of their sovereigns or ambassadors, other nations threatened the kingdom with war and demanded an explanation from their king. The only problem was the crown did not touch the prince's head and the rituals were left unperformed. There was no king, and there was no prince to be crowned. Among the dead, his body was never recovered. It was as if he had disappeared.
ein großes Problem
Yeah, this prologue really sucks and is in way, shape or form, a reflection of the writing style to come. I wrote this probably in 2003, but I'm too lazy to rewrite it. It has a nice storytelling feel to it, though…
La. Chapter One might be up soon to give the readers something to read other than this horrid mess.