And so the Day, Night, and Dusk grew, children of a deteriorating kingdom. The King ordered all the roses, briars, and cacti uprooted and burned upon recovering from Evilia's pronouncement. The smoke from the bonfire rose up into the sky, clouding the sun from sight, reflecting the despair of the people upon hearing of the curse. The smoke persisted for three months, making the first season of Dawn's life "The Summer of Darkness". During this time, the queen fell into deep depression from her children's faults, and became gravely sick. She died a year after Dawn's birth, and the second summer of Dawn's life became "The Summer of Tears".

The king became so grievous that he almost became sick the way his wife had, but then he met the Baroness of Cloud's Field. Her skin glistened like a shiny-sweet Golden Delicious, and her eyes sparkled like sticky candies, and her hair shone the color of a ripe lemon. The king was immediately enamored with her, and they married the next month, on the day of Dusk's second birthday. The Baroness was famous for being kind and very generous, and the people accepted her immediately. She took over the raising of the three children, acting as if she were their mother. She loved Dusk as no one had ever done before. The Baroness saw through her plainness, and praised her for her joy, her felicity, her merriness. Day and Night, used to being favored over their physically inferior sister, became immediately jealous, wanting the power and influence she had taken from them. They tried many times to eliminate their meddling little sister, but every time, the Baroness appeared, saving the young victim. Due to this, Day and Night developed a deep hatred of the Baroness, calling her Evil Stepmother when not under her watchful eye.

For his sixteenth birthday, Day received a magic mirror that told the truth. Immediately, he asked the mirror,

Mirror, Mirror, in my hand,

Who is the most powerful in this land?

And the mirror would answer,

The queen, so fair, so kind, so wise,

Is the best in the people's eyes.

Upon hearing this, the young prince started plotting to get rid of this hated obstacle to his path to power. On his seventeenth birthday, the queen suddenly became very ill after eating a cupcake the prince had given her. The king summoned all the doctors in the land to see what ailed her. And the doctors diagnosed it as AIDS. The whole kingdom stopped in shock. The king didn't have HIV, and the queen wasn't infected when she wedded the king, so she must have obtained it somewhere else... This scandal made people lose trust in the queen, and her popularity fell. Even the king stopped visiting her and had her put in a servant's hospital, in the back of the castle. But Dusk still came to see her second mother, the only one to trust the queen's statements that she had not engaged in an affair. It was a gesture of thanks for believing in Dusk's worth past her plainness.

For her sixteenth birthday, Night received a magical mirror that told the truth. Immediately, she asked it,

Mirror, mirror, in my hand,

Who is the most powerful in this land?

And the mirror answered,

The king, bold, strong, and just

Has always held the people's trust.

Night started thinking of a plan to get rid of her last obstacle to power. A little less than two years later, the king was strolling in the garden, when Night snuck up to him and stabbed him in the heart. She left the body there with the knife in his back, where a servant discovered him the next morning. Chaos immediately erupted throughout the kingdom. The king and the queen were both incapable of ruling, and so Day and Night fought for the crown. The people, knowing of the curse that tainted the two first children, rebelled, protested, stole, plundered, and generally entered chaos mode. The once-prosperous kingdom had fallen into almost pure anarchy in only sixteen years.

On the day of her sixteenth birthday, Dusk decided she had had enough of the ongoing fighting between her siblings. She imported a cactus, a rosebush, and some flowerless briars from a nearby kingdom, and pricked her right index finger on each. Then she went to bed and fell into a deep, deep sleep in her room in the central tower of the castle.

Everyone in the castle fell asleep where they stood. Magic transported Day and Night to their beds in the East and West towers of the castle. The cactus grew very tall, and split apart, twining itself around Day's tower, circling it with spikes. The briars grew very long, and twirled around Night's tower, covering it with spines. And the rosebush grew around Dusk's tower, making it look like a springtime hill covered with flowers. And the people marveled at such magic, and knew that physical plainness can hide great beauty and sacrifice at heart.