Authors: Maya Shepherd
Copyright © 2015 Maya Shepherd
Cover Design: Bianca Holzmann
Translation: Jayaseelan Samuel
All rights, including the full or partial reprint of any kind are reserved.
Twitter: Maya Shepherd
For my star
Volume 1: Fairytale chosen
Volume 2: Fairytale redeemed
Volume 3: Fairytale blooms
A kiss to him means
He may not set foot on the earth
No longer may he see the light of day sun.
No more night shall he count the stars in the sky.
A kiss to him means
But only true love’s kiss is able to to ward off the spell.
ong time ago, the king and queen of the beautiful Chóraleio kingdom were deeply worried. Every day they complained: "Oh, if only we had a child", as they had none. Since it came to pass, as the young Queen Niobe had once been in the lake for taking bath, that a frog crept out of the water to the land and told her, "Your wish shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt bring forth a son."
What the frog had predicted has happened and Niobe gave birth to a son, who was so beautiful and King Egeas could not control his pride and joy so, he organized a large celebration. He invited not only his relatives, friends and acquaintances, but also the witches of the Kingdom to make them hold the child and weigh. There were thirteen in Chòraleio, but as he had only twelve golden plates for them to eat, he could not invite one of them. Those who boarded had arrived, and once the feast was over, they presented to the child their desire gifts: one with virtue, one beauty, and the third with wealth, and so with everything that is wonderful in the world. As the Eleventh had just gave her wishes, the Thirteenth came in, who was not invited and wanted to take revenge for it. She exclaimed, "I curse the prince! A kiss to him is to be condemned. Let him sit on the ground not a foot more. No more day shall he see the sun and no more night shall he count the stars in the sky. "
Then came the Twelfth, who had one wish left. Although she could not lift the evil spell, she could moderate it nevertheless and spoke: "A kiss is a kiss to condemn him and release him. Only the True Love's Kiss is able to break the curse. "
Once upon a time
, long ago, when dreaming was still permitted, and wishes came true and the people believed in wizards, fairies and dragons, there was a Prince - Bold as a lion, stronger than a bear, and smarter than a fox.
(Twenty Years Later)
n a beautiful but cold morning Prince Lean decided to go on bird hunting. He woke up his two faithful companions Silas and Yanis to accompany him. Half an hour later, they met in the courtyard of the castle. The dogs barked in excitement and ran nervously up and down between their feet. They saddled their horses and rode out of the gate and out into the city. Despite the early hour, they were already there, active driving prevailed. Furnaces were heated up, animals were fed and water was brought from the well. Lean was warmly greeted by each of his subjects near whom he went past. He was loved by everyone. Not just for his charm but mainly for his sunny mind. He was always respectful and fair in dealing with his citizens. The wedding was approaching and the associated coronation would be a great day of celebration for all.
When the three friends left behind the city walls and rode against the forest across the open field, the hooves of the horses crunched with each step over the ground covered by hoar frost. Their breath made little clouds in the air and their noses were all flushed with cold. Even the migratory birds would soon leave the country in order to go into warmer areas. Presumably, this would be their last hunt this year.
Through the closely covered roof of the forest only a sparse light fell. The leaves crackled with every step and a rustling was heard from every direction. The animals of the forest never seemed to sleep.
Soon they reached a clearing which led to a small lake. Lean, Yanis and Silas tied their horses to trees firmly and looked for a place from where they had the best view of the sea and the sky. They pulled out their crossbows and kept the bolt ready. The dog whined before in anticipation as Lean gave them orders to hunt, they rushed madly into the tall reeds in order to discover the birds over there. Seconds later the ducks rose into the sky with a vigorous chatter. The three men shot one bolt after the other without hitting even one duck. Finally one last duck flew across the sky. Lean took the crossbow, targeted, focused and fired the shot at the last moment before the duck could disappear over the treetops. He was surprised when he saw how it went down to the ground in a nosedive. Still he could not believe that he could hit it from such a distance. His two friends applauded him with enthusiasm and they called the dogs back to Lean and went in search for the hunted duck. He wanted to tell his father proudly about his skill. He went into the forest to the point in which he had seen the mallard falling. The sun made its way through the leaves and branches and let its rays dancing through the dark forest. How on display were the dead duck on green moss and was illuminated by the sun! Lean knelt satisfied, but then stopped and paused in astonishment. A bolt had not killed the duck, but an arrow. It was made of plain wood. Neither he nor his companions had shot with arrows.
Confused, he looked around and saw his own bolts just meters away stuck in the ground. If he had not shot the animal, then who did it?
Lean carefully straightened up and began to look around. Whoever had shot the duck, would certainly want to claim his prey now. For a long time there were rumors of robbers and vagabonds in the woods. If one of them would discover the prince here, the prey would be quickly forgotten. For a king's son was worth far more than a duck. If they were to capture him and blackmail his father, they would become rich. Lean closed his hand around the sword hanging at his right hand side around his waist. "Is anyone there?" He shouted, in a loud voice.
No one answered him, only the rustle of leaves could be heard.
He picked up the duck from the ground and held it in the air. "If you want your prey, then come and get!"
He turned to all sides, trying to find someone. No one would shoot a bird and leave it back unnoticed. Lean was sure that the shooter was watching him. "Come and show yourself, that I may congratulate you!" He shouted defiantly. He heard a faint clicking noise behind and spun around. Between the trees stood a small boy with a simple wooden bow firmly clasped. He could not have been older than twelve or fourteen, he was so tiny. The clothes he wore, were old and patched, and were also much too large for his tiny figure. On his head he wore a brown woolen cap. His face was dirty, but his large eyes were suspiciously looking at the prince.
Lean began to laugh in disbelief. "You've shot the duck from the sky? Have You? "
At this moment, Yanis and Silas came with the dogs to them. They examined the strange boy skeptically, "Who is this?"
"This is the duck shooter!" Announced Lean amused. He was relieved that he faced only a harmless boy and no band of robbers.
"He?" asked Silas now. "But he's just a kid!"
"And yet better than all three of us together," Lean said gravely and turned to the shooter again. "How many times have you had to shoot to hit the duck?"
The boy raised his hand hesitantly and stuck his thumb in the air. - Once only.
Yanis, Silas and Lean simultaneously broke into laughter. Under other circumstances Lean would not have believed a word from the boy, but now he held the proof in his own hands.
"From where did you shoot?"
The stranger pointed to a spot on the lake, which was still further where the Prince had stood. ‘Unbelievable!’
Yanis shook his head condescendingly. "Never in his life! He's lying! "
The boy's eyes lit up, out of which he glared angrily. He cleared his throat and spoke in a loud voice, "My arrow is in the bird, therefore it belongs to me! “
Lean raised his hand. "Nobody wants to contest for your booty!" He held out his duck. Nevertheless, still there was several feet between them.
Carefully the stranger came closer and closed his fingers around the feathered creature, but Lean did not let it go.
"How can you do that?" the boy stared at him angrily. The color of his eyes was that of the forest. "I aimed and shot, nothing more!"
He pulled the duck violently and Lean released it. The boy tried to escape, but the prince stood on his way. "None of my father’s shooters possesses your talent. None of them had hit a bird from this distance. None of them can still teach me something. But from you, I could surely learn a lot. Come with me and I will make you a royal shooters! "
Lean gave him his most caring smile. Today had to be the boy’s lucky day. You could get such an offer only once in a lifetime. The stranger looked at him in surprise and his lips curled into a sneer. But before the prince knew it, the boy gave him a violent blow, so that he fell down with his butt on the ground. He ran past him and shouted gleefully: “With you hop and malt are lost, dear Prince"
Yanis and Silas tried to stop him, but he slipped skillfully past them. Lean scrambled to his feet and gave chase. Now his interest was more than ever. The boy was quick as a weasel and jumped over the roots on the ground like a young deer. Lean had no chance to catch up with him on foot and therefore tried it with his horse. When he thought he had already lost the stranger from his eyes, he discovered his small figure in the undergrowth and drove his white horse behind him. Yanis and Silas were close on their heels, like the barking dogs. They had proposed to chase the boy, but Lean did not want to attack. At first he had thought the boy was afraid of him, but now he felt that he was fooled. He seemed to know the forest as well as his pocket and was superior to them hands down. Every time they wanted to give up, he appeared for a short moment to only disappear between the trees. He played hide and seek with them and seemed to emerge as a winner, but the prince did not want to give up so easily. He meant it nevertheless only well with the boy. His words had been taken seriously. If he would only trust them, they could take him to the castle and give him a better future. He would not lose anything. No one would reject such an offer.
The stranger ran into a densely vegetated area of the forest. Climbers snaked across the ground, roots rose knee-high and bushes made it more difficult to get through. Lean jumped from his horse and followed the boy through the thicket. His feet were on the slippery leaves which were hardly holding and he stumbled again and again. Leaves got caught in his brown hair. Thorns grazed his face and scratched his skin. He heard his friends call him, but he was obsessed about finding the boy. He was too ambitious to admit his defeat.
Suddenly he noticed movements before him. He could see no one, but between the sheets, he discovered the boy's woolen hat. He quickly ran towards it, but just as he reached it, he felt a hard slap against his shins and fell face-first through the bushes. A cool breeze hit him when he opened his eyes and he looked straight into a steep abyss. Far below him flowed a rushing river. If he had not fallen, probably he would not have noticed the slope and would have fallen down. Something tapped against his legs.
"Boy, you have to mind?" He heard the hoarse voice of a woman. He pulled back gently and closed his fingers around the still warm hat. The stranger was probably brought down the slope?
Beside him stood an old woman. She leaned on a stick and carried on her back a pile of wooden logs. Her fingers were crooked and bony.
She pointed a finger at him accusing, "You probably wanted to jump and die!"
The Prince shook his head. The face of the old lady was marked by wrinkles and furrows. Her nose stood out pointed out of her face.
"Good woman, have you seen a boy running before me down here?"
"I've only seen you, thundering like a wild creature through my forest, for my animals tremble and my plants rips off the ground."
Lean pushed himself up from the floor and stood in front of the woman. "This is the forest of the king of Chóraleio and I am his son. Who are you, that you dare to call it all of this is yours? "
"I am the Witch of the forest. I have existed long before thee, thy father and thy father's father. I grow with every tree and die with each animal. My life is eternal. "