Here is my offering for Auntie Tara's Short Story Prompt
A Princess Story
Once upon a time, a beautiful opening if ever there was one. And upon this once, there lived an erudite king and devoted queen who ruled from a glorious castle, set in a cold land of the North. The castle had many spacious rooms for playing, small nooks for hiding, staircases for bouncing, sliding, and running up and down, and the greenest, grandest grounds in the whole kingdom with a wondrous waterfall that never went dry. And it was all mine.
I was the elder princess and I really ran the kingdom. I knew how to get everything I wanted. Spoiled, you say? Nay! I used my wits and did what was right and was rewarded for it. And we were happy.
But trouble soon came, as it always does. The evil rulers from across the way envied our castle. Though we fought courageously, they drove us away.
After losing our castle, and therefore our kingdom, we joined the middle class. Not many listened to the princess anymore. But still, we made the best of it and we were happy.
As a good princess, when I grew up I sought my fortune. I did very well on my own and found a resourceful Lady in Waiting to advise me. But as a princess, I felt I had a responsibility to my honorable, dethroned parents to rebuild our kingdom. To do that, I needed to find a prince, within an allotted time.
There was no shortage of suitors. But in the cruel world, many are selfish and not so charming. Some were deceitful, wanting my money or my title or just a quick bit of fun. At one point, I thought I had found my prince. But the one that stole my heart was on the wrong side of the law so I had to give him up. Unworthy as King material.
I mended my heart and continued with my duty. I endured outings and sifted out truth from lies. It was maddening! I am not one to waste time. I had a kingdom to perpetuate!
So I held a contest.
I made an announcement. “Any subject who wants my hand will make a plea at my balcony. The speech that moves my heart will win my hand and become ruler of a new Kingdom.”
My list of requirements was lengthy, as choosing a future King is not a task to take lightly. He had to be pure of heart, a hard worker, God fearing, patient, firm, kind, respectful, strong of conviction, from good family, jolly, and handsome, of course.
No suitor could give me all of those things, or remotely close. The deadline for continuing the kingdom was fast approaching and I had found no viable candidates from the crowd of suitors. Forlorn!
Enter random sojourner, knocking on our door, seeking shelter from a storm.
Though against the better judgment of allowing a strange man to abide with us, my Lady in Waiting and I took him in.
Never fear! We were skilled in the arts of self-defense and kept our wits about us and our eyes open to any trickery the stranger may have tried.
But the handsome knave, yes, he was pleasant to look upon, proved himself a gentleman. With each passing day, he showed a new attribute of chivalry. Helpful, considerate, honorable, dutiful, etc.
Meanwhile, I still listened to pleas of dull suitors. I still waited for my one true prince.
Until my eyes opened and saw our boarder as more than a boarder. One day, as I sat playing my harp while our guest catered to my pet, I realized. This is as good as it gets! Right under my nose!
Now being a gentleman, our guest had never propositioned either of us in the slightest. Thus it would be up to me to bash him over the head with my club of sweet gentility. Once the door was open to him, he entered willingly. And that was that.
Today, the new Kingdom is alive and thriving with more princes to carry it on.
And though at times we have trouble to deal with, we are happy.