Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Allegorical Fairytale

I was just reading through some of the notes that I've posted and realized how much I enjoy writing completely random things and seeing comments from people. Why? Perhaps it's due to needing relaxing writing that doesn't get chewed apart by uptight professors, or maybe it's because I simply enjoy staying up late way too much. For whatever reason, I decided that I will continue this tradition, and reading them or not is completely up to you. Sometimes I honestly just feel like typing....weird? Yes. But I am going to be an English major, might as well get used to it.

This particular "story" is something that's been mellowing in the back of my mind for awhile, I call it an allegorical fairytale but really you can read it as fluff..or not, it's up to you.

Without further ado.....

"resoLute Outright forgiVeness Everlasting"

Once upon a time, not so different from now, in a land not so unlike this place, there lived a king. This king ruled over the whole land and his kingdom was comparable to none, his subjects adored him and all the other kings of other lands came to inquire upon his wisdom. The king’s son, the crowned prince, was a perfect, handsome man, his gentle spirit could win over the hardest of hearts, yet his strength as a warrior was known throughout the entire world. He also loved to write music and composed songs about all the wonderful things in his father’s kingdom. The prince desired to find a bride, a woman that he could lavish his great love upon and serenade her with his beautiful music. His father, the king, was grieved that his son felt lonely and thus he devised a plan to find a suitable girl for the prince.

One day, the king sent out couriers to the entire land saying, “The king desires to find a bride for his son, all single women in the land are eligible for the match, come to the castle as soon as possible.”

For the next few weeks, both the king and his son sat at a window of the castle the overlooked the kingdom and they waited and waited for the parades of women that would come to accept the invitation. However, not a single woman came; no one accepted the offer from the king. Perplexed, the king decided that perhaps the women of the kingdom were so secluded maybe they hadn’t heard about how perfect and loving his son was, or of the life that they could live inside the castle. So the king told his son to ride his horse through the city and proclaim his desire to find a bride. Obediently, the next day, the prince saddled his horse and rode through all of the cities. He personally talked to several of the women, allowing them to see his deepest longings and to know his heart. Once again, the king and his son waited by the window of the castle and watched for someone, anyone to arrive and accept the prince.

Finally, after several weeks, the prince noticed a tiny dot on the road that led to his castle. As the dot drew nearer he realized that it was a woman that walked wearily towards him. Ecstatically he ran out to meet her in the middle of the road. Once he approached her, he realized that she was a simple servant, she was poor and tattered, her clothing reeked, and her hair was full of bugs. She carried large bundles of garbage and filth that she clung to and would not release even after he had brought her into the castle. The servants in the royal courts were astonished that her feet were even allowed to touch the marble floors, surely she couldn’t be a candidate for marriage to the prince! But the prince was immediately enraptured by her; it was almost as though he didn’t see any of her outward filthiness. He brought her to the greatest room in the castle and allowed her to feast in the royal banquet hall. He even wrote beautiful songs for her and spent hours everyday simply singing to her and gracing her with his presence. Slowly, she began to love him as well and as her love grew, her beauty began to show itself. The prince helped her throw away the bags of garbage she had brought to the castle and then clothed her in beautiful dresses of silk. She was papered everyday by hordes of maids that catered to her every whim. She spent much of her time with the prince, basking in his love and listening to his music.

It didn’t take long for the woman to accept the prince’s offer of marriage and soon the kingdom heard of the elaborate ceremony that took place. For months afterwards, visitors of the castle would remark about how in love and beautiful the couple was, and it was clear to everyone that the prince adored his new princess. No one was more aware of this love than the princess’ former suitor. A conniving old man, the suitor had once deceived the woman into loving him, he had no feelings for her, but since she had left him to seek a marriage with a prince, he was outraged. He had bought her for a high price when she was younger and by all rights she belonged to him. His reputation would not be tainted by the wayward heart of a woman, he vowed. A plan took form in his mind to steal her affections away from her husband.

Early one morning, the princess was taking a walk through the palace garden when she noticed a shiny object hidden among the roses. Curious, she picked it up and discovered it was one of the items she had brought to the castle. It was a worthless piece that belonged with everything else she had thrown away at the urgings of the prince. Her first thought was to throw the object into the castle’s furnace, but something drew her to the entity that she couldn’t describe, a longing for what she had thrown away. She tried to forget this feeling, but for days she was plagued by a nagging desire for things she had left behind. This desire soon developed into a terrible homesickness that overwhelmed her. Day after day she was unable to eat. Night after night sleep eluded her. The prince did everything he could to cheer her, he played his wonderful music and pampered her with finery, but she became increasingly distant towards him. Finally, driven with worry, the prince rode his horse to a neighboring kingdom in hopes of finding a doctor that could cure his beloved.

In the prince’s absence, the old suitor showed at the door of the princess’ suite. At first she was horrified to see him, but he spoke gently to her and soothed her fears. Cunningly he spoke about her place of birth; he exalted her old country and brought up stories of days gone by when he had won her love. He held her hand and beseeched her to listen to his heart’s yearnings. He told her wonderful things about how much he cared for her and that she belonged away from this kingdom that had spoiled her. Already bewitched by thoughts of her homeland, the princess forgot how harsh and perverse her old life had been and willingly she gave in to the ideas of grandeur her suitor provided. Suddenly the desire to be free of the kingdom was so great that the princess urged the suitor to take her away and to not stop his carriage until they reached her homeland. The suitor, triumphant in his victory over her emotions, granted her wish.
For three years, the prince searched vainly for his bride. For three years, he grieved publicly. There wasn’t a village in the entire country that he didn’t send scouts with messages of love and warmth for his lost wife and terror upon the individual responsible for kidnapping her. The palace halls were lonely, cold and echoed with the wretched notes of the prince’s new songs. Nothing soothed his desolate heart. Finally, hope arrived one day in the form of a messenger bearing news that a woman had been spotted who matched the princess’ description. The prince left hurriedly with the messenger; at long last he would find his lover and bring her back to the kingdom where she belonged!
The messenger led the prince to the middle of The Wastelands where a lonely, decrepit tower stood. Within this tower, the princess worked as a slave under the hand of her conniving suitor. She had always been his slave. The only time she had ever escaped his clutches was when she was with the prince. Now she was back to do his bidding, and she worked raggedly trying to please him.
The castle was guarded by a hideous beast of the Darklands. The giant creature resembled a dragon and its breath alone was too much for most men to handle. The prince was well trained with the sword however and prepared to fight the beast. His men tried to dissuade him, but he stood firm and challenged the beast. For three days they fought continuously until both were bloodied and exhausted. Just when it seemed like the creature might be able to kill the prince, he drew a last bit of strength from his love for his wife and managed to plunge his sword into the beast’s chest, effectively paving a way to enter the castle.
Overcome with a rage for the suitor and a love for his bride, the prince climbed the steep walls of the tower to the solitary window at the top where the princess was locked away. Joyfully he leaned into the window, ready to rescue his love, but when the princess saw him she slapped him across the face and screamed at him to leave her homeland. The prince was hurt, but he was too blind with love to listen to her biting words, instead he reached out and embraced her in an effort to comfort her troubled soul. The princess frantically struggled from his arms and breaking free she shoved him with all of her might towards the window. Shocked with rejection the prince had no time to catch himself and he fell tumbling out of the window, all the way to the ground below.

For centuries afterward, there would be tall tales, rumors, songs, and speculations about what happened next, but really no one knows how to explain the truth. Admittedly, there are many things in this world of which this humble storyteller knows not, but these things are often the most wonderful mysteries given to us lowly beings. For certain, the power of love is one of these mysteries which will never be solved. It was this power that was able to break through the dark magic of the princess’ captive stronghold. You see, she was unaware of the evil spell her suitor had put over her, but it ravished her soul and shackled her mind. She was deceived by the very comforts and desires she had chosen. She had let the dark magic weave it’s way bit by bit into her mind until it consumed her. Dark magic is strong and terrible, however it has one weakness, it can not stand against unconditional love. For love is the strongest emotion given to the world. It was with this ardent love that the prince, with his dying breath, whispered his last song to his bride:

“In good times or not, in life or in death,
I’ll love you as long as I draw each breath.
There isn’t a moment or action you do
That could ever make me stop loving you.”

His words, though feeble, tore through the invisible cloak of darkness that enveloped the fortress. With a shriek the evil suitor was thrown off his tower by an unseen hand and he fell to his death, leaving behind a cloud of sizzling, black smoke. In an instant, the princess’ eyes were opened and the spell was dropped. She stood up straight and breathed deeply for the first time. She felt restored and joyful beyond comprehension! Furthermore, her whole appearance became transformed. No longer did she look beaten or ragged, now her hair shown like finely spun silk and her face glowed like the sun. So complete was her joy that she didn’t even remember what she had done to her husband until she climbed down from the tower room and saw his mangled body on the ground under the very window from which she had pushed him. Her happiness quickly dissolved into a heart wrenching, inconsolable grief. The princess fell to the ground beside him, pulled his lifeless form to her chest, and wept uncontrollably.

This is not the end of the story, though it should have been. For all stories come to an end and that end is directly related to the decisions we make as our stories are written. However, sometimes the Great Story-Teller likes to add a few twists of His own, things we would never consider or dare to imagine. This particular story is one of those instances.
The princess had been kneeling on the ground sobbing for a very long time. How long she was not sure for time no longer had any meaning for her. Long after the sun had sunk to its nightly resting place, exhaustion finally came to the heartbroken young woman and she fell asleep cradling her husband. As she slept, she dreamed of the king, her father-in-law. In her dream he embraced her and they wept together over the loss of the prince. She repeatedly asked his forgiveness which he quickly gave; after a moment, he turned her face towards his and whispered, "This is not the end, only those who ignore their broken condition miss the richness that comes with redemption. My kingdom has no room for sorrow, nor time for arrogance; will I ever leave something unfulfilled?”
Suddenly alert and confused, the princess awoke. There was no time to think about what the dream had meant for she realized that she lay alone on the ground, the prince’s body was missing. So great was her distress that she didn’t notice the subtle song playing lightly on the wind until it increased in volume. It was the prince’s song, the same song he sang as he died and it flowed from his very mouth. Indeed, as the sun rays shown brighter in the sky he appeared to her in the morning mist. Startled, the princess fell to the ground and watched him approach her, still singing his song:

“In good times or not, in life or in death,
I’ll love you as long as I draw each breath.
There isn’t a moment or action you do
That could ever make me stop loving you.”

Her surprise turned to fear as she realized what had happened, but before she could gather the strength to run, he was kneeling beside her, taking her face in his hands. She fell into his arms and he continued to sing until his voice grew hoarse with emotion. “The greatest gifts of my father’s kingdom are love and forgiveness” he whispered into her ear, “there is nothing greater nor will there ever be, not even death. I love you deeply, and so I have freed you, but it is your decision now. Will you return with me?”

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