home authors guest shorts graphical shorts
Once upon a time there was a golden haired prince who bolted upright in his bed, his arms flailing about wildly, his brow matted and sticky with sweat. He screamed incoherently. It took him a minute to realize where he was. He had the nightmare again.
It always began the same way. He slips behind one of two ogres protecting the Fortress Gate and slides his dagger in the exposed spot between their shoulder-armor and their chain mail. The dagger slides easily in to the vulnerable meat. He can smell the last hot breath as the ogre collapses to the ground; he can taste the mutton of the ogre’s last meal. He hears him mutter his last words, something about his family…
Then suddenly he finds himself in a new place, as is common in dreams, this time at the bottom of a slumbering giant. He climbs the massive creature as if a mountain. After much effort, he reaches the massive chest of the beast, as it rises and falls with each slumbering breath. That’s when The Prince begins hacking at his chest. The Giant wakens but can not move because of the magic dust The Prince had used to paralyze him. He hears the Giant plea for his life as pieces of the Giant’s body shower his face... It must’ve taken hours. The Giant’s bucket-sized tears roll down off his face drenching The Prince. The blood mixes with the tears and his sweat from his exertion and it drips in to his mouth. It burns. The Giant repeats over and over, “Please, stop, it hurts, I’ll do anything…” That’s when he wakes up.
“Dear Prince, what is the matter,” his golden-locked wife said, her eyes glistening in the full moon light expressing her deep concern.
He was in bed. Back at his new home. In the King’s castle. Lying with the King’s beautiful daughter.
Outside in the courtyard, carpenters, joiners and other workmen set about preparing for The Prince’s ceremony. Since returning from his quest, The Prince, once a simple peasant boy, had been heralded as a hero. Everyone had said he had performed capitally in his quest. He had retrieved the heart from the slumbering King of the Giants and freed the village from the curse. He had cut it out while the simple beast begged for his life. The Giant didn’t even do anything to the damn village. It was cursed by an unrelated witch two kingdoms over. But the quest called for a heart and that’s what it got.
He just wanted his old life back. Everyone called him hero, but he didn't felt one. He hadn't felt like himself since he got back. He was numb. He felt an aimless need to talk to someone. But who would understand? Everyone else was so happy.
The sounds of men toiling away down below, hammering and sawing, created a somnolent background in the dark. The Prince’s eyes grew heavy. He rolled over in this strange bed and prepared himself for more bad dreams.
Date Written: October 08, 2004
Average Vote: 4