The Ring (A fairy tale)

This is what some people might call a fairy tale, yet as we all know from our childhood, fairy tales have happy endings. Why should I, the teller of this tale tell you this? Why, it is simply because this tale has no ending yet. No ending I hear you cry. That is correct, no ending. For the future has yet to be written … but please, sit back, put your feet up and let me continue my story.

Once upon a time … yes, I know … a traditional beginning for a not so traditional tale. Once upon a dream … is that better? No, I think not … so, how about this, my final offering …

Once upon a Second Life, there was a beautiful princess and a clumsy oaf of a prynce. The prynce lived and worked on a small trio of islands somewhere in the vast ocean. It is not known if these islands were in the north or south. All that is known about them is that it never rained there. The princess was from a land far, far away and in all their days of wandering the vastness of the world that contained their homes, the prynce and princess had never had the fortune to have met before. That is until one day when the prynce who was a musician of sorts was playing hys music, rather loudly, and dancing around like some demon possessed. The blaring music had attracted a bit of a crowd and as luck would have it, the princess was in that throng of people.

The prynce seemed to be having a good time dancing and listening to hys music. So much so that at first hy didn’t notice the princess. In fact, hy probably would not have noticed her at all, for she was quiet and not calling attention to herself at all, if hy had not chosen to play a song sung by a woman with a voice so expressive and powerful that you felt compelled to listen to her sing. As if by magic, the voice caused the prynce and princess to speak to each other, for what, unbeknownst to either of them, would be the first of many times. But I am getting ahead of myself here and I do not want to spoil the tale for you.

The prynce played one last song then turned off hys music and waved goodbye to the gathering that had been in hys company and secretly wondered where the mysterious woman had disappeared to. Hy did not yet know that she was a princess and quite honestly being of royal status was not one of hys priorities. Unlike most prynces who wanted someone regal, hy much preferred the genteel qualities. Someone who could carry on a conversation with, who enjoyed some of the same things hy did, compatability was top of the list.

Several days passed before hy saw her again. Hy was standing near the gateway that led onto the island when she came into view. Suddenly hy was overcome with a strange feeling and though she could not yet see it, hy was smiling. Once she was close enough to hear hym, hy greeted her and she returned the greeting. Why had she come back to the island? Did she have relations there or perhaps she was here to negotiate a trade agreement between her home and hys. Hy noticed that she did not move on past the gateway, but stood near hys friends and joined in the conversation, occasionally throwing a teasing jibe hys way, all the time her eyes sparkling in the sun.

Time seemed to stand still and when hy at last let hys eyes wander to the sundial, hy realized that the sun was setting and hy had spent many hours just talking and joking with the princess. Hy had picked up snippets of information about her from things she said, and while hy still did not know she was a princess, hy was almost positive that she was out of hys league, even though hy was of royal blood. She had an air about her that was intriguing and hy certainly wanted to know more.

The prynce was used to putting in many hours at the gateway, for though hys father was the king hy still had to serve in the military and had chosen to join the guards division. Even so, since meeting the princess, hy found hymself hanging out at the gateway even if hy wasn’t working and hoping that the beautiful princess would return again. Nevertheless, hy was still a bit surprised each time she did.

Hours turned into days and the two spent more and more time together. Even when others were around, they carried on quiet conversations and to the prynce, it was almost as if there was no one else around but the two of them. As days turned into weeks, the prynce who by this time had discovered that the princess loved to dance, made a point of playing hys music more often and the two of them would dance oblivious of the citizens who came to listen and join in.

One day after dancing for several hours, the prynce asked the princess if she would like to go for a walk and see a little more of the island. She consented and they strolled off, stopping to admire the flowers, the strange yet somewhat beautiful architecture and the art within the local gallery. While meandering across one of the small humpbacked bridges, they stopped. The prynce felt as if hys stomach was full of butterflies but somehow hy found it easy to wrap the princess in hys arms and kiss her. It was as if Merlin himself had cast a magic spell and the tiny fireflies that danced around them turned into blossoming fireworks.

The prynce had a favourite spot on the island and it was known to a few as Sunset Point. It is at this place that they ended they rambles of exploration and it is there that hy finally found out that the beautiful woman was indeed a princess. Here too declarations of feelings were made, by both prynce and princess and a friendship that was becoming close, was taking a slow turn, which was a good thing.

Nearly every day the prynce and princess could be found together. Whether they were just sitting and talking which in turn meant they were getting to know not only each other, but themselves too, exploring or dancing, they seemed to always be one with the other. In a few weeks the prynce would be celebrating hys birthday and broke royal protocol in asking the princess if she would allow an announcement to be made that would proclaim that the prynce and princess were now a couple. Trying to ever be the gentleman, in order to compensate for hys oafish clumsiness, hy declared that she need not give hym her answer then and there, but that of course hy would not mind if she thought about it.

In the days to come, hy wondered nervously what the princess would say. After all, she had not run off screaming or stomped her dainty feet and stated a firm “NO!”, but then with women of such royal status, one never knew. But hy hoped with all hys heart that her answer would be an affirmative one.

On the eve of hys birthday the princess told hym that she would be arriving at the island early and that hy should try to be there about the time that the sun’s shadow would let hym know was 8am. Hy was eager to spend time with the princess and even though it would be hys birthday, hy had nothing special planned other than hys normal music session. Hy hoped that the princess would still be there then and that they could dance.

The prynce had reached a point in hys life where hy only wanted to dance with the princess and even though protocol dictated that hy ask a woman who was on her own, or the dance partner of a visiting dignitary who perhaps had been called away momentarily, hy disliked having to do so for it meant that the princess was either not there or that she would be dancing with someone else or not dancing at all. Hy had grown to love dancing with her.

They said their goodnights and went to bed. Hy knew she now had a house on one of the adjoining islands so hy did not have to worry about her travelling alone. As the orange sun rose changing the grey pre-dawn sky to a rosy hue, the prynce slowly opened hys eyes and grinned. It was hys birthday and hy was looking forward to spending at least some of it with the princess. Hy crawled out of the big lonely bed and wandered into the washroom. Once hy washed hys short hair and scrubbed hymself till hys skin was warm and red as if burned by the rays of an afternoon sun, hy dressed in hy most comfortable clothes and went to make hys first mug of coffee.

Unlike most royalty, the prynce had no servants, to be honest, hy didn’t want any either. Hy had heard many of hys regal friends and even hys father bemoan the trivialities of servants. Hy would much rather do for hymself. As hy walked out onto the balcony of hys home, hy heard a shout. The princess had sent a messenger to let hym know she had arrived at the gateway and would wait there for hym. Hy gulped down the coffee, rinsed out the mug and made hys way down thehillside to the cheerful rivlet that divided the island in half.

The birds were chirping merrily in the tall trees that bordered the river. Their canopy so dense that it caused the valley to appear as if it were early evening. Tethered to the trunk of one of the trees was a small boat. It danced and bobbed on the small waves that broke up the surface of the water. Hy loosed the rope and coiled it, laying it on the deck at the bow then placed one hand on the gunwale and vaulted neatly into the boat. Gathering up one oar in each hand, hy guided and propelled the boat to the main island, tying it to the iron ring that the blacksmith hand affixed to one of the large rocks at Sunset Point. Hy stood there for a few moments, as hy often did when the princess was not around, remembering the night they had spent hours there talking and how hys life had changed since then. Slowly hy turned and made hys way past the flower beds and columns, across the bridges and fields of lush green grass to the gateway.

Just as hy crossed the last bridge, hy saw the princess. Her face was lit up by a wide smile and hy blinked and felt hys cheeks catch fire when she cried out “SURPRISE !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!”. Hy had not in hys wildest dreams imagined that she would do anything special for hys birthday but here she was dancing around merrily, decorations were neatly adorning the spaces around her and there, right in the corner of a wooden stage that had not been there the day before, was a table upon which sat a grand cake. In the other corner was a table full of presents and cards. Never had hy had so many in all hys life.

Hy stood there speechless, looking at hys friends who were congregating and then took a close look at the princess … ‘Oh My Goodness’, hy cried … ‘You’re a doughnut!!’ and indeed, the princess was outfitted in the craziest costume in the entire realm, a doughnut with icing and sprinkles of assorted colours. Now I won’t tell you what the prynce thought right then, but it goes without saying that it was a little risque to say the least.

Hy walked over to the table holding the mass of cards and gifts and bent down to look at them fingering tags hanging from the neatly tied bows and examining the writing on the envelopes trying to figure out who they were from. All the while the princess had been watching hym and smiling, finally she walked over to hym and gently laid a hand on hys shoulder. “Don’t you think you should open these?” she whispered as she pointed with her other hand towards the laden table. Hy turned to face her and wrapped her up in a tender hug, placing hys lips close to her ear and whispering “Thank you” with a trembling voice then slowly reached out for one of the gaily wrapped boxes.

Hy took hys time unwrapping the gifts and even longer than usual opening the cards until finally there was only one left. It had been there all along but had been tucked away behind all the others. Hys hands trembled as hy worried the flap of the envelope. Hy knew who this card was from, at least hy hoped hy did. Among all the other gifts and cards there had not been one from the princess and hys heart was pounding like a million drums as hy silently prayed this would be hers. Hy slid the card out of the pure white envelope and glanced at the picture and message on the front of it. Hy did not want to seem too eager. Finally hy slowly opened the card. There wasn’t anything printed inside, instead, in a dainty handwriting were the words … ‘My answer is yes. Happy Birthday, Darlink.’

Hys heartbeat raced even faster, tears welled up in hys eyes and hys legs were rapidly turning to jello. She had waited till hys birthday to answer hys question and by doing so had given hym the best gift ever. Hy was ecstatic, speechless and wanted to shout it out for the whole realm, NO, the whole world to hear.

Later that day hy played hys favourite music weaving a story that perhaps no one knew, but whether it was known or not didn’t matter to the prynce. Hy enjoyed telling stories with hys music, loved that those listening might be puzzling over the tale and sometimes wondered if they were correct. The prynce and princess danced and danced and the day was filled with laughter and much happiness.

As the sun set on the islands of the realm, the princess suggested that the return to the main island. A well known minstrel was to perform and she wished to listen. Wanting nothing more than to please her, the prynce agreed. The princess excused herself from hys company to get properly attired and in doing so left hym to do the same. She had said she would send a messenger when she was ready and hy sighed softly as hy watched her disappear into the darkness.

the herald had announced that those attending the minstrel’s performance should wear leather or silk and the prynce was not one for silk, unless it was on a beautiful lady so hy set about deciding which of hys leather outfits would be the best. Hy wanted to look good for the princess. Once hy had made up hys mind, hy bathed, washed hys hair and used just enough of hys finest cologne then slowly and methodically dressed. Hys black leather trousers fit like a glove, their softness caressed hys legs and hys smiled as hy tugged them down over the tops of hys highly polished black boots. Hys shirt was crisply ironed and hy waited until the messenger rapped on hys door before putting it on and tucking it in.

“The Princess awaits you on the main island, your highness.” the messenger announced as hy opened the door. A quick nod as hy strode out the door, pulling it closed behind hym and hy made hys way down to the boats. This time the messenger took up the oars and guided the small boat toward the jetty by the gateway.

As the bow-rope was deftly tossed over the bollard, the prynce tilted hys head to one side hoping to hear some sound that would point hym in the right direction since not even the princess was anywhere to be seen. The immediate area was deathly silent and hy hoped it was not a bad omen. The day had been so amazing and hy would hate for something to spoil it as it neared its end. The messenger moved to stand to the prynce’s left and pointed to the long stairway in the distance that rose into the cloud-shrouded night sky. The prynce followed the pointing finger then jerked hys head around to gaze in astonishment at the messenger who nodded, took a step back and boarded the small boat to await the next passenger.

Slowly, one might almost consider it regally, the prynce strode up the long winding staircase and eventually arrived at the pinnacle of the mount which was reminiscent of the one upon which the Acropolis stood. There hy spied a stone building of irregular shape and size and from which music was escaping. Assured by the melody that befell hys ears, hy made hys way to the massive oaken doors and heaved them open.

There before hym were more people than hy had seen in one place for eons and as hy stepped inside, they began to greet hym and hy smiled and nodded to each of them in turn. Hadn’t the messenger pointed this way? Perhaps there was some other room. Hy did not see the princess anywhere and hy began to fret. then hy heard the throng begin to ooh, aah and even gasp. Hy thought these sounds of ‘pleasure’ could only be because the princess had arrived and turning towards the doors, hy discovered hy was right.

There stood the princess, dressed in flowing silk and smiling sensually. Hy could not take hys eyes off of her, nor did hy particularly want to but what happened next was both shocking and erotic to the point where hy honestly wished that no one else had been around to see it. Oh, but she was a gutsy one this princess.

She had a fine chair brought over and placed in front of the dance pole. She bade hym to sit and then she began to dance in a way hy had never seen her dance before. Teasing and tantalizing hym with each movement her body made. She was seducing hym in front of everyone as if they were invisible … and hy … was loving every minute of it.

This is how it continued for all the months that made up the first year. Tempting, teasing, seducing and loving hym and hym falling deeper and deeper under her spell until one night as they sat outside their home on an island far away from the realm at which they met. She suggested going dancing and got her messenger to arrange an immediate carriage. She did not tell the prynce where she was taking hym. She may as well have blindfolded hym.

You see, as their relationship grew and their love deepened for each other, they had strayed away from the realm that had been their meeting place. They had a home of their own, were building a realm which they hoped would draw others in.
But on this particular night, she whispered to the carriage driver to take them there, to the realm of their beginnings. It was where they met and became friends. It was there that feelings grew and love blossomed and on that night after dancing under the stars and then slowly walking to the hilltop that overlooked the western skies, it was there that the prynce got down on hys knees and asked the princess to be hys wife and where she said “yes”.

The prynce and princess are still together after three years. which is a very good thing indeed. Now, you wish for a happy ending, as all fairy tales have?

It is here that I must apologize, for there is no happy ending, no fairy tale wedding with a bridal coach drawn by white horses. Not yet … but there is a ring that fits a finger so perfect and it begs to be worn when the time is right. There is still a clumsy oaf of a prynce that loves a princess and is solely committed to her, and there is still a beautiful princess that loves to dance. The prynce knows that hys heart belongs only to her, that no witnesses or ceremony would make it different. Hy knows that the princess knows how hy feels for hy wears hys heart on hys sleeve.

And who knows what the future will bring … for it has yet to be written.

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