FAIRY TALE, the beginning:
“Your majesty,” she ran through the hall, blonde hair flying wildly behind her, twigs and leaves stuck to her long, blue dress and straggled through her knotted mane, and threw herself, face first, at the King’s feet. “The princess has been kidnapped!”
“Please, get up, my child,” the King stroked his long, red beard, apparently in thought, as he waited for the princess’ hand maiden to rise and attempt to smooth her long, frizzy hair. “I think this must be tragic,” the King said slowly. He raised a hand to beckon his chief steward. “Don’t let the people know of this; they will react strongly.”
“I’m afraid,” the portly steward paused, “the people are already aware of the event.” He pulled back the gold curtain that shielded the hall from the streets of X, just as he had done sixteen years before. Then, he had revealed to the joyous masses the new baby princess, Ariadne. Today, just as they had long ago, the people of X were dancing, singing and otherwise occupied in jubilation. They no longer need worry about the noxious ways of the horrible princess, the only heir to the kingdom, and the most miserable wretch of a girl that ever existed in the peaceful kingdom of X.
There was one small, somber individual in the crowd, though: Rabbit. Rabbit was not an animal, though, but an unfortunate decision by his parents to let his older sister, at the age of 3, name him. He was tiny, yes, but not particularly furry or long eared, he could frequently be long winded, but his employer, Izmella, helped him to keep this in mind. He wore a special pendant that glowed green and tingled slightly whenever he spoke for longer than a minute or so. Right now, he was feel the sting of it, as he muttered quietly, excitedly, “it’s happened, it’s finally happened, it’s happened, what now, what now,” as the people in the streets rejoiced. He pushed his way through the crowd, ever mumbling, and headed towards Izmella’s cottage.
Izmella was a typical witch: sharp-eyed and tall, with a curvaceous figure. The green of her almond eyes matched the emerald of Rabbit’s pendant and was framed by the dark ringlets that fell to her waist. “Rabbit, please, you’re disturbing me, either speak out load or don’t speak at all,” she said quickly, not looking up from her crystal globe as Rabbit walked through the door.
“Sorry, mistress, but there’s big news: it finally happened, the princess has been abducted.”
“I know,” Izmella repied coolly, pointing to her globe.
“Yes, right, of course.” Rabbit shifted his weight a few times and looked erratically around the room, as if looking for something that did not exist. His eyes finally rested at a crack in the floorboards, just in front of his feet.
“This is good, not only does the town get a reprieve from the wretch, but we won’t have to wait too much longer to see the prophecy realized.”
“I haven’t been waiting that long, miss, only about 20 years.”
“WELL,” Izmella rarely raised her voice, but she didn’t need to, she had a certain way of putting emphasis on just the right syllables to make anyone feel like he might wet himself. The knowledge that she could turn one into any sort of insect didn’t help, either. “I’ve been waiting just a little longer than that; 200 or so years longer. I had hoped this was the princess of the prophecy, but do you know how many nasty princesses there have been in the past 250 years? It’s appalling!” Rabbit nodded, not at all able to comprehend 200 years of obnoxious princesses. “At least that should all be done with now. You’ll have to go and spread the word to the surrounding kingdoms, the king will put out a notice to all able knights and we want the right sort of knight volunteering for this job.”
“Yes, I can do that,” Rabbit said, finally lifting his gaze from the crack in the floor. Izmella was not looking at him, still intent on the visions in the globe. Rabbit had often peered into the crystal when he was tidying up for her and he never saw anything there.
“Now would be soon enough.”
“Oh, uh, yes, but -” Rabbit stuttered.
“I know, there is only one knight who can do the job, so to speak, but we can’t just go and tell the king who to get, can we? We have to let everything play out. So go tell the surrounding kingdoms and do what you can to guide the king.”
“Yes, but -”
“I know you’re small and a little feeble minded, but the king isn’t too bright either, I’m sure you’ll come up with something.”
“Well I didn’t say you couldn’t eat anything on your way.” Rabbit could hear her eyes rolling, but he had to be cautious; at times, when she says to do something, she means right now, and at other times, she means, at your leisure and after nearly 10 years as her servant, he still could not tell the difference.
“I will report to you tomorrow.”
“Rabbit, there is no need.” Izmella rose, gesturing to the crystal globe, “take care and I believe there is some food in the refrigerator. I must go and check on a few things; I think the woodsmith has finished repairing my broom.”
“Yes, mistress, I’m glad to hear it, my back hurt sweeping the floor with your old hair brush.”
“I know, Rabbit, you’re a good helper. I’ll see you when the king has found a worthy knight.” Izmella threw her gray shawl over her shoulder and strode out the door. Rabbit was flustered, touched by one of the few compliments Izmella had ever bestowed on him. She must truly be happy that this day has come, he thought.
Izmella was not the most beautiful woman in the town, but she kept men and women alike intrigued with her timelessness. Know one knew quite how she was – 200, maybe 300 years old? It was impossible to tell, she aged so well. Most believed there was some witchery involved, but none dared question her, some thought it was her sheer meanness that kept her skin so tight, while other women her age looked more withered than a leather sheaf straight off the battle field.
As Izmella went through the town taking care of her errands, Rabbit left town, taking care of his.
For Sara: And they lived happily ever after.