The Witch's Curse

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The King built his kingdom and shaped its future. Then one day, he met a Witch.

Submitted: December 26, 2016

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Submitted: December 26, 2016

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There once was a great King.

The King had worked hard over his life to build a kingdom he was proud of and one in which his people could prosper. He’d seen hard times, no doubt; but he’d also seen times of great prosperity. Some would call him a great King, others would not…but all agreed that he was an honest and strong man that had fought and won wars for what he believed in. Indeed, the old King was many things. He was a warrior and a leader; and more than once he’d been called a hero. He was all those things with his feet planted firmly on the ground…steady and strong.

In his years, he had met and entertained many families over the realm and had been offered the hands of many maidens, though he had never married. He was a man of great convictions and of strong character…but he did not believe in love; at least not the love of storybooks. He loved his family, he loved his kingdom and servants. He even loved his dogs. But, he’d not seen anything in his years that could convince him that any of the stories about “true love” or “love at first sight” were anything more than the flights of fancy of poets and bards. He had resigned to a life without that type of whimsy and thought himself the better for it.

One day, he met a witch.

He had come to the market in search of a cure for the aches and pains that come with a life of war and politics. He had made his way amongst his people and at the end of the market street, he saw her and her sign that promised her arts could solve even foulest of ailments. The King was taken with her beauty and her charm...so much so that he asked her to visit him at the castle. He had need of a wise counselor, after all every great King had their Merlin. So, he asked for her help and she agreed. His other counselors watched as she instructed the King in the ways of her people and watched as he become more and more involved with the Witch each day. He did not suspect she had any foul intentions; indeed, he felt better with each visit.

Their visits continued; at first it was only an hour or so per visit and just a couple of days per week. But over time, it became a daily and the visits became longer and longer until the King’s days seemed to revolve around the coming and going of the Witch. One day, however, the warrior King woke from this sleep in a strange and foreign world. The walls of the castle were the same; the furnishings had not been changed…but he knew this was a very different world than his nonetheless. It was instinctual more than anything; he could just feel the differences in his heart. And he could not focus on anything except the Witch. He had been cursed! He jumped from his bed and ran out into the halls of his great fortress, stopping along the way to speak with each person he met. He didn’t dare reveal that he knew he had been vexed, so he tried to keep calm and speak as if nothing were different from the day before. But this new world in which he’d found himself was so very different than his that he became disoriented…and still his thoughts were of her.

When the Witch came to the castle that day, he had her turned away. She’d had too much of his time already and now he had been magically transported to world that he did not recognize. He couldn’t let her in again; there was no telling what she would do to him if he did. He needed to find a way to return to his own world and he would let no distractions keep him from that end. Still, he thought of her.

As the days passed into weeks, it became evident that he was stuck in this new world; this strange land in which she’d placed him was now is reality. And the longer he stayed, the more the striking differences made themselves clear. He was lost and alone in a world nothing like he’d ever known…and still he thought of her. Finally, he knew that he had to seek her out immediately; she would undo what she had done or answer to his sword. He quickly changed into his armor and ordered his most loyal knights to prepare for a trip into the village. When he arrived at her shop at the end of the market street, he burst through the door and demanded in as Kingly a voice as he could muster to be returned to his world…immediately! Though surprised by his suddenly appearance, the Witch simply smiled.

“Where have you been?” she asked. “I’ve missed seeing you…I…I grew quite fond of our time together.”

Disarmed, the King pulled back; he was a little ashamed of the way he’d burst into her shop now. And it was good to see the Witch; he’d missed her as well.

“And what’s all this talk of returning to your world? Where are on earth do you believe yourself to be?” The beautiful Witch was almost teasing in her tone. “You’re still right here in this one…with me, my sweet King.”

The King was again disoriented. Emotions ran through him that he was not accustomed to in the slightest. He was angry at the Witch for casting her magic on him, and yet he felt a rush of joy and a swell in his heart to be in her presence again. Surely, he was vexed.

The King pulled further away from the Witch. “I am no longer in the world I knew before you! I am not in the world in which I fought my wars and ruled my people…no longer in the world of my father nor of his father’s before him. My world is changed and it must be the work of magic!”

The Witch seemed to ponder the problem. “Please, my King, sit. Tell me of these changes and perhaps together we can determine how they came to pass.”

“Indeed. Yes, that is what we must do...together,” the King said finally calming at the touch of her words. “It started some time ago, though I did not realize it at the time. I started to take notice of the things around me; much more so than is natural I fear. Hands and faces, birds in the trees, the Earth and the sky. They all mean…more. The very meaning of the words I hear and speak are different and more distracting than before. Nothing is the same. My heart warms at the smile of a child or the lick of a dog like never in my life. Days are intolerably longer than before unless I am with you or thinking of our time together; then an hour passes in mere minutes! Pain is deeper; loneliness more unbearable. But joy is explosive and can come on me with only a thought! Something…you…have turned my world around and fear that this world will last forever.”

Gently, the Witch took the King’s hand in hers. “Go on, my King”

“Off into the world we all go, planning futures and shaping years with only our will to drive us forward! I have planned such a life! I have built my Kingdom to heights never seen! Yet now, none of it seems to matter; all my wisdom has disappeared. I have rules I live by and all those rules are broken and lying about on the floor. What am I to do? What has happened, Witch, am I to be in this world forever more?”

“There is without a doubt magic at work here, my King,” the kind Witch said softly. “It is a powerful magic. Indeed, the most powerful magic in all the land or in any Kingdom. It is a fire burning out of control in your heart and in your very soul.”

“What am I to do; tell me and it will be so…”

“You must choose. You either live within the flame or you perish,” she said as she stared into the eyes of her King. “But, do not be afraid, my sweet King, for you will not be alone in your agony.” She smiled gently as she stroked his bearded face in her hands.

 

 

“I love you too.”

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Mac Buckner. All rights reserved.

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