The Sickness and the Witch

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


A fairy tale about a witch, a princess, a kingdom, and a deal made in desperation.

Submitted: October 10, 2017

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Submitted: October 10, 2017

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Once upon a time, there was a King. The King was kind and wise and loving, gifted with a Queen that was kind and wise and loving. The King and the Queen lived in a large and beautiful castle, in a large and beautiful city, the capital of a great Kingdom. The Kingdom was prosperous, and happy, and the people loved their kind, wise, and loving King and Queen. The sun shined down on the Kingdom and its people, and the rains fell on their crops, and peace filled the land.

One day, a great Sickness fell upon the land. This Sickness struck without warning, encompassing the Kingdom and its people like a great flood. People everywhere were stricken with the Sickness, people everywhere were dying.

The Sickness reached the Kingdom’s capital, and snuck its way into the King’s castle. The Queen grew sick and weak, and the King was engulfed in despair.

Once upon a time, there was a Witch. The Witch was beautiful and vain and powerful. Everyone in the Kingdom feared her and respected her.

The Witch came to the King, lost in his despair, and offered him a deal.

“I can cure this Sickness, I can save your Queen,” the Witch told him. “But there will be a cost, a payment, an exchange.”

“Anything!” The King cried out, hope found again. “Anything!”

And the Witch did smile, and the Witch did follow her word, but the Witch did not speak of the cost, the payment, the exchange she required. She cured the Queen and she cured the Kingdom. The sun did shine on the Kingdom again, and the rains did fall on their crops again, and peace did fill the land again.

For many years, the King waited to see the Witch again. And for many years, she failed to come. And after many years, the King forgot of his debt, of the cost, the payment, the exchange she demanded.

Once upon a time, a pair of beautiful children were born, a pair of twins. A Prince and a Princess, born to the kind and wise and loving King, and his kind and wise and loving Queen. They had hair as bright as the shining sun, and eyes as grey as the falling rain. The Kingdom rejoiced, and the Kingdom celebrated.

Many years passed, and the Prince and the Princess grew. They were as kind and as wise and as loving as the King and the Queen, and all the people loved them.

Once upon a time, there was a Witch. The Witch was powerful and feared, and once she had cured a Kingdom of a horrible Sickness. Her magic kept her young, healthy, and beautiful. It came at a great and terrible price, however. There was a cost, a payment, an exchange that was required.

The Witch needed someone else’s blood, else she had no magic.

Once, the Witch had made a deal with a King, a kind and wise and loving King, and he had yet to repay his debt.

Once upon a time, on a day when the sun did not shine upon the city, when lightning split the skies and thunder crashed and wind howled, the Witch came to the castle. The King greeted her with fear, he knew why she had come.

“We had made a deal, dear King. Do you remember?” the Witch asked. “There was a cost, a payment, an exchange that was required. Do you remember what you promised me?”

“Yes.” the King replied, afraid and despairing.

“And what did you promise me?” The Witch’s smile was sly and wicked.

“I promised you… Anything.”

“Anything?”

“Anything.”

Thunder crashed over the city outside, and the wind howled.

The Witch smiled at the young Prince and Princess hiding behind the Queen. She pointed to the Prince and asked again.

“Anything?”

The King nodded solemnly, unable to find the strength to speak, and held his sobbing wife close.

And so the Witch took the Prince, and so the Witch killed the Prince, and so the Witch kept her magic.

Once upon a time, there was a Princess. This Princess had hair as bright as the shining sun, and eyes as grey as the falling rain. She was the daughter of a kind and wise and loving King, and a kind and wise and loving Queen.

Once, the Princess had a brother, a Prince with hair as bright as hers and eyes as grey as hers. Once, on a stormy night, a Witch took him away. Her father, the King, had made a deal many years before, and the King was a man of his word.

The Princess grew up bitter, filled with anger and hate. She knew what she needed to do, what she wanted to do. The King and the Queen watched her grow, watched her train and train, watch as her heart filled with anger and hate. And when the Princess had grown from a little girl to a beautiful woman, the King and the Queen watched her leave on her horse of white.

The Witch lived in a Tower made of ivory stone, a Tower that stood in the middle of a Forest filled with dangerous creatures. Everyone knew where she lived, but no one dared to go to her. The people feared her, the people feared her magic, and the people feared the creatures in the Forest. The Princess, armed with nothing but her sword and her hate, rode out into the Forest.

The Princess feared no creature, and the Princess cut down the creatures, one after another. Wolves and wyrms and wild things, things that had no names, the Princess slew them all with her sword and her hate. Finally, she reached the Tower and the Witch within.

The Witch, in her arrogance, left her door open, let the Princess enter. She laughed and laughed as the Princess climbed the Tower stairs, up to the very top.

“We made a deal, the King and I,” the Witch said as the Princess stared at her with hate-filled eyes. In her hand was a skull, a child’s skull, the Prince’s skull. She held it in her hand and grinned at it. “I said there would be a cost, and the King said "Anything! Anything!” And so I took my payment, and so we made the exchange.“

The Princess roared in hate, and the Witch laughed in wicked glee. The Princess charged with her sword and her hate, and the Witch struck back with her magic and her wickedness.

Once upon a time, there was a King, a kind and wise and loving King, and he was married to a kind and wise and loving Queen, and they lived in a beautiful castle in a beautiful city, and they ruled over a prosperous and happy Kingdom. The sun shined down on the city, and the rains fell on their crops, and peace filled the land.

Once, the King and the Queen were gifted with two beautiful children, with hair as bright as the shining sun and eyes as grey as the falling rain. Once, he made a deal with a Witch, and once the Witch took his son from him. And once he watched his daughter leave on a path he could not follow.

One day, the King watched from his castle, with his heart filled with worry and despair. He watched as the Witch’s Tower lit up with the light of the very sun, watched as the forest around it caught fire and the smoke filled the sky. He watched from his castle as a horse of white entered the city, running in fright, its rider no where to be found.

Once upon a time, there had been a Princess…


© Copyright 2018 M. Lee Cottle. All rights reserved.

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