The Last Princess of the Moon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cross the River of Lost Dreams to discover melancholic princesses, plush bunny boatsmen and ladders hanging from clouds in a happily-ever-after fairytale.

Intended to become part of a collection of stories called "Tales from Othremién"; fairytales about the lands and dwellers of Othremién or The Lost Galaxy.

Submitted: June 30, 2010

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Submitted: June 30, 2010

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* I have constructed my own universe and only use the terms Sun, Moon, star and galaxy as very loose approximations to define elements within it. They will not behave or be related in a true-to-life way. This is not an exercise in realism

** This is a work in progress

I like fairytales for the reasons that most people who like them do; they constitute a distraction from reality, the simple prose is soothing to the mind, and most importantly, they can transport you to another state of being if you allow your imagination to overcome your physical environment. Then, suddenly, you are alive at a better time; maybe you’re a child again, maybe you’re alive in a time that you have never even experienced. Your surroundings please you; perhaps you tumble onto the bed you dreamed in before leaving home, perhaps grass tickles the backs of your naked thighs as you watch the lavender fields you pictured sway above and around you. You might be holding hands with a lost love again – and when you look at their face, it is magically care-free and youthful again. Maybe you run into an attractive stranger you once brushed against as they hopped off the bus you were catching…

Or maybe you meet creatures you didn’t even know existed, creatures that surpass even the most fantastic and exquisite of your dreamy concoctions. You meet feather-haired princesses no higher than a match with silver, gold and diamond stardust falling around them in clouds. You meet the princesses in the oddest truffle of a cloud; fat and raspberry-pink with the scent of vanilla swirling around it. When you walk on it you find that you’re bouncing like a big yellow rubber ball. You fall into a pond and the water is thick and creamy milk. You lick your fingers, they’re sugar-sweet. An angry marzipan fish is nudging you in the stomach towards the edge of the pond. You climb out. Your hands and knees are covered in the softest yellow sand – honey biscuit crumbs, finely ground and sieved. The princesses are sitting by another nearby pond, dipping their tiny legs in what looks like luscious melted chocolate. There are two of them, one with long silvery corkscrew curls that she’s wrapping around her finger and the other with a gleaming golden wave rippling down her back. It flashes as she tosses her proud head.

You look down at your body and realized that you’re tiny too; that’s why everything seems so big. Your skin looks different; the texture is pearl-like, gleaming, and flawless with a slight pink glow. You touch the hair falling over your shoulder, and it’s a sooty black tumble, like diamonds in the rough. The princesses are looking at you, the silver-haired one is whispering. The sound is like a sigh of spring rustling a lilting cobalt river. You are in front of them now. They have pensive, slanting brows and downcast eyes with silky curling lashes, impossibly delicate features and unusually beautiful skin. Their hair wafts around them as though suspended underwater and when they look up through their thick fluttering lashes, their eyes are breathtakingly lovely – pale luminous shades reminiscent of moonlight – but also indefinably sorrowful; they look as though they are glimmering with tears that have not fallen for many thousands of years. They seem to want to tell you something but for reasons unknown to you, the words seem to falter on their tongues.

“Do you know who we are?” asks the Princess with silver curls. Her skin is like a dewy pink rose petal, soft and fragrant, and her eyes are an enchantingly clear shade of green. She has a smattering of freckles on her nose. Her voice is strange; a mixture of hopefulness and restraint.

“No,” you answered, and your voice sounded unlike yours; it is startlingly clear and bright like the sound of a dead branch breaking crisply onto fresh white snow.

They hang their heads again, as though you should have known the answer.

Confused, you ask, “You’re Princesses?”

The girl with golden hair lifts her chin suddenly and her smile is surprised, tentative. “How did you know?” she says wonderingly, and her voice is faint, vague, a sussuration; like the hint of a shower on a slumbering summer afternoon.

“I don’t. You’re just so pretty I guessed you were. I think I’m dreaming,” I tell her.

She is pretty; beautiful in fact, just like her sister. Her skin is like thedesert sands of Arabia, sandy bronze and matte; it goes remarkably well with the pure-gold waves that hang to her waist. Her wide eyes are a refreshing colour, like a sedate azure lagoon; yet they are captivating in their luminosity and disarming in her dark face. My answer does not please her; she murmurs something to her sister and looks away.

“Is this your kingdom? It doesn’t look like it would be, it doesn’t quite suit you somehow,” I say hesitantly. The childish pastels and milk-and-chocolate lakes of the cloud did not match the melancholic beauty of these creatures.

“It is not our kingdom,” says the silver-haired girl, “We are the Princesses of the Moon.”

“There are princesses on the Moon? How many of you are there?”

She smiles sadly, “There were four of us, now only we two remain”

“What happened to the other two?”

“One is lost. The other is dead.”

“Dead? How did she die?”

“She was cursed.”

“Who cursed her?”

“Lyssanrye”

“Who is Lyssanrye?” you press.

“Lyssanrye, the witch, the storm cloud, the gale, the deluge, the terror. She is a spirit, a shape-shifter, she can take any form she wishes.”

“Why did she kill your sister?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Is there time to tell it?”

She looks out towards the setting sun with her wise, calm eyes.

“No, not now, dusk is upon us. We must go. The Lost Galaxy is full of dangers soon after dusk.”

Her sister is already walking towards the flaming, sinking sun.

“Wait, what are your names?” you ask, rather desperately.

For the first time, the Princess with silvery curls smiles.

“I am Spring; she is Summer; I thought you’d have guessed, what with the way we look and sound.”

She's right. Summer with her sun-drenched skin and hair, those lustrous eyes and the slow, sleepy voice that make one dream of Meditarranean beaches and siestas in the shade of filao trees on sweltering summer days. Spring with her fresh pink skin like the petals of flowers in bloom, her innocent child-like eyes, the plump promise of her lips and that remarkable voice; at times light, melodious - whimsical even - and then suddenly wistful and nostalgic.

“So Autumn and Winter are gone?”

“Autumn died, Winter is lost”

“Can’t you find her?” It all seems rather a sad affair.

“It’s time to leave” calls Summer in her vague, unhurried way.

"Give me a moment."

When Spring turns to you, she is smiling at you strangely.

“Winter is cursed to be lost to us. We don’t have the power to find her and the curse prevents her from finding us. She can only come back once it is broken”

“How can it be broken?”

“I wish I knew,” says Spring, and her voice sounds tender, bruised, “I must leave now, dusk is upon us”

She is looking out towards the sun again.

She floats over to her sister and takes her hand. She looks back over her shoulder, her hair fluttering behind her. She lifts her hand and then dives over the edge with Summer. You run to where they stood and gasp as you look down. Beyond the edge of the puffy pink cloud is space, airy colourless space. You can see stars and coloured clouds and a glittering, winding, seemingly endless golden river below. Some of the clouds have staircases leading down into the river and other steps leading to other clouds or stars. You see boats and rafts in the river and stars falling into it gracefully. You cannot see the opposite banks of the wide-stretched river; but you suppose that they're on the side of the moon, which rises as the sun sets here. You close your eyes and leap off the cloud.

You are suspended in space; it seems that you can fly. Here air feels like water, only less dense. You wade your way down, until you are sitting on the grainy white sand at the edge of the river. It is in fact silver mist, swirling gently this way and that, with millions of cracked golden stars floating on it, nudging each other gently. From here, all you can see in front of you is misty river; behind and around you, white shores; above you, clouds and stars with stairs, ladders and ropes dangling from them like earrings.

A little white boat paddles up to you. A plush sand-coloured rabbit with fine whiskers and a smart gold-buttoned navy jacket calls to you, "Where to Miss?"

"What do you mean where to?" you ask, bewildered, as his boat bobs next to me.

He smiles knowingly.

"First time on the Larmièn?"

"What is Larmièn?" you want to know.

"This," he waves his paw wildly towards the mass of stars behind him, "is Larmièn. It is also known as the River of Lost Dreams. It runs endlessly and timelessly far through the galaxies between the banks of the Sun and Moon."

"It's the strangest river I have ever seen. Where I'm from, rivers are made of water not mist. And they don't have stars floating along them."

"Those aren't real stars and that's not real mist," says the Rabbit blinking rapidly as he speaks, "Those are star-children; they take on the appearance of cracked old stars when they die and fall into the river. That is their resting place; among the lost dreams that swirl unresolved, waiting to be caught again and realized. Every time a lost dream leaves the river, a star-child is re-born."

"That's such a nice story. Is it true?"

"True?" spits out the Rabbit, incredulous, "Of course it's true! Why else do you think the stars have been waiting so long for the return of Prince Etreii, the ruler of them all?"

"How is it decided which star-children are re-born?"

"Lady Fortune does. She's a capricious woman, that one is"

"Who is Lady Fortune?"

"Who is Lady - oh my, oh my, you really are ignorant, aren't you?"

"I'm not ignorant! I'm not from these parts!" you exclaim defensively, bristling at the Rabbit's condescending tone.

"Lady Fortune lives at the end of the river; and since the river has no end - it is always changing, growing erratically - her home is always changing and cannot be found. She rarely leaves her home and has only been glimpsed on her rare travels by a privileged few. She is the mistress of all the universe."

"I suppose she's God?"

"She's just Lady Fortune."

"Is she nice?"

"Nice? I am one of those who glimpsed her; she was visiting the Moon in its glory-days, many thousands of years ago. She is very beautiful, more beautiful than the Moon princesses, the dwellers of Anderián and star-children. She is a glittering, extravagant woman, exuberant and richly sensual. She dresses to be noticed in the finest star-threads and wears pearls from the bottom of the Larmièn - enchanted those are, and very, very rare and precious! Most that have been brought up are worn around the waists of the beautiful, blessed maidens of Anderián. They were blessed by her, blessed with ethereal beauty and infinite grace, to be her messengers - there are seven. They alone have beauty that could rival hers," he paused, lost in his memories of the Lady of the River.

"Where is Anderián?"

"Ah, it is deep within vast Othremién, or the Lost Galaxy. It lies on the banks of the Moon and begins just beyond the dark side of the moon. There are many beautiful and magical lands in Othremién. There is a legend that says that there is a Galaxy that moves all around the universe at its own whim. Once it is gone - and it usually travels far - it is difficult to locate again as the universe is so vast. Othremién is supposed to have travelled five or six times. It is believed to have moved here a million years ago, fully formed. The legend and the lands are still shadowed in mystery. But that is why we call it the Lost Galaxy, because it is lost to some dwellers in some remote part of our universe and someday it will be 'Lost' to us as well. A sad day that will be."

You keep quiet, taking in this multitude of strange names, legends and places. How much larger and more mysterious is the universe than you could ever imagine!


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