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Wolfs Journal
Rook



“Read me this one Mema!” A young child, no older than six said as he pulled a large dusty book off the shelf. Laughing softly the elderly woman moved forward to take the heavy book from the child, barely able to hold it herself. With a heavy groan she lowered herself down into an old rocking chair that rested beside the bed that the young boy had already crawled into, wiggling himself down into the blankets and looking excited about his bedtime story.

The grandmother looked down at the book he had picked out and her smile fell ever so softly from her lips, shaking hands picking up the glasses that hung around her neck and placing them on her nose. “The Cursed Prince. Oh dear, are you sure you want to hear this one?” The elder woman asked, looking over at her grandson from the top of glasses. “It doesn’t have a very happy ending you know.” But the little boy nodded his head anyway, the only part of his body that could be seen after he pulled the blankets up all the way to his chin. The grandmother smiled again and opened the book; she knew the story well and would give him the kid version of it. After all it was a very unhappy and tragic tale.

“Once in a Kingdom so far away there lived a mighty King and a beautiful Queen, whom he loved so very much. One day the Queen came to the King with wonderful news, news they had been waiting on for many, many years. They were going to have a baby! The King was overjoyed by the news but he was worried as well. His Queen had always been of ill health so he feared that the baby would be hard for her to carry, and the King was right. Only a month later the Queen fell sick once more, this time endangering not only her life but the life she carried.” The Grandmother paused to show the child a picture in the book of a woman lying on a bed, her stomach large in child and a man standing beside her looking fearful. “Using all of his riches the King set out to find a cure that would save his Queen and unborn child. He crossed seas filled with danger, forests filled with demons until one night under the full moon the King came across a lone cabin. The King knocked three times but gained no answer and, believing that no one lived in the cabin, entered it. Inside he found food, water and a warm bed to which he helped himself to all three. With his stomach full and his thirst quenched the King laid on the bed and fell into a deep sleep.

“What the King did not know was that the cabin did belong to someone, an evil Witch.” The Grandmother paused once more to show another picture, this time of the man helping himself to some food while a dark shadow stood in the doorway watching him. “The Witch returned home to find her food eaten, her water drank and a man whom she did not know sleeping in her bed. With an enraged scream the Witch threw herself at the King who awoke in fright. Fearfully the King fell to his knees before the Witch and begged for him to let him life, telling of his quest to save his Queen and unborn child. The Witch’s heart softened hearing his plea and ordered him go into her Garden behind the cabin and to pluck a single rose from the bush that had not yet bloomed. The Witch told the King that the rose was magic and that it shall not die so long as he held onto it, that when it did at last bloom he was to take each petal that fell from the rose and boil them into a drink for his Queen. But the Witch was also cruel and further told the King that as payment she would come to take their child from them on the eve of their sixteen year of life. If it should be a daughter the Witch would raise her to become a Witch as well, and should it be a son the Witch would kill him and use his life to grant her youth once more.

“The King, so frightened of the Witch, agreed. The Witch allowed the King to leave with a single rose. After months of traveling the King returned but only to find grave news awaiting him. His Queen had died during his time away, leaving behind only their child whom she had given her life to bring into the world. But the child was sickly, never crying and would not live much longer either. The King, seeing as he could not use the rose he had been given by the Witch to save his Queen, used it to save the life of his Son. Each night the King sat by the hearthside-“

“What is a hearthside?” The child asked, his voice thick in sleep.

“It means ‘fire place’ my dear.” The grandmother said, smiling softly before going on with the story. “Each night the King sat by the hearthside and boiled the petals that fell from the rose, carefully giving the brew to his son to drink. For one full moon the King would not be moved from his place until at last the final petal fell and the babe gave his first cries. The King was overjoyed as he showed the kingdom the new Prince. But the King had not forgotten the deal he made to the Witch and sought out the help of a Good Witch to save him from such a fate. The Good Witch took the steam of the rose and boiled it, adding her own magic to the brew and had the Son drink it. The Good Witch told the King that his Son would never be killed by the Witch but that did not mean she could not still use her magic on him. The King thanked the Good Witch and went on to raise his Son happily.”

“But what about the Bad Witch?” The child asked again.

“On the eve of the Prince’s sixteen year the Bad Witch arrived at the kingdom and ordered the King to fulfill his end of the deal that had been made so many years before. The King first tried to tell the Witch that he had not used the rose to save his Queen as she had died, but had used it to save his Son. The Witch did not care however, saying that he had used the rose never the less to save the life of another. When the King could not reason with the Witch he laughed in her face, mocking her by telling the Witch she would never be able to kill his Son. Angered by his words the Witch took up a dagger and attempted to stab the Prince but the blade broke in her hold. The King ordered his soldiers to kill the Witch but as the King’s most trusted Captain raised his sword to cut off the Witch’s head she sent a curse to the Prince.

“When the Witch’s head hit the floor the Prince was transformed into a Monster. The Witch’s severed head crackled, mocking the King by telling him that now the Prince would forever be alone, never be loved or raise a child of his own. And so the Witch died with her last laugh still on her lips. Horrified the King and the Captain took the young Prince away, returning to the Good Witch and begged for her help once more. But the Good Witch only shook her head in pity, telling the King she could not remove such a curse with her magic alone. The Good Witch told the King that only ‘True Love’ could free him from the wicked spell. Given hope by this the King returned with the Prince and ordered his Captain to spread the news fair and wide that the Prince was seeking a bride, Princess or not. Many young fair maiden’s came in hopes of charming the Prince as to become his Bride but after they all saw the Monster he was they ran in fear back to their own countries. Now news began to spread throughout the kingdom of how a wicked and most fearsome beast had taken over the Prince causing the once peaceful people of the kingdom to take up weapons.

“The Prince, seeing how his Father’s kingdom was about to fall into War and Ruin, left under the cover of night to beg for the Good Witch’s help. The Good Witch took the Prince away and hid him, somewhere far and safe. She placed him in a castle all for him, giving him a magical staff to take care of him. As her final gift for the Prince the Good Witch placed a spell around the castle to keep it hidden, telling the Prince that when the time came the spell would break and his True Love would find him.

“And so the Prince stayed in his hidden castle, alone and waiting for the next hundreds of years. Many claim that when the moon is full, and the night is still one can still hear the cries of the Forgotten Prince who is still waiting for his True Love to come and save him.”

The Grandmother closed the book and looked down at the sleeping child, sighing softly as she placed her hand over the cover of the book. “Such a sad tale. I wonder who would write such a thing?”

~~~~~~~

“Hey, watch this!” A teenage boy looking barely seventeen cried loudly as he jumped from the top of a water fountain and into the pool below. Laughing the teenager climbed out of the water and stood on the edge, arms opened wide. “Ta-da~”

Silence. Rook’s smile slowly fell from his face as his arms fell to his sides, staring out at the empty courtyard around him. His thin, midnight black tail slowly swayed behind him as Rook slowly lowered himself down to sit on the edge of the fountain, his face blank. Pink lips opened as he suddenly screamed loudly, the sound sharp and pricing. When Rook finally stopped the screech like sound he turned to look at down at himself in the water. The first thing that stood out among his face were the sclera’s of his eyes, what should have been white were pitch black as well causing his green pupils to stand out even more. With his black hair wet caused his pointed ears to stick out on either side of his head, Rook wiggling them slightly. Movement caught his eye causing Rook to sigh as he raised his wings slowly to stretch them out behind him, they were large but they felt heavy too. Rook had tried once a long time ago to try and fly with them; he had crash landed into a tree and never tried it again becoming too afraid he’d break his neck next time. Rook raised one hand to look at the black nails on them, sharp and more claw like than anything else.

Everything about him just screamed ‘demon’, nothing to love about him. For a second tears gathered in Rook’s eyes as he started to curl up beside the fountain, his thin frame shaking in quiet sobs before he gasped lightly. Shaking his head Rook jumped up, the smile back on his face. “Hey, watch this!” Rook jumped back over the wall of the fountain as he started to climb to the top again.


Wolfs Howl526
Community Member
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