Aaaand we’re off! At 9.30 this morning, we rolled the dice and here’s what we have to work with today:
A Princess, a ring and a frog. Reckon you can write a 500 word tale about that? Bonus points if you manage to include “Royal”, “HRH”, “Duke”, “Duchess” or “Cambridge”!
Once upon a time, in a land far away there lived a king. He had golden hair like a lion and a proud, regal bearing to match any fairytale hero. But oh, this king was cruel. He was possessed by greed for all the finer things in life. He beggared his subjects for the sake of fine horses, rich foods and the rarest and most costly jewels. His one redeeming feature was the love he bore his youngest daughter.
The little princess herself was a joy to know. Her sunny disposition and carefree nature as she roamed the castle and its grounds made her a favourite, even amongst the servants, for she had a kind heart and a blindness to status. She loved nature and was kind to all the animals she met in her wanderings round the castle gardens, but her favourite of all was a large, green frog. She could often be found at the end of the pond, curled up with her frog, telling him all her hopes, dreams and fears.
Alas, one day the king’s behaviour caught up with him. He caught a kitchen boy making off with a slice of pineapple from his new, exotic fruit display. Incensed, the king beat the boy so badly he died and the boy’s distraught mother roused the people. The king knew that this time he had gone too far. He looked at his family – the queen fussing over a crease in her eldest daughter’s dress, his son stuffing yet more food into his bloated mouth, and his youngest daughter, whispering to her frog in a quiet corner. There was a way, he’d heard. But it was dangerous. And it could only be worked on one member of the household. The little princess looked up and smiled at him and in that instant he made his decision.
Even as the mob pounded on the palace gates, the king’s last faithful guards pinned the little girl down as the court magician stood over her with a razor sharp blade. “Your majesty IS sure?” he asked again. Resolute, the King nodded and tugged a ring from his left hand. “Here’s the royal seal.” He said gruffly, trying to keep his voice even. With that, the magician slashed open the small girl’s chest. Prying her ribs open, he removed her heart and replaced it with the seal before stitching her chest back up.
“Quickly!” he barked, “The frog, now!” Moments later, the girl’s heart was safely stitched into the frog’s chest. The frog squealed piteously as the magician locked him in a metal cage and lowered it to the bottom of the well. “Got to keep you safe now, if we want the princess to live” he grunted.
By and by, the mob came. The royal family were torn to pieces. Except for the little princess. She sat, motionless, expressionless upon the throne. But none could harm her for her body was hard as iron. So was her heart.