“Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom full of laughter and happiness, there lived a King and Queen, with their four unique children. The King loved all of his children, but he loved his eldest Princess the most; for he could see that she was most like him, and wanted her to follow in his footsteps. He had hopes and dreams for the eldest Princess, but the Princess was often too selfish to follow the King’s ambitions, though she tried to live up to his expectations, she often failed…but nonetheless the King loved her the most.
You see the Princess also had a kingdom of her own. A far away kingdom of order and repetition. The Princess was Queen in her kingdom, though she did not think of herself as such, she mingled with her subjects and brought joy to the kingdom. She ruled the land with justice and revelled in her role. One day, whilst tending her favourite garden, she spotted the Wizard, and his new apprentice. The Wizard was a friend of the Princess and a keen advisor, for when the Princess was ever in trouble, the Wizard always offered a helpful ear and hand. The Princess was mesmerised by the apprentice. Although the Princess had met many an apprentice before, there was something different about this one. He was witty and charming and made the Princess laugh.
The Princess began to spend more time at the garden, where the Wizard and his apprentice came to practice their craft. She would tend her garden and offer help when she could, she would watch the apprentice hone his skills and she was impressed. Meanwhile, the King grew concerned about the Princess, she was often upset when she returned to the kingdom of laughter and happiness; it was as though she sought no joy in being there. As the days went on, the King’s concern grew, so he ordered his most trusted men to keep a watchful eye on the Princess; to see what upset her and why she was no longer the joyous young Princess she had always been.
The men had followed the Princess to her kingdom, and then to her most tended garden. They observed her interact with the Wizard and his apprentice, she spent hours watching the apprentice…applauding and laughing with him as he continued to learn. The men immediately reported to the King what they had witnessed. The King knew what had happened, the Princess had fallen for the apprentice. The King did not know what to do, he knew that the Princess was happy in that kingdom, but he wished to keep the Princess in his kingdom, but he did not know how.
The Princess was unaware of what the King had learned, and once returning to the kingdom of laughter and happiness, she would find herself sad and distant. She knew that she needed to profess her love to the apprentice. That night, she did not sleep, but instead excitement beamed within her, for the following morning she would tell the apprentice that she loved him.
Morning could not come sooner for the Princess, she left for her kingdom and went straight for the garden. But the Wizard nor his apprentice were there. She waited for someone to arrive, she waited hours but no one had come by. She tended her garden and lifted her gaze every time she heard a noise, but it was often only squirrels or birds. She began to feel dejected…but something inside her refused to give up. The sun was setting and she knew that the King grew worried if she did not return to the kingdom early…she finished clearing the last of the weeds and with her smile lost, was ready to leave…when she heard footsteps. It was the apprentice. She immediately smiled at him, and he returned the smile, but she could see that something was not right. She asked what was wrong but he shrugged off the question and instead asked her what was wrong. Sensing the opportunity to say something, she took a deep breath and told the apprentice of her love. He looked at her with a blank face. The apprentice did not say a word and left. The Princess broke down. She did not know that all the while she was under the watchful eye of the King’s men. On seeing the Princess in tears, they ran out to the Princess. The Princess was shocked to see the King’s men, but in her heartbreak, she did not question their arrival and took their presence as the King’s concern for her not returning to the kingdom on time.
Upon arriving at the kingdom, the Princess locked herself in her tower and began to sob. Her sorrow spread over the castle, and the King could not bear the pain felt by the Princess. He ordered his men to report to him. They informed the King of what they had witnessed. The King grew in rage, a common apprentice had broken the Princess’s heart. The King could not bear the Princess’s tears, for she was his most loved child. He informed his men to track down the apprentice and to have no mercy, for he had broken the Princess’s heart. The Princess continued to weep, she did not eat, she did not sleep, she spent days weeping; but the men could not find the apprentice.
Upon seeing the condition of the Princess, the King approached her. She had not spoken to anyone in days, not even the Queen or the Princes or the youngest Princess. The King went to comfort the Princess, and told her of a spell which would take away all of her sorrow, but that she must be sure of it before she used it. The Princess was so overwhelmed with pain and anguish, that she took upon the spell to forget all her pain. She fell into an immediate sleep. The King felt peace seeing the Princess sleep, and knew that the apprentice needed to be distanced from the Princess and that they should never meet again, for fear of awakening the pain the Princess felt. He knew that the Princess would awake with no recollection of the apprentice and that she would be the happy young Princess he had always known.
He ordered his men again to search high and low, and every kingdom through and through and to find the apprentice, and unleash on him a pack of savage wolves. The King did not wish any mercy upon the man who had hurt his dear Princess so deeply. He turned his back to his men, who left with full force to find the apprentice, knowing full well that the wolves would find the apprentice. For what the men did not know, was that the King had manipulated the Wizard to divulge a weakness of the apprentice. The apprentice was linked to wolves, and whilst this was a trait which he had honed as a strength; the King knew full well that this was also his greatest weakness.
Once the men unleashed the wolves, they tracked the apprentice who lay asleep amongst the forest which divided the two kingdoms. His head lay on a tree stump whilst he shifted in his sleep, as if in a nightmare. The wolves stopped before the apprentice and growled, they had tracked their prey, and were rewarded with the dead squirrels the men threw at them. The apprentice awoke immediately with horror upon his face, the men stood at him from all angles, with glistening spears wielded. No look of humanity upon their faces, they had a task to complete and return to the King. The apprentice knew what fate awaited him and closed his eyes knowing full well that the Princess would never know how he felt. He gasped as the first spear ripped through his chest, and then the second and third. He opened his eyes before the fourth was shot between his eyes.
The men returned to the kingdom, leaving the lifeless body of the apprentice for the wolves.