It’s Friday, the day I share my own writing!
I was reading the story of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty to my kids last week and parts of the story bothered me, so I decided to rewrite it. I know that many before me have endeavored to do the same thing, so it’s not terribly original, I’m sure, but I did try to retain many of the elements from the story as it was.
Hope you enjoy my rendition of Sleeping Beauty!
Once upon a time, in a land not so unlike this one, lived two kings of two small kingdoms.
King Stefan ruled the eastern part of the land and his friend, King Hubert, ruled the west.
King Stefan and his queen struggled with infertility and year after year passed without a child. King Hubert, on the other hand, had nine sons and three daughters. Even though parents shouldn’t have favorites, King Hubert was especially attached to his youngest child, Prince Phillip.
When Phillip was five, a horse arrived from the kingdom of Stefan. They’d finally had a baby. A girl. They invited Hubert and all his nobles to their castle for the celebration in two months’ time.
Hubert left for Stefan’s castle immediately. He brought with him Phillip’s nurse and Prince Phillip, who picked out a nice blanket his nurse knitted to give to the baby princess. In two week’s time, the trio arrived at Stefan’s castle. Phillip gave the blanket to Aurora, already six weeks old, and she promptly puked on it.
“Babies are gross,” Phillip said, annoyed. He went out to play with the hunting dogs. His nurse followed.
Stefan and Hubert laughed, then retired to another room while the Queen took Aurora to the nursery.
“You know,” Hubert began. “That’s a mighty fine daughter you have.”
“Isn’t she?” Stefan asked, his eyes glowing. It could have been from pride, or all the wine they’d drunk. Stefan, of course, hadn’t missed a single night’s sleep since Aurora’s birth, but he doted on her during the day.
“She’d make a mighty fine wife for Phillip,” Hubert continued.
“You don’t say,” Stefan mused, rubbing his beard.
“I haven’t found any girls in any kingdom worthy of young Phillip,” Hubert said. “Not until today.”
Stefan smiled. “Of course, and no young man but Phillip could ever be worthy of my dear Aurora.”
The kings ate and drank merrily all evening before retiring to their respective rooms. The next six weeks passed quickly as they discussed marriage, successions, and of course, hunted with Phillip.
The rest of Hubert’s family and the nobles arrived and the celebration commenced the following day. Commoners from Stefan’s kingdom had been invited, and everyone admired little Aurora. The Queen feared Aurora getting sick, and kept everyone at a distance.
After the feast, the three fairies of the lands, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, arrived to bestow gifts upon the now-sleeping baby.
Flora flew up to the cradle and hovered for a moment.
“My gift shall be the gift of beauty,” she said at last.
Hubert was delighted.
Then Fauna approached. “My gift shall be the gift of song,” she sang.
Stefan, an avid music lover, was delighted.
Merryweather sidled up to the cradle and peered over the edge before fluttering her wings just a bit to get a better look. This child needed a gift more practical than just beauty or song, but what could be worthy? She pursed her lips, trying to think of just the perfect gift to give a long-awaited princess. An idea popped into her head and she raised her wand.
The crowd gasped behind her. She turned to see a green flame in the middle of the floor of the great hall. It grew in size until Maleficent, the evil witch of the land, appeared. Merryweather gasped and forgot completely what gift she was going to give.
“A baby!” Maleficent crooned. The King’s and Queen’ hearts nearly stopped inside their chests. The Queen ran to the cradle and picked up the baby, clutching her to her chest.
“So worried,” Maleficent said, sneering. “I, too, have a gift for the child, even though my invitation to such a gathering never arrived. I blame the courier service.” She strutted up to Aurora and her mother and circled them.
Merryweather started to say something, but Flora and Fauna clapped their hands over her mouth.
“She shall indeed grow in beauty and grace and song and love. But, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die,” Maleficent hissed. She let out a cruel laugh and disappeared in the same green flames by which she arrived.
Everyone stared in shock. The queen began to cry.
“Don’t cry,” Merryweather said. “I still have my gift to give.”
She fluttered up to the baby and thought for just a moment before speaking.
“If through this witch’s trick
A spindle should your finger prick
Not in death, but just in sleep
This fateful prophecy you’ll keep
And from this slumber you shall wake
When true love’s kiss the spell shall break.”
The queen smiled at Merryweather through tear-filled eyes. The fairies flew away and everyone left the hall in silence. The queen disappeared with the baby, Phillip, and his nurse.
Stefan and Hubert continued drinking.
“Stefan,” Hubert said. “We need to hide her. That evil witch must never find her.”
“Yes,” said Stefan slowly. “Hide. That is indeed what we must do. But where? And with whom?”
“Get those magical fairies. I’m sure they could do it.”
“Yes, the magical fairies. Of course.” Stefan ordered the fairies summoned and the five of them stayed up all night coming up with a plan for Aurora’s safety.
In the morning, they presented their plan to the Queen.
“Let me get this straight,” the Queen said. “You want to take away the child I’ve waited my whole life for, let her be raised by fairies in the middle of the woods without the use of magic and then bring her back just in time for her to married off? Am I understanding this plan correctly?”
Hubert squirmed under the Queen’s gaze. Stefan took a timid step forward. “My dear, it won’t be that bad,” he said gently.
“NOT THAT BAD?” the Queen yelled. The fairies and Hubert shrank back. “Over my dead body are you taking this baby away from me. If I only get sixteen years and lose her, either to death or marriage, I am taking every day of those sixteen years.” The Queen turned on her heels and slammed the door on her way out.
“Not quite what I expected,” Stefan said.
“No,” Hubert replied. He clapped Stefan on the back. “Surely you can make her see reason.”
Stefan sighed. Stefan and Hubert spent the next two weeks trying to convince the Queen. It was only when she finally threatened to hang Phillip himself that the kings gave up their plan.
Stefan once again summoned Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
“Go, turn all spinning wheels to stone and smash the spindles. I don’t want a single wheel left.”
The fairies left and carried out the King’s wishes, though not without much complaint from those who owned spinning wheels. The fairies spent many hours explaining that the princess’s life was in danger from these and that those who spun would have to now do so with hand spinners, which the fairies created and gave for every spinning wheel they destroyed.
The years passed without incident and the people even forgave the King’s edict as Aurora grew and captured the hearts of everyone in the kingdom. The Queen forgave Stefan and Hubert their rash plan, and Phillip spent every summer with Aurora. As they grew, they became best of friends and got in trouble constantly while together. Phillip tried to teach Aurora how to hunt, but she kept befriending all the animals, and she tried to teach him how to sing, but he was utterly tone deaf.
On Aurora’s fifteenth birthday, the fairies requested an audience with the King and Queen.
“O, great King and Queen,” Flora began. “It is one year until the fulfillment of Maleficent’s curse, though I’m sure you need no reminder.”
The king and queen exchanged looks. Of course they needed no reminder.
“My Queen, though you disregarded a plan of safety when Aurora was a small child, we urge you to now reconsider,” Flora said. “Give us one year to hide the child away and then we shall return her the day after her birthday.”
The Queen shook her head slowly. “Disregarded a plan of safety? I cannot believe we’re having this conversation again.”
“Now, now, my dear,” Stefan said. “We all care about Aurora and we’ve had so many years with her already. What is one to ensure her safety?”
The Queen opened her mouth to answer.
“However,” Merryweather interjected. “Phillip cannot know. We cannot have him searching for her and accidentally warning Maleficent.”
The Queen sighed. “What is your plan?”
“There is a cottage deep in the forest where a girl lived, but she tragically died on her fifteenth birthday,” Fauna explained. “Her name was Briar Rose. We would hide Aurora there with that family for one year. Surely she would agree.”
The Queen was silent for a long time before finally agreeing to the plan.
“Phillip has not yet arrived for the summer,” the Queen said. “We will send word to Hubert that Phillip cannot visit this year. I will talk to Aurora. Alone”
The Queen left to inform Aurora. She knocked on her door.
“Come in!” Aurora called out.
The Queen sighed as she pushed open the door. Aurora lay sprawled out on her bed, rifling through pieces of paper.
“What are you up to, my darling?” the Queen asked.
“Just reading letters from Phillip. Oh, he’ll be here soon, won’t he?” Aurora asked, her eyes lighting up. “He’s so dreamy.”
“Yes, dear, he is. Unfortunately, no, he won’t be.” The Queen looked around, unable to believe she was lying to her daughter. “Phillip is ill and won’t be coming this year.”
“What?” Aurora cried. “No!”
“Aurora, sweetie,” the Queen said. “It’s just one summer.”
“But, but, I love him,” Aurora cried, flopping over on her bed, sobbing.
“Yes, I know my dear,” the Queen said, smoothing down Aurora’s golden hair. “We don’t want you to become ill, either, my dear, so we need to send you away for a while. Just a few weeks at the very most while the doctors trace down the illness.”
“You’re–You’re sending me away?” Aurora said, lifting her head for just a moment before burying it again and sobbing even harder.
The Queen waited until Aurora composed herself again. She lifted up her head again, eyes bloodshot and cheeks splotchy.
“What if he gets better and I’m not here?” she cried out, dissolving into sobs again.
“Oh honestly, Aurora,” the Queen said, now annoyed. “He’s not going to die, but you might if we don’t get to the bottom of this!”
“I might die and you’ll send me away before I can say goodbye?” she screeched.
The Queen shook her head and left Aurora’s room. The three fairies, Hubert, and Stefan all waited outside the door.
“Good luck,” the Queen said, and walked away, her heart heavy with sorrow.
The fairies subdued Aurora with magic and she was whisked out of the city in silence that night. The foursome arrived at the cottage just after dawn after a full day and night’s travel. When the fairies arrived, they were shocked to find it abandoned. There was no sign that anyone had lived there for a long time.
“I think we may have come to the wrong cottage,” Merryweather said.
“Nevermind that,” said Flora. “No time now. We have to make do.”
The three fairies led the distraught Aurora inside.
“Remember,” said Flora. “No magic.” She took the three wands and stuck them at the bottom of her chest of clothes in her room.”
The following weeks crawled by painfully. Aurora was often not in the mood to cooperate and threatened to leave more than once. Her miserable sense of direction was the only thing that kept her coming back to the cottage. Slowly, she befriended the local animals and they comforted her.
Meanwhile, the messenger arrived with Hubert just as Phillip was getting ready to leave for the summer. His final summer of leaving and then coming home alone. This was the year he was going to insist that Aurora come back with him.
Hubert strolled down to Phillip, checking the last of the fittings on his horse.
“Phillip, my boy,” Hubert said, filled with pride of his handsome, strong son. “You won’t be going to Stefan’s this summer, I’m afraid.”
“What?” Phillip turned. He lowered his gaze to meet his father’s eyes, a full eighteen inches below his.
“She’s dreadfully ill and we can’t afford to have you get sick either. You will need to wait until she is well again,” Hubert said.
“But, father, if she is so ill, I must go and see her!”
“I forbid you,” Hubert said. “And I will put a guard detail on you to make sure if I don’t trust that you’ll obey me.” Hubert felt awful lying to his favorite son, but he couldn’t risk Phillip’s or Aurora’s life. The two had to be kept apart to keep Maleficent off the trail. As friends, Stefan had fully disclosed everything to Hubert.
Phillip narrowed his eyes, but agreed. “I’m going as soon as I hear word she’s well,” Phillip said.
“Of course, my boy,” Hubert agreed.
Phillip swung up onto his horse.
“Where are you going?” Hubert asked.
“I didn’t saddle this horse for nothing. I’ll ride.” Phillip scanned the road. “I’ll ride south.”
“Of course,” Hubert said. “Clear your mind. We’ll be here when you return.”
Phillip was as good as his word. He returned just as he said he would. The days and weeks crawled by. In the fall, he took a several days’ hunting trip. As he rode deep into the woods, far away from anyone or anything, he heard a familiar voice.
“What do you mean she’s not at the castle anymore?” Maleficent roared. The trolls shrank away from her. “How did she get away?”
“I–I don’t know,” one said. “One day she was there and then, and then she wasn’t.”
“Must I do everything around here?” Pointing her staff at the one who spoke, Maleficent devoured him with green flames.
She turned to her trusted raven, old and weathered, but always reliable.
“Go, my dear,” she cooed. “Do not return until you know where she is.” The raven cawed and flew off.
Aurora sang as she gathered berries at the request of the fairies. It hadn’t done her any good to be so despondent, so she finally resolved to make the best of situation. She found solace in spending hours every day with the creatures of the forest. She sang to them and they brought her to the best fruit bushes. Today, as she sang, she actually danced, feeling the smallest glimmer of joy within her broken heart.
Phillip watched as Aurora sang and danced.
“Ill?” he muttered to himself. “She’s not sick at all!”
She turned his direction, face flushed and breathless. She continued singing and dancing, totally oblivious to his presence. Phillip’s heart sank. Perhaps it was worse than he thought.
He turned away, heartsick at the thoughts and reasonings boiling around inside his mind, mounted his horse and left.
Aurora heard something crashing through the woods.
Terrified, she fled back to the cottage. Over the winter, she stayed close to the cabin. As spring arrived, she ventured out again, mostly at the urging of the fairies, desperate for something fresh and sweet to eat.
Now that spring had arrived and the woods were passable again, Phillip had to know about Aurora. Had she made it through the winter? Of course, there had been no word from the castle, but why would there have been? They probably didn’t even know. Maybe they had sent her out to the woods to die!
Aurora hummed as she gathered the first berries of the year. It would be her birthday soon, in just a few short weeks. She would be sixteen. Old enough to marry. Her heart ached for Phillip. She missed him every day.
Phillip rode to where he’d seen Aurora before, and waited and waited. She never arrived. He dismounted and led his horse through the woods. His horse stopped, its ears pricked. Phillip stopped and listened.
They followed the sound straight to Aurora. She sat on a log, humming and swinging a basket full of berries.
Phillip recognized one of the songs she’d tried to teach him to sing. He began humming along. Aurora stopped and stared.
Then she gasped.
“Phillip!” she cried.
“Aurora!” he said.
“They told me you were sick!” Aurora said, tears in her eyes.
“They told me you were sick!” Phillip replied.
“Were you?” they at the same time.
Quickly, the story of their separation came out.
“Why are they trying to keep us apart?” Aurora said.
“I have no idea,” Phillip replied. “But we don’t have to let them. We can go. Now. Anywhere we want.”
Aurora smiled, and then it faded. “But, my mom.”
Phillip smiled a sad smile. “Of course,” he said. “We can’t just sneak off.”
“I have to get back. The fairies will be wondering where I am. Let’s meet here again tomorrow!”
“I can’t tomorrow,” Phillip said. “Next week. Same day, same place.”
“Of course!” Aurora said. They embraced and Aurora watched Phillip ride off through the woods.
Determined to not let the fairies know, Aurora went back to the cottage. The week passed so slowly, it made Aurora want to scream. The fairies remarked that she was moody, but she just growled at them and stomped out to find something to eat.
Finally, the day of meeting Phillip arrived and Aurora flew out the door. She waited for hours before he finally showed up.
They talked and planned, and tried to figure out an escape plan that would take her back to the castle. As Phillip lay in her lap, she sung him a song.
The raven flew for months, searching for the girl. Finally, it heard singing deep in the woods and investigated. There, in a clearing, was Aurora and wouldn’t you know it, Phillip, too. The raven swept down and perched on a branch, watching them. When they finally separated, the raven followed Aurora to the tiny cottage. Once she disappeared inside, the raven flew off, back toward Maleficent. It would take several days to get back, but once there, it would only be a moment to get back to the cottage.
Three days later, Aurora and Phillip met secretly at sundown. He took her to the cave he spent nights when hunting. They stayed the night in the cave, guarded by his trusty stallion. In true honorable fashion, Phillip slept on the opposite side of the cave from Aurora. Early the next morning, they rose. She rode while he walked the horse. His keen sense of direction took them precisely where they needed to go to get her back to the castle. If he timed it right, they’d even get back by her birthday, two days away.
The fairies frantically searched the house and the woods nearby when Aurora didn’t return from gathering berries that evening.
“Flora, we must use our magic to find her! We must!” cried Fauna.
“Of course we must,” said Merryweather, racing up the stairs and grabbing the wands from the bottom of Flora’s chest. She tossed a wand to each fairy, who reinstated her wings and they flew off, searching the woods for any sign of Aurora or Maleficent.
Just after sundown, the raven reached Maleficent’s castle, exhausted. It had flown fast and hard, only stopping when absolutely necessary. It flew through Maleficent’s window and collapsed in her lap.
“Oh, my dear raven,” Maleficent cooed. She stirred the air with a spell, reviving the raven’s strength by siphoning strength from one of the trolls locked up in the dungeon.
The raven shared the location of the cottage of Aurora and the three fairies. Maleficent drew forth the green flame and appeared in the cottage. She crept around in the dark, going from room to room, and roared in rage when she discovered the cottage was empty. She stormed out the door and sent the raven to look. Shortly, the raven caught up with one of the fairies. She mumbled about getting to the castle before Aurora.
The raven flew back to Maleficent and shared they were all going back to the castle. Walking with the raven perched on her shoulder, Maleficent stalked toward Stefan’s castle.
The next morning, Phillip and Aurora started their trek toward the castle along little known paths. He wanted to avoid detection by the three fairies. They had traveled most of the day and could see the castle just in the distance. Phillip and Aurora decided to make the final push to the castle to arrive in time for her birthday tomorrow.
“What better gift could you receive for your sixteenth birthday than to be back at home with everyone you love?” Phillip asked.
Aurora didn’t answer, but stared ahead at the castle, longing to be home. The last year had been difficult, living with the fairies, missing Phillip and her family dearly, and then to top it off with all the lies.
“Well, if it isn’t Aurora with her truly beloved prince?” a voice said.
Maleficent appeared on the path in front of them. Phillip drew his sword and Maleficent cast it aside easily with her magic. She then cast a spell upon both of them and sent the horse away.
“What good is it to kill you, too?” she asked, tracing her finger along his jawline. She sent Phillip walking toward her castle and sent the raven to get a unit of trolls to capture him and place him in her dungeon.
Maleficent guided Aurora back to her castle and arrived the morning of Aurora’s birthday. She marched Aurora through the castle, past many servants. Word reached the King and Queen and they raced to find Maleficent and Aurora.
Maleficent took Aurora to a high tower in the castle then she produced a spinning wheel.
“Touch the spindle,” Maleficent hissed. “Touch it, I say!”
In a trance, Aurora reached out her finger.
“NO!” yelled Flora and Merryweather together as they burst into the room, having followed Maleficent’s trail.
Aurora’s finger pricked the spindle, and she collapsed into a heap. Maleficent laughed evilly and disappeared in green flames.
The three fairies burst into tears and tried in vain to revive her. Fauna stayed with Aurora while Flora and Merryweather summoned the King and Queen. Aurora was moved to her room and placed on her bed, a faint pink glow in her cheeks, her chest barely moving with breath.
“We must find Phillip!” Merryweather said with determination.
“Why?” the Queen asked.
“True love’s kiss,” replied Merryweather.
“But where is he?” King Stefan asked.
“Wouldn’t he be at his castle?” the Queen asked.
“Of course,” Stefan said.
The fairies flew as fast as they could to Hubert’s castle. When they arrived, Hubert was frantic at Phillip’s disappearance.
“If he’s not here and he’s not at Stefan’s, then where could he be?” Merryweather asked.
“The only place he could be,” Flora said.
“Maleficent,” whispered Fauna.
The fairies huddled into the corner to come with a plan.
“We’ll put everyone to sleep,” Flora said.
The other two agreed and the fairies floated through the castle, putting every person in the castle to sleep. A fog settled over the grounds, shrouding it from the rest of the kingdom.
“What about the rest of the citizens? And King Stefan’s?” Merryweather asked.
“We can’t have them interfering, either,” Flora said. “We’ll put them all to sleep.”
It took an entire week, but the fairies cast a sleep spell over the entirety of the two kingdoms, which would be broken the moment Aurora awakened, and the knowledge of Maleficent’s plan entirely forgotten by those who slept.
Then, the fairies set themselves on Phillip’s horse, who they had taken with them when they left Hubert’s sleeping castle, and raced for Maleficent’s castle.
Half a day’s walk toward Maleficent’s castle, a band of trolls caught up with Phillip and marched him back to the castle. They placed him in chains in one of the dungeons and waited for Maleficent’s return.
When she returned two days later, she visited Phillip and removed the spell.
“Well, well,” Maleficent said. “This truly is the saddest story I’ve ever heard. Separated from your true love and no way to save her.”
Phillip yanked at his chains. He wanted to shout and scream, but he refused to give Maleficent the satisfaction. His heart ached for Aurora and their separation. He needed to think of a plan.
“Ahh, yes,” Maleficent said, pacing around the cell. “It’s true, you shall grow old in here, while your true love rots away, already dead. No one knows where you are, and then you will die, never having lived. No one will ever come for you, either. It is truly the saddest story.” She laughed and left the dungeon, the click of the lock the loudest sound Phillip had ever heard.
He tried to work out a plan to pick the locks of his shackles, but they were too short for him to work effectively. He could barely even sit down. They pulled at his wrists when he tried to sit. Day by day, meal by meal, Phillip’s hope slowly dwindled. Maleficent had won. He would never see Aurora’s beautiful face again, never feel the touch of her hands, the taste of her kiss. He wept bitter, silent tears.
At dawn, more than two weeks after Phillip’s imprisonment, the fairies arrived. They shrank the horse down to fairy size and gave him wings and the foursome flew undetected around the castle, searching for Phillip. After hours of searching, they overheard trolls talking about him, deep in the dungeons. They followed trolls until they were finally led down to his cell. It was dank and wet, a hopeless place.
The trolls force fed Phillip, beat him for their own amusement, and then left him in total darkness. After a few minutes, a soft glow emanated from the corner.
“Who’s there?” Phillip said.
Four tiny creatures – one red, one green, one blue, and one gray – stepped into the light.
“Phillip, we’ve come to free you and take you to Aurora,” Merryweather whispered.
“She’s dead,” he said. “Maleficent gloats about it.”
“No, she only sleeps,” Merryweather replied. “I couldn’t undo the spell entirely, but I could modify it. She sleeps, waiting for true love’s kiss.”
“Then what are we waiting for?!” Phillip cried.
“We have a plan, but you have to listen to us and follow it,” Flora said.
“Anything!” Phillip said.
“We need to turn you tiny,” said Fauna. “Like your horse.”
It was only then that Phillip recognized his stallion in completely miniature form.
Just then, a troll opened the door.
“Hey!” he yelled. “What are—”
Flora turned him into a pile of rocks. They heard more footsteps.
“Change of plans!” Flora said, and quickly picked the locks of Phillip’s chains. Merryweather turned the stallion to full size.
Fauna stepped back and pointed her wand a Phillip. “I arm you with the breastplate of Love, the shield of Virtue, and the sword of Truth! Ride hard!” The fairies flew ahead of Phillip, turning the bricks of the castle into pillows. Phillip and his stallion crashed through them, unharmed. The castle brimmed with confusion. The trolls swung at Phillip with clubs that the fairies turned into noodles as he rode past. When he burst out the front gates, the castle began to collapse behind him under its new foundation of pillows. Trolls threw rocks, which the fairies turned to bubbles and fired arrows, which became flowers.
Maleficent was awakened from her sleep by the commotion and came out just as Phillip rode away from her collapsing castle at a hard gallop. He didn’t know how long it would take to reach the castle, but he trusted the fairies to guide him.
They shrunk and camped under tree roots at night, trying to rest the horse as much as possible, but knowing he still needed to be pushed. Every morning, toward dawn, they could hear the trolls marching behind them. As they left Maleficent’s domain and entered the realm of King Stefan, the landscape changed, a mist of fog stretched as far as they could see.
“The sleep,” Merryweather whispered to Phillip. “Ride, on! The trolls will not be able to pass here. They will fall asleep, too!”
After nearly 2 weeks of riding, they finally arrived at the outer edge of the city in which King Stefan’s castle sat.
Maleficent met them at the rampart.
Thick thorn bushes grew for 100 yards all the way around the city. Maleficent cast a spell at Phillip, and it deflected off his breastplate of Love. She tried again and again, without success.The fairies attacked Maleficent with their own spells. She roared in anger and disappeared.
Phillip started hacking his way through the thorns and just as he emerged on the other side, Maleficent appeared again, this time as a monstrous dragon. She blew green flames at him, which he avoided behind the shield of Virtue.
As she grew more enraged, she stood more to try to cover Phillip with her flames from the top. Merryweather saw her opening.
She flew down by Phillip.
“Fly straight and true,” she whispered.
Maleficent looked toward the sky as she filled her lungs with air.
“Throw it into her heart!” Merryweather yelled.
Phillip flung the sword and it buried deep into Maleficent’s heart, killing her. The dragon and the thorns turned brittle and crumbled into ash, then blew away in a mysterious wind. Phillip stared at the lack of evidence of any fierce battle.
“Aurora!” Fauna prompted him. Jerked back to the present, Phillip raced up to Aurora. He gasped when he opened her door and she lay on the bed, her cheeks still pink, her chest barely rising with her breath, her parents laying on either side of her.
“True love’s kiss,” Merryweather prompted.
Phillip stepped forward, suddenly weirded out by the fact that he had to kiss her while she slept between her parents. Not exactly the first kiss he had in mind for her. He hesitated at the side of the bed. He turned to Merryweather.
“Isn’t there another way?”
“No, this is how we break the spell.”
“But her parents are right there. And she’s not even conscious.”
“Phillip!” Flora said. “You can break the spell or she will die in this sleep.”
“Just doesn’t seem quite right,” Phillip muttered turning back to her.
“Unfortunately, consent wasn’t at the forefront of my mind when I modified Maleficent’s curse that would have killed her!” Merryweather hissed, exasperated. “Perhaps I should have just let her die?”
Phillip shook his head.
“I just thought of this,” Fauna said. “No one will remember anything about Maleficent’s curse or what has happened. Tell her she was sick.”
Phillip sighed. “Great, now the first thing I have to tell her is a lie.”
He looked over the large bed. The King and Queen laid on either side of her. He’d have to lean over one of them to kiss her. He stared for another moment before gently pulling the Queen, who was the lighter of the parents, down the bed so he wouldn’t have to lean over her. He then came to Aurora’s side and gently kissed her.
The fairies held their breaths. Phillip stood and waited. He turned to the fairies.
“How long should it take?”
He looked back at Aurora just as her eyes fluttered. She glanced around the room before her eyes landed on Phillip.
“Phillip!” she gasped.
The King and Queen stirred. They looked at Phillip.
“What are you doing in here?” the Queen demanded.
Phillip turned his attention to the Queen. “I came as soon as I heard Aurora was sick,” he said. Somehow lying to the Queen was much better than lying to Aurora.
The Queen turned to Aurora and the still-groggy King.
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, of course.”
As the kingdoms awoke and returned to their daily lives, joy came over the land at the announcement of the engagement of Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora. And they chose to live happily ever after, even if marriage and running two kingdoms is a lot of hard work.
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