Prince Oliver and his Briar Rose: The Story of Sleeping Beauty (Read Intro for Details and Info!!!)

My old creative writing teacher at my old school challenged us a long time ago to rewrite our favorite story and make it even better! I did that with my Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I doubt it even comes close to the original. At the end of last year, her last prompt to us was to try to rewrite a story we didn't like as a child and turn it into one we would've liked. I never really liked Disney's Cinderella, and I was never fond of any form of Sleeping Beauty, so I tried to rewrite both!

Chapter 1

Prince Oliver's POV

I was only two years old, and father dragged mother and I to this neighboring kingdom a day away by carriage. Mother held me up to look out the carriage window, and as far as the eye can see, both peasants and noble families are carrying gifts up to the castle. Perched on top of the highest peak, the extravagant, gray and deep red brick castle sat. I counted five towers all of varying heights, all topped with violet flags and a golden crown in the center. A dirt path leading to the grand entrance was lined with knights, fanfare players, and royal advisors welcoming in all the visitors to the castle. Everyone arriving was wearing what appeared to be their finest clothes, including my family. Mother had me dressed in an itchy blue and red ensemble that was just a bit too big. Finally, the carriage halted to a stop right at the entrance. When our stiff yet sometimes playful footman, Franklin opened the carriage door, father emerged first. Mother and Franklin helped me down and out, then mother followed behind and walked with me hand in hand into the throne room. Scattered along edges of the main walkway up to thrones, crowds of all kinds of people on either side, carrying their gifts for the princess.

“The Royal Family of the kingdom of Amidala: King Nicolas, Queen Willow, and their son Prince Oliver!” Echoed through the grand hallway as we entered.

Sitting at their thrones just in front of us are King Ferdinand and Queen Amelia of the neighboring kingdom. The king smiled approvingly at the three of us, as the queen stood up and took my hand, walking me over to a golden crib to the left of her throne. She lifted me up to see into the cradle, and there’s a baby girl wrapped in silky soft white blankets. Her dark, almost black hair is already beginning to curl, and her eyes are twinkling beautifully. She smiled at me and reached her little fingers up to me, I took her little hand before the queen set me down.

“One day it’ll be very important that you love one another,” She said as we walked back to my parents.

By now, father and mother are talking with the other king and I’m distracted by these six fluttering lights entering the grand hall. When I point up to them, the other king and his queen take their seats. Mother and father pull me to the side, standing next to the king’s throne watching the fluttering lights grow and morph into six fairies. They’re all wearing dresses that match the color of their wings and wands, and are lined up in order of the rainbow.

The fairy in red steps forward and curtseys, “Fairy Ruby.”

Then orange, “Fairy Marigold.”

Next, the yellow, “Fairy Florina.”

Followed by green, “Fairy Esmeralda.”

After her, blue, “Fairy Sapphire.”

Finally, “Fairy Violeta.”

“Your majesty,” Florina begins, “We all have a gift to bless the princess with. Violeta, care to begin?”

“Please,” she replies as she flutters over to the baby’s crib, “My gift shall be the gift of kindness. The princess will be kind to all she meets, whether animal, human, or magical like us. Her kindness will inspire all she meets to continue being understanding and caring.”

A violet swirl of sparkles and smoke comes from the end of her wand and gently comes down into the baby’s cradle. She flutters back as Ruby; the red fairy takes her turn. She flutters over and smiles down at the little princess.

“The gift I shall give is the gift of modesty. Our princess will be humble, never arrogant or attention seeking. She shall be selfless, making her perfect to rule when the day comes,” The ruby fairy declares.

A few puffs of scarlet steam fall onto the baby’s face, making her giggle. Ruby flutters back as Sapphire; the blue fairy takes her turn. She scurries over and leans into the cradle excitedly.

“Sweet princess, to you I give the gift of song. Your voice will entrance all who hear it. Everyone and everything will take joy in hearing you sing, even animals will sit and listen to your songs,” The blue fairy finishes.

From her wand, blue clouds appear over the princess’s crib and gently tumble down. She sighs and smiles bashfully as she goes back to the line of fairies. The orange fairy, Marigold, flies over and circles her cradle.

“Darling, the gift I offer is the gift of creativity. You will be able to solve any problem no matter how difficult. Your way of seeing the world will be unique to you and you alone. All you do will be distinctly yours,” she proclaims.

From her wand, orange sparkles shoot up and the tumble back down slowly into the crib. Her little hands went up to grasp the last of the sparkles. When Marigold went back, Esmeralda, the green fairy, came forward and fluttered toward the edge of her cradle.

“The gift I shall give is the gift of beauty, but not ordinary beauty. The princess shall have curls as dark as tree bark, but not as dark as night. Emerald eyes as twinkling as the jewel. Lips and cheeks as red as the rose. I will not remove any flaws nor prevent them, for she will have inner beauty and her one true love will appreciate those flaws enough to fall for her,” She blesses the baby with.

Emerald stars come from her wand and sprinkle down in the cradle. There’s a slight green glow radiating for only a second. The baby is laughing, almost pleased with what the green fairy has blessed her with. She begins to go back and join the line of fairies, and Florina, the yellow one is about to fly over.

Suddenly, a dark blue, almost black flame emerges from the center of the throne room floor. Winds blow through the room, as thunder and lightning crash outside. Mother picks me up and father steps in front of mother and I, almost protecting us. The fairies scatter towards the cradle, as do the king and queen. Out of the flame, comes an indigo wearing, sinister looking witch woman holding a black staff with an indigo orb at the end.

“I can see the celebration is nearly over,” The woman declares, sending chills down everyone’s spines, “I was expecting an invitation, but it never arrived. King Ferdinand, Queen Amelia, I presume there was some mistake in having my invitation delivered?”

Florina flutters forward, “You abandoned us, the fairies of the forest trying to preserve order of all colors and creatures in the kingdom! You’ve turned to punishing those who hurt you instead of offering forgiveness and understanding! Sapphire and Violeta have had to come together to make indigo and share the work you left behind! You were not wanted at this celebration, Darcia!”

Darcia, the former indigo fairy chuckled, “Not wanted? Well, in that case I must take my leave… But, not before blessing the princess with an enchantment!”

Queen Amelia picks up the baby, “Please, I beg of you! Don’t harm our daughter!”

“Harm her? Oh I wouldn’t dream of it,” Darcia steps forward, very elegant yet eerily, “She shall harm herself…”

She slams her staff down on the tile of the castle floor, “Our lovely little princess shall indeed grow into a lovely young woman, the gifts bestowed upon her helping her along the way. But, before sunset on her sixteenth birthday, the princess shall prick her finger and die!”

“No!” The princess’s parents scream together.

“The spindle of a spinning wheel, or even the thorn on a rose! Will make for a lovely pierce! No power on this earth can reverse my enchantment placed upon the princess!” She announces with evil pride.

King Ferdinand points to her furiously, “Seize the witch!”

Knights race towards her, spears and swords drawn. With an echoing, evil laugh the same indigo flames rise from the floor as she disappears into them. The poor knights stand there, unsure of whether to stand down or hold their position, stabbing only the empty space where a witch once stood.

Queen Amelia sits down at her throne, clutching her baby worriedly, “Can any of you six fairies undo the curse?”

Florina flutters forward, “Sadly no, the enchantment is too powerful to be undone. But, I haven’t blessed the child with my gift and may be able to prevent death. If I may see the princess, your majesty.”

The queen hands over the baby, and Florina twirls her wand, causing yellow shimmering dust to fall on the baby, “Instead of death, but rather sleep, sadly though the curse shall keep. From her slumber, she will wake, with true love’s kiss, the spell shall break.”

The yellow fairy hands back the princess to her mother, who looks to her husband worriedly. Her husband turns sheepishly to my family, and mother and father are blushing worriedly. Everyone stands there, tense for a moment before King Ferdinand speaks his concern to Florina.

“But, Prince Oliver of the neighboring kingdom is to marry our daughter, to unite our kingdoms. An arranged marriage usually doesn’t involve true love, and I certainly wouldn’t want my betrothed daughter involved with anyone other than her husband to be,” he sighs as he collapses into his throne.

Florina flutters in front of him, “The world works in mysterious ways, maybe Oliver and the princess will fall for one another before the marriage takes place, maybe the engagement will be ended before that time, maybe fate will intervene in a way none of us can predict, but I assure you I have done all I can for your daughter’s sake.”

“Which is something I cannot thank you enough for,” Queen Amelia adds.

“All six of you fairies, come with me,” King Ferdinand stands from his throne and gestures for the fairies to flutter after him, “We shall meet in my study to discuss the well-being of my daughter, every precaution will be taken to avoid any conflict of the joining of the kingdoms.”

Mother picks me up and places me on her hip, “Amelia, darling, why do we go for tea in the dining room so you can take your mind off of things,” she looks down at me, rubbing my eyes, “And put Oliver down for his afternoon lap.”

Queen Amelia stands up with the baby in arm, “There’s a spare bedroom down the hall from Ferdinand’s study, you can lay him to sleep in there while we have tea.”

So the three of us follow Queen Amelia, and mother lays me down in the fluffy, over-sized, regal bed. Once I can no longer hear their footsteps in the hallway, I’m not tired anymore. I can’t explain it. King Ferdinand’s meeting with the fairies is barely audible from where I’m supposed to be napping. My mind and body just decide that I have to listen in on what they’re saying. Silently and sneakily, I creep down the hall and place my little ear against the doorframe. I hear King Ferdinand addressing the fairies.

“We’ll burn every spinning wheel in both my and Nicolas’s kingdom and place a 16-year ban on them. If anyone is found with a spinning wheel; tax the peasant double. The same goes for roses. I’ve known many who have pricked their finger on a rose and what if a prick of any kind may induce the curse! If anyone is found growing roses in either kingdom, tax the-”

“Peasant double,” Florina finishes, “Your majesty, we understand.”

King Ferdinand sighs and buries his face in his hands, “I just want my daughter to be safe.”

Violeta places her hand on his shoulder, “We promise, we will do everything in our power to protect the princess.”

Esmeralda comes forward, “We’ll raise the child, like godmothers looking after an orphan.”

“Then the day of her 16th birthday, we promise to return her to you and your wife,” Marigold finishes.

Ruby flutters off the ground, “Even if the curse does come true, and she does prick her finger, we promise we’ll search high and low for her true love.”

Marigold continues, “If the odds are in our favor, maybe Oliver will be your daughter’s true love.”

“I hope so, I really hope so…” King Ferdinand says, rubbing his temples worriedly.

In all honesty, I’m not sure if this was a dream that stayed with me all my childhood or a memory my imagination decided to rework in a fantastic way. All I’m certain of, regarding that possibly fictional day, is that I have it ingrained in my mind for a reason. What is that reason? I haven’t the slightest idea. I haven’t asked my parents about it, or anyone for that matter, for fear they’ll find me mad. I wouldn’t blame them though. Imagine it, a prince raving about something that most likely didn’t even happen. The entire kingdom would laugh at me! And when it’s my turn to rule I wouldn’t even be taken seriously! It’s bad enough my parents have tried to break me of my clumsy, less-than-regal aura without succeeding; I don’t need to be known as the kingdom kook either! For close to sixteen years I’ve been replaying that dream or memory, whichever it was, in my mind, trying to decide whether it’s reality or imagination. I’m still not sure.

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