Sleeping Beauty (part 2)

The tale continues…

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It’s late in the day when Jun finished sitting at his father’s bedside and was shooed out of the room by his other father.  Disinterested in dinner, he instead wandered the castle, surprised at how much he recalled from his early childhood. In all, not much has changed aside from a new tapestry or suit of armor or display of valuable artwork  or piece of furniture. The castle servants and guards waved and bowed whenever he ran across them, barely able to suppress their smiles at seeing their prince in the hallways once more.

Climbing a tower he remembered quite well because it housed one of his playrooms at the top, Jun passes through layers of dirt, dust, and cobwebs not found anywhere else in the castle.  One of the maids had mentioned before he’d walked through the door downstairs that it was no longer used, so they didn’t bother cleaning it more than once a year or so. She offered to round up a few other servants and some cleaning supplies to make it presentable, but he’d waved her off, promising it would be fine and he didn’t mind getting a little dirty.

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Sleeping Beauty (Part 1)

Last year for Valentine’s Day I wrote stories from my characters to their significant others and this year I decided to write one again.  Coming on the heels of Christmas, this essentially means that I spent 3.5 straight months writing and drawing gift art, but the outcomes forth both holidays was worth it.  VDay 2019’s story is a retelling of a classic fairytale with my characters and Nezumi’s playing all the roles.  Due to length, I’ve split the post into two parts.

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Angel Hunt and Streifen present:

Sleeping Beauty

[a retelling]

ooO~~~*OO*~~~Ooo

[Professor Sowerby sits by a large stone fireplace in the Castlekeep, a thick, leatherbound book with gilded edges open on his lap.  Snow flies in the night outside the cased window, and frost rims the glass panes in swooping swirls of white. Sprawled on a bed before the wizened dragon professor are Mitten, Ikiri, Captain Sassy Pants, and Lock.  Wrapped in an array of blankets, the children wait intently for the Professor, but the elder dragon doesn’t move.]

Ikiri: Professor?

Mitten: Hello?  Story?

Sassy:  [flings the blankets aside and scrambles up to her knees, peering at the Professor] He’s… asleep!

Ikiri:  Professor! Sir! [He reaches out toward the dragon.]

Professor Sowerby:  [startles awake]  Yes, yes, where were we?  Right: And they all lived happily ever after.

Mitten:  But you didn’t even start the story!

Professor Sowerby:  Well of course not, child.  I was just checking to make sure you were paying attention.  [Mitten frowns, but gathers up his plush star toy and hugs it to his chest.]  Yes, now… This story is a time-honored tale of the realms.  A story told and retold through the ages, but diminished nonetheless.  

Sassy: Is there treasure?

Mitten:  Sword fights?  Flying bears? Dragons?  No, better yet, stars? Are there oceans of stars?  

Sassy: Aren’t you a Dragon?  Why would you want to hear stories about them?

Mitten: Because Dragons are awesome! [Sticks out his tongue, and Sassy sticks her out right back at him.]

Ikiri:  Are there sorcerers?  Gods? Fey creatures?

Professor Sowerby:  Let us hear the story and we shall see what happens.  [He resettles the book on his lap and prepares to begin the story.]

Lock: Emilies?

Professor Sowerby: [turns his ancient gaze on the youngest child]  No.  There are absolutely no Emilies allowed in any stories.

Sassy, Mitten, and Ikiri:  Oooooohhhhhh…

Professor Sowerby:  But this story does have many things, so let us begin…

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Monster (The Other Side)

From the 2018 Christmas collection…

The 5:15 p.m. express train rumbles along the elevated track just outside the fourth floor of the empty building on the edge of the city’s west side.  The rhythmic clatter of the wheels shake glass panes in their casings before it’s passed, speeding away toward the Styrsfordshire Hill station. The building is just one of many in such close proximity to the track, the general opinion of developers twenty years back holding that as these were commercial and not residential structures, whether the trains passed by twenty times a day or not had no bearing.  Of course, even if they planned to occupy these buildings, their offices would have been on the topmost floors, not down here amongst the worker bees, so what did it matter if one could reach out and touch the tracks?

The figure seated at the large room’s only table cares very little for how close the building sits to the train or the greed of those who wrung every square inch of space from this neighborhood.  The passing trains are something to be noted distractedly and then disregarded immediately, irrelevant to the purpose for occupying a building that’s currently in between tenants. Still, evidenced by the wide table that was likely once used for conferences and is now used for something wholly different, and the cot set up nearby, this building provides what is needed to the only one currently within its walls.

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