An Unconventional Princess Story

Author's Note: I wrote this short story to get into awriting workshop this summer. I haven't submitted it yet, so I need everyone to tell me their honest opinions on the , I appreciate reviews that say 'this story is great', but what I really need are reviews full of constructive critism that I can use to make the story better. Please tell me what you think!

Elsenburg was a small, prosperous country. Ninety percent of its population was educated and poverty was practically a thing of the past. Hunger was almost overcome, every person in the country had at least one meal a day, and no one had seen a beggar on the streets for almost ten years. Best of all, the citizens had their king and queen to thank for their flourishing lifestyle, so there was no chance of a bloody uprising any time in the future.

In reality, the king and queen of Elsenburg were quite plain people. They lived simply for their high position, even though they could afford to live the most extravagant life style any monarch could think of. Neither could be described as beautiful or handsome, but the queen had been voted 'cutest' in her finishing school and the king voted 'fairest' in his prep academy.

The monarchs lived an over all happy life. They had everything they could possibly want. Except one thing that is. They wanted a child.

The names were already picked out. If they were to have a boy they would name him James Thomas Bently. There was no reason for the name. They just liked the way it sounded. The fact that the king had always wanted a friend he could call Jamie also helped. A rumor of a prophecy having to do with a James Thomas Bently slaying the mighty dragon king in the next kingdom over was circulating through the country as well. Who didn't want their son to be part of a prediction like that?

However, if they were to have a girl, they would name her Odette Rose. Unlike James Thomas Bently, the name had a history behind it. The king's great grandmother had been named Odette. She had been a great beauty, blond hair, blue eyes, the typical princess, but she had fallen to the misfortune of being turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer.

The second part of the name, Rose, came from the queen's side of the family. Aurora, nick named Rose from her alias Briar Rose, had been her great grandmother. A blond haired, blue eyed beauty as well, Aurora had pricked her finger on a spinning wheel at the age of sixteen and slept like the dead for one hundred years before a handsome prince had come to awaken her from the cursed sleep.

At first the queen wanted to use the name Aurora as her daughter's second name, but after seeing that it clashed quite badly with Odette, she had settled on Rose. After all, Briar Rose clashed with Odette even worse than Aurora did.

The king and queen finally got their wish for a child. She was a healthy girl, always bubbling with infantile laughter and never crying at any inconvenient times. Unfortunately, she was not the lovely blond haired, blue eyed child the monarchs had been hoping for when they had thought up the exotic name Odette Rose. They opted for a plainer name because of this. They named her Annie.

After the naming of their child was agreed on, the king and queen began to plan Annie's christening.

"But what about the fairies dear?" The queen asked her husband, while looking over the guest list.

"What about them?" The king questioned, scanning over the foods they could pick from for the after christening feast.

"You've only invited the first three fairies."

The king looked up. "Of course I have. That's what proper etiquette calls for. No more than three fairies can show up to a princess's christening."

"But that always causes problems." His wife replied frowning. "My great grandmother, the one we almost named Annie after, she was nearly cursed to death because her parents only invited three fairies. I'd rather not have Annie go through that."

The king nodded in agreement. "True, very true." He agreed. "So what do you suggest we do about this?"

"Forget etiquette and invite the fourth fairy of course."

He thought about this for a second. "The fifth fairy will be angry at us then." He pointed out. "And we might end up with the same problem your great grandmother had anyways. There are thirteen fairies in the kingdom. Should we just invite them all?"

"Not all of them." The queen said. "Invite the first twelve. The thirteenth is too old and forgetful. She might curse Annie for no reason. And besides, she's so traditional. I would be that she wouldn't come because there will be more than three fairies."

"And we don't want that either." The king agreed.

"Now about that Cousin Alfreda of yours." His wife said scanning the list again. "Do we really have to invite her? She tried to shove a frog prince in her ear at the last family get together."

The day of the christening arrived, as did the guests. The people came from all over the country to pay their respects to the tiny princess. The country's grandest cathedral, the place of the christening, was over flowing with well wishers, each pew holding twice the amount of people it was intended for. At the very front of the room were the guests of honor, twelve of the fairies that resided in Elsenburg.

Each fairy was as different as the next. Most of them were young, although some of them were old enough to remember a time when no royal christening was complete without at least one fairy. These days, inviting a fairy to a christening, no matter how traditional the practice was or how great the fairies' blessings were, not many royal christenings had fairies on the guest list.

Fauna and Flora were the first fairies to present their gifts. They were sisters, the oldest among the invited fairies. They were so old in fact, that they had been two of the three fairies that had been invited to the queen's great grandmother's christening.

"I will give you the gift of beauty." Fauna told the baby, standing over her cradle. With a quick wave of the wand, the spell was cast.

There was a cheer of approval from the on lookers in the cathedral. A beautiful princess was always welcomed in Elsenburg. The king's sister had not been fortunate enough to be blessed with such a gift. Growing up in the country, she had been known as Princess Fatty in the more rural parts of Elsenburg and Princess Mirror Breaker in the more urban areas. Luckily she had been able to find a husband that did not care about her looks. Or at least did not seem to care. It might have only been courtesy that made him say she was beautiful. After all, it had been a political marriage.

"From me you will receive the gift of song." Flora said, stepping up to the cradle after her sister had returned to her seat. She waved her wand and her spell was cast.

There was another cheer of approval from the crowd. The king's sister had been terribly fond of singing from her balcony. Bards had compared her voice to dying cats.

Next came the fairy named Nightingale. She was one of the younger fairies and was well known for her impressive fashion sense. "Every girl, young or old, should know how to make themselves beautiful." Nightingale told Annie. "For this reason I will give you the gift of a talent for different hairstyles."

This time there was no cheer from the people in the cathedral. They merely stared at the fairy, some in disbelief, others in confusion. Nightingale shrugged and walked back to her seat.

The gift giving continued. Annie received the gifts of good teeth, intelligence, a sweet personality (guaranteed to catch any suitor she wanted), a talent for gardening, the most amazing flexibility, memorization, a promise that she would always smell as sweet as a rose, and the strangest gift of all, from one fairy that looked suspiciously like an old man, the gift to spin straw into gold.

As Rosemerta, the finally fairy invited to the christening, was about go up to give Annie her gift, the gift of incredibly good luck, there was a puff of smoke and a new fairy appeared in the room. She coughed, waving the smoke away, to reveal a small old lady with messy grey hair.

"You didn't invite me." The fairy accused the monarchs.

The king quickly thought of an excuse. This was the thirteenth fairy of the kingdom, the fairy Nadilia. "You must be mistaken." He insisted. "We definitely invited you."

"Humph." said Nadilia. "I've been waiting for my invitation to this christening since Nightingale over there told me about hers. I've checked my mailbox every day, but do I find any invitation? No! Just some stupid advertisements and a letter asking me for my dues to the Fairy Knitting Club!"

"We're very sorry." The queen put in. "We didn't mean to forget you." It was a lie, but no one knew this except herself and the king.

"No matter." The fairy said hobbling up to Annie's cradle. "I'll just give her my gift and leave seeing that you don't want me here."

The king and queen exchanged nervous glances. There was no saying what sort of gift Nadilia would give their daughter.

Nadilia stopped next to the cradle. "Cute kid." She commented. "The brown hair's nice. There are too many blond haired, blue eyed idiot princesses running around these days. I always liked some differences in tradition."

Nadilia pulled her wand out of her pocket and waved it over the child. "Honey," she said. "When the sun sets on your thirteenth birthday you will prick your finger on a nail in a wall and die."

Shocked murmurs went through the crowd. Their lovely new princess would die!

"Sorry sweets." Nadilia said to Annie, stepping away from the cradle. "But your parents brought this on you. Just know it's not your fault." With another puff of smoke she was gone.

The queen moaned. "I was so hoping that she wouldn't have a christening curse." She said, leaning against the side of her throne.

"So was I dear." The king replied. He turned to Rosemerta. "Can you get rid of the curse? We know that it'll be good for our daughter's future and what type of suitor she gets, but we don't want it."

"We were planning on having her be kidnapped by a dragon." The queen put in.

"Fairies aren't allowed to get rid of other fairies' curses." Rosemerta said, rolling her eyes and putting her hands on her hips. "You should know that if you read the Fairies for Christenings Guide Book. But if you had read that you would also know that polite etiquette says that you can only have three fairies at a baby's christening, so I don't think you have."

"Then can you do anything about the curse?" the king asked.

Rosemerta smiled. "Now you're asking the right question. Of course I can do something about it!" The fairy walked over to Annie's cradle. Like the other fairies she pulled out her wand. "Kid, you are going to prick your finger on that nail." She said. "But instead of dying, you're going to sleep, along with the rest of your kingdom, until a handsome prince comes and kisses you. Then he's going to bring you back to his castle and you'll live happily every after." Rosemerta turned around and began to head back to her seat. She stopped and swerved around, facing the cradle again. "Oh yeah. You won't snore while you're sleeping all those years either."

The queen walked through the palace, carrying little Annie back to her nursery. The christening festivities had ended only minutes before. All the guests had had a wonderful time. No one worried about the curse. After all, it was not unusual for that sort of thing to be placed on an infant princess. And even if they were to worry, what was the point? Nothing would happen for years to come.

Sighing, the queen pushed the nursery door open and walked through the extravagantly decorated room to the large cradle near the window. Placing the child in it, she smiled. Perhaps Annie wasn't the blond haired, blue eyed girl she and her husband had been wishing for, but she definitely was adorable.

"Are you worried about her?"

The queen turned around to see the king walk into the room. He stopped next to his wife, gazing down at his child.

"A little bit," She admitted. "But not much. Everything will turn out fine. Still, Nadilia said she'd prick her finger when she was thirteen. Don't you think that's a little young?"

The king snorted. "I told you that Nadilia was forgetful." He said. "She meant to say sixteen."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. That's when every princess pricks her finger if she has that type of curse on her."

"True." The queen nodded her head reluctantly.

"Don't worry about it." Her husband said. "We'll have everything ready when the time comes for Annie to prick her finger."

As the years went by, Annie became more and more beautiful. Her light brown hair waved gently down to the middle of her back and her eyes were a shocking bright green. She proved herself to be a quick learner, able to absorb and memorize any bit of information her tutors could give her. Annie's fairy given gift for knowledge did not end in the classroom either. She excelled in sports, mastering horseback riding, archery, and hunting in an amazing time.

Annie's other fairy gifts made themselves known as well. Even at a young age, Annie amazed her parents, maids, and everyone else around her, with her amazing ability to contort her flexible body into unusual shapes. At times she would disappear for hours, only to return covered in dirt from head to toe, yet smelling as sweet as a rose. The mystery of where Annie was going was solved when a garden boy followed her to a garden she had been secretly growing at the edge of the grounds. Upon entering it, the boy had been amazed at the beauty and perfection of the garden.

However, while Annie could put her gifts to good use, she could also use them for mischief. When she was nine, Annie had convinced a group of circus performers that she would be a good addition to the troupe after showing them her ability to contort herself, dress a person's hair, sing, and spin straw into gold. Of course the fact that she was beautiful did not hurt either. Annie had almost made it out of the capital city with her new friends when a few palace guards had recognized her and brought her back home.

At the age of eleven, Annie had made an agreement with a black market trader. If he supplied her with hay, she would spin it into gold for sixty percent of the profit. Seeing that she never left the castle, it took much longer for anyone to figure out something was going on than it had for the circus escape. Annie managed to keep her business going an entire year before one of her maids caught her in the act of spinning the hay. From there her parents had demanded to know what she was doing with it and she had been forced to give them a truthful answer.

That had happened almost a year ago. It was the eve of Annie's thirteenth birthday. She sat on her bed, brushing her hair as she watched a servant take a large painting of three puppies in a basket down from the wall.

"Why are we getting rid of that picture Mother?" Annie asked, turning to the queen who was supervising the removal of the painting.

"We got you a new one for your birthday dear." She replied absently. "You'll see it tomorrow."

"Then why are you taking down the old picture today?" Annie questioned. Putting down her brush, she quickly twisted her hair into a fashionable knot and placed pins in it so that it would stay.

"We're taking this one down today so when you wake up tomorrow you'll see your new painting." The queen turned her attention back to the servant. "Take it downstairs." She instructed.

With a nod, the young man did as he was told, lugging the over sized painting out of the room.

The queen glanced out the window and noted the setting sun. "I have to go back to my room and get ready for dinner." She informed her daughter. "Please get ready as well and be in the dining room in a few minutes."

"Yes Mother."

The queen swept out of the room, closing the door behind her.

Annie sighed, looking around her room. She had liked that painting. The puppies had made her smile. Annie moved her attention to the other painting in her room and scowled. The fat monkey, which was the subject of the painting, glared down at her from its tree. Why couldn't her parents have gotten rid of that one?

Glancing down at her dress, Annie decided that she was already ready for dinner. The green brocade gown she wore had not been ripped, stained, mud covered, or burned during her day's activities. It would look fine to arrive at dinner in.

Sliding off her bed, Annie walked over to the now empty wall where the painting once hung. She started pushing at the stones that made up the wall. You never knew what you could find behind a painting. Once Annie had found a passageway to the kitchen from her playroom after tripping into an old tapestry. She still used the passageway. It was useful and no one else seemed to know about it.

Annie's eyes caught on the nail the puppy painting had been hung on and snorted.

"That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen." She mumbled.

The nail had been hammered into the wall backwards so that the pointed end stuck out of the wall and the flat side was hidden beneath a layer of rock. How whoever had stuck the nail in the wall had done it, Annie did not know. But, being the bright girl she was, she decided to find out.

The moment Annie's finger touched the nail she gasped, and took a step back. Examining her finger she noticed that she had pricked it. A tiny drop of blood rolled down her finger.

She felt herself getting sleepy. Annie stumbled towards the bed. She wasn't going to make it. She was a yard away. She was a foot away. Annie collapsed, falling into a dead sleep, bringing everyone in the castle along with her.

"Are you sure this is the right palace?" Prince Armand asked his servant as they cut back through the cobwebs from their trip to the highest room in the tallest tower. That was where the beautiful princesses always landed after they fell into a dead sleep. Apparently Princess Annie had not because they had only found a few old pieces of furniture, half decayed, and some bats.

Armand was your typical dashing prince. His hair was blond and neatly kept. Well, it had been before he had tromped through the filthy castle. His eyes were clear and blue. At least they had been before his adventure. Now they were red and watery from all the dust he had encountered. The silver armor that he wore shone. Or it would if Armand hadn't walked through multiple spider webs and tripped over a sleeping body resulting in a tumble through the dust. The fact that no light could get through the filthy windows didn't help the shine factor either. Over all Armand looked terrible at the moment.

"Quite sure." The prince's servant replied. He looked much better than his master at the moment. Sure, his dark brown hair was a bit dusty, but his eyes were not red and he had not tripped over anyone. Plus, he wasn't wearing armor so there was nothing to shine on to begin with. "Why else would the entire courtyard be covered in filthy sleeping people that cannot be awakened?"

Armand nodded. "You've got a point there Will."

"I always have a point." The servant replied dryly.

They continued to walk down from the tower. Armand did not know why he had asked if this was the right castle. It most certainly was. Not only were people lying around as Will had pointed out, but also the castle looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in hundreds of years. Stain glass windows were coated in layers of dust and dirt. Cobwebs hung from every doorway and ceiling. The floor was hidden under at least two inches of dust. Both Armand and Will had stepped on at least one rodent carcass during their journey through the castle.

"So where do you think Princess Annie is?" Armand asked carefully as they exited the tower and moved into one of the castle's many corridors. It was just as dirty as the tower had been. The only difference was that there were half deteriorated tapestries on the walls around them.

Will shrugged. "Probably a bedroom." He replied, stepping carefully over a maid.

The prince frowned. "So we're going to have to look through each room of this castle for some princess that we don't even know what she looks like?"

"Basically." Will agreed. "But not completely true. Seeing that we don't know which rooms are bedrooms and which rooms aren't, we will have to look through every room in this castle until we find her. We do however know what she looks like… sort of."

"And what does she look like?" Armand asked.

"She's got brown hair."

Armand stopped, staring at his servant.

"That's all we have to go on?"

Will nodded, offering his master a shy grin. "And she'll probably be wearing fancy clothes seeing that she's the princess."

Armand gave a small growled and continued to walk down the hall.

They checked each room on each floor of the castle. Some rooms contained people, some did not. However, none contained the princess. Armand was at the end of his patients.

"We are going home now!" he snapped. "I don't know where this stupid princess is, but where ever she is, she's not in this castle!"

"We haven't checked all the rooms." Will pointed out.

"Well I've searched enough." Armand retorted. "I'm finished. It wasn't even my idea to find this girl! Mother wanted me to do it because it was 'traditional' to awaken a princess from a hundred years sleep."

"It's been 300 years since the princess was put under a spell." His servant said.

Armand frowned. "And why has it been 300 years?" he asked. "Princesses are supposed to be awoken after 100 years. There are no fields of thorn bushes or dragons to keep people away."

Will shrugged. "Maybe there's something about this princess that was unappealing to people when she was at her 100 year point."

The prince mentally slapped himself. Of course! This girl probably was hideous! He bet she had moles and was extremely fat and all her hair had fallen out. That's why no one wanted to wake her. Who'd want to kiss something like that?

"That's it." Armand declared as he turned around towards what he thought was the exit. "We're leaving now. I have no interest in rescuing this princess anymore."

"Let's search one more room?" Will suggested. "There's only one more left in this corridor.

Sighing, Armand reluctantly nodded.

"Fine. There's no harm in searching one more room. What's the chance that she's going to be in there?"

"One out of the number of rooms in the castle." Will replied cheerfully.

"I wasn't looking for a mathematical answer!"


The two pushed open the door to the last room and walked inside. It was large, decorated by a few paintings on the walls and a few old toys around the edge of the room. There was a bed near the other side of the room. And in front of the bed was a girl. Her long light brown hair was flipped over her face and her dress was made of green brocade. In its time it would have been a beautiful dress. Now, with the dust that covered it and the mice that had chewed away at its edges, it looked more like rags.

"I think that's the princess." Will commented, pointing to the girl on the floor.


The girl was neither fat nor hair deprived. As far as Armand could see she did not have any sort of birth defect. In fact, she looked pretty. Just a bit on the short side. Armand was relieved. Maybe bringing this princess home wouldn't be so bad.

Striding across the room, Armand picked the girl up from the floor and placed her gently on the bed. Even though he put her down with the utmost care, a cloud of dust still rose around her.

Armand fanned the dust away from his already irritated eyes and looked the princess over. She was indeed pretty, even covered in three hundred years worth of grime. Her hair waved softly down to the middle of her back. Her lips were full, very red, and very kissable, Armand noted. Her cheeks had a slight rosy color, bringing a young innocence to her beauty. And then Armand figured out why no one wanted to awaken this princess.

"She's just a kid!"

Will walked up behind the prince. "Wha- Oh! Would you look at that! She is just a kid! Twelve at the oldest."

They stared at the princess for a while, unsure of what to do next.

"So what's her name again?" Armand asked.

"Annie." Will answered. "Princess Annie."

"Heh. Who'd name a princess that?"

"Apparently her parents."


They lapsed into silence again, still staring at Annie.

This time Will broke the silence.

"So… are you going to kiss her?"

In the surprise of seeing Annie's age, Armand had forgotten all about the fact that he had to kiss the girl. Sure, she was pretty, but she was so… young.

"Uh…" the prince trailed off.

"You said you'd wake her up." His servant pointed out. "And now you don't have the excuse of not being able to find her. You have to kiss her."

"But she's so young!" Armand insisted.

The prince looked from the princess, to Will, and then back to the princess.

"You kiss her."

Will blinked in surprised. "What?"

"You kiss her." Armand repeated slowly.

"You've got to!" Will exclaimed. "You're the prince! Tradition says you kiss the princess, not the servant!"

Armand glared at the servant. "And as your prince I command you to kiss the princess for me."

"As milord wishes." Will said rolling his eyes.

He leaned over the sleeping princess and quickly brushed his lips against hers, straightening up immediately.

A second later, Annie's eyes fluttered open and she took in the sight around her. She brought a hand up and attempted to wipe away some dirt on her face. Unfortunately, her hand was no cleaner than her face so no change in appearance was made.

"What happened?" she asked quietly, looking from Will to Armand and sitting up. "I pricked my finger and- Oh!" Annie's eyes widened as she examined the finger that had been pricked. "It was the spell! My christening curse activated, didn't it?"

Armand nodded. "Uh, yeah."

Annie smiled, looking at Armand. "Then you must be the charming prince that kissed me and broke the spell."

"Uh, yeah." Armand repeated again. Will glared at him. After all, he had been the one to awaken Annie, not Armand.

However, Armand had already slipped into his role of the handsome prince that awakened the princess. Smiling at Annie, he knelt down besides her bed and said,

"I, Princess Annie, am Prince Armand. I have come to awaken you from your long slumber."

"So that he can marry you." Will put in.

Both Annie and Armand turned to him. "What?" they said together.

Armand quickly caught himself. He did not want to marry a little kid, but that was the rule. You wake the princess up, you marry her. He knew it had been a bad idea to take this quest.

"Of course I will marry you. That's why I woke you up."

"I can't get married!" Annie insisted. "I'm only thirteen!"

So she was thirteen. That was surprising. She didn't look any more than twelve. Armand looked her over again. She really was pretty. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing having a younger wife. He smiled and offered Annie a hand.

"Come Annie," he said. "Let's find your parents and tell them what's just happened."

Annie hated everything about her new life at Armand's castle. First off, she hated the new style for her dress. They itched and there was no way she could ever participate in sports such as horseback riding and fencing while she was wearing them. The jewels that Annie had been given, and was expected to wear, were not to her taste either. They were large gems, all oversized in her opinion.

Secondly, there was nothing to explore in the castle. Annie's castle had been old even when she was born. There were secret passageways that had been long forgotten and trap doors in at least every other room. Armand's palace on the other hand was practically brand new. It had been completed, according to Armand, only ten years before. For this reason there were no secret passageways or trap doors except for a few servant entrances and tunnels.

And third, even if there were secret passageways to explore and clothing that would allow her to ride, she wouldn't be able to do these activities. The reason given each time she had asked was simply, 'A lady does nothing of those sorts.' Annie could have accepted this problem and stayed inside where modern ladies were supposed to be, but there was one more twist to her situation. Modern ladies did not study or read material that had to do with politics, fighting, or anything that could be dubbed 'masculine'. So she was forced to read, if she wanted to read that was, simple books of fairy tales so old that even she had read them when she was a child.

The whole situation made Annie sick. And she wasn't even married yet! The idea of spending an entire lifetime caught in this prison where she currently resided made her skin crawl.

So she decided to make a plan of escape.

According to the laws of tradition, Armand legally had the right to marry her. After all, he had been the one that had awakened her.

Hours of thinking later, Annie had still not come up with a plan with which to get herself out of the castle. Fed up with simple thinking, she decided that she needed some inspiration.

The first day Annie had come to the palace, before she had found out that exploring was not allowed, she had come across a room where an old woman lived. The woman had been kind, explaining that she was the king's soothsayer. She had even gone as far as to show Annie her crystal ball and invite her to visit whenever she liked. Now Annie was going to take the woman up on her offer.

"What ails ye child?" the old woman asked as she opened the door to let Annie into her suite of rooms.

"I'm trying to find a way out of marrying Armand." The princess replied with a sigh, walking into the rooms. "I was hoping you could help me or at least give me a hint."

The woman cackled good naturedly and nodded. "Let's see what I can do."

She took out her crystal ball and began to mumble into it. A white fog appeared, swirling around the ball. Slowly the fog began to take color and shape until it showed Armand and Will leaning over Annie's bed.

"That's my room at my castle!" Annie exclaimed, looking from the ball, to the woman, and back again.

The woman nodded. "Watch it unfold child."

There was no sound, but Annie and the old soothsayer watched as Armand and Will talked, occasionally glancing down at Annie's sleeping form. Finally, Will moved so that he was positioned next to Annie's head and leaned down to place a swift kiss on her lips.

"Will woke me, not Armand!" Annie gasped.

"That he did." The woman agreed. "So what will ye do now?"

The princess grinned. "I know exactly what I will do now." She replied. "Thank you so much."

"Think nothing of it child." The woman said as Annie ran out of the room.

Annie rushed back to her room, feverishly grabbing a piece of paper from the writing desk. She dipped a quill into the ink well and began to write.

Dear Armand,

You probably know by now that I do not want to marry you. Until this afternoon I had no way to get out of this arrangement either. However, you made a mistake when you awakened me. As prince you should take responsibility for your requirements, not make others do them for you. Seeing that Will was the one that woke me up, not you, I am no longer required to take part in our marriage. You will find me

She stopped. Where would he find her? Where would she go as soon as she got out of the castle? Annie searched her mind for an answer to this. What was she good at? She had fairy gifts. She could use them. But which one? And then she had it. Quickly, Annie crossed out her last sentence and continued the letter.

You will not find me. I will disappear into the vast domain you rule, never to be seen again.



Slipping out of the castle was easier than she thought it would be. Annie waited until the sun had completely set and the other women of the castle were preparing for bed. After all, guards were easy to slip past, the women of this new time were not.

Slipping a few jewels out of her jewelry box, Annie dressed herself in clothes her ladies in waiting had left in their rooms. It wasn't unusual for them to enter the main city at night. The guards let her out without a second thought.

Annie grinned, looking around her. She was finally free.

True to her word, Armand never did find Annie, although he sent out multiple search parties to find her and bring her back to the castle over the next few years. He demanded that the people of the country hand Annie over if they were hiding her. Still, no word of the Princess Annie was brought to the castle.

As the prince searched for his princess rumors of a lovely young girl spread through the country. This blond haired child had the gift to spin straw into gold. And she sold it all on the black market.