Once upon a time, before corporate fraud and industry corrupted the world, when the environment was still pure and non-conformists roamed free, there lived a young princess (roughly sixteen years of age). Her wavy, auburn hair flowed down her back, and her eyes glistened of gray. She lived in a far away land best described by its name, Springfield. The peasants she reigned over loved her dearly for she was a fair and just ruler. As they called her name when she walked past, it rang like a bell across the land… "Amora."
The princess lived in a grand castle, high atop a hill. She tended religiously to an enchanted garden of fragrant white roses in the courtyard. She loved her garden very much because it was the best place to daydream in solitude. Though as hard as the princess tried, and as much as she wished, the white roses ceased to bloom. Princess Amora hired the most prominent horticulturalists in the land to try to determine the cause, but they could come to no logical conclusion.
Though Princess Amora lived alone in her castle, she was very social. She loved to throw magnificent balls and have tea with all the neighboring debutantes, aristocrats, or even a peasant who just happened to pay a visit. Often, she would disguise herself as a peasant and wander the streets of her kingdom. Everyone enjoyed spending time with Princess Amora because she loved to tell stories and always managed to light the room she occupied. There was only one problem: Though she had many friends, Princess Amora was lonely because she still had not met her Prince Charming.
One magical day (perhaps it was a Thursday), the sky was a beautiful blue and Amora once again found the urge to wander the streets amongst the plebian. She disguised herself in the traditional plain brown clothing, and covered her head with the hood of her cape. As she strolled along the pathways of her kingdom, she was as courteous as possible. Princess Amora found she was growing hungry and decided to purchase an apple from the nearby vendor. After picking her apple, she realized that she had neglected to bring her purse along with her. Not wanting to expose her true identity, she graciously asked if the poor, old vendor could do her the favor of giving her the apple for free, just this once.
At this point, a young commoner had been listening to the maiden's plight. He stood approximately five feet, eight inches tall with short, golden hair that fell almost half-hazardly around his face. He had eyes of the deepest ocean blue. His clothes were that of any other commoner, but there was a different air about him. He approached the vendor, "Kind Sir, it is apparent that this poor girl is starving, please allow me to pay for her apple with my last brass farthing."
Amora was flabbergasted! She was the princess after all; how could she let one of her own people spend his well-earned money on her? "That's alright. I am not that hungry. I just craved one of the finest apples in all of Springfield. I was told this kind sir was the lucky vendor who sold such apples. I am sorry that I will not be able to try the shiny, juicy red apples and discover their wonder for myself!" And with that, the old vendor succumbed to Amora's charm and gave her the apple for free.
"I thank you for your considerate offer and assure you that it will not be forgotten, If only I had a name," Amora uttered to the good-hearted lad.
"You may call me Evan. And what, prey-tell, shall I call you, my Lady?" replied the young lad.
"You may call me Amy if you so wish," lied Amora, for "Amy" was her nickname amidst the townsfolk.
Evan and Amora spent the rest of the day together having intellectual discussions about art and literature. As they roamed the lands surrounding the castle, they discovered they had much in common: Favorite artist, hobbies, and food. They loved freedom of being outdoors and the ability to find happiness in the littlest things. Evan and Amora shared similar views on life and people. They even discussed the philosophies of Plato and Socrates. Perhaps it was the sweet smell of lilacs in the air, but Princess Amora seemed to have found her equal and was falling in love… with a commoner! She thought to herself, "He may not be a duke, but maybe he is my 'Cinderfella!' I enjoy every minute I spend with him, what more do I need?"
By that point, about five hours had slipped by undetected. The two young people decided to take a rest and lay in the middle of a nearby, sunny glen. The green grass was comforting as it surrounded them. Evan began to speak, "Amy, I must admit, I have not been honest with you… I am not who you think I am."
Amy, unsure of what was to come next, gave him a quizzical look and simply asked, "What do you mean?"
"I mean," reiterated Evan, "I am not the commoner you see before you. I am actually the Prince of Dover. I tend to wander the streets among the plebian because I find them so much more real and interesting than the rich folk. I hope you can forgive me for lying to you. I have just spent the most wonderful day in my entire life, and I cannot live with the thought that it was all based on a lie. I love you, Amy."
"Why haven't I heard of Prince Evan of Dover before now?" asked Amora, strait-faced.
"Because that is not my real name. I was born Prince Gabriel Evan Charming, but I prefer my middle name," retorted Gabriel.
"Gabriel, Prince of Dover," repeated Amora to herself. Suddenly, it dawned on her that she was courting the son of Angelica Charming, one of the richest countesses in the land with whom she frequently had tea. All of this time, Angelica had neglected to introduce Amora to her son.
Amora discovered that she and Evan… err… Gabriel had more in common than she thought. Was it just a coincidence that his last name was Charming?
Amora continued, "Gabriel, now I must admit, I, too, have not been honest with you. You have my sincerest apologies for I am not a commoner either. I am Princess Amora Daniella Sophia Lorenza Raquel Monet. "Amy" is short for "Amora." It is the name I go by whilst incognito, walking alongside my people. I see we have more in common than we had ever imagined. Today has been so grand; I hope you can forgive me for lying. Gabriel, I love you, too."
And with that, Gabriel smiled. Both were sitting up now with the excitement of the moment. At last, they were able to truly see each other. Gabriel held Amora's face in his hands and stared longingly into her soft gray eyes. He was trying to see if Amy and Amora were, indeed, one in the same. After a few prolonged moments, they closed their eyes and kissed each other gently on the lips. In that instant, all was right with world. It seemed as though everything around them stood still for an eternity during that one brief kiss. He really was her Prince Charming! Or so she thought…
Weeks went by, and Amora's castle hummed with excitement. By the end of the month, there was to be a wedding! Amora and Gabriel spent every wonderful minute together planning the wedding. It was to be the most spectacular gala seen this side of Paris! All the preparations were being made. All those who knew the Prince and Princess thought there was never a more perfect couple than they in all of history.
The day before the wedding, however, as the finishing touches on the ceremony were being made, a small, rickety carriage appeared in front of the castle. Out stepped a fair maiden with eyes brown like chocolate and hair as black as night. She was tall and slender. She wore torn rags and looked as though she were quite weak. She approached one of Amora's servants, "Please Sir, can you help a poor girl who has just lost her father and spare her some food?"
"I am only a servant, Miss. The Princess rules the castle. I shall tell her you are in need of her assistance," replied the servant named Ralph.
"Oh, thank you!"
The poor girl was escorted to the throne room where Amora and her Prince sat waiting. "Please! Oh fair and just Princess, I am but a poor girl who has lost her father to illness. While living alone, I was forced to move because I could no longer pay my taxes. I have been wandering from kingdom to kingdom with only my horse and carriage ever since. I have been trying to find a place to live. Can you help me, Princess? Please! Let me stay in your castle just for the night. I will leave in the morning to pursue other lodging. I promise I will not be a burden."
Amora, being the kind, generous (and somewhat naïve) princess she was responded, "Of course you may stay here! In fact, you may stay as long as you need. I will try to see what I can do about more permanent living arrangements for you. Until then, you may stay in one of guest bedrooms and feel free to partake in the festivities. There is to be a wedding, you know!" as Amora sent a warm glance towards her Gabriel. "Please, Miss, do tell us your name."
"You may call me Marielle, your Majesty."
And with that, Prince Gabriel escorted Marielle to her room in the far end of the castle where she then unpacked the one small bag she had with her.
Marielle was no ordinary peasant girl (either). She was an evil sorceress! It was no accident that she happened upon Princess Amora's castle. She knew exactly what she was doing. Of course, no one could have known that Marielle had been plotting against Amora and her beautiful marriage.
Marielle had devised a powerful love potion. It was sprayed on masquerading as delicious perfume. After eye contact was made with first man she saw, it forced the man to become completely infatuated with her. He was then under her complete control and willing to do whatever she desired. That man just happened to be the Prince! Marielle was jealous of Amora and all her treasures, and innocent Amora was none the wiser!
Amora woke-up the next morning to find her Prince and Marielle cuddling in her garden, on the day of her wedding! Amora hid behind a column, quietly so as not to be seen. Marielle spoke, "My sweet Gabriel, today you are supposed to marry Amora. You must run away with me before the wedding so we can be together instead! Do not tell Amora. Go along wit everything as usual. Right before the ceremony begins, meet me here, and we shall run out the back exit into fields." The transfixed Gabriel nodded a simple, "Yes." Gabriel and Marielle parted. Gabriel walked towards the grand hall; Marielle went towards her room.
After hearing this, Amora could not decide what to do. She considered, "It is not what it seems. Maybe he will wake-up before the wedding. We are in love after all! How can it change in one day?"
Amora decided to continue with her plans as usual. She went to her room and began to dress in her stunning, white wedding gown. It was long and flowing, and the train was several feet long. The design had roses embroidered on it. Amora felt so beautiful in that dress. She loved to twirl in it and watch the skirt flow.
The day was running smoothly. Everything was ready for the stupendous gala! The decorations were hung. The band was playing a melodic tune. The giant cake was made and ready to be served. Everyone was there to celebrate the marriage of Prince Gabriel and Princess Amora. Everyone, that is, but the Prince! Gabriel had disappeared minutes before his own wedding!
When Amora had heard that Gabriel could not be found, she knew that he was with Marielle, probably off gallivanting somewhere. She ran into her garden of supposed "solitude." Her garden had been the only place she could feel alone and safe, and today it had been violated! She sat on a bench and began to weep quietly. She spoke to herself aloud, "I thought we were in love; how could this have happened? Maybe love doesn't conquer all." One tear slowly fell down her soft red cheek and onto a leaf of one of the enchanted white roses.
Amora continued to weep into her arms. In a few minutes an unfamiliar fragrance filled the air. Amora looked up to observe that a single white rose had bloomed! After all these years, a white rose had finally bloomed with the water from her tear! What luck! And on the day of her wedding! Amora immediately ran and told everyone to come into her garden and see for themselves.
The people of the castle gazed in wonder and amazement at the rose. Even the most prominent horticulturalists could not explain this new phenomenon.
As Amora smelled the heavenly aroma of the now blooming rose, she thought her Gabriel, and wept once more. As she did, the crowd went silent with empathy for the suffering princess. Suddenly, screaming and loud footsteps were heard in the distance. It was Gabriel running in, holding the wriggling Marielle hostage.
"Guards! Seize this seductress! She tried to ruin my wedding!"
The guards tried to do just that, but before they could grab her, she vanished (poof!) without a trace!
The spell was broken! Gazing once again into the eyes of their beloved, Gabriel and Amora immediately forgot about the evil Marielle. He ran over to Amora, took her in his arms, and kissed her full on the lips! He then took a moment to gaze over his shoulder at the magical white rose which had bloomed, and said plainly, "I thought I smelled roses. Fancy that." And he kissed Amora once more.
The crowd cheered as Ralph the servant joyously yelled, "Hallelujah! Now let's get this shindig started!"
The wedding was a wonderful success! Prince Gabriel Evan Charming and Princess Amora Daniella Sophia Lorenza Raquel Monet Charming lived happily ever after. Amora never remembered the spell that had been cast upon her beloved prince. It was as if Marielle had never existed. As for what the prince had been doing with Marielle before the wedding… it can safely be said that it was never discussed and has long since been forgotten.
You see, Marielle had neglected to read the fine print in her spell book. At the bottom of the page, it read, "This dangerous spell can be broken if, and only if, the object of desire on which the spell is placed smells the heavenly aroma of true love."
As for the prince's mother, the Countess Angelica Charming, she was very, very proud of her son and daughter-in-law.
How do I know? Because that's me, and I saw the whole thing.