The prince could not have known,
As the rhythmic motions of a horse long since exhausted
Came to still,
Just what waited in the tower.
His quest to save the cursed girl,
The princess put to rest for an eternity and more,
Was all he had known for so long.
He knew little more than his objective,
He needed know little less.
There was one desire burning within him,
The one to complete his quest.
Snow clung to the folds of his cloak,
And a white horse stood shivering,
Blending into the flurries that would not relent
As the hero stepped onto the stony path.
His footsteps, slow but certain,
Carried him to a gate that no one had bothered to hide away.
With a single push, it caved, clearing an open road to a tower so archaic,
He wondered if it had been removed from time.
The interior was much the same.
Fire flickered up from candles that should have ceased to burn long ago.
Stained glass cast a collage of images and stories onto a marbled staircase,
But they were paid no heed.
Upward the hero went, and in the chamber, there she lay.
As she was promised to be, as did she stay.
It was the first vision of the quest that halted him,
Taking in the figure resting so tenderly upon the bed.
All he had done had brought him here.
He had won.
He gave no more thought to the sudden conclusion of such an incredible journey,
But rather moved closer to stare upon her face.
If he could have seen the thoughts that transpired behind the gentle visage,
He would have departed from the tower then and there.
The princess knew not how she had gotten there,
Nor how she was to leave,
But neither factor seemed to trouble her.
In fact, nothing seemed to trouble her.
For all she knew, this was the heaven that so many mentioned would wait after death.
In this world, there was no suffering,
There was no fear.
The air carried a certain sweetness on it,
Unhindered by the smoke and dust of the castle in which she slept.
The company was kind and loving, and for once in her life,
She wasn’t a princess crowded by destiny and duty to her people.
She was just a girl,
A girl who walked fields so green,
She knew she was no longer on the earthly plane she once called home.
She was not a liability—
One who had to be guarded every time she lay her head down to rest.
Here she was just a sleeping beauty,
One beloved by every other creature that lived in her dreams.
Creatures that she noticed began to wilt like flowers in the sun,
As an invisible sensation tugged on her lips.
Grassy fields, once the hue of emeralds, faded into dull shades of green
Flowers were unearthed and dissolved in the wind, now sour and suffocating.
The paradise that had come to be her home spiraled into the air like trails of smoke
His face was the first thing she saw.
Hundreds—thousands—of protests, insults, and curses came to her throat,
But she was not in paradise anymore.
Honesty was not to be tolerated here.
The prince carried her back on his horse,
But a grim silence cloaked her the entire way.
Again, he did not notice this.
Or if he did, he could not be bothered.