Sleeping Beauty

It’s all well and good for nobles to mess around with magic and destiny and True Love’s Kiss, but do they ever consider the effect it has on those around them?

Of course not. They don’t even see the common people for the most part. They just assume life arranges itself so that they have fancy food and clean clothes and fanfares when they walk into a room. And nothing ever happens to shake their world. Even this catastrophe hasn’t done them any harm. But we commoners? The cooks and guards and cleaners and pages? What are we supposed to do now?

There I was, holding a flag, waiting for the princess to arrive. She’s going to walk into the great hall and meet her parents for the first time since she was a baby (and that’s another thing: if the king and queen hadn’t gone all starry eyed over the fae and got involved in their politics, they wouldn’t have had to hide the princess in the first place). She’s late, but that’s no surprise. Royals always are. My arms are aching, and I’m thinking about how later on I’ll get myself a cold mug of beer and a warm serving maid or two, when all of a sudden I can’t keep my eyes open. I hear Tom, next to me, starting to snore, and then my eyes close and I’m asleep.

And then I wake up, and everything is confused, and it turns out we’ve all been asleep for a century! We haven’t aged, which is one good thing I guess, but what are we supposed to do now? We can’t go home because there’s a bloody great forest of thorn trees where the town used to be and anyway, all our families died years ago. Tom had a wife and four children! What happened to them? They must be long dead by now.

Those damned fairies are fluttering about the place like they’ve done us some wonderful favour, letting True Love take its course, while everyone but the assembled nobles – who just happened to have brought their entire families with them for this auspicious day, luckily enough – has had their entire life destroyed.

Well I won’t stand for it. A commoner I may be, poor and uneducated, but I deserve better. I’m going to make sure that me, and Tom, and all the other people those nobles don’t even notice have our revenge. That muscle bound prince might have killed one evil fairy, but there are plenty more where she came from.

The old legends say they use mortal lives as currency, so someone who’s lived over a century but is still young should be pretty valuable. If it takes my life to get my revenge, it will be worth it.