This is the story of a prince. The prince that has been in stories for decades. The prince that slayed dragons and defeated villains to become the hero of each story he’s in. The prince who won the hearts of each princess that he saved. The prince that you have heard of on multiple occasions. The prince whose name is Carlos Charming. Carlos Charming lay on his bed, not wanting to get up for the day. His entire life seemed like it didn’t need to happen. Every day was exactly the same as the next. Finally, his parents called him down to have breakfast with them, and he was forced to roll out of bed, put on some clothes, and stumble down the stairs to the dining room of the castle. As he walked through the hall, he looked at all the faces of the kings and queens that had come before him. They looked down on Carlos with judgmental eyes. He could feel their glares on his back as he slipped through the door at the end. His father had told him that someday he too, would have his portrait hung on the wall. If that ever happened, he
hoped that the painter could make him look more pleased. He finally got to the dining room and sat down to breakfast. On the table was an elaborate feast. There was everything from eggs and pork to an entire roasted swan with truffled quails all around it. There was all sorts of exotic fruit, as well as every desert that you could think of. It was a rather robust affair, and a lot of it was given to the poor after the meal. (Carlos had suggested that, after seeing their kingdom’s growing garbage heap). His parents were already dressed in their absolute finest when he arrived. King Christopher was wearing his formal red flowing cape lined with wolf fur, along with a blue and red suit with gold buttons and epaulets. Queen Francina was attired in a long purple gown with a ridiculously tight plum corset. Her hair was done up to an impressive height with pins and feathers galore. They both welcomed him with a simple good morning, but kept eying his quite modest shirt
and trousers. As usual on Sunday mornings, the family talked about business of the kingdom: food supply for the winter, noble economy, blah, blah, blah. There was always some farmer complaining about taxes, even though they hadn’t been raised for ten years. The lords and ladies of the court would be having a meeting tomorrow. All very boring. Then by and by, the king would pull out the Sunday news scroll that had been delivered that morning, and if they were lucky, there would be something in there of interest. Carlos was wondering what the stories would be today. They couldn’t be any worse than last week’s: SPIDER SCARES GIRL EATING CURDS AND WHEY, EGG FOUND BROKEN NEXT TO WALL, LOCAL SHEPHERDESS LOSES SHEEP. He had almost fallen asleep from hearing about all of these people. Didn’t anything happen in other kingdoms? He was boring himself just thinking about it, when his father said, “Carlos, you might be interested in these articles.” The front page headline read: SNOW WHITE;
DEATH BY APPLE? There had even been a painter on the scene who had made a picture of the funeral. In a coffin made of gold with a glass lid, lay a girl with skin that was literally white as snow. She looked like she had seen a ghost, or was a ghost. Carlos had heard of the White family from his parents. Apparently, they had the fairest skin in all the land because some ancestor of theirs had been granted a wish. A doctor had been sent for and had reported that the girl was still alive, but in a deep sleep. It was known to almost anyone that a true love’s kiss was a cure for sleeping death. The king and queen told Carlos that he should go kiss Princess White and then they could get married and have an heir to the throne. Carlos looked at the picture again and raised an eyebrow. He asked his parents if they really wanted grandchildren that were the color of frost. They considered this, and for once agreed with him, but had him look through the
other stories. The rest of the articles were along the same lines. Singing had been heard from a tower far in the forest. A mermaid was looking for a human companion. Another sleeping death had occurred, this time with the girl pricking her finger on a spindle. Again his parents asked if he would want to marry any of these girls, but again Carlos declined. That girl might be locked in the tower because she had a plague or something. Mermaids were really just sea monsters who sang and lured young men to their deaths. The spindle girl probably wasn’t any better than Snow White. “Remember son,” his mother said, “we can always invite all of the eligible maidens in the kingdom to a ball. You might find your love in a lesser woman, like your grandfather did with Cinderella.” Carlos had been given this offer before, and he had thought about it many times. But in the end, he always refused to throw the party. Cinderella had a fairy godmother who had helped her be the best at the ball.