Some of my dreams stick with me. Sometimes they’re my weirdest ones. not sure about this one.
Here it is, though, a dream, attempted to make into fiction. I don’t know it if helps or hinders to imagine the first half of the story the way I dreamed it – as sentient Fisher-Price figures.
If she hadn’t known her three brothers the princes were pretty much useless, coming to the trading town really sent the message home.
At home, when the bandits attacked, her brothers could barely hold them off with their own magic, weak stuff. Here, the oldest of her brothers stepped onto the dock the way he always did – and the bandit ship fled immediately. Looking up, she understood why.
Here, the piggies and the sheepies helped. Here, the whole town worked to send off the raiders. There they were, the rotund row of townspeople standing on the balcony, on all the balconies, glaring their magic at the bandit ship.
She was talking with a rogue with a grubby demeanor and a sweet attitude, trying not to talk about how much of failures her little princedom must be, when the raiders came back in force. Not just one ship, but ship after ship after ship.
The rogue gave her a not-ungentle shove. “Go, try to get on that boat. Just get out of here.” He was pointing toward the river, towards a small craft holding a man and a woman. “Go!”
The raiders were almost there. She didn’t know why she listened, but she dove off the river-dock and swam for the boat.
The trip upriver was hard, and she worked every boat-length of it, as much as the people – Prince’s people, it turned out – who had taken her in. They spoke about the raiders, about her home. About the Prince. About the rogue who’d shoved her towards their boat.
It was only as they were pulling up on another dock that the woman said, in a tone the princess hadn’t heard before, “Haven’t you figured it out by now?”
The rogue was waiting for her, a bit the worse for wear, but still standing, still alive. He pulled off his cloak, shaking his hair, and revealed the Prince below. “I had to know,” he apologized. “It makes sense, right? I mean, if we’re to be wed-”
She was furious.
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