|Version 2 Black and White|
|Version 1 Colored|
Once upon a time, there was an evil witch who lived in an unknown enchanted place where no living human has ever ventured in or out of. A place believed to be like a spider web that traps anyone who ever dared to come. Men all over the land mysteriously disappeared one by one every time noon was at its peak. It was believed that the witch could only survive outside her realm when the sun shone blazing rays.
It was the disappearance of the old king that led his son, the prince, to venture in search for him through every part of the kingdom. With the help of his own magic, he tracked down the witch’s lair, until he found it deep into the cores of the earth where boiling lava and hot rocks built a cocoon of fire. The heat was almost intolerable, and even the air inside felt moist and hot as he breathed but he pushed even further inside hoping to find his father alive and well.
It seemed like hours walking through that burning cave until he felt his body became accustomed to the heat. He finally reached the end of the cave and it led to a bright and beautiful place which was pure magical. To the prince who felt he had just walked through hell, he deeply appreciated the refreshing warmth of the little paradise before him. Like any other normal person would be drawn to beauty, he felt the urge to walk into the paradise.
He had already deeply indulged into that magical place until he realized that he no longer knew where he had come from. Looking behind him, the trees and rocks seemed to have moved blocking his view of the entrance and only way out. For hours, he walked aimlessly around the place, no longer charmed by the beauty but determined to find a way out. Without passing through dusk, the place just suddenly fell in darkness. Night time has fallen and the woods seemed to grow thicker. The serene silence disturbed by nightly creatures’ noise.
Taking precaution of having his sword handy, he continued on with his walk, following a narrow river, knowing that it’s bound to lead somewhere. For him, it hasn’t even been two hours and the place brightened again as bright as noon. It occurred to him that time was twisted inside that place, but he didn’t let it bother him. Although exhaustion was slowly taking over, he chose to go on, looking for even little clues that would help him find a way out. Night came and gone seven times or so before he finally reached the end of the river. The land seemed to have also ended and he found himself standing in front of a bottomless fall, farthest to his right and farthest as he can look on his left the huge slice on the earth seemed endless.
“That’s not the way out…”
The prince, startled, turned and saw a beautiful maiden lovelier than any other he’s ever seen before, standing behind him. A sad look on her eyes reflected his face as she stared directly at him.
“…but if you choose to follow me there you could forget about the cruel and chaotic world you’ve left and be with me forever in paradise…”
Her eyes looked at him with some sort of magnetism, her voice lulled his senses and for a moment, he felt the strong urge to reach for the hand which she had stretched out before him to take. He stopped when he realized that he has a mission to complete. His strong will fighting so hard against the temptation which was that very lovely maiden made him shake his head.
The lovely lips curved to form a lovely smile. The witch satisfied that a man had a will strong enough to fight her spell vanished in a bright spark of light which blinded the prince for a moment. When he looked around again, he was back in a familiar forest close to home. Confused, he walked back to their kingdom, not remembering a single thing about his venture, forgetting about meeting the beautiful witch, about the enchanted place, and why he had set forth on a journey in the first place. Back at the palace, everyone grieved over the lifeless king suddenly found dead in his chambers. He wore a smile on his aged face, but his body was stiff and cold. Not long, the prince was crowned as the new king.
A couple of years passed, the land prospered in the hands of the new ruler and the people were pleased. Many other rulers from different lands heard of him and offered their loveliest daughters to him for marriage, but his heart could not understand why it beats for yearning about something unknown and forgotten. A face that appears in his dreams and vanishes whenever he woke up haunted him. The image of the lovely maiden was vivid while he slept, but completely disappears from his memory the moment he awakes. When the king could no longer fight the incomprehensible and irrational longing and emptiness he carried, he went on a journey in search for something lost until he found himself once again standing in front of a familiar cave.
Before he even stepped inside he was welcomed by a lovely face and he remembered that face from his dreams. In mutual longing they embraced, finding themselves tearing unreasonably of joy in each other’s arms. Both their wills weakened by the feel of the warmness in their hearts. They married immediately after returning to the kingdom and the people had their new queen. No one knew who she was and where she came from, but they were pleased to see the king happy and contented with his beloved wife.
Everyone in the kingdom was filled with joy without suspecting the motion of a wicked curse. Men died one by one for no known reason, each of them found dead in their sleep. Rumors spread that it all began soon after the king brought in his wife, but the king chose to ignore, until one night he awoke that the queen was not beside him. He searched for her in the palace but didn’t find her. He went out and found her walking silently towards the town and he followed her. He saw her stop in front one of the houses, place a strand of her hair by the doorstep and when morning came news broke out that the young son of the couple who lived there had passed away in his sleep.
Suspicion rose inside the king’s mind, but his heart refused to believe. For many nights he followed his wife and witnessed how the people mourned come morning. His heart hung on a balance between justice and love, until the people came forth and demanded his help. They pleaded and cried, all in complete certainty that the queen brought with her that evil curse. He wasn’t able to stop them when they rushed into the palace and forcibly took her. She cried and begged for his help, but his judgment as king took over. With a broken heart he allowed the people to take her.
They gave her a chance to confess her sins before they killed her but she just kept silent and wept, until the people lost their patience and locked her inside a cave of ice and left her there. When the incident happened again that night with the witch already locked up, they went back to check on her to reprimand her, but she was already dead. Dying in the cold, her heart and soul frozen…
The king took her lifeless body in his arms and cried for her. He grieved for months as the curse went on. He felt helpless and so did the people who realized that they’ve made a wrong judgment. Feeling very weak, his heart completely shattered, the king took his own life and only then did the curse finally stop.
Usually, I write a story and create an illustration for it or even just try and find a suitable old drawing to use, but once in a while, I draw something before coming up with a story(like in this case). After I finished the sketch I played around with it in photoshop, so one of the versions is colored while the other one is in black and white. This drawing was done a month ago, but I only thought of posting it now after seeing it again on my desktop and suddenly getting an idea for a story. For some months I've been focusing on trying to finish my novels, honestly feeling frustrated that I couldn't put an end to any of them (there are at least seven novels on hiatus and three of them I'm trying to finish) and being able to spontaneously write a "sort of" short story again is a weight off my current frustrations.
I won't say that I'm really back, because it might take me a few more weeks to actually have time to post on this blog again because of the circumstances I've just mentioned above (plus, exams are coming up) but it feels nice to be able to see blogger in draft again, I'm surprised at how it looks now. I'm glad I still managed to figure out how to navigate through it.
Thank you for the visits on my blog. I really appreciate that you still drop by despite the slow updates. Anyway, you could always read on my earlier posts for more artworks and stories. :)