Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Beauty and the…Is that Chocolate?!

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Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess in a shining castle. It shone because the maintenance staff were required to reapply the melted chocolate at regular intervals; that’s what the mistress of the manor wanted.

The mistress of the manor was the beautiful princess’s stepmother, who married the princess’s father, himself once a handsome prince. Daddy ran off with a young pixie several years before, and was not missed. Unlike most fairy-tale stepmothers, this one wasn’t all that bad to her stepdaughter: she had no jealously issues, nor a desire for vicarious fulfillment that only the younger woman could fulfill. No, the strained relationship grew mostly out of the stepmother’s utter cluelessness about teenagers.

The beautiful princess thought her stepmother was OK, but not, you know, cool or anything. They had a fine time every now and then at glamorous balls, but that had little to do with their relationship; the men there were just too good to be true, and provided good fodder for gossip.

And so it was: the handsome princes were prissy; the good-looking gentlemen were gropy; the dashing dukes were dull. The music was nice and the dancing went into the night, but inevitably, stepmother and stepdaughter would leave early, commiserating on the way home in their horse-drawn carriage just how dreadful the evening became after the smorgasbord. They found each other’s company pleasant, if not exactly thrilling, which is more than you could ask for from a teen-stepmom relationship, really, especially in a fairy tale.

The princess longed for a handsome, charming prince to whisk her away to a realm of gallantry, pageantry and all the usual magic. The stepmother wouldn’t mind fetching herself a fetching fellow, either, but was quite content for the time being, living off the estate that the king had awarded her as part of the generous divorce settlement. She had wanted to have her philandering ex-husband transformed into a frog, but the frog community would not allow it.

A dragon with a taste for chocolate discovered the castle one fine morning, and set about licking it from the turret tops. The maintenance staff fled in fear, raising the alarm throughout the countryside. Of course the countryside tends to be lightly populated; it would have been wiser to raise the alarm in the city, where more potential rescuers might await, but hey, we’re talking peasants here, not rocket scientists.

The stepmother rushed to the castle library, hoping to find some information on biodegradable dragon repellent. The princess, incensed at the beast’s rudeness, ran to the window nearest the dragon and screamed at him to leave, and besides, his breath stank. And who did his scales, anyway? They should be ashamed; didn’t they know that the pinkish hue clashed with his orange eyes?

That dragon stopped licking to listen to the lovely young woman’s tirade, not really understanding a word of it but clearly amused at the reaction he had generated. To show his appreciation for the attention, the dragon licked the princess’s face. The tremendous dragon tongue wound up licking more than just her face; it rubbed against the entire left side of her body, sending the princess screaming down the steps and into her chambers, where she spent the next two hours in the shower, scrubbing like mad and shuddering each time she recalled the experience. Eww.

Meanwhile, the stepmother had found some information on dragon repellent, and was trying to find an exterminator willing to use the biodegradable variety, with no success. She ran to the window to check on the dragon, and saw that the beast had licked one turret completely clean of its chocolate coating, as well as of its gargoyles. There even seemed to be shingle damage underneath it all; now the stepmother needed a roofer as well as an exterminator.

A young prince with a mighty steed heard the news and galloped toward the castle. He beheld the dragon squatting next to the castle’s highest turret and gulped. Perhaps a change of strategy was in order.

The prince – who was of course handsome; they don’t let you be a prince in a fairy tale if you’re not handsome – galloped into town and bought as much Godiva chocolate as his mighty steed could carry, and made the vendor’s day; he couldn’t sell that much in a typical week, let alone a single afternoon, and the day was yet young. The chocolate rendered the prince even more attractive to the maidens, but he ignored them and galloped right back to the castle, circling the dragon and whacking its toenails with the sack of chocolates.

The dragon, who clearly knew a thing or two about chocolate, lunged at the prince, who jinked and dodged each of the dragon’s thrusts. He galloped into the woods as the dragon began circling overhead, waiting for the chocolate to emerge from the woods so he could devour it. Having smelled the best, he could not go back to the inferior roofing chocolate. It was OK, he supposed, if you had no standards, like most beings, but, being a genuine chocophile, there was no way he could settle for that compound stuff anymore.

The fearless prince left the chocolate in the woods and returned to the castle, where the beautiful princess was drying her hair. Her stepmother told her of the prince and the chocolate, and together they went down to greet their savior.

As he dismounted and bowed, the three of them spotted an angry mob of villagers. Enraged at what they thought was a colossal waste of precious resources, the townspeople stormed toward the prince, intent on beating the stuffing out of him for leaving such a huge amount of primo chocolate somewhere in the forest. The three of them took shelter in the castle and raised the drawbridge.

The dragon, meanwhile, had found the chocolate and disposed of it as daintily as he could, which doesn’t say much. Then he returned to the castle, because, hey, maybe they had more. He immediately spotted the pitchfork-waving mob and swooped over them, scattering them to the four winds. The prince and the two women waved at him from a turret window, and he came to a soft landing in the garden, where he waited until they came to greet him.

The prince and the dragon took up residence with the princess and her stepmother. After a suitably modern period of living together, the prince and princess finally got married. The stepmother and the dragon collaborated on the catering; the wedding colors were brown and dark brown. The four of them made a point of inviting only ugly but courteous people. And they all lived happily ever after.

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Written by Thag

December 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm

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