Once there was a witch who lived in the outskirts of town. The townspeople were wary of her although she has not bothered anybody. She was an orphan who has learned to slay her own dragons.
One day as she was roaming the forest, she came upon a man who has fallen off his horse. He was badly hurt. Unbeknownst to her, he was a prince from a nearby kingdom. She brought him home and nursed him back to health. While the prince was staying at her home, he fell in love with the witch. He confessed to her and asked her to marry him. She said yes for she has fallen for him, too. The prince bade her goodbye with a promise to return for their wedding.
When the prince got back to the castle, everyone was overjoyed, especially the king. He asked everyone to work on the prince’s wedding. The prince told him that he is going to marry the witch, and the king said it was preposterous. They were royalty and should not marry commoners, especially, outcasts. The prince tried to reason out but the king insisted since the princess is from a kingdom much bigger than theirs; hence, a very auspicious union.
The prince, weak as he was, was convinced it was the right thing to do to marry the princess. The wedding was festive and well-attended. When the witch found out about it, she wept hard and cursed her fate. She grieved the loss of his love and tried to forget about the man who betrayed him.
Meanwhile, the prince couldn’t live with the guilt of breaking his promise to his beloved. And no matter how beautiful and kind his princess is, he could never learn to love her. On warm nights when the stars glow bright and the trees whisper the secrets of the past, he could her the laughter of the witch and he swore he could smell the scent of her hair. The prince had a recurring nightmare of riding his horse on the forest and running after a woman in a billowing red skirt. But before he could catch her, he gets thrown off the horse.
His sleepless nights started to take a toll on his health and he got ill. Upon hearing about this, the witch went to the castle and volunteered to care for him. Realizing that she was the woman his son fell in love with, the king rejected her offer and sent her away. The prince died shortly thereafter.
The witch mourned the prince’s death and after a considerable amount of time, moved on and lived a full life. She slayed her own dragons and did not wait for princes or knights on a white horse. There were nights though when the moon is bright and the stars flood the skies and if you listen closely to the rustling of the leaves, you can hear the prince asking forgiveness from the witch and telling her that she was his true princess.
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