Friday, 7 August 2009

Twisted Tales: Sleeping Beauty, the True Story Part 1

Sleeping Beauty, the True Story is not just the telling of this tale, but also contains the mystery and puzzle of who and what I am. Follow the clues to put the pieces together... Patience is required...

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A very, very, very long time ago, on a crisp spring morning, I came to the decision I would pop over to Paris. Understand, I am generally not one for large cities. Unless, of course, some type of mass devastation is occurring. However, I needed some fun, some distraction, something to help me forget about the loss of so many of my own kind because of their love of these stupid creatures called humans. Now, do not get me wrong. I fought alongside them as well when the Irish Confederate War broke out. After all it ,was our country to protect more so than the humans.

The tragedy was that the war was ill conceived, and whilst I was being forbidden to cause devastation on the enemy invaders, I could only watch as Cromwell's army unequivocally defeated the Irish and re-conquered my island. To be honest with you, my own kind irked me more than the humans did. You have no idea what kind of destruction we could have caused. [Sigh.] The problem was our treaty with the human leaders. We could provide aid but not alter the course of their history. I say we should have never given over our control, our right to rule over the mortals of Hibernia, or for that matter Britannia, Caledonia and Cambria. The humans would have fared better under our noble and enlightened rule.

Ah, yes - I digress, I know, but memories have a funny way of poking into the here and now, and the here and now is such a lonely place. I never would have thought in my wildest dreams I would miss any of them, but for all of my misunderstandings with the elders they are still a part of me.

Where was I? Oh yes Paris.. I popped over arriving on the then newly thought-up Avenu des Champs Elyseés. Paris in springtime should be a sight to behold, but it was not so much during that time. Unnatural weather, famine, small pox, and other "crowd diseases" made it rather unpleasant. And, to set the record straight, just in case there are any of my kind still about who happen to be reading this, even though I was blamed, I did not cause the unnatural weather or the diseases. The humans of this time needed no help from me in causing such horrid conditions for themselves. They were ignorant, filthy, and had apparently never heard of proper sanitation or bathing. Thinking back on it, I suppose I should have never started that little fire in Rome. Perhaps things would be more civilised had Rome not fallen, but that's a story for another time.

Paris, in short, was not then like it is today. All flowers, fountains, tourists, bistros and an Abercrombie and Fitch. It was disgusting, and you were either wealthy or an aristocrat living the high life, or a poor, starving, disease-ridden peasant. Since there was already enough suffering amongst the peasants, and they were much too pathetic even for me to feed upon, I decided to see what kind of corruption, scandal, and despair I could cause amongst the French nobles and the wealthy bourgeoisie.

I had heard that the Avenu des Champs Elyseés was a site to behold. Running a whole two kilometres from the Place de la Concorde in the east, to the Place de L'Etoile in the west. It formed a kind of long triangle with the Palaise de Tuileries being expanded to meet the newly built southeast corner of the Louvre. I was expecting something remarkable. Instead, all I saw was a field with garden markets. It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that it began to look as grand as was described to me. Of course, I should have known better than to listen to the blather of mere mortal men.

Back to the tale.

At least there was the royal palace. I was sorely in need of suitable attire if I were to insinuate myself into proper french society.

Hmm... I thought to meself. What is the best way to proceed? Pop in, and end up who knows where as I do not know what is where or where is what?

No, no - that would not work.

Become the size of a bee and buzz about as I have a look around?

Ugh... The thought of shrinking and possibly being swatted was unappealing.

Cause an earthquake, or a maybe strike the palace with lightning as a distraction? That could be fun, but no, not right now. Right now I need to get in and get out.

This would require something more subtle, more natural. Then it came to me: I shall turn into a fog and float about until I find what I need.

"Perfect idea," I said aloud.

I preceded to float about from one end of the palace to the other until I happened upon a very well-guarded wing. You should have seen the faces of the guards as I floated about. I purposely became a thicker, denser fog swirling about them. The look of wonderment soon gave way to fear as I heard one of the guards mutter the word sorcellerie. I could have stayed there for hours, hovering around them, changing colours and density, slowly driving them mad. However, I had a reason for being there, and I needed to get on with it.

I disappeared under the nearest door, and then rematerialised in a shadowy corner of the room. As my eyes came into focus, the resplendent beauty of the room took hold of me. It was all velvets, satins, gold, and meticulously carved woods.

The bed itself was a sight to behold, and I vowed to have one like it for myself one day. The bed was encompassed by long, pink- and gold-embroidered silk draperies, with matching bedding. The furniture was upholstered with the same elegant material, with every inch of the wood having been leafed with gold. The large bed chamber walls were even covered with the same luxurious pink silk material with gold-embroidered design. Looking up, I saw a large crystal and gold chandelier hanging from the ceiling of this well-appointed room. If there had not been someone sleeping in the bed, I would have moved right in and made myself at home. Unfortunately, there was.

I could not make out many details except that it was a women who snored loudly and by all accounts was rather homely.

I moved silently over to the very tall, elegant armoire. I ever so gently opened the doors and began my search through the mass of dresses and shoes. I had just bent down to pick up a pair of said shoes when a small voice came from behind me, and in terrible French asked me. "Who are you, and why should I not scream for the guards?"

I turned slowly around, shoes still in hand. I could see the colour leaving her face as she looked me over. In a tiny whisper whilst crossing herself she prayed: "Mi padre en cielo por favor me protege de ete domonio que ha venido a mi tormento." ("My father in heaven please protect me from the daemon who has come to torment me.")

"I am no daemon come to torment you, but neither am I of your world," I replied to her sternly in Spanish.

"What is your name?" I asked coldly, myself now only speaking Spanish, as it was obviously her native tongue.

"I am Marie-Thérèse d'Espagne, Queen Consort of France," she said demurely.

"Oh. How nice for you. I am Lilith, and I require that you help me find a gown." I replied with the air of arrogance her position required, but which she lacked.

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Next week part deux...

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