By Cameron Dokey. Their kingdom being at peace, and their people being well fed and content, you might think the king and queen would be so also. But alas, it seems they were not. For they lacked the one thing which would make their happiness complete: a child. For years, the king and queen had dreamed and waited.
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By Cameron Dokey. Their kingdom being at peace, and their people being well fed and content, you might think the king and queen would be so also.
But alas, it seems they were not. For they lacked the one thing which would make their happiness complete: a child. For years, the king and queen had dreamed and waited.
Long years, and so many of them that, one by one, their hopes for a child began to pack their bags and depart. And this stealing away of hope eventually took its toll. It compelled the king to do a thing he did not wish to do, a thing he never would have done, had he not lost hope for a child of his own.
Not that anybody ever called him that. After many years of wishing for a child to no avail, a terrible day arrived. This was the day the king and queen awoke to discover that all their hopes were well and truly gone.
But this turned out to have an unlooked-for benefit, for the absence of hope left a vacuum, a void. As soon as one occurs, something has to rush in to fill the empty space, for that is the way nature wants things to go. And so it was that the void created by the desertion of their hopes turned out to be the best possible thing that could have happened to my parents.
On the very same day that she realized all her hopes had fled, the queen also realized she was with child. A thing that, when she informed her husband, caused both their hearts to fill with joy. So much so that all their hopes heard the ringing of it, halted in their flight, turned around, and raced right back home. I would be beautiful if a girl, handsome if a boy. Above all, I would do my duty. First, last, always. When I put in my appearance on the exact same day the royal soothsayer had appointed, this was taken to be a sign that I would fulfill all these predictions, plus many more.
Several years and many disappointments later, my mother would be overheard to remark that the day of my birth was the only occasion she could recall on which I had been dutiful according to her definition. When my father protested that she was being too hard on me, she settled for the unarguable statement that it was most certainly the only occasion for which I had ever been on time. In spite of all that happened later, every account I have ever heard concerning my actual birth relates that Papa and Maman were so delighted that a child had arrived at last that they were willing to overlook the fact that I was a girl and not a boy, boys being the preferred rulers of kingdoms, as you must know.
I was born on a bright but chilly day in late September. Nurse has told me that my very presence warmed the room, for, even then, my hair was bright as the dawn. It made such a perfect arc around my head that it resembled a halo, an aureole.
A combination of circumstances that caused my mother to. This though she and my father had discussed naming me after his mother, whose name had been Henriette-Hortense. But, as my father was not about to deny my mother anything in the moments immediately following my birth, that plan was abandoned and the deed was done.
From that moment forward, I was called Aurore. It was, and still is, the custom in the country of my birth to hold a christening when a babe has reached the age of one month old.
A month is long enough after the birth so that a baby no longer appears quite so wrinkly and red, thus sparing those who come to congratulate the new parents considerable worry in the way of coming up with compliments on the beauty of the child.
A month is also thought a long enough period to determine whether or not the infant is a good match in temperament for the name bestowed upon it shortly after its arrival.
Many are the girls who are born Charlotte but end up as Esmerelda. Or the boys who begin life as Wilfrid but end up as just plain Bill. Well, not many, perhaps. But some. In my case, however, there was no possibility that I might, even yet, become Henriette-Hortense. My hair having apparently grown even more golden with each passing day, and my eyes even more blue and my. I was to be Aurore. Or the bare bones of it, anyway. What went right.
But mostly, what went wrong. Given the size and scope of the event, what seems most incredible to me is that my parents never saw the disaster coming ahead of time. Though, now that I think about it, I seem to remember that this suggestion came from Oswald. What I do know—what everybody knows—is this: When the invitations were sent out, for the one and only time in her life, my mother failed to manage a social engagement to perfection, and her list was one person short. Not just anybody. Who she was has been greatly distorted.
Most versions of my story say she was an evil fairy and give her some fantastic name, usually beginning with the letters m-a-l. Mal, meaning bad, which over time has come to mean the personification of evil, just as Aurore has come to be the personification of all that is beautiful, innocent, and bright. I am the candle flame snuffed out too soon; she, the years of impenetrable dark.
This is for the simple-minded, I suppose. An attempt to show that she and I were opposites right from the start. All pure nonsense, of course. And that, I believe, was the true heart of all the trouble that followed. It was Jane. Just that, and nothing more. And, for the record, there are no fairies in the land of my birth.
Or none that anyone could accurately recall. It was generally agreed that she was related to my mother, a distant cousin of some sort. And that she had been part of the entourage accompanying Maman when, as a young princess, she had come from across the sea to marry my father. There were even those who claimed to remember that Jane had been a member of the actual wedding party, that she had followed behind my mother, carrying her train. But when I asked Maman about this once, she claimed to have no memory of whether or not this was so.
When I remarked, very curious and a great deal put out, that it seemed incredible to me that Maman. In other words, her eyes had not been fixed on Cousin Jane. They had been fixed right where they should have been: upon my father. Not long after, she sent me to bed without any supper for speaking too saucily, which was her way of saying I was asking too many questions, and furthermore that they were uncomfortable ones. This was neither the first, nor the last, time this happened.
Nurse often remarked that I owed my fine figure not so much to all the time I spent outdoors, but to all the times I had spoken saucily to Maman. Regardless of whether or not Cousin Jane actually took part in the wedding, on one thing everyone concurred. After the wedding, Jane simply dropped from sight and was forgotten.
Or, more accurately, perhaps, she found a way to blend so perfectly with her surroundings that she became someone others completely overlooked. Everyone, in fact, except perhaps for Oswald. Did Jane choose to become invisible, or did it happen on its own, because of who and where and what she was? But was her invisibility a cause or a result? They prefer a more everyday place, where their own magic can have greater impact. When we walk, magic rises upward from the ground and enters our bodies through the soles of our feet, even when we have our stoutest boots on.
In the wind and the rain. The feather from a bird that you find in a field during a country ramble. The hard, uneven surfaces of city street cobblestones. This is a thing about magic that is greatly misunderstood. The boiling of tea water aside. Nothing about magic is simple or straightforward, to be used lightly. The people who end up with the strongest magic are the ones who are quickest to recognize this.
The will of the magic becomes your will of its own accord. For magic is a part of nature. It, too, hates a void. And the voids magic most wants to fill are the spaces that exist inside a person.
It longs to strengthen that which is only waiting to be made strong. Have you ever heard it said that somebody has shown her or his true colors?
The thing that interests magic is your true colors. Who you really are. And it can make you more powerful only if you first accept this. Which means, of course, that you have to be willing to accept yourself completely. Your virtues and your flaws. But not Jane. She must have looked at herself without flinching. Unlike my mother, who has no time for magic, thereby making sure it has no time for her, Jane soaked it up, like a stunted plant in freshly watered ground.
Not fine literature, of course, but I am just charmed by this series, Cameron Dokey's contributions especially. I love classic fairy tale retellings. I wanted a quick enjoyable read. Cameron Dokey is the author of nearly thirty young adult novels. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and four cats. Beauty Sleep.
Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years -- until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore's loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle. Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic.
I loved this story growing up even though I thought the whole marriage-between-cousins thing was weird. I know it was all the rage to keep it in the family for noble families way back when, but Perfect summary! Hair Care Treatments The health of your hair and scalp can speak volumes about your internal balance. Factors like genetics, excessive use of chemicals, illness, weather changes and poor circulation are the major causes behind issues like hair fall, dandruff and damaged hair. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years -- until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore's loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.