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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Prince Alexander's Amnesia
By Joshua Janoski


“Help me please!”

This was the plea of a young man who stood hunched over, hands holding his stomach. His whitewashed face had lost any hint of peach coloring, and his breathing was heavy. A scarlet cape with scorch marks was draped around his neck. The marks created a black trail that led to a large burn hole in the middle of the silky fabric. The sword sheath strapped to the young man’s side dangled loosely from his belt. His crown hung sideways atop his head. The boy’s entire body was damp with perspiration.

“Well aren’t you a big mess!”

Not the kindest words to say to someone in distress, but they were true. The words came from the mouth of an old man standing in the doorway of his home, looking down at the boy. The old man had a long gray robe with a matching gray pointed hat. His long beard, with streams of gray and white hair, completed the ensemble.

“I need…your…help.” The young man struggled for air as he clinched his stomach tighter than ever.

“Well get inside before you faint!” The old man scolded.

The boy stumbled into the entrance, his crown tumbling to the floor.

“So what caused you to seek me, Prince Alexander?” the man inquired.

The young man looked at the elderly gentleman in shock.

“I…I…I’ve…lost my memory. I…don’t know…who I am! I was told to…come inside here…for assistance in getting it back. Are you a wizard? Am I really a prince?”

“Yes and yes. I am Incanus the Great, and you are indeed Prince Alexander, heir to the throne.”

Prince Alexander removed a hand from his stomach and placed it onto his clammy forehead.

“If I’m a prince, then how did I lose my memory? Why can’t I remember who I am? Please tell me oh great wizard! Gaze into your crystal ball and explain this to me!”

“What an excellent idea!” Incanus said, grinning as he walked over to a desk. He picked up a round ball. The ball was black except for a spot of white on one side. Within the white spot was a black number eight.

Incanus shook the ball and gazed deeply into it.

“Ahh there we go. The Magic-8 ball is showing that you had a run in with a fierce dragon. You were trying to rescue a fair maiden from the beast. You stormed into the dragon’s cave with your sword and began taunting the giant creature. The dragon ignited you with his fiery breath, leaving you smelling like roast pig and singeing your cape. You escaped, but during your run out of the cave, you fell and hit your head, only to wake up without your memory intact. Your majesty, you are suffering from amnesia.”

“So what…can I do about it?” Alexander asked worriedly.

“You must rest. Here, lay down here and close your eyes. I will give you a potion that will restore your memory as you sleep.”

The prince plopped onto the soft leather couch. The wizard dropped two small tablets into a glass of water, making it fizz as the tablets dissolved. He handed the glass to the prince, who took two gulps before passing out face down on the couch.

“How Cute. He’s sleeping like a baby.” Incanus said, as he took off his beard and hat, revealing a handsome young man not much older than the sleeping prince. At that moment, an older gentleman walked in the front door of the house.

“Ben! What’s going on?” the man asked.

“Dad, it’s a long story. Adam and I went to a Lord of the Rings costume party, and I told him not to drink, but he snuck off and did it anyways. I came home early, but he ended up stumbling in like this.

“How did his costume get burnt?”

“Well it was either a mishap with a lighter or else a ferocious dragon.” Ben said with a snicker.

“You go to bed. I’ll deal with your brother tomorrow regarding this. I’m glad you don’t drink, Ben. Getting drunk makes you look like the King’s fool and not the King.”

“Yes dad, I agree.” Ben said as he climbed the stairs towards his bedroom. He turned back around and snapped a couple of quick pictures of his brother while his dad wasn’t looking. He began laughing.

“This is one memory that I will never let Prince Adam…I mean Alexander ever forget.”

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This article has been read 716 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Dodson07/17/08
Great twist at the end and the comment about fools and kings. Humorous piece.
Debbie Roome 07/20/08
I had no idea where this was going - what a wonderful way to convey a serious message. Really funny.
Chely Roach07/20/08
This was HILARIOUS! When the "wizard" picked up the magic 8 ball, this piece took a wonderful turn, lol. Well done!
Glynis Becker07/20/08
Lots of fun! I loved the twist, even though I was starting to enjoy the universe of Prince Alexander ;)
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/20/08
Too funny, and with a good point. I love it.
Beth LaBuff 07/20/08
I had to laugh at "Incanus the Great," the "magic 8 ball," and the close encounter with a "dragon." You packed a lot of humor in this! :)
Karen Wilber07/20/08
This really messed with my mind. Magic 8 ball, did he just give him an Alka Seltzer, what's going on here? Then you filled in the REST of the story. Funny. He's gonna wish he were just a prince with amnesia tomorrow.
Edmond Ng 07/20/08
Excellent work building up the story and then giving it a complete shift to an unexpected ending.
Virginia Lee Bliss 07/20/08
A wonderful piece. I really enjoyed this. It caught my eye before you posted a hint.
Lyn Churchyard07/21/08
My friend, you have made me laugh yet again. When the wizard picked up the magic 8 ball, I began to smell a rat.

Very wise words from the father "Getting drunk makes you look like the King’s fool and not the King.”

Well done, very well done indeed.

Lauryn Abbott07/21/08
Great job, Josh! This was hilarious. I really enjoyed reading this one - it gave me a great chuckle to start the morning! :) Thanks for sharing!
Shirley McClay 07/21/08
This is hilarious... I had a feeling it was yours!
Sunny Loomis 07/21/08
Very funny and nicely done. We should all keep our wits about us.
Betty Castleberry07/22/08
Oh, the follies of young men! You had me chuckling. I was fooled until you mentioned the magic 8 ball. I kinda doubt wizards use those. Loved the Alka Seltzer (?) too. Great job.
Mariane Holbrook 07/23/08
I knew this had to be yours!
What a great read. I'm so glad I got in on the fun!
Sara Harricharan 07/23/08
Heehee! Poor guy-well, almost! I liked the twist, I think you did well with it. The hints were realistic details that made it a fun and natural surprise. Loved the wizard's magic ball! Nicely done! ^_^
Marlene Austin07/23/08
You are just too funny, Josh. :) Good example of just what "fun" one brother will have at the other brother's expense. :)
Loren T. Lowery07/23/08
Sly wit and humor and an engaging story to boot! I really liked your dropping a hint to the tone of this with the "magic" ball and plop-plot, fiz-fiz. Too, funny, and oh so good, Joshua. Loren
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/23/08
Very clever. I enjoyed the twist your story took. You have a brother??
Holly Westefeld07/24/08
Josh, I love so many things about this fun story. You incorporated several aspects of memory, a touch of fantasy, and wonderful mis-direction and humor. Thanks for such an enjoyable read!