Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
- TITLE: Alas
By Loren T. Lowery
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To plight the king, the witch had to be very clever; because, as everyone knew, once spoken her curse could only be broken by their eyes ever meeting again.
“Never,” she hooted.
Consulting with herself in a compact mirror, she decided to cause him to lose his kingdom with his riches to be stored in a chest in her attic. Then another idea hit her, a bonus so to speak.
“I’ll take his daughter’s beauty and make it my own.” She laid a bony finger beside her warty nose. “And to show I’m a good sport, I’ll give her my beauty in return.” Her laughter cracked the very mirror she was holding.
After delivering the news to the distraught king and his family, she flew away thinking that with the king’s treasure she could now trade her old wooden broom in for a sleeker stainless steel model.
The witch lived lavishly with her new riches, replacing her black pointy hat for a more fashionable pill-box style. The woolen dress she had worn for years became an embarrassment. She bought a new cashmere one with matching silk scarf that really looked sheik blowing behind her in the wind.
Keeping her beauty was no easy matter; and trips to the dermatologist for wrinkle creams and operations to remove the hairy warts that kept popping up on her nose and chin, proved to be very expensive. But she muddled through even as the riches in her attic began to shrink.
As it happens, the king had a good family and although no longer rich, they were still very powerful in their love for one another. “I am a good stone mason,” he told his wife and daughter. “I shall build us a fine house, one with a tower and window to look out over our lost kingdom. And it shall have a large hearth to keep us warm.”
“And, I’m a decent cook, his wife joined in. “I can bake breads from the hearth and sell them to the villagers below.”
Their daughter bit her lip and said. “I learned a great deal from the maidens who sewed my gowns. I can become a seamstress and make costumes for the ladies in town.”
And so, without remorse, compunction, or shame, they began their new lives. Their new home with its tower was as grand as any castle ever built in the kingdom and the breads baked by the wife were soon being sold at kiosk along all major thoroughfares.
The daughter’s gowns became high-couture, sought after by everyone. She specialized in colorful sequins, because their sparkly splendor took her mind away from all the beauty that had been stolen from her.
One cold October night, as the wicked witch was flying across the moon she was beginning to worry. All of her purloined booty had been used up by her lifestyle. She was shivering because cashmere was not quite as warm as wool, her pill hat did not have the aerodynamics as her pointy one, her stainless broom was cold and the night air chaffed her skin. “Upkeep is a bummer,” she mumbled.
Soon she spotted the former king’s new tower on the dark horizon. She did not know it was the king’s tower, because she no longer traveled in circles of such rift-raft that built stone towers, sold bread or sewed sequined gowns.
Inside the tower, the king had built a large fire to keep the night chill away. Its flames bathed the room in light as his wife pulled baked goods from the hearth’s oven.
His daughter had twelve gowns recently sewn for an upcoming ball. The magnificent sequined gowns hung on dress forms placed around the room, their brilliance refracting out the window into the night sky.
The witch, intrigued by such a display of sparkling, jeweled light, thought it must be from some great treasure and greedily sped to the window. Immediately she was aghast and foiled.
“Alas” she croaked, peering into the face of the former king who was smiling contentedly into her eyes from his humble abode.
Instantly her curse was removed and everything was restored to its former state, including the witch who broke her warty nose when she fell because her stainless broom had alasly disappeared.
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