|Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire|
Once upon a time, in a beautiful kingdom near the Loire, there lived a princess called Ciel. She was an adorable little girl, whose curiosity was only surpassed by her great kindness.
When Ciel was old enough to leave the castle, her mother, seeing the princess’s insatiable curiosity, gave her a warning.
“You can take any road you like, my dear, and visit any place in the kingdom… except the Silent Forest. There lives a demon who devours every living being that dares to enter those woods.”
On the last day of Spring, Ciel drifted away from the palace’s garden. She walked for many miles, chasing the last butterflies of the season, giggling with their iridescent tickles. She only noticed she was lost after the sun had hid behind the ancient pines -on the moment when the last butterfly was swallowed by the icy mist that was crawling into the woods.
Ciel looked around and shrieked. She was in the Silent Forest! Remembering the queen’s warning, she ran and ran, looking for a way out of the woods… But the more she ran, the deeper she got into the forest.
Darkness had taken over the place. All she could see was the black silhouettes of the skeletal trees against the moon.
Ciel sat against one of the dead pines and cried. She was cold, tired and hungry, lost and alone in the middle of the Silent Forest. And right then, to make things worse, she heard the demon’s haul. It was her doom.
A lark heard her lament, and came flying to her rescue. Of course, being so small and harmless there was nothing he could do to save the princess from the demon, so he did the only thing he could: he sang. His song was so beautiful that the princess stopped crying and smiled. She forgot all about her hunger, and the cold. She no longer felt alone, because the lark was keeping her company. She didn’t feel afraid anymore either, despite the demon’s haul was getting closer.
Sitting on top of the tree, the songbird could see the light of many torches nearby, right in the outskirts of the forest, approaching from the North. They were looking for Ciel! They weren’t that far from her, but the demon was much closer, and if she stayed there he would find her before her parents could get to her.
The bird decided to bring Ciel to her family, taking her away from the demon’s reach. It so happens that this monster was binded to the forest by a powerful spell, so he couldn’t leave it. If the lark managed to take Ciel out of the forest, she’d be safe.
The lark flew down to her side, landing on her shoulder and looked at her with love, silently asking her to follow him. He then flew towards the light, guiding her through the darkness, with her following close behind. Before long she was out of the forest, back into safety, in her family’s arms.
They were so glad that Ciel was safe, hugging her and kissing her, that they didn’t see the demon’s flaming red glare observing them behind the bushes. As Ciel turned around to thank the lark, the monster swallowed him up.
“No!” she cried. And before the demon could disappear again into the woods, her father shot him with an arrow, killing him instantly. Although everyone cheered the king for having saved the kingdom forevermore from the terrible monster, Ciel cried for losing her friend.
All of a sudden, the monster’s jaws parted wide open… and a song emerged from his entrails. Everyone looked at the demon, still lying on the ground. There was the tiny bird, standing victorious on the monster’s tongue.
Celeste rushed to his side and thanked him, caressing him with gratitude. The king and the queen invited the songbird to live with them at the palace.
They all lived together, happily ever after.
Here's a list of all the amazing wordsmiths in our cyberspatial society (you'll most definitely want to check them out!):