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Long, long ago, in a small village, lived a carpenter and his wife. They have been married for many years but they did not have any children, and prayed that they would have one someday.

One day, when the carpenter's wife was sweeping the backyard, she caught sight of the vegetable garden next door and was amazed to see a lush greenery of rapunzel cabbages. She was soon overwhelmed with a craving so strong that she could not think of any other food but that.

The carpenter was at odds. He knew that the vegetable garden belonged to the famous village sorceress who was known to be cunning and powerful, and no one dared cross her. But his wife was beyond reasoning and his reluctance made her crave it even more. Even when the carpenter offered to buy some from the market, she did not want it and insisted on having the ones that belonged to the garden.

"If I do not have those cabbages, I shan't ever eat anything else again, and I will surely die," she lamented.

When his wife started becoming thinner and paler day by day, the carpenter feared for her life and, having no choice, did the unthinkable: he climbed over the wall every night to the sorceress' garden and stole the cabbages for her, hoping that the sorceress wouldn't notice a few missing. His wife was thrilled to have the cabbages and ate them all greedily, leaving no leaf untouched. She regained her health and appetite and was back to her old self again, much to the carpenter's relief.

One night, when the carpenter went to steal some more cabbages for his demanding wife, he was caught red-handed by the sorceress who was in a mood to have some cabbage soup. Furious, she threatened to kill the carpenter.

"Please spare my life," the carpenter begged. " I only did this for my wife, who craves your cabbages so much that she will not eat anything else and rather starve and die."

"Very well," the sorceress said after a knowing pause. "But no good deed shall go unpunished. Your wife is currently with child, which is why she has such strong cravings. You will give your child to me on its 1st birthday, and I shall spare your life. If not, all of you will die a wretched death."

The carpenter, fearing for his life, agreed to the terms. He was allowed access to the sorceress' cabbages freely, but the couple was filled with dread everyday at the thought of the sorceress taking the child they wanted so much.

Soon, the carpenter's wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but their happiness were short-lived as the sorceress came as promised to take her away on her 1st birthday. The sorceress named the baby girl 'Rapunzel' after the cabbages she was bred from, and raised her in a tower that reached the skies and had no doors save a few windows to let her see the outside world.

Rapunzel grew to be a beautiful maiden with long, golden hair that had never been touched by scissors or shears in her life. She often longed to leave the tower to see the outside world, but the sorceress would not allow it, telling her that the world was dark and cruel and would harm her at any moment's notice. Whenever the sorceress came to visit her, she would shout these words from the outside the tower:

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may climb the golden stairs!"

When Rapunzel heard those words, she would quickly let down her long tresses, and the sorceress would grab onto them and climb up to the tower to where Rapunzel stood in wait, and when she left at sundown, she would climb down the tower from the same long tresses again.

This routine went on for years, until one day, the Prince of the kingdom was out on a deer hunt when he saw the sorceress walking towards the mysterious tower his subjects often spoke of. Following her secretly, he soon saw the sorceress calling out to the tower and the long 'golden stairs' that flowed out of the tower window. Amazed and curious at the sight, he decided to wait until the sorceress left to try it out himself.

Once the sorceress left at sundown, the Prince waited a moment before he made his way to the tower, and following the sorceress, he shouted out the words:

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may climb the golden stairs!"

Like clockwork, Rapunzel let down her hair and the Prince climbed up the tower into Rapunzel's domain. He was instantly love struck at upon seeing the fair maiden's beauty, but Rapunzel, having never seen any other soul other than the sorceress, was a little afraid of him. The Prince tried to speak gently towards her so as not to frighten her, and soon curiosity prompted her to get to know him more.

Since that fateful day, the Prince would come to visit Rapunzel every other day, making sure that the sorceress was unavailable on that day to do so. He told Rapunzel tales of the outside world, wowing her with stories of his adventures as well as other stories he heard from his boyhood. As they met more and more, they grew closer and closer, until finally Rapunzel returned the Prince's feelings and agreed to be his Princess. They soon planned to run away together and leave the tower forever to his castle up yonder.

They decided to leave on the eve of her birthday at nightfall, and Rapunzel waited anxiously for that day to come. Unfortunately on that morning of the eve of her birthday, the sorceress came over for an unexpected visit, and as the old hag climbed up her hair, she pulled so hard that Rapunzel couldn't help crying out, "Oh Mother, how you pain me so! If only your touches were as light as the Prince's."

Enraged by Rapunzel's treachery, the sorceress grabbed a pair of scissors and cut off all of the fair maiden's hair and locked her up in her room. She then sat in wait for nightfall, waiting for the Prince to come as promised.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may climb the golden stairs!"

Once those magic words were heard, the sorceress threw down the hair she had cut from Rapunzel's head and watched him climb up to the top. The Prince had apparently fashioned a make-shift ladder carried on his back, no doubt to help Rapunzel escape from the tower along with him. When he was at the top, he was taken aback to be met with the sorceress's ugly face.

"You're too late, young Prince. Your beloved is no longer here, and neither will you!"

So saying, she pushed the Prince off the tower, sending him plummeting down below to his death. Making sure that he was no longer moving, she collected the hair and let Rapunzel out, laughing as she told her what she did and letting her see his body for herself. An unspeakable anger and despair boiled within the fair maiden's veins, and her vision blurred as she picked up a handful of her long golden tresses. The last thing she remembered before blacking out was the sorceress' loud and long cackle...

When she came back to her senses, Rapunzel found herself standing over the sorceress's body, her handful of golden tresses wrapped tightly around the old hag's neck. She was not naive not to know she had done, but she knew it wasn't enough to bring her Prince back.

And she did not want to a prisoner in her own home any longer.

Carrying a bundle of her hair, she made her way to the window and tied it back to where the sorceress did when she was waiting for the Prince. She then wound the rest around her neck, climbed up the window, and took one last look at the night sky before she jumped...

Once upon a time, there lived a rich merchant and his daughter Ella. His wife died when Ella was just 2 years old, but Ella grew to be as beautiful as her mother, and he loved her dearly.

One day, the merchant came home from one of his business trips along with a noble woman and her 2 daughters. Apparently they've met during his business trip and somehow gotten married soon after that. Ella, being the kind-hearted girl like her late mother, welcomed her new stepmother with open arms and tried to be friends with her 2 new stepsisters, but they were cold and distant to her, for they knew the merchant favored Ella more than them and did not like the attention she was getting.

Sadly, shortly after the stepmother and her daughters came into their lives, the merchant was suddenly struck by a serious illness and died a month later. Poor Ella's life was turned upside down as the stepmother seized control of the family fortune and stripped Ella of everything she owned. She was made into a servant girl and forced to join the hired help in doing all the chores in the big mansion they stayed. Sometimes Ella would be so tired from her day's work that she would be found sleeping against the fireplace, covered in cinders, so her stepsisters cruelly nicknamed her 'Cinder-Ella'.

One day, a joyous air flew about the household as they received an invitation from the royal castle. It turns out that the Prince was of age and the Royal Couple had decided to hold a grand ball for a week in order to find suitors for their young Prince. The stepmother wasted no time in telling Cinderella to help her stepsisters prepare for the ball. Cinderella tried her luck in asking permission to go to the ball, but the stepmother scoffed at her.

"You? Why would the Prince be interested in a plain girl like you when your sisters are far more beautiful?"

"Please, stepmother. I will not be a bother. I just want to go to the ball to have a little fun. I deserve the break, and after all, I am family."

"Well, if you are able to find yourself a dress fit to be worn for the ball and finish all your chores, I suppose you could. But until then, run along with you. You have a busy day ahead."

Taking her stepmother's word for it, Cinderella quickly and eagerly went about her day helping her stepsisters to get ready for the ball. In truth, she already had a dress in mind to wear for the ball, which was the beautiful midnight diamond ballroom dress that her late mother wore when her parents first met. She finished her chores in record time and soon got herself washed and cleaned thoroughly, and once she put on her mother's dress and showed up in time to join her family to leave for the ball, she was more beautiful than her 2 stepsisters combined.

Her stepmother and stepsisters were, of course, not thrilled when they saw her in that dress and the thought of her out-shining them drove them into a jealous rage. The stepmother accused her of theft and the stepsisters were only to eager to destroy the dress with their bare hands. By the time they were done, Cinderella's dress was in rags and she was no longer fit to join them for the ball.

Cinderella's heart broke as she watched tearfully at the carriage taking the stepmother and stepsisters towards the royal castle. All she wanted was to have a good time, just this once, and yet she was not even allowed that. As she ran to her usual resting spot at the fireplace and cried her eyes out, a sudden shimmer of light illuminated the room and a lady in white stood before her.

"Who are you?" Cinderella asked, still sobbing.

"Do not fear, little lamb," the lady in white replied. "I am your fairy godmother. I have watched over you since you were a baby, and now I am here to help you. What is it you wish for?"

Cinderella opened her mouth to speak, but somehow her heart told her that was not what she truly wish. The lady in white smiled at her knowingly.

"Ah, I see. A day to yourself is probably not good enough for you, is it not?"

Cinderella nodded, knowing that a night at the ball would not be enough to satisfy her. She needed her stepmother and stepsisters to pay for what they did to her mother's dress, and for what they have done to her all these years.

"Then, my little lamb, fetch me the best pumpkin you have in your kitchen, and get me the biggest rat and lizard you caught in your trap. Oh, and fetch me the rags you used today to clean your stepsisters' best ballroom shoes with."

Cinderella obeyed, going off to get the things her fairy godmother needed. The lady in white instructed her to put all the things in a row, in which she did, and chanted a few spells over them.

"It is done," the lady in white said as she returned the things to Cinderella. "Starting tomorrow, you must feed your stepsisters the rat and the lizard in portions, and let your stepmother drink the pumpkin juice, but do not let them know what they are having, and you must cook it with your own hands."

Cinderella nodded. That was an easy task; she made their meals everyday.

"And every evening before they leave for the ball, you must shine their shoes with those rags until they glimmer like glass. Things may happen that might not seem like it is to your favor, but it will all be right in the end."

"I do not understand, Fairy Godmother. What things?"

"You will. All you have to do is hold your tongue and bear with it till the end. Trust me, you will get what you deserve."

With that the lady in white disappeared before Cinderella could ask more, leaving her wondering whether or not she could really trust her.

Nevertheless Cinderella did as she was told. Everyday, for lunch, she would mix a bit of the meat of the rat and the lizard the lady in white charmed into the stepsisters' food, and would make pumpkin juice for her stepmother to drink. She also made sure that she would use the charmed rags she kept in her pocket to shine her stepsister' shoes till they shone like glass. They did not suspect a thing as they were too pre-occupied with the charming Prince to care about her and continued attending the week-long ball.

All the while Cinderella took in anything that was thrown at her and watching longingly at the royal castle for the day she would set foot within it, and would wonder about what her Fairy Godmother had told her.

Finally, after the ball ended, it was time for the Prince to choose his bride. Somehow, during the last day of the ball, one of the stepsisters have left behind one of her shoes at the throne room, and the Prince, who was somehow smitten with at least one of them but could not remember the name or face, have decided to marry whoever would fit that shoe.

Many women had been sought after to try on the shoe, but apparently the stepsisters have exceptionally big feet, and no one was able to fit it. When the Prince finally came to their residence, the eldest sister was the one who fit the shoe and was ceremoniously proposed to and carted off to the royal castle with the Prince.

Cinderella, who watched everything unfold, realized this was what the lady in white was talking about, but remembered her words and held her tongue, allowing everything to happen at its pace. She was promptly forgotten like the rest of the hired help and was left to her devices to sort out her family mansion, as her stepmother and stepsisters went forth to sought the riches of the castle. She took comfort in the fact that finally she was able to actually live in her own home again.

Later that night, at 12 midnight, Cinderella was suddenly awakened by a strong urge to go out for a ride. Donning her best riding outfit once owned by her mother, she got on her horse and rode on into the night, somehow following the trail of the royal carriage her stepmother and stepsisters rode with the Prince. The trail led her towards a steep hill and a shocking sight beheld her.

Apparently the carriage never made it to the castle. The horsemen were either dead or mortally injured. The escorts, foots men and the Prince's personal butler were torn to shreds. When she inspected the carriage, she saw her stepmother inside, her body stretched and twisted like the vines of a pumpkin and melded into the walls of the carriage, leaves sprouting out of every crevice of her pumpkin-colored skin and her face twisted into a frozen scream of horror. Next to the mangled up carriage was the Prince, severely injured and barely alive, and a few yards away from him were her stepsisters, or what used to be them, as she recognized the torn remains of the dresses they wore.

Her stepsisters looked wretched--the elder had turned into a giant rat, drooling and slobbering everywhere and was on all fours, barely even able to make a human sound save a long list of grunts and growls; the younger had turned into a huge lizard, crawling on her belly and making a mess of herself, making loud, grotesque hissing and spitting sounds. They were covered with injuries that seemed to have been inflicted on each other and their eyes were gouged out. It seemed that what happened to them had driven them insane and destroyed everything in their paths before turning on each other, losing their humanity in the process.

Cinderella, with her hired help, brought the Prince home and nursed him to health, sending word for the castle to inform them of his safety. As the Prince got better, so did his love for Cinderella grew, and when he asked for her hand in marriage, Cinderella was only too happy to accept.

Cinderella had finally received her dues, and her evil stepsisters, becoming the monstrous incarnation of themselves, were never heard from again.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a rich nobleman who had 3 daughters. They were all beautiful in their own way, but the youngest daughter was the most beautiful of all, and also kind and gentle, and she was known to many as 'Beauty'.

One day, the nobleman found out that he had lost his fortune over a bad business investment and had to sell everything he owned to settle his debts. Thrown from their life of luxury into the level of a commoner, the elder daughters were absolutely miserable, but Beauty, being the kind and gentle soul she was, adapted into it without complaint.

The nobleman's luck soon changed when he received word that one of his many business investments had miraculously bore fruit and the earnings were ripe for the picking. He would have to make the journey to collect those earnings and asked what gifts would their daughters want him get for them to celebrate their good fortune.

"Bring me a chestful of jewels of all kinds," the eldest daughter demanded.

"Bring me the best dresses from every place you traveled," the middle daughter begged.

"Just bring me a bouquet of fresh roses to add to my garden," Beauty requested.

Bidding his daughters farewell, the nobleman made the journey to where he would collect his dues. It was not much, but it was a start and enough to get their family back into the luxury wagon again. He managed to get presents for his elder daughters, but unfortunately the place he was in did not have roses, and he felt bad that he might disappoint Beauty coming home empty-handed.

On his way home, he took a wrong turn and ended up in the treacherous woods where man-eating wolves dwell. His ride was sabotaged and he lost his daughters' gifts in the process as he fled for his life. He stumbled across a dark, desolated castle and, having no other options, entered the grounds.

Once he was inside the castle, however, a lavish sight was upon him. A fire was burning warmly for him. A set of dry clothes was laid out for him. And best of all, a lavish dinner was prepared for him in the dining room. There were no signs of the host or the hired help, but everything was ready for him to his liking, even a bedroom for him to sleep in. And by the next morning, another set of new clothes and a hearty breakfast were ready for him, along with a grander version of his daughters' gifts and a strong, steady horse for his journey home.

As he rode out of the castle grounds, he caught sight of the castle gardens and was reminded of Beauty's gift he promised. Lo and behold, there stood a great rose bush, to the nobleman's relief, and he immediately went forth to unearth a bouquet of them for his beloved youngest daughter.

Suddenly he was seized by the throat and thrown to the ground, and when he looked up to see his assailant, he was shocked to be met with a lion-like beast with great fangs and horns, and choked by a pair of talons.

"How dare you steal from me!" the Beast bellowed. "After all the kindness I have shown you in my home, is this how you repay me?!"

"Have mercy, my lord!" the nobleman begged. "I only wanted to give what I promised to my youngest daughter, for I have 3 girls and I have yet to get her anything."

"I should kill you for your thievery, but I shall make a trade instead. Take as many roses as you like, but I will have one of your daughters in exchange. And do not try to renege on this deal, or your whole family will suffer my wrath!"

Fearing for his life, he agreed to the deal and left with the gifts and the roses. He managed to reach home safely and his daughters welcomed him home eagerly. His elder daughters barely noticed his distraught look, but Beauty did, and they soon learnt about his encounter with the Beast and the deal he made with him. Needless to say, the elder daughters blamed Beauty for their misfortune.

"This is all your fault for requesting such a selfish gift from Father!" they cried. "You must take responsibility!"

Beauty readily volunteered to be the trade, despite her father's protests. Taking the horse the Beast given to the nobleman, she rode on, allowing the horse to lead her back to its master.

Once she was within the castle, she was given the same red carpet treatment as her father did, only this time, the Beast would show up in the evenings to keep her company, dining with her and entertaining her the best he could. He had a bit of a temper, but Beauty had a way of soothing him somehow.

As weeks turned to months and months turned to years, Beauty and the Beast slowly grew fond of each other, and Beauty had somehow began to fall in love with the Beast. She was allowed to return home once a month, and as her sisters grew more and more jealous of Beauty's life of luxury far better than theirs as well as her looks, her father grew more and more worried of Beauty's reluctance to stay longer in her visits in favor of the Beast.

His worst fear was realized when Beauty came home for her monthly visit one day to tell her family that the Beast had proposed to her and she said yes. They were to be wed by fall and she was there to invite them for the wedding.

Her sisters went into a jealous rage at her good fortune and her father went mad with grief. They locked her up in the coal cellar and rallied the villagers to go forth and kill the Beast to release Beauty from his treacherous 'spell'. She was only released at sunrise by one of the Beast's mysterious invisible servants and the horse ready for her to ride back to the castle.

There, within the rose bushes of the castle garden the Beast gifted her, lay the poor Beast covered in mortal wounds and laying in a pool of blood. Beauty begged him to stay alive, but the Beast's life was slowly fading away.

"It is time you learn the truth, my dear Beauty..." the Beast whispered. "I am actually a Prince cursed by an enchantress...I was once an evil man, brought up by evil and never knowing love, and the enchantress cursed me to be a Beast as punishment...Only mutual true love will break the spell and it would've been so on our wedding night...But now...I am just happy to see you one last time...before I die..."

With that, the Beast breathed his last, and before her very eyes, Beauty saw as the Beast's features melted away--gone were the lion-like face, the fangs and the talons--to reveal a handsome, young prince. The Beast had told the truth but she was too late to realize it.

In a fit of rage and despair, Beauty killed her family and all the villagers to avenge the Beast that she had come to love with all her heart. But somehow, the more she killed, the angrier she was, and soon she was killing more and more people to try and bring down that rage to no avail. She would return to the castle every night after each kill, but by the next day, she was out again, searching for blood.

Just when she was about to make her next killing, a stranger appeared before Beauty in the form of a tall, beautiful woman with long-flowing forest-green robes and a golden crown adorned with green jewels, her hair as golden as the sun and lips as red a rose, but eyes as black as night.

"Who are you?" Beauty asked.

"I am the one responsible for the Beast's curse," the enchantress replied.

"What has he done to deserve this? What cruelty has he done to you to suffer the fate of never again being able to face the outside world?"

"I only meant for him to learn to love. His forefathers before him ruled the kingdom with an iron fist, and he was bound to follow their footsteps in their tyranny. If I were not to intervene, he would turn into a ruler worse than his forefathers and many will suffer from his sins."

"You were wrong!" Beauty cried. "He is everything to me! He had treated me with more love and understanding than any man can ever be! It's all your fault he's dead!"

"Years of being a Beast and you returning his love have humbled him, but his death was not my doing, but of your family."

"Then give me back my Beast! Return my beloved to me!"

"I cannot revive the dead, nor can I change the past, but your thirst for revenge has turned you into the same creature I have turned your beloved into. You have turned your love and loss into a form so distorted that you can no longer love or trust anyone. Your bloodlust is too great that I cannot allow you to be out there and massacre the world to soothe your own pain. You are a Beast, dear Beauty. A different kind of Beast, but a Beast nonetheless.

"Therefore, I shall transfer his curse to you. You are now doomed to remain a Beast until someone is willing to look past your monstrous form and love you for who you are, and you will never set foot beyond the gates of this castle ever again."

A long pause ensued before Beauty hung her head in resignation and replied, "I can never forgive myself for what I've done to my beloved. Do as you will to me. This is the least I deserve."

Beauty was trapped forever in the Beast's castle, never to leave and never to harm mankind again, and till this day, Beauty--now the Beastess--remained there, killing anyone who dares set foot into the home that she and her beloved shared, as she mourned for her lost love and yearn for the day that she would meet him again in another life...

In the times of old, there lived a King and Queen who want nothing more in the whole wide world than to have a child of their own. They have tried every trick in the book, but to no avail.

One day, as the Queen was bathing at a nearby lake with her servants and escorts, she saw a beautiful fish of all colours trapped in a mass of lake weeds, unable to move. Taking pity on it, the Queen went to free the fish, and the fish was so happy that it somehow gave the Queen a smile and swam around her in circles for a while before mysteriously disappearing out of sight.

A month later, the Queen miraculously conceived and soon gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The kingdom rejoiced and the King and Queen threw a huge party to celebrate. Everyone from far and wide were invited, including the forest folks. The 12 fairies of the fairy realm were the guests of honor as the Queen believed it was their magic that gave them their child. Each and every one of the fairies came forth to give their blessings to the baby princess, including wealth, prosperity, wisdom, beauty and the like.

When the 12th fairy was about to give her blessing, a strong gust of wind blew into the throne room and a huge greenish-black smoke tumbled in before the crowd. Within that smoke emerged the 13th fairy, who was also known as the Queen of Darkness from the shadow realm, the only part of the kingdom that the Royal Couple did not invite. Angrily, the evil fairy stormed up to them and bellowed, "How dare you exclude me from your joyous occasion? Am I not one of your subjects? Do I not deserve your celebration?"

"You are of the shadow realm, which is beyond our borders," the King replied. "Your dark and devious ways are no strangers to us. You are not welcomed here."

"Then you will pay for your insolence," the evil fairy growled as she loomed over the cradle of the baby princess and waved her scepter around her. "My gift to you, child, will be swift and brief. You may have all the gifts bestowed upon you by my sisters, but on the eve of your 16th birthday, you will prick your finger on a spindle and die, forever more!"

Before the King could order the guards to seize her, the evil fairy disappeared the same way she came, laughing maniacally. The Royal Couple was beside themselves with grief, terrified for their baby princess's life. The 12th fairy, who has yet given her blessing, came forth to them.

"Do not fear," she assured. "I may not be able to break the curse, but I may be able to soften it. Your daughter will not die from the spindle prick, but merely fall into a deep sleep, and the curse shall be broken by a true love's kiss."

Despite that reassurance, the Royal Couple were not taking any chances. The King ordered every spindle in the kingdom to be destroyed, and all the kingdom's tailors had to make do without spindles, buying great amounts of yarn and thread from other kingdoms just to make clothes. It was a little inconvenient, but it was for the sake of the princess.

Years went by in a flash. Before they knew it, the princess grew to be a lovely, beautiful and sweet young lady, bestowed with all the virtues she was blessed by the fairies when she was a baby. As her 16th birthday drew near, the castle was hustling and bustling with life, getting ready to prepare for the celebration. The days passed without incident, and the Royal Couple were more or less convinced that they have beaten the odds and avoided the curse from the evil fairy.

Unfortunately the evil fairy was not to be outsmarted. When the King ordered for the mass burning of spindles, they did not count on the fact that the evil fairy herself had one hidden away in her chambers, waiting for her chance to exact her revenge on the Royal Couple upon the princess.

On the eve of the princess's birthday, the evil fairy disguised herself as one of the chambermaids and brought the spindle to the tower of the castle. Spinning away, she sweetened her voice with magic and sang out loud for the princess to hear, and sure enough, the princess's curiosity led her to the tower and to the room where the evil fairy and the spindle were.

"What is that, my good lady?" the princess asked, having never seen a spindle before in her life.

"This old thing?" the evil fairy, disguising her voice, replied. "This is a spindle on a spinning wheel. Have you not seen it before?"

"I don't believe I have. What does it do?"

"It spins flax into yarn and thread, of course. Would you like to give it a try?"

The princess nodded eagerly, very interested in trying this new contraption before her. In her haste, however, she did not see the evil fairy shoving the spindle in such way that she would inevitably prick herself, and lo and behold, she immediately fell to the floor and went into deep sleep. The evil fairy put the princess on a bed within the tower before she disappeared mysteriously as she came, laughing with malice.

Weeks passed. Months passed. Years passed. The kingdom and its people had abandoned the land after noticing the deathly silence that permeated the castle grounds. Thorn bushes began to grow and surround the castle walls due to neglect, and cobwebs, dust and debris littered everywhere. Scavenging beasts started to infest the castle grounds and take residence behind the walls as the thorn bushes grew thicker, barricading them in even further.

Rumors started to spread about the princess--dubbed The Sleeping Beauty--who was cursed with the sleep of death and was resting up in the tower, waiting for the right man to come and claim her lips with a true love's kiss to break the curse. Many a young men have tried their luck in pursuing this rumor, but neither one of them was able to conquer the thorn bushes or the beasts within, and the rumor slowly grew into legend as the years went by.

Before they knew it, 100 years have passed.

One fateful day, a young prince on a pilgrimage to manhood stumbled upon the legend of The Sleeping Beauty and decided to try his luck. Despite discouragement from the locals, he made his way to the abandoned kingdom and found himself before the legendary thorn bush.

Armed with his bright and shiny sword, he trudged on, chopping and cutting away at the thorn bushes as he made a path for himself towards the castle. With his great stamina and long years of sword-training when he was a boy, he slew the beasts that came his way and continued to cut through the thorn bushes relentlessly.

Finally, after almost 3 days, he finally managed to cut his way through and found himself within the castle grounds. An odd sight lay before him as he saw every single resident of the castle grounds were fast asleep. Guards hung their heads snoring while standing in attention. Gardeners leaned against the flower bushes and flower beds with tools in their hands as they slumbered. Chambermaids lay against the wall and slumped onto the floor with whatever they had in their hands as they slept. Cooks and kitchen boys and girls stood or sat over whatever they doing and snoozed away. Even the livestock were asleep wherever they last set foot in. It was as if time stood still within the castle grounds of the legendary Sleeping Beauty.

The prince quickly made his way towards the tower where the Sleeping Beauty lay, battling scavenging beasts at his wake. He soon found her there next to the window, her bed frame covered with the vines of roses and littered the sheets with its petals. Her hair spread decoratively on the pillow, she was a sight to behold as all the virtues bestowed upon her by the 12 fairies were illuminated on her sleeping form. The prince couldn't help but fall in love with her as he leaned in to give her the kiss.

No sooner the prince laid his lips on the Sleeping Beauty, than her beautiful jeweled eyes fluttered open. She was even more beautiful awake than asleep as the prince helped her to sit up from her long slumber. The prince could tell that she had a lot of questions on her mind, and he was willing to answer them all, in addition to asking her for her hand in marriage, but something frightful began to take place before his eyes.

As Sleeping Beauty slowly got to her feet, her skin started to shrivel and dry up. With every step she took, her skin shriveled up more and started to peel and crack, revealing the dried up flesh within, as if she was a piece of rotten fruit. Flakes of her skin and flesh started to fall off to the floor, as did her hair until she was like a walking corpse. Her beauty disintegrated quickly as she rotted more and more before the prince, her clothes shredding and tearing along with her. Before he knew it, Sleeping Beauty was no longer the legendary beautiful princess, but a pile of bones and dust before his feet.

The prince looked out of the window, trying to make sense of it all. Outside, everything was as what happened to Sleeping Beauty. One by one, the residents of the castle became the walking dead, slowly rotting and crumbling into dust, long moans and groans echoing throughout the whole place. Neither one of them had the chance to make sense of their situation before they found themselves melting away into nothingness.

After what seemed like forever, the castle fell into a deathly silence again. The prince left the tower in horrified panic and saw that the whole place had turned into a ghost town, scores upon scores of skeletons littered the area. Even at the throne room where the Royal Couple sat, there lay their bones in their tattered clothes, spelling 100 years worth of decay. The prince felt almost at a loss; all his efforts to be met with such a gruesome sight and nothing to show for.

Suddenly all that excitement seemed to have worn the prince out. He felt the sudden urge to rest and take a nap. He didn't care where or what, he just needed something to rest on until he was refreshed enough to continue his pilgrimage.

He slowly walked up to the King's throne, gently removed the skeleton of the once King, dusted the throne a little before slowly resting on it. Just a couple of hours, he thought as he closed his eyes. Just a couple of hours before I go on my way...

Outside the castle grounds, the thorn bushes started to grow again...

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