Good day, O readers, and welcome once more to this fantastic celebration of Fiction Friday. As I'm sure you've noticed, I haven't been as active online lately as I sometimes am, and for that we must thank my wonderful brain. My wonderful brain has decided that it does not like me, and that it is going to make my life as miserable as possible.
I could wish that this misery did not propagate outwards and cause other people, like the very patient roommate, to be miserable as well, but sadly it does so. I've been doing my best to deal with it without causing actual harm to anyone or anything, but that requires a lot of time and a lot of energy, and that takes away from what else I can do. Such as Facebooking, blogging, and writing.
Still, I do have a Fiction Friday post for you, and would greatly appreciate your interest and your comments as I travel east to attend my cousin's wedding over this weekend. Please enjoy this little pull from the Anne archives, and I will try to get back into things a bit more in the weeks to come... including, possibly, some more fanfic. One can only hope.
Once upon a time there lived three sisters. The eldest sister was as brave as a warrior, and the middle sister was as wise as a queen, and the youngest sister was as beautiful as a flower. Yet, despite their differences, the sisters were dear to one another, and were often to be found together, laughing and talking over those things which pleased them best.
The mother of the sisters was a noblewoman of middling degree who made a foolish choice when the kingdom went to war against itself. She was lucky to lose only her lands and castles instead of her head, but still, her mistake meant that she and her daughters became impoverished at the time of their lives when the sisters were most in need of dowries.
Yet mother and daughters held their heads high and went with dignity to dwell in the one castle remaining to them, or rather in its gatehouse, for the castle itself was an ancient ruin, fit only for rats and ghosts. There the mother planted a garden and tended it well, and the eldest sister found work as a keeper of the peace in a nearby town, and the middle sister kept the accounts for several businesses in that same town, and the youngest sister made their tiny home a haven of comfort, and so joy came into their new lives, even more than they had known before their sorrows.
In the attic of the gatehouse, one rainy day in spring, the sisters found a tattered book of fairy tales, and when their work for the day was done, they sat together by the fire to read, and to talk about the stories and which ones they liked best.
"I wish I were a fighting princess," said the eldest sister, "brave and bold, slaying evildoers and righting wrongs. I would destroy monsters that menace towns and roads and bridges, and topple tyrants from their ill-gotten thrones, and teach those who are weak to defend themselves, so that all my people could feel safe to live their lives. And if I ever wished to be married, I would seek out a prince who could hold his own against me in a contest of arms, for strength should be paired with strength and not with weakness."
"I wish I were a clever princess," said the middle sister, "well-lettered and witty, seeking learning and using it well. I would find ways to lessen sickness and hunger and want, and encourage trade with all the corners of the earth, and teach those who know little to read and write, so that all my people could find wisdom for themselves. And if I ever wished to be married, I would seek out a prince who could understand my riddles and give me a puzzle in return, for those who think clearly should always be at one."
"I wish I were a gentle princess," said the youngest sister, "patient and persistent, working hard and smiling often. I would hold festivals where children came to sing and dance and laugh, and see that those who needed help received it, and teach those who are sad to find goodness in life, so that all my people could have a chance to seek out happiness. And if I ever wished to be married, I would seek out a prince who could find true delight in smiling faces, for those who desire joy are well-met and well-matched."
Now the mother of the three sisters, though she seldom spoke of it, was a sorceress of no mean power, and when she heard the words her daughters had said to one another, she determined in her heart that each of her children should have her wish. And so that night she cast a mighty spell, and the next morning each of the sisters awakened in a bed fit for a princess, for each was now the heroine of her very own story, just as she had wished it before the fire with her sisters.
With which sister, do you think, would you most wish to journey? Choose wisely and choose well, for all roads are not the same in the universe of story...