The Mountain Prince

Written in response to: Write a story that involves sabotage.... view prompt

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Fantasy Romance Fiction

      Evelina’s shimmering, rose-colored wings fluttered as she bounced from one flower head to the next in a graceful dance. Her best friend, Ingrid, clapped her hands in delight as she watched from a purple mushroom top.

           “I liked this one even better than the last!” Ingrid cheered.

           Beaming, Evelina leapt off the white daisy and took a bow while her feet sunk into the soft blanket of vibrant, green moss. Rays of golden light filtered through the tree leaves landing on Evelina like a spotlight. “Thank you! I’m proud of that one.”

           A shadow fell over Evelina, and she turned to see the intruder. Marley stood in a wine-red gown with her arms crossed, interrupting their joy with a heavy weight of dread like she always did. Even Marley’s burgundy and white wings appeared to twitch in irritation. Those wings filled Evelina with envy. Like the wings of a monarch butterfly, they had a unique, stunning pattern. As far as Evelina knew, Marley was the only one to have patterned wings.

           “I’ve come to fetch you, silly girl,” Marley smirked like she had an evil plan, but that seemed to be how her resting face set.

           “What for?”

           “Bayard has come for dinner.”

           Evelina groaned and looked towards Ingrid for sympathy, which she readily provided.

           “All the reason for me not to return home then,” Evelina dropped into the moss and wrapped her arms around her knees. “Doesn’t it bother you?”

           Marley shrugged. “This is how things are, sis.”

           Ingrid stared at a ladybug walking between them towards Marley. Ladybugs loved Marley.

           Bayard was a suitor. A suitor their father adored because he was a profitable and strategic one. A suitor their mother showed complete indifference too because he didn’t provoke any interest with his lack of personality or charm. The part that Evelina hated most was that he was a suitor who just couldn’t make up his mind between Marley and her. Despite that they both had bold and totally opposite personalities, to him they somehow seemed too alike to know. Their parents expected them to put on this whole show of winning him over to help him make his choice, and Evelina found the idea of pitting them against each other appalling. The fact that nothing about this man was worthy of any amount of effort, aside, it felt cruel.

           “If you wish to marry him, I’ll gladly step aside.” This wasn’t the first time Evelina offered. Marley never answered one way or the other about it, and acting like she didn't want to win didn’t seem to help the fool make up his mind either. In fact, Evelina was suspicious her lack of interest may be more enticing to him.

           “I have something that might make you feel better,” Marley said. Then she pulled a paper from the folds of her gown.

           “What’s that?”

           “A letter.”

           “From whom?”

           “The Mountain Prince.”

           “Whose he?” Ingrid asked.

           “From the kingdom that lives among the stones way up there.”

           “For me?” Evelina asked.

           “Yes, of course, for you. Why else would I give it to you?”

           “I didn’t know there was a kingdom in the mountains. How do they survive? Isn’t it cold?” Ingrid asked.

           “They adapt.”

           “Why would he send me a letter?”

           “Oh, will you read it already?” Marley held out the letter and shook it in her hands. Then she dropped it, and the paper slowly drifted to the ground. Evelina raced over to collect it with curiosity burning through her mind.

           “Maybe he wants to marry you, and you can forget about Bayard!” Ingrid said cheerfully.

           Evelina groaned. “This whole courtship thing is so awkward. I wouldn’t know him. Not that I know Bayard either. I wish I could marry you.”

           Ingrid smiled. “We’d have so much fun together!”

           Marley shook her head and looked like she couldn’t tolerate the two of them any longer. The ladybug rested at Marley’s feet, so she scooped it up into her arms and gently rubbed it’s spotted back.

           With a deep breath, Evelina braced herself to read the letter. She held the paper up to the light, and the words she read melted her heart. The sentences were poetic, loving, and kind. “Your sure this was intended for me? How could someone write such things about a person they’ve never even met?”

           “Your reputation is noteworthy,” Marley said. “I’m sure everyone’s heard what a kind and special one you are.”

           “It’s true! I’ve heard it all the time,” Ingrid said.

           Evelina wasn’t sure what to think. This seemed a bit uncharacteristically caring for Marley who went through great pains to avoid complimenting her. She claimed she didn’t want to burst her head with how filled it already was. 

           Ingrid snatched the letter and read it herself. “Oh, my! Evelina, it’s so beautiful!”

           “Well, maybe Bayard will be all yours, Marley. I rather like this…Caspian.”

           “Father will never approve. The mountain kingdom isn’t lucrative enough.” With that Marley flew away. The ladybug remained at her side.

           Although Evelina didn’t know anything about Caspian, it was hard not to feel something for those beautiful words. She turned to Ingrid who was pouting with her.

           “Maybe I’ll write him anyway. He did put in an awful lot of effort and it’d be a shame to not respond.”

           Ingrid grinned. “I agree.”

           Having officially decided, she spent the whole night pondered over what to say. She didn’t listen to any of Bayard’s ramblings, not that he’d even notice, and she barely ate a bite of food. Finally, the right words came. She crafted the perfect letter. While Marley claimed to disapprove, she agreed to mail the letters for Evelina to help keep things discrete.



           By the twentieth letter exchanged, Evelina felt completely in love. No one had ever understood her so well.

           “Perhaps you should meet him,” Marley suggested. They sat on the edge of the forest watching a family of giants.

           “How?”

           “Go to the mountains.” Marley squeezed a chunk of cream-colored mushroom in her hands.

           “I’d never make it all the way!” Evelina looked at the distant, snowy mountain range. “None of my clothes are warm enough either.”

           “You see that giant in the flowery dress? The one with that glass jar in her hand?”

           “Yes.”

           “She can help you.”

           “She can?”

           “Yes. She can walk up to the mountain because she has those big legs. All you need to do is fly over there and land in that jar. It’s like a train of sorts. She’ll walk you up the mountain and you’ll be nice and warm in the jar. You can sleep the whole ride. I’m sure you’ll be plenty warm at the palace.”

           “I didn’t know about any of this. Do we often travel this way?”

           “Oh, yes. All the time. That’s why she’s out there with it. Looking to give rides.”

           “Huh? Why have I never heard such a thing?”

           “There’s plenty you don’t hear, sis. Always with your head in the clouds. How could you, after all?”

           “She’ll know to take me to him.”

           “Whisper it in her ear as you pass, and she will.”

           “How will I get back?”

           “Will you want to?”

           “Of course! I’ll miss you and Ingrid and mom and dad.”

           Marley smirked. “I’m sure Caspian can arrange it. Probably has giants of his own.”

           “I should say goodbye to everyone.”

           “No, you should go now. While the offer is there. The giants aren’t always willing. I’ll let them all know.”

           “Thank you! I…I can’t thank you enough. I’ll be back soon!” Evelina waved and flew towards the giant. Her heart soared with excitement. She’d finally get to meet her love.

Once at the giant’s ear, she whispered her destination. The giant swatted a hand towards her, but she dodged in time. Unsure what that meant, she glided into the jar.

“Firefly!” The giant yelled.

What on earth does that mean?

Then the giant clamped a lid on top of the jar. To keep the cold out, I suppose.

The giant clutched the jar tightly in her hands and ran towards the large palace she lived in. Evelina laid on the smooth surface and tried to sleep. It wasn’t the most comfortable means of transportation, that was for certain. All that mattered was that it would carry her to her love. How did he ever find me?

The air felt strange, and despite the energy in her heart, her eyes grew heavy. Evelina fell asleep.

When she awoke, she found herself still in the jar. The jar was perched on top of a smooth surface. All around her were walls of pink and unmoving smaller giants that didn’t quite look alive. Evelina gasped in horror. Why was she surrounded by dead giant babies? Then she noticed the unmoving, unlively cats, dogs, and small horses. She screamed. What was this awful place? Why was breathing so hard?

She flew to the top of the jar and pressed on the lid. It wouldn’t move. She saw one, single hole, but it was far too small to crawl through. She rammed into the side of the jar hoping to topple it over, but it only left her with a sore arm.

Then she saw a large black and white cat waltz into the pink room of death.

“Help me! Help me!” Evelina slammed her hands on the side of the jar.

The cat looked up at her curiously while licking a paw.

Evelina hit the glass harder. She pounded on it with small fists.

The cat flicked it’s tail back and forth.

“Ugh! You stupid beast!” She screamed. Then she threw a hand over her mouth. I never talk like that!

The cat turned to walk away.

“Wait, I’m so sorry! Please, come back. Please, help me! I’ll do anything you ask.”

The cat turned its head back, and then paused. After a moment, it turned around fully and leapt up next to the jar. The cat batted its paw at the jar until it toppled over. Evelina vomited as her body was hurled through the air and thrown from one side of the jar to the other. The vomit spun around her covering her whole body, hair, and wings. Gross!

The jar smacked against the hard wooden floor and cracked. The cat jumped down and examined the jar. Then it began to roll the jar out of the room. As Evelina flipped over and over, the world spun, and she grew sick again. The cat pushed the jar, and her, down a staircase. Evelina passed out.

When she regained consciousness, she was laying, twisted, in shards of broken glass. One of her wings was torn. Her purple dress was covered in vomit and tattered. As she pushed her body up, she winced in pain. Her whole body felt broken.

“Thanks, I guess.”

The cat made sure to have her attention and then looked up. “I need you to knock that bag over.”

“You can talk?”

The cat stared at her blankly.

“What’s in it?”

“My treats.”

“Oh.”

“Just fly up there and knock it over.”

           “After that rough ride, I’m not sure my wings work.”

           The cat hissed.

           “Alright!” Evelina felt weak and like her wings took more energy than usual to move, but they lifted her off the ground. Then she crashed back down.

           The cat huffed.

           She tried again and managed to just barely make it over the countertop. She shoved the bag down and little brown balls scattered across the floor. Happily, the cat ate them up.

           “How do I get out of here?”

           The cat nodded towards the door. “Use the cat door.”

           Evelina flew over towards the door, desperately trying to ignore the aches and pains. She pushed the flap out and stepped through. The outside looked familiar. The giant didn’t take me anywhere!

           “How will I ever get to the mountain like this?” She sighed. “I should go home.”

           She flew as far as she could. Then she collapsed on an orange mushroom. A fairy in a yellow dress with stunning golden wings was nearby collecting wild berries.

           “Oh, my! What happened to you?” She asked.

           “I was trying to get to the mountains,” Evelina whined.

           “The mountains? Why?”

           “To meet Prince Caspian.”

           “No one lives in the mountains, dear.”

           “He does though. They─”

           “No, dear. You must be mistaken. No one lives in the mountains. I’ve never heard of Prince Caspian.”

           “My sister said the giants could take me in a jar.”

           The golden fairy gasped. “Those jars are prisons! Did you…oh my, dear. You look awful. Let me get some help.”

           The golden fairy flew to collect some of her kingdom to help. There is no mountain kingdom. The jars are prison. She never let me mail any of the letters. She always gave me the ones that came for me. Oh, I’m such a fool. Now I see how he knew me so well.



October 07, 2021 20:25

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6 comments

Alex Sultan
18:24 Oct 13, 2021

I really liked this! It beats 'Out of This World Peppers' for my favourite story of yours. The dialogue is perfect. It all reads natural, and I especially like the snappy responses. The imagery at the beginning sets the scene and tone well. The twist is great. It was very dark and not at all how I thought the story would go, and neither did it confuse me. It all read smooth and quick from start to finish.

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Annalisa D.
18:56 Oct 13, 2021

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the comments. I'm always working on dialogue and trying to make it better. It's often been one of my weaker points, so that's great to hear and know I'm improving! It was a fun one to imagine and write. I'm glad it's a favorite! Thank you!

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Eric D.
16:50 Oct 08, 2021

I'll be frank the first part took me a while to read maybe because I just havent read a lot of deep fantasy books before with heavy lore, I mean this is a full world you built and its amazing. But I have to say the second half blew my mind. I really ended up enjoying it and could easily picture the scenerio. She was so sweet and naive the MC, I had a feeling she was being captured in that jar. But I got emotionally attached to her and now I'm so angry at the sister for what she did. 🤬 must know what happens next 😋

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Annalisa D.
17:00 Oct 08, 2021

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it and felt for the main character. In a way it feels good knowing people were angry because it shows investment. Thank you!

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Danny G
07:28 Oct 08, 2021

Oh that evil little trixie. Good story and it make me mad she would do that to Eveline.

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Annalisa D.
15:26 Oct 08, 2021

Indeed she is haha. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

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