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Fiction Fantasy Romance

It was a beautiful day in the kingdom of Vanitas. The king of Vanitas had 3 daughters, his oldest, Nora, believed herself more beautiful than any woman in the world.

As Nora walked down the streets of her kingdom, a beggar crawled to her on all fours.

"Please, your majesty...could you spare a few coins for a meal? I'm so very hungry..." said the beggar.

"Sorry, but I only help people as beautiful as I am, which is nobody! If you want coins, maybe you can bathe in the river and shave that beard off!" Nora said with a scorn.

She then walked away in a huff. She then turned a corner and a little girl who was playing with friends ran into her, staining her dress with dust and mud.

"You little urchin! You ruined my beauty! I hereby order you to work off my dress at the sawmill!" ordered the princess.

One day, at a ball, Nora stepped onto the castle balcony and declared to her subjects that she was more beautiful than the goddesses in heaven themselves.

Talia, the goddess of the forest, Lusinnia, the goddess of the moon, and Vera, the goddess of fire, were outraged by Nora's arrogant claim. The two goddess agreed that Nora must be put in her place. That night, as Nora lay sleeping tight, Talia, Lusinnia, and Vera appeared in her room and muttered a silent chant in a language only the gods knew how to speak. The next morning, when Nora woke up, she looked at her reflection in the mirror in her chamber and screamed in shock and horror. On her head were horns, fangs and scales. Her eyes were lemon yellow, and her nose was like a Boar's snout. In place of her hair, there were eels sprouted from her head instead.

Nora fell to her knees and sobbed into her hands. When the guards ran in to see what was the matter, they froze and screamed at the sight of the princess. The guards ran out in a panic. Nora ran out of her room, at the same time that her parents were having a conference with their council.

Her parents and the council were so repulsed by Nora's new change in appearance that Nora's own mother and father exiled her from the kingdom of Vanitas, with the threat of death if she dared to return. Nora walked the lands, longing for a place to take shelter, when Polo, the God of the sun, appeared before her.

"Nora, you have been cursed as a divine punishment for your arrogance. There is a way to restore the curse, you must perform acts of selfless charity. For every unselfish act you perform, your stolen beauty will return little by little. To the South is an abandoned cottage, and just to the east of that abandoned cottage is a village."

"But what if the villagers hurt me or kill me because of my appearance?" Nora asked.

"The villagers will not harm you, I have warned them that any villagers who harms you in any way will suffer a punishment worse than your own. Take this money pouch, and take shelter in the cottage."

Polo then disappeared.

Nora slept in the floor of the abandoned cottage. The next morning, Nora was awoken by a man screaming. She went outside to see a bandit standing in front of a young traveler with a sword at his throat.

"I don't want your life, I just want your valuables, make this easy for yourself." said the bandit.

Nora ran out and tackled the bandit, the bandit was so terrified at her appearance that he ran away. Nora's hair and nose returned to normal.

"Thanks for your help, miss...uh..." the man started.

"Nora." she finished.

"Thanks, Nora. I'm Teruk, a hunter in these lands!" the hunter said.

"Nice to meet you, Teruk!" Nora said.

"So what brings you out into the country?" asked Teruk.

"I...I was exiled from my city..." Nora said.

"I sense animal tracks. Stay close by..."

Teruk examined and then followed some animal tracks into the woods, Nora followed close behind. About a mile into the trail, Teruk signaled for Nora to be quiet. Teruk and Nora silently stood over a boulder concealing them to see an enormous wild boar. The Boar was peacefully munching on a patch of grass, not paying any attention to it's surroundings. 

 "It's massive enough to feed an entire village!" Thought Nora, giving her an idea.

Teruk loaded an arrow on to his bow, aimed carefully at the boar's closed eye, and let go of the drawstring. The arrow pierced through the Boar's left eyeball and passed through the beast's head out it's right eyeball, killing it in but a moment. Nora clapped for the Hunter. When Teruk lifted the carcass, Nora helped to carry it too. Her tusks then disappeared.

"You, know, Teruk, I have an idea! This boar is big enough to feed a village, and there's a village to the east of my cottage! Why don't we share the meat with the villagers?" Nora suggested.

"That sounds like a great idea, Nora!" Teruk replied.

The two brought the carcass to the village. 

"People of this village! We come bearing a gift! Please enjoy this meat we've given you!" Nora declared.

Nora's scales disappeared.

The Villagers gathered around a large bonfire in the square, feasting on the boar carcass. Teruk sat next to Nora and thought that if it weren't for Nora's horns, she'd be quite lovely.

That night, the two went to the local temple and Nora donated a few coins from her coin purse. Nora's right horn disappeared.

As Teruk walked Nora back to her abandoned cottage, Nora asked Teruk "Do you have a place to sleep, tonight?"

"I am a wandering Hunter, I live out of a tent, mainly..." Teruk said.

"Would you like to share my abandoned cottage?" Nora offered.

"That...That sounds wonderful!" Teruk answered.

Teruk and Nora rested that night together in the abandoned cottage. The next morning, Teruk gasped when he saw Nora.

"What's wrong?" Nora asked.

"Your face!"

Nora looked in the broken mirror and saw that the left horn on her head had disappeared as well. The curse had finally been lifted.

Nora turned and kissed Teruk in delight. Teruk kissed her back.

July 09, 2021 17:50

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1 comment

Alex Sultan
10:30 Jul 10, 2021

I like the concept of this story. I feel like it could be expanded into a novel, or something longer than a thousand words. Even so, I think you did great with the word count - the message gets across and is easy to read. I enjoyed this :)

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