Phillip/Aurora: A Witch's Vengeance

The light of a fresh, pink dawn awakened me that morning; slowly I stretched and turned to watch the beauty of yet another sunrise fall gracefully over my own Sleeping Beauty. But Aurora was no where in sight - only an empty pillow and deflated sheets at my side. I sat up, tossing aside my blankets as I looked about the room - my wife, nonexistent.

But then, a beautiful melody floated on the morning’s soft breeze through the wide bedroom window, both glass and curtain thrown open. The familiarity of both the lovely voice and the words already put me at ease; I stepped across the room to stand at the window’s sill, gazing down at the gardens not too too far below, and smiled.

“...I know you!
I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you!
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
Yet I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem
But if I know you
I know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once
The way you did once upon a dream...”

Swirling through the gardens, flowers at her heart, birds playing at her skirts, she enchanted the very world at her feet. For a moment, I simply watched, wondering to myself how I came across such a spectacular jewel, the rarest of treasures.

She finally caught sight of me in the window just above her, and paused, smiling up to me with the sweetest of eyes, the tenderest of expressions. “Oh, good morning, Phillip!” she called, her voice seeming to still trill in song.

“Good morning, Love. Enjoying the morning?”

“A most beautiful one - I could not resist coming out to watch!” Aurora batted playful eyes, beckoning me, “Come, join me; will you, Your Highness?”

“Anything for you, Your Majesty,” I gave a mock bow from my perch at the window, adding, “I’ll be down in just a moment.”

I dressed, pulling on my shoes before I left our chambers.  I hummed Aurora’s song to myself, as I made my way down the halls, unusually empty - barren of the usual butlers, servants of the like that scuttered around at this hour preparing for the day ahead. How odd.

Quick, light footsteps skittered over the marble floor just ahead; I looked just in time to catch a glance of familiar fabric, silken skirts darting around the corner. “Aurora?” I called, confused, hurrying my pace. As I made the corner, I heard the clacking of an opening door, a pair of feet on wooden stairs. And, unsurprisingly, a door was left ajar at the end of the hall. I trotted to it, slipping inside myself. It was an old servant’s staircase, spiraling upwards to each of the higher floors and beyond to the tower above.

There! A glimpse of golden hair flashing in the stray light. I hollered her name again, wondering if this was yet another of her games, although it did seem a little more than strange. I chased the flicker of hair, the footsteps, higher and higher; the person itself all but a ghost.

Breathless, I reached the top of the staircase, the pinnacle of the palace tower. It was an old, dusty room, inhabited only by spiders and their massed city of cobwebs. Aurora was no where in sight.

I walked the small room briefly, around the spinning wheel covered in its gray blanket of age. I strolled to the window and gazed to the landscape far below, everything as little as children’s toys. Sighing, I wondered if there was something wrong with my head.

“Oh, Phillip, how good of you to join me.”

Spinning around, I came face-to-face with the rotten toad’s face of a warty witch, shadowed in a cloak of black. She sneered gleefully at me as I jumped back, fumbling for my sword … which was not there. Curse me! I should always have some sort of weapon at my side.

“What are you doing here - what do you want, wicked witch?” I demanded. Even from this distance I could smell her stinking breath.

“That you will come with me. And if you are a good boy, you will do this the easy way and come without a fight.” She stepped forward, a crooked hand outstretched to me.

“Of course not!” I scoffed at the lady. If I didn’t have a weapon in the form of a blade, I always had my fists.

“Tisk, tisk, tisk,” she shook her head, waving a finger at me as if she was only a innocent old woman, and I a naughty little child. “Well, it will have to be done the hard way then.”

She charged at me with incredible, unbelievable, force, yellow claws reaching for my face. Before I could throw up any sort of defense, my world faded to black; my final vision her hungry eyes and reaching hands.

The End

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