Once Upon Love (the story)

This story is very much like regular fairy tales. It probably will have a mushy, kiss-y, lovely, happy ending where everyone lives happily ever after. Don't say I didn't warn you. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We must begin at the beginning.

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Deep in the muck and slime of the swamplands, where the moss covered whole trees and the water remained stagnant unless it was raining, lived the Ogres.

Ogres are recognizable by their rounded, puffy noses, balding heads, huge limbs, and greenish skin. They often get warts, and usually have scars from tripping on their own huge feet in the swamp muck. Their extra long, beefy limbs often got in the way when they tried to move too quickly.

Here also dwelt something unusual. Beside the mushroom field, in a hollowed out tree, lived an Ogre family that had one day chanced upon an unusual item. It was a reed basket. It was snatched from the water and immediately overturned in the beefy hands of the eldest female. Inside a tiny screech was heard. It squealed incessantly. Thinking what luck she had in finding a pig, she carefully opened the basket. Inside she found something that was indeed pink, but it wasn't a pig. It was a human baby.

When he was tiny and chubby, the Ogres thought he was kinda cute, but as he grew and developed longer human limbs, they thought he was ugly!

"Hey, Ugly!" the teen Ogres would call. "Let me beat your face in, maybe we can pretty it up!"

If he was feeling like a workout, and he usually was, he would take them up on their challenge. "Come and get me!"

This usually resulted in a huge brawl. And lately, the human would come out of it completely unscathed, much to the anger of the Ogres.

Surprisingly though, the human would merely turn and walk home. He never gloated, boasted, nor used this power to lord over the teenage males. Perhaps if he had, they would have respected him. A sit was, they only were more disgusted at him for behaving so un-ogrely.

At 17, he had gotten used to being the ugliest creature in the swamp. He was used to the Ogres having to choke back their bile when they looked upon his face. He was used to being the butt of every joke. He was used to thinking he would never find a suitable mate.

Often he dreamed of falling in love. But the Ogres took pleasure in reminding him that he would never find a mate. No ogre would love a face like his! They didn't even know which way to travel to find any humans, and they sure weren't leaving! The swamp was the only place for Ogres.

So the lost human raised by Ogres was feeling hopelessly stuck in the swamp.

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Up in the highest room of the tallest tower a Princess was looking through a telescope.

"As far as the eye can see, my dear. You will one day rule all of it!"

"Do you, Father?" she asked innocently.

"No, see that dark smudge in the south? That's the swamp. No good ever comes from there. It's the land of the Ogres. And we have no reason to want that land.

And over to the east, just beyond the river is the neighboring kingdom of Dunmarr. And that brings me to some exciting news." The King's voice did not sound excited. His daughter braced herself for something she wouldn't want to hear. She knew when her father said something was exciting, but his voice wasn't excited, that he was bracing himself for her angry tirade of displeasure.

"The King of Dunmarr is coming over tomorrow and he's bringing his handsome son, Prince Rantoule. I wish for you to wed him."

Here it comes.

"Oh Daddy, no! I wish to marry for love! I don't want to be told who to marry! It's not right!"

"Your Mother and I are perfectly happy.."

"Why am I an only child? Huh? And why do you have separate bedrooms? And why do you never dance together anymore?"

"..."

"See? I don't want that to be me! I would rather run away!"

Since there was no reasoning with her when she was like this, the King took his leave from the tower. The Princess stewed, simmering in this new information that she had dreaded for so long.

She felt betrayed by her own father, and trapped by her impending future. She didn't know how to escape, where to go, or even what to do. She was hopelessly stuck in a castle.

The End

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