MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “princess”

Wishing and hoping

bus-cartoon-comic-breadwig.com_What if everything everyone ever wished for you came true? Wouldn’t that make you super happy? Wouldn’t that make you feel invincible? Megan had the strange ability to realise every wish everyone else ever wished for her.

Not her own though.

And there was one catch. The wishes that came true where those that were spoken by the elderly passengers of a specific bus. The number 23 that followed a circular route up to the town’s old medieval castle.

Megan would take the bus once a week to go to her grandmother’s house. She lived in the hills of the upper city, where the ruins of the old town walls were situated. They were used to fortify the city in the Byzantine times and later even used as a prison when the city came under siege. Now all that remained was ruins. The older townsfolk frequently travelled up there because that is where most of their leisure centres were situated. And tourists travelled up there because it featured one of the most amazing panoramic views of the city below.

Megan first noticed the coincidence when she got up to give her seat to an old woman who got on the bus. The old lady thanked her and wished that Megan would always be as smiling and kind. Megan could not stop smiling for the rest of the day. No matter how much she tried. Even when she was watching a tearful period drama that night on television, she could not shake off that smile.

She did not pay too much attention to that at the time. But the next week, when the same incident happened (Megan thought it was only proper that she would give up her seat for the older passengers), an old man wished her that she would find someone who would appreciate her kindness and good manners. Fate would have it that at her stop she slipped on a small puddle of water that had formed at the middle bus doors and almost fell out. But she conveniently fell (literally) into the arms of a young man who was standing just outside. She fell in love with his smile and strong grip. He was mesmerized by her sparkling eyes. That was the beginning of their long-term relationship.

It just seemed that whatever was said in that “magic bus”, as Megan called it, it came true. And it was all good wishes that brightened her life. She was bound to get it all: to be smiling and happy, to find success and joy, to live a life as she wished.

When Megan decided to tell her grandmother about her special trips up the hill, her grandmother smiled widely. She told her a tale that there was a princess who lived in the castle three hundred years ago. When she was born, she was blessed by all the townsfolk who were invited by the King and Queen to share their joy of having a newborn. The townsfolk were so enchanted by her beauty that they simply wished that the child be happy and have everything she would ever wish for. Megan’s grandmother said that the princess indeed lived a long and happy life and it was under her rule that the city thrived. She joked and told her that the elderly passengers of the bus could be descendants of these townsfolks who believed Megan was the reincarnation of this princess, and so she deserved to have the same fortune. Megan smiled. She was too old to believe in fairy tales.

But on the ride home, an old woman whom she helped onto the bus took her hand and wished her that the kindness she offers be returned to her. And that her children will be as blessed as her. Megan smiled and thanked her kindly. That night, her Prince Charming proposed and ten months later, they had their first child who grew up to be as handsome as his father and as caring as his mother.

Megan slowly started to believe in fairy tales. But maybe it was just the fact that she wanted to believe so much that made all her wishes come true.

Or maybe there truly is a magic bus roaming around each town?

 

N.B. 1 Inspired in Thessaloniki by the Heptapyrgion – Yedi Kule.

N.B. 2 Song that inspired the title of this story is “Wishin’ and hopin’” by Dusty Springfield

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The wolf isn’t always bad

??????????????????????????????????????Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. When they came of age and were ready to move out of the house, their parents told them that they should build strong houses to protect themselves from the big bad wolf who roamed the country and was constantly an imminent danger to them. So, to cut a long story short, the first little piggy built a straw house that was blown down by the wolf in seconds. The second little piggy built a wooden house which was also destroyed instantly by the wolf and they both ran to the third piggy who was smart enough to build a brick house which was almost impenetrable to the wolf.

“Couldn’t he get a power drill to break it down?”

“Why? Are you on the side of the wolf? He’s supposed to be the big and bad one. It’s the little piggies that you should root for!”

“Yes, but everyone deserves a fair chance…Maybe he just wanted to talk to them and be friends because he was lonely and his aggression was the only way of outing his suppressed feelings”.

“OK, Jack, let’s move on to the next story. That might put you to sleep.”

So there was a prince that the whole kingdom was proud of. And yes, in that time, such people still existed. When he became of marrying age, his father decided to hold a ball to find him a suitable princess to marry. So invitations were sent far and wide, and all the fair maidens excitedly began to prepare for the biggest night of the year.

“Oh, I know what happened! A wicked witch came the night before the ball and cursed the prince into a wolf. He had to find his princess by midnight or he would forever remain a wolf!”

“OK, that’s an interesting twist. So this Wolf Prince, then…”

“Wait, why not Prince Wolf?”

“Well, because that sounds like barking more than anything else.

So this Wolf Prince started to panic. It was a full moon that night and the King began to fear he would start to howl too. So the Queen placed a cloak over the Prince’s head because terror would ensue if people saw his real (cursed) face.

Maidens stormed into the ballroom and began their frantic attempts to conquer the heart of the Prince. But it was not easy. Especially given the mental and physical state he was now in. But it was only a few minutes before midnight, when the doors of the ballroom opened wide and a bright light came flooding into the room, causing many to cover their eyes. The Prince was mesmerized by the white figure that stood in front of the spotlight. It was a young maiden, dressed in a sparkling white ballroom dress and as she elegantly descended the steps, he saw the crystal glass slippers she was wearing. Her blonde hair, golden as the light that was accompanying her, fell gently around her shoulders. When she looked into his eyes, he knew instantly that she was the one. He had a few minutes left. So he took her hand immediately, stared into her eyes and told her “I’ve been waiting for you”, to which she softly replied “sorry I was late”.

At the sound of midnight, the Prince’s wolf form magically changed back to his charming self, as his cloak dropped while he was dancing with the new Princess of the realm. And from then on, they lived happily ever after.

Now you should go to sleep. I’ve told you two stories tonight.”

“OK, but what happened to the witch?”

“Well, nothing really. She probably went to find the wolf so that neither would be lonely anymore and they could control their evil tendencies”.

“That’s nice”, the little boy said with a smile as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

A night knight

medieval-stone-tower-9627126There was once a princess called Cecilia who lived in a large stone tower. When she was young her parents had locked her in the tower to punish her for being so mischievous. But the key had broken in the lock when it was time for her to get out again and for some inexplicable reason she had remained there for a decade or so. She would receive all relevant nutrition and luxuries through the tower window, by a makeshift elevator. She was a sort of Rapunzel and she constantly dreamed of that one prince who would come to rescue her.

One night, as she was now a young adult, she was staring at the full moon shining brightly and streaming all of its glistening light in through her only window. She had never seen the moon that big before. Maybe it was a sign her life would change. That something good was about to arrive. She fell asleep bathed in the moonlight.

Cecilia was awakened by the sound of hooves stomping on the stone-paved path below the tower. She hastily got up and looked out the window. It was a young man all suited up in what could only seem like those expensive suits Cecilia had read about in her fashion magazines. He was sitting proudly on a white horse. He seemed awfully sure of himself and gestured to Cecilia as if she was the prince she had long been expecting.

Cecilia politely smiled and mouthed a greeting. And then he condemned himself. He asked her to come down the tower so they could ride together back to his castle where she would become his princess.

If I could come down, do you think I would still be up here?” asked Cecilia quite irritated.

The prince appeared shocked. Obviously he wasn’t very smart.

I’ll throw you a rope and you can climb down then,” he offered.

Cecilia was so disillusioned she turned away back into the tower and even shut the window, something she very rarely did. This was no prince, she thought to herself. “What kind of gentleman tells a lady trapped in a tower ‘I’ll throw you a rope?’”. “Pfff”, she thought, “hopefully my real prince charming will come soon. One who knows how to treat a lady. Who will arrive with flowers and love notes. Who will know exactly what to say at the right time. Who will be so sweet and gallant that he will strike a sensitive chord in her heart, making her cry with happiness”.

Weeks passed and Cecilia carried on her routine. Silently suffering her enclosure. But just when she was beginning to despair, it happened. It was a night with a full moon as big as the one she had seen a few weeks ago.

A blunt arrow flew straight into her window and landed with optimal precision onto her bed. Only looking at it more closely she saw it was not really an arrow, but a rose. A single red rose whose sweet scent filled the room.

With the rose in hand she approached the window. And right there stood the most beautiful white stallion she had ever seen, with hair glistening in the moonlight. It stood still waiting patiently.

At the bottom of the tower, Cecilia could make out the figure of a young man. He seemed to be occupied with something. As Cecilia tried to distinguish what was going on, suddenly a ladder rose steadily up the outer tower wall. And the young prince was climbing up with it.

In under a minute he was standing before her, his bright brown eyes staring into hers and offering her a dozen red roses neatly packaged, fitting for a princess.

It has been days since I have been trying to find a way to come to you, my princess. These roses are not enough in front of your beauty. But I promise I will do anything to make you happy, if only you will allow me to be your prince.

Cecilia melted away. Here he was, standing before her, the prince charming she longed for. Who said chivalry was no more? It is just so rare, that you have to be patient enough to find it, and when you do, never let it go.

Regal at heart

Crown of King of SpainWith the proclamation of a new King in Europe, the question of monarchy or republic is once again brought to the forefront. But truth is, people like these royal traditions and pompous ceremonies. They bring an air of glamour, of majestic pride, of fascination and of elegance to an otherwise dull, boring and sometimes even pessimistic routine.

Kings and Queens in the modern world are more of a symbol. One of national pride, which also provides a sense of stability and continuity in times of political and social change. The system of constitutional monarchy is seen to bridge the discontinuity of party politics. And despite the corruption scandals of both democratically elected politicians and hereditary monarchs, people love to fondle over where the royals go on vacation, what they are wearing, and where they live. In essence, you would be more interested in a glimpse in the life of a queen for example, than of a Member of Parliament. The former simply has more prestige attached to it, if only by title.

Nonetheless, we are often left to wonder what the point of a monarchy is nowadays.

It is all about the symbolism.

And the innate desire of every human to have a bit of royal in themselves. We all wish to be king or queen (or even prince or princesses) of something. Getting some ideas out of the lives of people who officially bear the title never did any harm.

“In the past, people were born royal. Nowadays, royalty comes from what you do.”
– Gianni Versace

Blue-bloods and Castles

DSC07165Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Be it Cinderella (the rags-to-riches type), Snow White (the I-have-seven-dwarves-to-protect-me type), Little Mermaid (the sea-lover type), or even Sleeping Beauty (the I’ll-wake-up-when-reality-is-better type), being part of a royal kingdom is part of every girl’s dream.

Heck, everyone at some time or other dreams of being royalty, because it fits into the idyllic image of being able to do whatever you want, having whatever you desire, without a care in the world. But the best part of it all, is that you get to enjoy royal castles and palaces. DSC06981Especially the ones hidden away in the Bavarian Alps, like Neuschwanstein. The one Walt Disney used as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. And one of the most famous and beautiful royal castles in the world.

Having already completed the idyllic scenery of this castle in a puzzle a few years ago, it was only fitting that we would also visit the ‘life-size’ Neuschwanstein.

DSC07127After all, there is always something majestic about visiting a palace, or royal castle. Even a smaller one like Linderhof.

DSC06990 Both built by and for King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century, the latter was intended as his summer residence and modeled on the Versailles Palace, idolizing the absolutism of the French monarchy, something he could not have in Bavaria where he was forced to share power with parliament.

spiegelsaal LiderhofAdorned with gold inside and endless gardens and statues outside, Linderhof is a treat. Even covered in snow it is truly magical.

And then, secluded and enwrapped within the Bavarian Alps appears the fairy tale castle.

The one whose paintings feature the legends of Tristan and Isolde; Sigurd the Dragon Slayer and Gudrún the Avenger; Lohengrin the Swan Knight; and Tannhäuser, as well as the famous opera by Richard Wagner Parcifal the Knight of the Holy Grail. schlafzimmer NeuschwansteinThese resulted in a spectacular interior design for his castle, a castle that was never completed, as he died having just lived 172 days inside it.

Visiting royal castles and palaces and listening to the myths and stories behind the history of the places and people who inhabited them transfers you to a different time. When people needed horse-drawn carriages to climb up to their palaces, that featured hundreds of steps and in which each room served a different purpose – and in which in order to get from one end to the other you needed a map, or even an entire day!

DSC07142Yet, there is a beauty in being inside these 19th century castles. You imagine yourself living in the time when court jesters where the entertainment available, not playstations and tablets; when the longer and more extravagant the dress, the more elegant it was considered; when gentlemen courted the ladies; when the court was a symbol of richness and power.

And no matter how high or how far you need to travel, sometimes visiting such places is worth the trouble. DSC07121

Even if you slide down iced-snow slopes and fall flat on your bottom and lose your breath for a minute or two. The experience of walking in the same corridors and rooms in which a king lived over 200 years ago certainly compensates any fall!

All photos (apart from the interior rooms – not allowed) are mine, taken in Bavaria on 27 December 2013.

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