Waking Beauty

Rory’s eyes fluttered open and her first thought was, “I can’t breathe!”

She tried to sit up but succeeded only in hitting her forehead hard against what turned out, upon further examination, to be another forehead. She also realized that her breathing problem had been caused by someone’s mouth covering hers. Someone staggered backward, clutching his head and having the good grace to look embarrassed.

“Sorry,” he mumbled.

“I should think,” she replied. One hand fumbled under her pillow and came out with a dagger, which she promptly unsheathed. “Guards!” she shouted. “Help!”

“They’re probably just waking up,” he said. “Give them a minute.”

“Silence, knave.” It occurred to her that the guards really should have arrived immediately, and that even though she was brandishing a weapon, the intruder had his own sword at his side and had made no move to draw it. Had he already killed them? “Who do you think you are, anyway?”

He cleared his throat and gave an elegant bow. “Prince William Alexander Michael Eduardo Lysander de Montebello de Gros, at your service.”


“Erm, yes. An uncle by marriage.”

“Well, Eddie, since when do princes sneak into the bedchambers of princesses?” The man was covered in fresh wounds, she saw, scratches that could have come from fighting. “And did I mention, help!”

“If you’ll just let me explain–”

The doors flew open at last, and three guards rushed in, brandishing their halberds. The prince, if that’s what he really was, held up his hands and started to protest.

“Take him to the dungeons,” Rory said, and they complied without hesitation.

“But your highness,” he said, “I don’t–”

One of the guards cuffed him on the mouth, shutting him up while another dragged him out. The third bowed to the princess. “My apologies, highness. He shall be interrogated at once.”

Now her nursemaid rushed in, her face wrinkled with dismay. “My word, what a commotion! Where did you get that, that…” She gestured at the dagger, then waved dismissively. “Never mind. Your poor nerves! I’ll have a bath drawn at once.”

Rory yawned. Judging by the light streaming through the window, it was just about dawn. Or was it sunset? No, it must be dawn. “If it’s all the same to you, Nursey, I could do with a few more minutes of rest.”

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18 Responses to “Waking Beauty”

  1. Amalia T says:


    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. I love the idea that she had him hauled off to the dungeons for his importunity! Great twist.

  2. I love the twist on this! It made me laugh. Great job this week, Valerie.

  3. This was a fun piece. She is a firecracker and I love the end. I could see her as a fun character to describe. Ending left itself open to many possibilities.

  4. Brilliant. Well played. I’d never thought about what her reaction would be upon being woken.

  5. Great pacing, description, dialogue. It moved very well. I’m not sure I understand the ending, but it certainly got me thinking of different possibilities. I love ambiguity. Good job.

  6. ganymeder says:

    Serves him right for taking advantage of her while she slept! Absolutely. Love. This.

    Just fyi, you might enjoy the novel, Red Hood’s Revenge. It’s a rewritten fairytale novel, featuring Red Riding Hood as a hired assassin, but Sleeping Beauyy and Snow White have their alternative versions as well. It’s part of a series, but I believe one of the earlier books covers Sleeping Beauty’s story. 🙂

  7. Stupid prince. Thinking he can just get away with waking sleeping beauty like that? LOL

  8. Aidan Fritz says:

    I love her voice (the way she expects to be listened to and her; and the way she doesn’t even notice the curse she’s made it through) and the silliness of the names you achieve in this.

  9. Oh, the things people tend to overlook…
    Loved this, Valerie, so funny!

  10. Maria Kelly says:

    I love it when fairy tales get twisted up like this. Fabulous!

  11. ~Tim says:

    Princesses are so high maintenance.

  12. Good one! That certainly is more likely what would have happened.

  13. Adam Byatt says:

    This princess seems like she has a great chutzpah.
    Good fun to read.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  14. Laura Eno says:

    All that work chopping through the vines for nothing…
    Excellent alternative story!

  15. Valerie says:

    Thanks for reading, all! Excepting the versions where our narcoleptic heroine meets her beloved in advance, it always seemed a bit silly to me that they’d hit it off right away. Not that it won’t all work out in the end, mind, but nothing should be so easy! Imagine realizing that you’re destined to be with some guy just because he was able to wake you up with a kiss… that’s heavy stuff.

    ganymeder, I’ve seen that series and meant to give it a shot. Thanks for reminding me!

  16. Brinda says:

    Totally unexpected take – serves the presumptuous prince right 🙂

  17. I greatly enjoyed the twists in this story, especially the last moment. Well done. I’m looking forward to reading more of your stories.


  18. Like some of the others, i really like twisted fairy tales, and you are quite right, who said she was going to fall for the first prince (this is a bit Shrek ish, but the best bit is that she needs more sleep. Very funny.

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