Monday, September 5, 2016

Song to Story Challenge-- "Brier's Curse" by Anne Leskey

This is the first story from Anne, so give her a nice welcome! She's kicking off the Song to Story Challenge with a Sleeping Beauty retelling based on the song "Happy Birthday"

Brier's Curse
By Anne Leskey
(Based on the song "Happy Birthday")

     Once upon a time there was a small kingdom, ruled by King Louis and Queen Rachel. For many years they had longed for a child, mostly a girl.      
     One day Queen Rachel came to a fairy, despondently.
     “Your Majesty, what can I do for you?” the fairy said, waving away a black and orange butterfly.
     “Well.” The queen glanced around. “I want a child.”
     “Humph,” snorted the fairy. “All right. I’ll get you one. But, one thing, dear, don't forget to invite me to the Celebration!”
     The queen agreed and went home. One year later a royal celebration was ongoing. The King and Queen had invited the fairies whom everybody thought about, twelve. They, though, forgot the one that gave them their daughter. The fairies were to give the baby gifts.
     “Beauty!” laughed one, daintily placing a rose in the child's hair.
     “Joy,” the second retorted. “No child can live without it.”
     “A sweet little voice,” the third chuckled.
     “Dancing skill,” the fourth said. “And...”
     “Only one gift!” snapped the fifth. “We have to leave something for the last ones! Manners for her highness is mine!”
     “She'll retain her beauty even unto her old, wilting age!” sighed the sixth, a blond pretty one. “Alas that I didn't give myself that before I shriveled up!”
     “I already gave her beauty!” screeched the first. “You…cheated!”
     “Oh…Must I give her one?” said the seventh fairy. “I can't think of anything…except that one that my friend gave to peasants. May she always like her peas!”
     “Why not that she like broccoli…a family trait!” the King said.
     The fairy frowned and ushered up the eighth.
     “Ohhhhhh!” said she, lightly touching the child. “I think she should have the gift of people liking her, like a dog seems to like fleas and all manner of disgusting smells!”
     “Couldn't you have thought of a better…example. Her majesty has a weak stomach,” the ninth rebuked. “Speaking of stomachs, may she always be brave, or a least be able to put on a front!”
     The tenth sighed. “Ah, may she never have back pains!”
     “That DOES NOT RUN IN THE FAMILY!” the king boomed.
     “Oh!” the eleventh sniffled. “May she never catch any sickness, of the sort of cold or influenza.”
     “Why am I always the last?” the last said, woefully.
     Suddenly the door burst open as the forgotten fairy came into the room, pulling a green shadow over everything, with a large wind.
     “I told you not to forget me! In repayment of your debt,” she spat. “Little Brier Rose will DIE on her sixteenth birthday. And to watch you attempt to break this: It shall be of a needle!”
     She vanished, leaving the queen wringing her hands so hard that she almost fainted. The king began to wail, still saying that dying on one's sixteenth birthday didn't run in the family. Rose began to happily coo. The nobles looked worried. Queen Rachel looked about expectantly. The cook, not knowing what was going on, came in blowing a loud horn, bringing a large yellow cake.
     “Destroy! Crush! Bargain!” cooed Rose, speaking for the first time.
     “That's it!” the king said. “But it doesn't work!”
     “Your majesty,” the last fairy said, “I recall that I haven't given Little Rose a gift.”
     The queen looked up hopefully, tears having forever ruined her dress.
     “I cannot completely revoke the…ahem…curse.”
     At this moment the none-to-bright cook said, “Anyone like some food? I dunno why ya all are talking about curses and all that. But I do believe that it's lunch time.”
     Everyone ignored her. The fairy made it so that Rose should not die but sleep for one hundred years. Every alive thing in the kingdom, excluding plants, would instantly fall asleep the moment she did. Also the surrounding kingdoms would sleep until two days before she woke. With that all the fairies left. The King and Queen smiled.

Fifteen Years Later:

“Mama! Mama! MAMA!” yelled fifteen-years-and-eleven-months-old Rose, outside the meeting room. “Mary says that lunch is ready!”
     Queen Rachel walked out. “Shh, Rose, go eat, then.”
     Rose left, sneezing; her golden retriever Rag-Doll’s hair always made her sneeze. She walked into the kitchen, snatched a sandwich (she never really was very hungry) and walked outside. A noise in the bushes started her and a horse came rearing out.
     “Ick!” she squealing said, reaching for the horse's mane. “Easy, boy!”
     “Girl, actually,” a voice said. “We apologize for Heather.”
     A tall boy stepped out of the bushes. “I…We are Prince Eric of…I can't remember what.”
     “Um, I am…We…Brier Rose,” said Rose, laughing.
     Queen Rachel came out. She glanced at Eric. She nodded. “There you are,” she said. “Your father sent you.”
     He nodded. Queen Rachel told him that in one month there would be a great celebration of Rose's sixteenth birthday. He ran off. Five days later he came back with the news that King Patrick, who was King Louis's friend, and Queen Ellen would come to the celebration.

On Rose's Sixteenth Birthday:

     Rose skipped, despite being sixteen, into the bedroom.
     “Rose, stop!” Queen Rachel said.
     Either not heeding or not hearing, Rose went into the room, to fetch her new yellow silk dress. Rose did not know, though, that one of the seamstresses had dropped a needle. If she had, she wouldn't have gone in. As it was, she went in and slipped on a large piece of silk.
     “OW!” she yelped, as the said needle slipped a little into her finger.
     “Oh, dear, Rose?” Queen Rachel came up, fainting as she saw the needle.
Rose fell asleep. Instantly everything in the kingdom fell asleep, making some amusing positions, seeing as they didn't fall, but merely became like statues. 
     Ninety-nine years, eleven months, and twenty nine days later Eric woke up, and realized that he had to go to the celebration. “Ugh,” he groaned. “Mother never wakes me up!”
     He rode to the kingdom. The walls were covered in vines, which he climbed, seeming not to notice his horse ran away. Pausing at the mossy gates, he sighed,“What happened here?” using his old habit of talking to himself.  Pushing his way in, he came across what looked like painted statues. “Oh, there must be an enchantment,” he said to a random overgrown plant.
     He pushed open another door and found Rose.


     Queen Rachel woke up. Remembering the details of the enchantment, she wondered if Rosie had woken up. King Louis was walking around, passing by Queen Rachel, wondering why he hadn't asked the fairy to preserve the food. Queen Rachel began to walk up the stairs when she heard a heavy thud, coming from Rose falling off the bed, and two screams.
     “Oh, Rose must be awake,” King Louis said. “Just think, I'm one hundred and thirty-six!”
     Queen Rachel ignored him, rushing into Rose’s moldy room.
     “Hello,” Eric said, sheepishly. “I came for the celebration; however, I found people practically stone!”
     “Mother,” Rose said. “The fairy said that everything, plants, food, cloth, all that, would be back to normal in five seconds!”
     In the named time, the things turned back to normal. The celebration went on as planned one hundred years before. The yellow silk was discarded for a silver one. Eric went out to find his horse. Heather, however, had found her way back to his kingdom, so after a five-day trip, he found the horse and then rode for two days back to King Louis' kingdom. There he found his mother and father.
     “Eric!” sniffled his mother, Queen Ellen. “You've been gone for seven days!”
Three years later Eric and Rose got married. And, though they lived happily, most people thought they didn't because they fought about things like the flavor of cookies. King Louis and Queen Rachel had another child, William, and he married Eric's sister, Marian.
     The Kings resigned and William, Marian, Rose, and Eric became the kings and queens. The Fairy who cursed Rose was pardoned and went by Joan, although she said she wouldn't accept their forgiveness because they did promise that she would get to be at the baby's party.
     Heather, a Clydesdale mare, and Rag-Doll, who insisted on shedding all over the place, having received gifts from Joan, lived with Eric, Rose, Joanna, and Little Louis. Every one of the royal people liked to boast that he or she was extremely old, until one day they found Little Louis saying that he was “eighty-five hundred, like Father!” to the empress. She raised her eyebrows, looking at the three-year-old child.
     The Fairy, that half revoked the curse, went by Sarah, and became Joanna's and Louis's governess, in a manner. Sarah also governed William and Marian’s child, Catherina.

Copyright 2016 by Anne Leskey

Inspired by:
Happy Birthday To You, which, according to Wikipedia, is by Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill.


  1. This was really cute! Nice twist on a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I especially likes the faeries and the king's protestations :)

  2. This is very funny, and I love "Ninety-nine years, eleven months, and twenty nine days later Eric woke up, and realized that he had to go to the celebration." And yes, the King's input!

  3. Ah, yes; Marvelously hilarious! And everybody's said it before, so, in order not to copy, "Ναι, ο βασιλιάς ήταν εξαιρετικά αστείο." I also really liked the cook. A truly tremendously wise cook. A real expert in the arts of living, that cook.

    1. Thank you. Though, you may have misread,'The none-to-bright cook' isn't wise, except in the art of cooking.

    2. I am quite certain that I did not misread the aforementioned sentence subject, however eating is of fantastic importance in any such times and, as such, the cook becomes the bearer of extreme wisdom.

  4. Oh my word, this was good. XD
    Love it how the first thing the king declares is, “Just think, I'm one hundred and thirty-six!”
    You did a great job with the fairies; so diverse. With their manner of speech, I can't help but wonder...are they siblings? :D
    Great job, Anne!

    1. Thank you. I suppose the Fairies are sisters, though I hadn't really thought about it.

  5. I was impressed with how you captured a lot of personality in each character in such a short story. I feel like they would absolutely fill up every page if this were a novel. Reminded me a lot of Jessica Day George's characters, actually. ^_^


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