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“A New Sleeping Beauty” by Grace Alven

We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty. The happily ever after that comes at the end. Yeah, no. There was a happily ever after for a little while, but it didn’t last long.

Aurora and Phillip got married and had one baby girl. Her skin was as fair as her mother’s and her eyes sparkled brown like her fathers. Strawberry blonde hair adorned her head, and when in the light it looked like a halo.

Their daughter was their pride and joy. Adela was an angel. The princess of the kingdom who was loved by all. Her sunny disposition and wide-eyed gaze made it very easy to love her. One would have to actively try to not like her.

Adela was told stories when she was very young of the evil fairy who tried to put her mother into a deep sleep. Each time she would cower under her bed sheets, afraid of the darkness. And each time Philip would proclaim that he would protect his daughter from everything. She would believe it.  

At the age of 2 she was taken by the very same woman who they had proclaimed dead for so long. Aurora and Philip were in the foyer greeting the previous king who had come to visit. Thinking that Adela was asleep, they left her alone in her room. With a quick gust of wind, the doors of her room flew open and the candles swiftly went out. Adela turned in her bed to be greeted by a woman with large black horns and green magic surrounding her hands.

And with that, the king and queen never saw their child again. Search parties were sent out the moment they realized she was gone, but nothing ever turned up. Nobody had thought it could be Maleficent. She was dead! So the searches went on and on for 14 years until they had given up, declaring their angel dead. The whole kingdom mourned. They had all known she was most likely gone, but nobody had wanted to admit it.

Adela watched from the shadows, looking down at the townspeople weeping in loss. How pathetic. She thought to herself. From her rooftop lookout she could see nearly the whole castle courtyard where people of all ages wept. They never even knew me. Adela stifled a laugh. She adjusted herself and leaned back against the shackles of roofing. It wasn’t comfortable, but the people couldn’t see her with the darkness of night. With the time she still had until she would strike, she thought about how her life had gone so far.

With all of her training and learning with Maleficent, she couldn’t remember her parents. The only thing she knew was what she was told. That they were horrible. Aurora and Philip were not her parents. They had given her up, for god’s sake! Maleficent had taught her to fight and fend for herself. She even taught her some basic magic.

Adela knew how to take care of herself, and she was grateful to the woman who raised her for teaching her how. She grew up fast. She had to. Adela didnt mind though. For her, it was exciting being grown up.

Now was the time that their plan would go into motion. Adela and Maleficent would rule side by side over the kingdom. They would be queens in an unforgiving world. Ideas for the plan were put together by the both of them. It had to be perfect. And they knew it would work. It had to.

She snapped out of her daydreaming when the bell tolled, signalling that people could go into the castle, and climbed down from her rooftop perch. Immediately, she checked for her daggers that were hidden just under the many folds of her dress. Her fingers brushed the hilt of one that was positioned on her thigh. Adela pulled her dark velvet hood over her head, so to hide her strawberry blonde hair. It wasn’t difficult to fit into the crowd just as long as she kept her head down.  

Townspeople made their way into the now opened castle doors and Adela went in with them. She took in her surroundings with great displeasure. The hall was decorated with flowers and dark tablecloths. Soft candles lit the whole place up. Pft. Play up my “death” some more, why don’t you?  Adela thought bitterly to herself.

She slipped out of the crowd to a small servant’s hallway just to the left of the main room. From here she could get anywhere in the castle. There was only one place she wanted to go. One place she needed to go.

With each step, Adela could hardly contain herself. She would meet the people who had abandoned her so long ago. Her “parents” that she had harbored so much resentment for.

Finally, she stood in front of a large wooden door. An ornate design of silver lined the outside and the handle. She feigned sadness and knocked softly on the door. It opened slowly to the king. His eyes widened as soon as he saw her.

“A-Adela?” Phillip asked in disbelief. “You aren’t dead! Our baby isn’t dead!” Adela faked a smile and let herself be pulled in by her father. He wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Adela responded with a mask of joy. Phillip began crying softly.

As fast as she could blink, the dagger was in his back. She watched him crumple to the ground, her face void of emotions. Blood pooled on the ground at her feet. She stepped over his body, taking her knife from his back.

“Adela-” Aurora stood in the doorway from an ensuite bathroom that was connected to the bedroom. Her eyes drifted downwards in horror before meeting her daughter’s unwavering gaze. “Honey, what did you-” Aurora was cut off by the dagger being embedded in her chest. She gasped and fell back onto the wall, looking up to her daughter.

“Sorry,” Adela paused and kneeled down next to the woman “Mother,” She said the word like it was venom. As if saying it would kill someone instantly.  

Her work was done. Adela stood up and looked out of the window. A crow stood on the windowsill. She nodded at it before it flew away. Maleficent would be there soon. The task was completed and now they could rule the kingdom.

Adela made her way back to the grand hall, smiling to herself the whole way down.

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