I’ve been going back through “fear february” and creating ‘ordeals’ based off the fears. Today I went back to day 86 and looked at my story about a magic sari and a girl who fears being disliked because she thinks she is ugly. I then took this fear and turned it into an ordeal, which is the inspiration for today’s story:
The Princess escaped the palace. She had been treated as an object of beauty. She wanted to help people, but in the palace she wasn’t allowed to do anything. So she trekked across the country till she found a valley. The people there told her of a witch on the top of the mountain who had cursed the valley and kept all the rain for herself. People were dying of thirst. So the princess told them she would end the drought if they stood behind her. The people believed her. She hiked the mountain and declared war.
“Do not force us to destroy your home, witch, give us our rain.”
“They only follow you because you are beautiful. You can have your rain back, if they will still follow you up the mountain now.”
The witch held up a mirror. The Princess was now disfigured and her skin was pocked and pallid.
So the Princess returned to the valley and explained.
“All you have to do is follow me up to the witch’s cave and we shall have rain again.”
The crowd was awkwardly quiet.
“What are you waiting for?” the Princess pleaded with the crowd.
“We don’t believe you. The witch’s cave is dangerous. Are you sure, you’re not the witch? You look ugly like a witch.”
The Princess began to cry and the tears pooled in the huge pock marks on her face. But then an idea struck her.
“Alright- you got me. I am the witch. And if you don’t climb the mountain I will turn you all into ugly toads.”
And so the people climbed the mountains. The witch was furious to see them all at the cave. She shot bullets of rain at them from every direction.
“Here!” she howled “Have your stupid rain back!”
“You tricked us!” said one of the crowd to Princess, as they made their way home. “I like you.”
“I didn’t mean that thing about being ugly!” said another. “The witch is a lot worse.”
The Princess smiled, happy in the knowledge she didn’t need beauty, her courage and brains were enough.
The princess had been told she was ugly by her father many times. At 15 when her mother died, she gave her a magical Sari. When she put it on, her features became beautiful and her figure looked perfect.
A year later her father passed away and being an only child she became Queen. She tried her utmost to rule fairly and wore the sari every day, concerned that if she didn’t her people would dislike her, just like her father.
But one day as she dried the Sari by the fire, a loose ember found its way to the silk. The sari was reduced to a small heap of ashes in seconds.
She faced the people that day, convinced that they would see her for what she truly was. But no-one blinked an eye. When she returned home for the day, she looked through her mother’s letters searching for answers.
She found a note from a tailor addressed to her mother that read:
I have made the Sari you asked for, it has been enchanted so that whoever wears it will see themselves as others do