Title: Happily Wishing on True Love's Kiss or Something
Characters: Cinema Snob, Spoony, Linkara, Harvey Finevoice, Nostalgia Chick, Nella, Maven of the Eventide, Paw, Margaret
Summary: The day of his 18th birthday, Princess Spoony flees the celebration, and the princes hoping to woo him, and curses the world for having caused him so much suffering. After crossing paths with an eccentric seafaring crew, which includes one Prince Linkara, Spoony starts to learn that there's much more to the world than he ever could have imagined. A Disney-style tale of adventure, betrayal, and love.
Genre: Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Tragedy
Warnings: Language, Blood, Character Death, Angst, Attempted Murder
Word Count: 17,619
In the middle of a quaint country village filled with thatched-roof cottages and cozy shops, sat a strange, slightly dilapidated building. The candles meant to enlighten each window had been snuffed and the straw-covered roof bore several holes that must have made occupancy insufferable when it rained.
However, the young man who could be spotted through one of those darkened windows did not seem at all bothered by the unfortunate circumstances of his workspace as he was much too engrossed in observing the shimmering crystal ball which sat before him.
“Oh, come on, that scene clearly took place during the day. A fucking blue filter is not fooling anyone,” he grumbled as he stroked his goatee angrily.
The tinkling of bells alerted the man to the fact that someone had, for some reason, decided to enter his shop, so he sighed and waved his arm over the crystal ball, which instantly dulled.
“Hello and welcome most valuable customer,” he repeated in a monotonous voice, as he had every day for the past four years. “Thank you for choosing Ball-Buster, Comicronia’s number one shop when it comes to crystal balls. Every crystal ball tells a unique tale of wonder and enchantment that is sure to delight and entertain you for years to come. I’m your, ugh, friendly employee Cinema Snob, so tell me how I can put our balls in your hands today.”
Upon hearing a faint snickering sound, Cinema Snob scowled. “I fucking hate that company motto. You know what, screw you! I don’t need you or your patronage so why don’t you get lost!”
The door to the shop flew open again and Cinema Snob’s expression changed from annoyance to desperation. “Wait! Shit, I can’t afford to lose any more customers. I was just kidding! If you come back I’ll show you a crystal ball with a tale of, um… magic and wonder! Tragedy and death! But also love!” he hastily added as the shop door flew open again. “Lots of love, guaranteed to make even the most cold-hearted bastard crack a smile! I swear, it’s gonna be worth it!”
Cinema Snob heaved a sigh of relief when the customer returned to his counter and quickly bent down to scoop up a larger looking orb than the one he’d previously been observing. After waving his arms over the sphere, a beautiful ray of golden light started to emanate from its core, which elicited an excited breath from the customer. Cinema Snob let out a small smirk as his sucker, er, customer leaned in closer to the crystal ball, fully entranced, before he began to narrate in a low, rich tone.
“Our tale begins on the day when a prince was preparing for a journey out to sea, and a princess was celebrating his 18th birthday…”
“Make way! Make way!” a man garbed in very fine silken robes cried as a line of animals attired in jewel-encrusted costumes started lumbering down the streets.
“Mama, mama! The parade’s started!” a small boy cried as he tugged on the billowing sleeve of his mother’s dress. “I wanna see the aminals!”
“Alright, dear, up you go then.” The woman smiled and bent down so her son could climb onto her shoulders, before standing upright as tall as she could.
The boy gasped and clapped and cheered along with the rest of the crowd as the animals seemed to sparkle with every color of the rainbow in the midday sun. No expense had been spared to make them look as regal as possible, and the same went for the royal musicians, who performed on instruments of solid gold, the royal unicyclists, who rode on devices forged from pure silver, and the royal chefs, who tossed to the crowd buns and cakes filled with coins and pearls.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” the same man garbed in silken robes cried out through a magical voice-enhancing cone, “thank you all for coming out to see us on this momentous day! The King and Queen of Britannia could not be more thrilled that you are here to celebrate their son’s eighteenth birthday!” He paused to smile as the crowd broke out into thunderous applause. “We also have a number of very special guests here to share in the birth of our princess! Thank you most graciously for coming to celebrate with us: Prince Julien of Baguette!”
A smaller but no less ostentatious wooden float carrying a goateed man in a brown suit suddenly drove down the parade path to slightly less thunderous applause.
“Also: Prince Sage of Bennetopia!”
An even smaller wooden float passed by carrying a young man wearing a toga and a wreath of laurel around his head, to polite applause.
“And last, but certainly not least: Prince Diamonda of Haganistan!”
A very dark, metallic float decorated with bones and skulls and carrying a grinning young woman in full-face make-up passed by to scattered applause and shared fearful looks among the crowds.
“These three charming and handsome princes are all very eager to meet our birthday boy, so let’s not keep them waiting any longer!” The man turned to the final float, where an enormous rosebud crafted from the finest rubies sat upon a diamond-encrusted platform. “Please everyone show your love and devotion to our beautiful, magnificent, and beloved Princess Spoony!”
Each petal slowly unfurled, revealing a satiny center seat which was wide enough and comfortable enough to hold ten princesses. Unfortunately, this one held zero princesses, a revelation which brought the entire parade to a screeching halt.
“While the denizens of Britannia began to search frantically for their absent aristocrat, the princess began a frantic search of his own.”
“Shit! Gotta hide!” These words were repeated ad nauseum by a lean figure covered in an old, brown cloak which had been pilfered from a laundry line during his flight from the castle, as he stumbled his way through the crowded streets of Britannia. Every so often he’d tilt his head back to be certain he wasn’t be pursued before urging his legs to move even faster. It didn’t take long for him to reach the harbor on the edge of the city and only then, after ducking into an empty fishmonger’s shop, was he able to attain a moment’s reprieve.
“Huff… huff… damn it… all. Some… fucking… birthday… this is.” Exhausted and drenched in sweat, the figure finally pulled off his cloak for a bit of relief and slunk down upon a crate filled with fishing nets. If anyone happened to peak in the windows of this shop, they’d be shocked to find Princess Spoony dressed in his best white robes and tugging on his luxuriously long hair in utter misery.
“Why is this happening to me?” he moaned, sounding much too young for someone who was supposed to be an adult on this day. “This all fucking sucks. I hate this fucking day. I hate this fucking rule. I hate being a fucking princess. Why the hell am I a princess anyway? That makes no fucking sense at all.”
“You’re a princess because that’s the way the story fucking goes!” a booming voice from the sky replied.
Unperturbed by hearing a disembodied voice, Spoony angrily directed his gaze upwards. “That’s such bullshit! You could have picked any other person in the world to play this part, but no, you have to pick on Spoony, just like everyone else in this fucking city! There is absolutely nothing about me which screams ‘princess’ and you know it!”
“Well, that can certainly be fixed.”
“What are you-?” Before Spoony could finish, he was enveloped in a cloud of white smoke. When it evaporated moments later, a young woman with thick blonde hair and a goggle-eyed look of confusion stood in his place.
“There, you fucking happy now? The tale can continue with Princess Spoonette.”
“Like oh my God!” Spoonette cried out in a much higher voice as she patted her hands all along her body. “What did you do to me?! I feel totally weird and-no way!” She went pale as her hands roved south of the border. “You maniac! Give that back, like, right now or I will gag your disembodied voice with a fucking spoon!”
Another cloud of smoke enveloped the princess and when it vanished, Spoony was relieved to find he was back in his old body.
“Are you ready to let me continue my narration now?” the voice asked, sounding much more bored now that the excitement had ended.
Spoony rolled his eyes. “Fucking jackass. Fine, keep going. At least you can’t do anything worse to me.”
“Just when the princess thought he was safe, a huge flock of seagulls searching for fresh fish guts flew into the store and drove him into the open once more.”
“I fucking hate you!” Spoony cried as he burst out onto the docks, his arms covering his head protectively. Fortunately for the princess, a stack of crates filled with supplies and covered by a strong blue tarp was piled at the end of a pier. After pulling out all the jars of fruit and pickled vegetables, Spoony was able to jump inside one of the smaller containers and close himself away from any pursuing people, birds, or narrators.
“Finally, a moment of peace,” he sighed. A moment which was very short-lived, as it turned out, since the crates were very quickly lifted by pulleys and dropped onto the deck of a large three-masted schooner. Spoony was jostled like a rag doll inside the container, but he clamped his hands over his mouth to keep from cursing aloud. He refused to let himself be discovered no matter how much pain he had to endure. Luckily, Spoony did not have to worry about making noise for long, since a lone jar of peaches which he’d failed to remove from the crate struck him on the left temple and knocked him unconscious.
“Be careful with those!” An older man in a finely woven black tunic with white trim scolded as a number of crates toppled onto the deck of his ship. “Do you know how much glass shards can ruin a fruit salad?”
“Sorry Captain Finevoice,” one of the crewmen apologized. “We’ll be gentler with the next batch.”
“But even if they aren’t, you can always count on me to whip up some meals, glass-free guaranteed!” a smiling, red-cheeked girl wearing an apron and chef’s hat declared.
“Yeah, thanks Nella,” the captain replied, though his expression did not appear very grateful at all. “I can always count on you for grub that’s, er, mostly edible.”
While Nella beamed at the ‘compliment’, another young woman who looked rather pale and was dressed in black robes appeared behind her.
“Good morrow chef, captain,” she said, bowing politely to each. “I have finished plotting our course and I trust you will find it acceptable.” She offered the captain a map made of parchment and dripping with red liquid.
“Thanks, Maven.” Captain Finevoice held the map gingerly between his fingers and watched as a small puddle started forming by his boots. “Uh, didn’t we have any black ink left?”
“We did, but the spirits told me that red was a color of good fortune for this journey,” Maven replied.
“Uh huh.” Captain Finevoice frowned as he studied the map in more detail. “And did the spirits also tell you it was a good idea to let the ship pass through three coral reefs, an island known for housing pirates, and the lair of a ferocious sea monster?”
“It is my duty only to translate the will of the spirits, not to question it!” Maven cried dramatically. The captain would have rolled his eyes if Maven had not suddenly been smacked in the back of the head by a magic wand. “Ow! Chick! That really hurt!”
“It will be worse the next time I find you bothering the captain.” The elven woman known as Madam Chick had pointy ears and wore a long white lacy dress, and today she carried a thick, leathery book in her arms. “Please accept my apologies for her, captain. I know you entrusted me with the task of finding a new navigator and I didn’t want to let you down, but she was the best one available. Trust me, I searched.”
“I believe you,” Captain Finevoice replied. “It’s hard to find good help these days, so I’m real appreciative to have all of you as part of my crew. I know you’re all doing the best you can and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“We appreciate you too, Captain!” Nella, now teary-eyed, cried as she leapt at the older man and embraced him tightly.
“Ack… okay… th-thanks, Nella… I-I really… mean… it…”
“That’s enough.” Chick grabbed Nella by the ear and pulled her back, allowing air to return to the captain’s lungs once more. “Get back in the kitchen and start preparing dinner. We’ll be setting sail within the hour and once we’re out on the water, the sea air will be sure to increase our appetites.”
“Aye aye, Madam Chick!” Nella saluted the captain heartily before rushing off.
“Captain, I believe the young prince has lost his spell book once again.” Chick handed the book to the older man.
“Thanks, Chick. I swear, that kid would lose his noggin if it weren’t attached to the rest of him.”
“I know of a creature who can accomplish such a feat,” Maven volunteered, earning a shudder from the captain.”
“Alright, it’s time for us to go,” Chick declared, dragging Maven away by the back of her robes. “We’ll be off to plot a course which will not lead to our imminent demise.”
“The spirits will be so disappointed,” Maven said with a sigh.
Captain Finevoice chuckled as they disappeared. “They’re kooky kids but I don’t know what I’d do without ‘em.”
“Does that go for me as well?”
The captain’s smile stretched from ear to ear as he turned around to find a handsome young man in a brown tunic trimmed with silver standing there.
“Double for you, Kid. If I didn’t have you, I’d probably throw myself overboard.”
“Ditto, Harvey.” The two embraced for a moment before Linkara pulled back and grinned at the leather book in the older man’s hands. “Thanks for finding that. I don’t mean to be so forgetful, but my mind has been so focused on magic lately that I hardly think about anything else.”
Captain Finevoice frowned a bit. “Well that ain’t good. A young man like you should be thinking of lots of things more fun than dusty old books and spells.”
“I’ll have plenty of time to think about other things once I’ve proven myself to be a true spell caster,” Linkara declared. “I’ve been studying really hard for this trip and I know my magic has improved. Go ahead, test me. I bet I can cast any spell without even needing to look it up.”
“Well, let’s see then.” Captain Finevoice flipped through the pages before stopping on one at random. “Cast the spell to make light appear in the darkness.”
“Easy.” After speaking a few words in a language few could understand, a small ball of light appeared in the air, hovering before Harvey’s eyes.
“Impressive, Kid. Er, how about…” He pressed his finger into another page. “Cast the spell to create headgear.”
“Heh, give me a challenge why don’t you?” Moments later a nice brown Trilby hat appeared atop Linkara’s head. Harvey gazed at it for a moment before whispering a spell of his own, which changed the hat into a small, golden crown. Linkara leaned over the side of the ship to admire his reflection in the waves before frowning when he noticed the alteration. “Why did you do that, Harvey?”
“I dunno, I think it suits you better,” the captain said with a shrug. “After all you are Prince Linkara of Comicronia. You should get used to wearing more things like this and less of the shabby duds I picked out for you.”
“These duds are anything but shabby,” Linkara argued, pulling the crown from his head and gripping it tightly in his hands. “I know it’s my duty to be a prince and rule over my kingdom, but I’m still not ready for that responsibility. I’m not powerful enough to protect everyone yet, so it’s hard to imagine what kind of ruler I’d be.”
“You’re gonna be a great ruler, Kid,” Captain Finevoice assured him. “You’ve got plenty of smarts, bravery, and loyalty to become a leader to your people, and with a little more practice, you’ll have the strength to keep everyone safe as well.”
“I couldn’t have become any of those things without you, Harvey,” Linkara said, voice brimming with affection. “You’ve taught me so much throughout my life that I never could have done on my own. I’ll always be grateful for your guidance. I couldn’t have asked for a better guardian than you.”
The captain couldn’t help but feel touched, but he turned away and pulled a pipe from his pocket, fiddling with it to distract himself from his emotions. “Gee, Kid, I think there’s plenty of better role models out there than an old sea dog like me.”
Linkara smiled and put his hand on the older man’s shoulder. “I couldn’t disagree more.”
“Captain Finevoice, the supplies have been loaded and the crew are ready to set sail,” a crewman suddenly called out, sparing the captain from further embarrassment. He took a puff from his pipe and smiled as he faced Linkara proudly.
“Then let’s get going. The Kid’s got a long journey ahead of him and I don’t want to keep him waiting a minute longer!”
“The ship set off on its voyage without any problems and was soon on course to a magical land called Awesome Island. Yeah, that name doesn’t sound very magical, but shit, just go with it. Anyway, it wasn’t an easy trip for most ships to make, but the captain had selected a competent enough crew to get the job done. They sailed along all through the afternoon and into evening without any problems. It was only when night had fallen and the prince was practicing his magic out on deck when he realized the ship had a stowaway…”
“And… burn!” Linkara’s eyes sparkled with excitement as he waited for the edge of the crate to catch on fire. “Damn it,” he muttered when the wooden box remained unsinged. He cast the spell again and stared pointedly at the crate. Again, nothing happened. “This is so annoying!” he cried, tossing his book down so he could approach the crate and kick it to help vent his frustration. “Why can’t I cast offensive spells? I can produce light and shields and all sorts of stuff, but I can’t ever attack anything and it’s pissing me off!”
His final kick was especially powerful and managed to completely splinter the side of the crate. Linkara sighed and expected to see a number of jars start rolling out toward him, but to his shock the cargo of this particular crate was an unconscious young man.
“What the hell?” Linkara crouched down beside the man and checked his pulse, sighing in relief when he found it. “Oh thank the gods you’re alive. I don’t know what Harvey would have done if you weren’t.” Linkara gently lifted the man into his arms and carried him to his cabin, settling him carefully into his bed. It was rather dark in the room, so Linkara lit a few candles before returning to the sleeping man and gazing down at him with great curiosity.
“I wonder who you are and why you’re here.” Upon closer inspection, Linkara noticed that this stranger had a rather handsome. Linkara brushed a strand of hair from his face to better admire it, but this action was enough to rouse the sleeping man awake.
Spoony blinked in confusion for a moment, his eyes squinted as they tried to adjust to the still fairly dark cabin, before he realized someone was staring down at him.
“Get back!” he cried, jumping up and scooting back as far away from Linkara as he could. Since he was in a tiny room on a ship, this turned out to not be the best idea, and resulted in Spoony injuring his head for the second time that day. “Fuck, that hurts,” he moaned, rubbing the back of his skull pathetically.
“Are you okay?” Linkara cautiously leaned toward Spoony, not wanting to scare him again. “You have to be careful when moving around on a ship. Between the cramped cabins and the boom, it’s very easy to hit your head here.”
“Thanks, that’s real helpful now,” Spoony snarked.
“Does it hurt much? I can help with the pain if you want.”
“Please tell me that means you have access to a plentiful supply of booze.”
Linkara laughed. “Sorry but no, I don’t actually drink. However, I do have access to something better than alcohol.”
Spoony looked at him in confusion. “Shrooms?”
“No! I mean magic, geez!”
Spoony arched an eyebrow at him. “Magic? I’m supposed to believe that’s real?”
Linkara’s eyes twinkled and he chanted a few words before touching his index finger to Spoony’s forehead. Instantly the pain vanished.
“Real enough for you?”
Spoony blushed and brushed the other man’s finger away. “Yeah, okay, I guess that’s impressive. Thanks, uh…”
“Yeah.” Spoony took a moment to survey the room. “Say, Linkara? Mind telling me where the fuck we are?”
“Well, we’re in my cabin on the schooner known as the Swing, Baby, which is out in the middle of the ocean.”
Spoony closed his eyes and lay back down. “Fantastic. As if this day couldn’t get any worse. Well, at least I’m away from all of those fuckwad guests, so I guess there’s a bright side to this.” He shifted on the mattress a bit. “Your bed is surprisingly comfortable.”
“Oh. Thanks.” This compliment made Linkara blush for reasons he couldn’t quite understand. “Uh, you can sleep there tonight if you’d like. There are plenty of empty cabins I could use.”
“I don’t feel right kicking you out of your own room like this,” Spoony replied, opening his eyes again. “Especially since I’m pretty much a stowaway on this ship.”
“Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that,” Linkara admitted. “I was also wondering what your name is.”
“Oh, I’m Spoony. Nice to meet you.”
“Spoony?” Linkara’s brows knit together. “As in Princess Spoony of Britannia? The one whose birthday celebration I was invited to attend.”
Spoony’s mood instantly darkened. “You’re a prince?”
“Well, yeah, I guess I am,” Linkara said, feeling a bit sheepish about admitting it.
Spoony’s eyes narrowed and he leapt off the bed, ducking around Linkara before the other man realized what was happening, before darting out the cabin door. “This was a mistake. I shouldn’t be here.”
“Wait! Where are you going?” Linkara followed after Spoony as quickly as he could. The princess was surprisingly agile and managed to reach the top deck of the ship without tripping over anything despite the surrounding darkness. “I’m sorry if I made you mad but I was just being honest with you. What’s wrong with being a prince?”
“It’s because you’re one of them! You’re one of those assholes who came to try and claim me as their bride!” Spoony snapped, whirling around to face Linkara again. His eyes blazed with a fire that could be seen even in the darkest of night skies. “How did I even end up on this ship with you? Did you try to kidnap me to force me into marriage? Did you leave a ransom note for my parents to find?”
“What?! No, I’d never do anything like that!” Linkara snapped, a mixture of outrage and genuine hurt in his eyes. “I didn’t do anything but try to help you, Spoony! You’re the one who fell out of the supply crate! I didn’t even know you were in there!”
“Yeah right. As if you give a damn about helping me.” Spoony started pacing across the deck, his footsteps echoing loudly in the still air. “All you fuckers care about is my wealth and my castle and my family’s mines! You don’t give a shit about me or what I want!”
“I told you that’s not true!” Linkara insisted. “I don’t care about any of that stuff! I only made a brief appearance at the castle to greet your parents before leaving. I didn’t even attend that parade your family was having after the party was over!”
Spoony hesitated. That was true, he hadn’t remembered seeing Linkara preparing for the parade alongside the other princes, or even at the celebration at all, though he hadn’t exactly been paying that much attention to the guests in the first place. “Then why did you come to my party?”
Linkara’s expression flickered. “Because I was invited.”
Spoony glared at Linkara, finding that answer insufficient. “The only guests who were invited were single princes that my parents could marry me off to!”
“Well that’s not why I came.”
“So why did you come?”
“If you had an actual reason, you’d tell me why!”
Linkara clenched his fists, his expression growing pained. “Because I’m the last living member of the Comicronian royal family and I did not want to disgrace my family’s name by refusing your invitation.”
The fire inside Spoony died quickly, leaving him with ash in his stomach. He stared awkwardly at Linkara and felt for the first time in his life unworthy of being next to somebody.
“I… I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to… I’m really sorry.”
Linkara shrugged, wanting to play the whole thing off as nothing. “It’s fine. I know you were speaking out of anger. I just wanted you to know that I’m not the type of person to marry someone for their money.”
“I shouldn’t have said that.” Spoony took a step closer, internally pleased when Linkara didn’t move away. “I’m just so used to my parents telling me that I have to get married when I’m 18 to whatever prince they deem worthy while giving me absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever that I tend to lash out about it. But I guess I was doing the same thing by ignoring you, and I know how shitty it is when people won’t listen to you, so I really want to apologize for that. I’m sorry, Linkara.”
He placed a hand on Linkara’s arm and smiled when Linkara didn’t brush it off.
“I accept your apology, Spoony. I’m also sorry for yelling at you like I did.”
“Hey, I did it first,” Spoony said with a shrug.
Linkara shook his head. “I still shouldn’t have done it. You’re a guest here and you were injured earlier so I should have been more considerate of that.”
“You still consider me a guest?” Spoony asked in disbelief. “Wow, you really are a prince.”
Linkara blushed. “So, uh, have you re-considered sleeping in my cabin? It’s the warmest one other than our captain’s, so you should be very comfortable there.”
“And what about you, Linkara?” Spoony’s grip on his arm tightened ever so slightly. “What would make you comfortable?”
“Uh… I-I, um…”
“Yeah, Kid, what about your comfort?”
“Holy geez!” Spoony jumped a foot in the air at the sudden voice behind him, while Linkara presented a very embarrassed face to the captain.
“Damn it, Harvey! You scared the crap out of us! What are you doing out here in the middle of the night?”
“Well, Kid, it’s hard to sleep when people are yammering away out here at the top of their lungs,” Captain Finevoice replied in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Shit, that’s my fault.” Spoony sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m really sorry. I know that probably doesn’t mean much coming from a stowaway like me, but I promise when you arrive at an island where I can get access to a boat, I’ll leave without a peep.”
“Leave?” the captain asked in surprise. “How could we ever ask a princess to leave our ship? Why, it would be ungentlemanly of us.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Spoony replied. “I know I don’t belong here and I have no problem with catching the next vessel back to Britannia.”
“You’re that keen on going back to a bevy of princes just chomping at the bit for your hand in holy matrimony?”
Spoony grimaced and wrung his hands together. “I’d rather swallow a thousand needles than go through any of that shit.”
“So stay. You’re a guest of the Kid, so that means you’re a guest of mine as well.” Captain Finevoice grinned fondly at him, and Spoony allowed himself to feel a little bit of hope.
“Are you sure you want me to stay?” He looked to Linkara, who mimicked the captain’s grin.
“We’d love to have you. Please stay as long as you’d like, Spoony.”
- Happily Wishing on True Love's Kiss or Something: Part 1