Who knew what was locked away in the tower? Everyday life carried on as normal and no one give the crumbling structure a thought. It stood alone in the middle of the forest. Raising up over the top of the green pine trees and looking across at the village.
Maybe the tower had once been a part of a fort or a castle? A building now lost to time and the nature. Perhaps it had always been a watch tower, built to keep the village on the edge of the forest safe and warn them of coming danger?
Whatever it’s original purpose had been the tower was long abandoned now. And it would have slipped from history if not for a single story that involved it. Two brothers traveling across the country discovered the tower and made inquires about it.
‘Why do you wish to know?’ the oldest member of the village asked them.
‘It is so unusual out there by itself,’ the first brother answered.
‘We were think it might have a good story connected to it for the book we are writing,’ the second brother replied.
The old woman looked them up and down in the firelight of her wooden shack. They were young men; handsome and strong, yet tried from their travels.
‘Here, have some broth and I shall tell you the story I know of the tower,’ the old woman answered.
Gratefully, the brothers accepted the warm bowls of broth and settled down to listen to the old woman’s tale.
‘It was a long, long time ago and the king had just had a baby daughter. There was a big celebration as the kingdom now had an heir. The next day his wife died and an old hag, claiming to be a witch came to the king and demand his daughter. She showed him a contract his wife had signed in which the queen had brought a spell to make her pregnant.’
“By rights,” the witch said, “The child is mine!”
‘The king fought hard, but that night the witch kidnapped the baby and fled to the tower. Everyone searched high and low, but they could not find the old hag or the baby. Heartbroken the king died and his kingdom fell into war then ruin.’
‘And the child?’ the first brother interrupted.
‘Was locked in the tower,’ the old woman stated, ‘the witch raised her there and taught her how to spin and make things. Later, the lost Princess learnt about herself from books. She begged the witch to release her and the witch told her that could only happen when the Princess’ true love came to rescue her.’
‘And did he?’ the second brother asked.
‘No. Of course he did not!’ the old woman snapped, ‘they say to this day the Princess’ bones are still resting on the floor of the tower. The door magically locked so no one can get in.’
The brothers fell silent and finished their broth. They thanked the old woman and left. As they headed out of the village the first brother turned to the second, ‘I want that story,’ he declared, ‘but I’m going to change the ending.’
Inspired by: https://scvincent.com/2016/11/10/thursday-photo-prompt-secrets-writephoto/ with thanks.