posted by ImBooOK
I cannot move.
It is perhaps the worst feeling in the world to be completely aware of one's miserable circumstances and completely unable to do anything about them.
I want to run. Pace. Beat against the walls of my prison. But I cannot even see where I am. All I can see is the back of my eyelids. It is as if I were asleep.
I do not know how long I have been here. I have only a hazy recollection of how I came to be here. But I know that if I am here for very much longer, alone, unmoving, in the dark with time ticking ceaselessly by, I will go completely mad.
Perhaps I have already begun to lose my mind. Perhaps it is already irrevocably Lost and this endless stillness is my eternal damnation. Never peacefully dead, never torturously alive, always somewhere in between: body asleep, mind awake and wildly beating against the bars of its unwitting captor.
I am almost positive that I came here because of a spinning wheel, and that in itself sounds like the musing of a madwoman. I recall following a most entrancing green light down many corridors to the spinning wheel, and I recall a voice, low, resonating, powerful, yet very gentle, sweet, convincing, murmuring into my ear that I must prick my finger upon the needle.
I remember another voice, small, weak, familiar (for it is my own and the other most certainly is not) suggesting that pricking one's finger does not sound like a very good idea. But this strange voice is certain that it is perhaps the best idea ever fathomed, and I cannot resist its power for long.
It was not a stranger's voice, after all, and I had had dreams like that many times before. If I didn't know in my waking hours that a voice which encouraged me to hurt myself was most certainly not a friendly one, that voice would have become dear to me—as dear as the nameless, faceless, voiceless prince who kept me company in my lebih pleasant dreams.
After all, when one has only ever known three names, three faces, and three voices, all of which belong to one's dear, but overbearing aunts, one becomes rather fascinated sejak anyone else one encounters, even if it is only in dreams.
I begin to wonder what the owner of that voice looks like, for she has been in and out since my aunts left me alone. Oh, it is undoubtedly the voice of a woman. She is older than I, but not as old as my aunts. She is not warm and kind, but neither is she cold nor cruel.
As I am wondering about the corporeal form of the voice which has haunted my dreams for as long as I can remember, she addresses me for the first time.
"Good evening, Princess," she says. I am certain that my body would have convulsed itself off of the katil in fear and shock, had it been able. I cry out in my mind, and it is unsatisfying and disquieting, as though the scream has died on my lips for lack of air.
"No need to fear, dear child; your loved ones are all quite safe," she chuckles. Her laughter incites another uncomfortable feeling: chills down my spine with no way of shivering to release the tension. "For the moment."
For the moment? The voice in my mind shrieks. Who are you? Why did anda take me from my aunts? Where are they? Where am I? Why am I—
"All in due time, Princess," she cuts me off and I think a combination of Oh, I wish she wouldn't call me Princess and Can she really hear my thoughts?
There is a short silence, then a chuckle which would be warm if it were not so chilling. "Of course, child. It is my spell, after all…or it was. What shall I call you, instead? Briar Rose, perhaps?" Her voice grows nearer. "Such a cliché name for anda to borrow, but then, I would expect nothing subtler of the Pari-pari anda call your aunts. And I do Cinta irony."
I feel the unsatisfied urge to begin sobbing uncontrollably when I think of that most baru-baru ini and awful series of revelations.
"There, there, Briar Rose," the voice is very near now. It is agony, being unable to cry, unable to run away, unable to seek comfort in this menacing, yet strangely comforting presence, unable to even try. "I did not mean to upset anda further. It is much to bear, I know."
The women anda thought were your family are not even human. The name anda answer to every moment of every hari is not yours, but merely borrowed. The life anda have always known is some sort of sick game these women have been playing at. Then anda find anda cannot even keep playing it, but must become a princess, the fabled Princess Aurora. Then anda find anda cannot even do that, and may never be able to alih atau speak again. Much, indeed. It is too much.
Cold fingers touch my temple lightly and my thoughts are silenced, drowned out sejak the ache of being unable to react. The fingers run through my hair slowly: a comforting gesture, but I ache all the lebih for it. And then it is gone and I long for its return.
"Now," the voice begins to alih away from me again and I want to cry out—to reach for the gentle hand to which it belongs. "On to your earlier slew of questions. I am the wicked fairy Maleficent, Mistress of Evil. anda are under my spell, but of course, anda have been for just over sixteen years now." The wicked fairy Maleficent. All sorts of wild imej begin flooding through my mind: Pari-pari like my so-called aunts, pixies, shadowy creatures, and mythical animals, and the only thing that draws me out of my unbidden musings is Maleficent's low, chilling chuckle. "All quite incorrect, I assure you, my dear. I took anda from your aunts because I would like for anda to remain under my spell, tampered with though it has been."
Of all the many soalan that swarm my mind chaotically, one makes itself most clear. What do anda want with me?
"Unfortunately," Maleficent replies, "you were but a pawn in a much larger game of chess, Briar Rose. Were." The smile in her voice is absolutely terrifying. "But it seems that over the past sixteen years, anda have steadfastly plodded across the chessboard. And as of late, the game has become far lebih interesting.
"A beautiful fairy tale, complete with a twist of fate!" she explains, and her voice suddenly sounds very syrupy and sincere. "A peasant girl falls in Cinta with a mysterious man. A prince falls in Cinta with a peasant maid. It can never be, but wait! That peasant's blood runs blue, and the royal Daughter of the Dawn has been betrothed to her handsome stranger since birth."
My love-at-first-sight? The nameless man I thought I'd Lost before I really had him at all?
"The very same." My mind begins to spin with furious questions, but before any of them can present themselves, the voice ends their battle. "Fear not, Briar Rose. As I have told you, your loved ones are all alive and well. Your aunts are busying themselves putting the kingdom to sleep so that they will know nothing of your absence. Rather cruel to you, if anda ask me, that your family should not even miss anda in your most traumatic absence, but then, they never really have paid your feelings any regard."
My mind begins to protest fervently, but she is quick to silence me, "I beg you, Rose, spare me. They kidnapped anda when anda were but a babe, that they might live out their odd maternal dreams, then as anda grew, they allowed anda no contact with anyone other than themselves, and!" she chuckles, "Did not even bother to warn anda that a wicked fairy was after you! Scouring the kingdom and countryside for you, in fact, and believe me, Rose, it is very difficult to hide anything from me." The voice grows nearer again. "And then after they've spent all this time and effort doing just that, they blow their cover on your sixteenth birthday!" she laughs now, and it is a cruel sort of cackle. I would have collapsed into myself if I had been able.
"I might add, Briar Rose," she says, sobering, but still deeply amused, "that your sixteenth birthday was the tarikh specified in the spell I mentioned earlier."
Of all the soalan my mind offers, of all the requests I could make, the only one I really need granted, the only one that makes me ache all over, is the need to react. Everything I've ever known has suddenly turned upside down, and keeps spinning and spinning and breaking into irreparable pieces, and I cannot even properly grieve the happiness I have lost.
"I'm afraid that would require some mixed magic, Briar Rose," she says, and the coldness is gone from her voice. "And this spell has been muddled enough sejak your beloved aunt. As it stands, anda can only awaken with true love's kiss, of all the bothersome things."
Muddled? I ask, trying to get my mind off of my damnation, I suppose.
"Of course, muddled; didn't I mention that already?" she says dismissively. "What use would I have for a sleeping sixteen-year-old girl awaiting the Ciuman of some foolhardy prince?"
What did she—I mean, what was the spell originally?
"When I cast the spell, I meant for anda to die." A pause and then, conversationally, congenially, she adds, "No personal offense, I assure you, Rose."
My mind is silent. I cannot think. All I want to do is menelan the lump in my throat, but I can hardly even breathe.
"But that is another story entirely," she says softly. "What is important to anda is that Merryweather, the Mistress of Misplaced Aggression, used what little power she possesses in these matters to weaken my curse. Unsurprisingly, our magic does not mix well, so here anda are, unable to sleep and unable to wake. Why she didn't give a less volatile stipulation than true love's Ciuman is beyond me. I suspect that she is either a hopeless romantic atau fancies herself a poetic soul of some sort," she chuckles to herself.
"Nonetheless," the voice moves away, "it appears anda are taken with Prince Phillip, who currently resides in one of my dungeons. anda can't very well fall in Cinta with anyone else anytime soon, as every other likely candidate in the area is falling into a much lebih restful sleep than anda have been allowed. So," the voice turns back in my direction, and it is tinged with amusement, "unless anda fall in Cinta with me, it seems anda will be in your current state for awhile yet."
Before my mind can bungkus, balut itself around even the first bit of information she has offered me, she is gone. I sense her absence, though I am not sure how. I wonder if it because the room has grow warmer, atau perhaps colder, and am then stunned that I cannot tell which it is.
At least I have some things to ponder before the silence threatens to take my sanity again.