Story-Starts: Reverse Sleeping Beauty


“What would happen if Sleeping Beauty were a man?”

Well, why don’t we find out?

Vines lined every corridor. The hallways were thick with brambles, and they tore at her flack jacket as she cut her way through the dense plant life that had made the ancient castle it’s home. Rats and mice skittered away from her heavy boots and spiders fled from the light of her torch. She was determined to make sure that there weren’t any traps left, at least none that the vermin hadn’t already triggered.

She didn’t know what was inside the ruin. No one did. She’d grown up with stories of the soldiers that had entered here and never left – and had run across one or two skeletons that verified some of the more horrific tales. Still, she’d pressed on. Those women hadn’t been careful enough. They hadn’t been prepared for the near Neolithic, but still operational, booby-traps that had been set by the long-dead inhabitants when the affliction had first struck.

She stumbled over a loose stone and cursed her lack of attention. She’d been hacking at the plants for nearly three hours, but that wasn’t an excuse for such weakness. Finally, her torch flashed over the impossibly preserved wooden door at the top of the tower, and she felt the rush of adrenaline she’d been waiting for. She’d done it. She’d found it. No one remembered what was up here, but she was about to be the first to find out.

As she cleared more of the brambles, she was relieved to find that, inexplicably, the lock had never been set. Remembering her fallen sisters below, she decided against trying the handle. Instead, after taking careful note of the rust around the hinges, she leant against the planks and pushed. The door swung open.

For a few moments, she just stood there in awe.

Lying, as if he’d just closed his eyes for a mid-day rest, was the most handsome man she’d ever seen.

***

Sophie, signing out.

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