Once upon a time... 

...in a land far away--both in time and space--there lived a kind and gentle King.  The King ruled The Kingdom with truth and justice as his guides.  He was loved and respected by all his subjects except for a select few who wouldn't have liked their king no matter who he happened to be.  The King was fortunate to have a kind hearted queen at his side.  Together they ruled for many years.  And The Kingdom prospered. 

As time passed, The Queen gave birth to a daughter.  On the day of her birth, the sun shone brighter than it had ever done before.  In fact, as she lay in her crib, a thin beam of sunlight fell on The Princess' cheek.  The King and The Queen saw this and rejoiced for God had smiled, sending an angel down to kiss her.  With this as a sign, it became clear from the beginning that she would be beautiful.  Time proved this to be true.  As she grew, her beauty increased and it was obvious that her countenance surpassed that of anyone in The Kingdom.  But she had not been blessed with beauty in appearance only.  She had a pure soul, innocent and clean.  This truly was a gift from heaven for The King and The Queen knew that beauty on the outside and ugliness on the inside would have been a curse.  But The Princess had a sunbeam in her heart that let its light out at every possible opportunity.  The King and The Queen could not have been happier.  The Kingdom continued in peace for fifteen years. 

And then, on the eve of The Princess' sixteenth birthday events took a turn for the worse.  An evil Chimera from The Far Lands broke through the castle defenses, snatched The Princess in its quick claws and disappeared into the night. 

The King and The Queen were heartbroken.  Their only offspring had been stolen from them in only a few instants and they had been powerless to stop it.  The King was so stricken with grief that he fell ill and could not speak for two days.  When the two days passed and The King had regained strength enough to sit up, he called for a gathering of The Kingdom's finest warriors and slayers of beasts.  The next morning, the King arose, and went out to address all those who would take on the quest of rescuing his only daughter.  But when he was led to the hall where the valiant warriors were gathered, he saw something that made his heart nearly tear itself apart... 

...there was only a single, solitary figure waiting in that great hall.  Only one brave soul had the courage to attempt to rescue The Princess.  Among the thousands of people who inhabited The Kingdom, only one had come. 

And he was but a boy. 

The King knew that he could not send The Boy to undertake this dangerous quest.  He was too young.  He would surely die. 

"How old are you, my son?" The King asked. 

"Sixteen," The Boy said. 

The King didn't exactly believe that, but he did not press the youth. 

"Why are you here?" The King asked. 

"I have come to do my duty to my king and my kingdom," The Boy said.  And his words were pure, spoken from the heart. 

"You are too young to take this battle upon yourself," The King said. 

The Boy shook his head.  "I have never seen your daughter, but I once heard her voice.  She was singing from the castle.  The wind carried her voice to me.  I have never forgotten that voice and the images of beauty that it brings to me.  I will never forget.  Hear me, my king.  Do not deny this of me.  I must do this.  Her voice has been silenced, and that is something that I cannot let pass by.  There are certain songs that should never be silenced.  Your daughter is one of them.  Please, let me go after her." 

With those words spoken, a tear came to The King's eye.  He knew that he had no choice but to let The Boy go and fight The Evil Chimera.  Words that pure could not be denied.  The Boy would die trying to save The Princess.  This The King knew in his heart, but he also knew what had to be done.  And so, The King spoke words of blessing on The Boy.  The King  gave The Boy his own personal sword and armor.  In only a few short hours, The Boy had set out on The King's own steed.  He rode out from the safety of The Kingdom and into the dangerous unknown of The Far Lands. 

His provisions were as much as his horse could carry, for The Boy knew that The Far Lands were vast and stretched from horizon to horizon and even went beyond that.  Choosing a direction to begin searching had been The Boy's first decision.  He had chosen North since there were rumors that strange and dark creatures inhabited that region.  The distance was great and The Boy's provisions dwindled to nothing in little time.  The Boy was forced to live off of the land.  Somehow, he managed to keep himself alive.  It was difficult and many days he ate and drank nothing.  But The Boy kept his quest in the forefront of his mind.  That was the only thing that kept him going through the hot days and nights that plagued The Far Lands. 

A year passed... 

...and though the year passed quickly for the people of The Kingdom, it did not do likewise for The Boy.  That year had seemed to stretch out until it had become a decade.  Endless wandering through deserts, marshes, jungles, mountains, and plains plagued The Boy every day.  If he had not been the type of person that he was, he would have given up before the new moon had risen but once.  Full grown men would have decided that the quest was futile and turned their backs. 

But not The Boy. 

And so onward he pressed. 

Some would say that The Boy was driven by his love for The Princess and her beauty.  Yes, there were those that would most definitely attribute his steadfastness to those motives.  But they would be wrong.  Love and beauty really had nothing to do with it.  As The Boy himself had admitted, he had never laid eyes on The Princess' form, so her beauty was only known to him through what his ears had picked up over the years.  He hadn't so much as seen a painting of her. 

Now this is not to say that he did not have his reasons for pressing so relentlessly forward.  For one thing, he wasn't a quitter.  When he made a decision, he carried through with it.  But even that wasn't what kept him going through the never-ending days and nights of his quest. 

It was her voice. 

Every night, her voice rang in his ears.  He could hear her soft singing as though she were whispering into his ear.  It was such a sweet, melodious sound and it renewed him every day.  It gave him just that little extra bit of strength to continue through the next hours.  He was filled with a joy and a longing to hear that voice that he could not put into words. 

No, he would not rest until he had found The Princess.  Nothing in The Far Lands was going to stop him from completing his quest.  Nothing.  The days passed.  Days became weeks, and they in turn became months.  The new moon came and passed many times. 

Two more years passed... 

And somewhere along the line, The Boy ceased to be a boy.  He had made the journey to manhood.  Some make the journey early.  Some make it late.  The Boy had made his early.  But for now, we will continue to call him The Boy.  After all, he had only reached his nineteenth birthday, and his youthfulness had not fully gone from him... 

...and then one day, as the rain assaulted the ground with a ferocity that The Far Lands had never seen, The Boy sought shelter in a cave.  The cave was set in the side of the largest of the mountains which formed The North Reaches. 

As The Boy huddled against the cold winds which whipped through the cave, he tried to build a fire but could not because of the wind and rain.  The Boy's spirits were desperately low indeed.  The three years had been long and hard.  His quest had been unsuccessful.  He still had seen no sign of The Evil Chimera in all that time.  And there was still so much of The Far Lands that he had not searched yet.  The Boy's thoughts turned to the hopelessness of his quest.  He would not quit, but somewhere deep in his heart, he knew that it was a futile endeavor he had embarked upon.  The Princess was dead.  The Evil Chimera had killed her the night he had taken her.  And who knew, even The Evil Chimera might be dead.  The Far Lands were dangerous, even to the monsters which inhabited them.  If this were the case, there could not even be any vengeance for the wrong that had been done to The Kingdom.  The hopelessness of it all overwhelmed him.  The Boy bowed his head and fell to his knees. 

And despite his age, despite his resolve to continue, The Boy cried. 

But before many tears had fallen to the already rain soaked rock, something caught The Boy's attention.  His head rose up suddenly, tears flying. 

Somebody was singing. 

And The Boy had no doubt as to who it was.  His heart leapt.  The singing was emanating from deeper back in the cave.  The Boy did not have a torch, but his night eyesight had developed to a heightened level on account of his three year quest.  The Boy rushed deeper into the cave, frantically scanning the inky blackness for the source of that angelic voice. 

And then he was close.  Though the dark hid details from him, The Boy could see a form huddled in the darkness.  It was her!  It was The Princess!  Her voice was clear and smooth, filling the cave, echoing off the rocky walls.  Oh, her song was heavenly!  The Boy had trouble keeping his balance due to the power of the music that seemed to pierce his soul. 

Suddenly, the singing stopped.  The Boy knew that The Princess had heard his movement.  She moved fast, hiding behind some rocks which protruded from the ground. 

"Don't be afraid," The Boy said. 

"Who are you?" The Princess asked.  There was fear in her voice. 

"I've come to rescue you." 

"Rescue me?" 

"I have searched for you for three years now.  It has been my quest and my life for all that time.  And now I have found you.  I will take you back to your father and mother." 

"Rescue me?" The Princess asked for a second time. 

"From The Evil Chimera." 

In an instant, the cave was lit as if the sun had been placed inside.  Flame appeared to come from all directions at once.  The Boy ducked, but heat superheated the air, searing his skin and almost catching his hair.  The Boy realized that there had been something else in the room.  Something that he hadn't seen until the flame had lit the cave. 

The Evil Chimera was there.  The ball of flame had come from his mouth.  The Boy could smell the sulfur stench which filled the cave.  The Boy drew the sword that The King had given him. 

"You mean to fight me with that?" The Evil Chimera laughed. 

And in the darkness, The Boy saw The Evil Chimera move.  It was then that he realized just how big that this abomination really was... 

...for The Evil Chimera was bigger than any creature The Boy had ever seen.  Though The Boy did not know it at the time, The Evil Chimera was now over twice the size it had been just three years before when it had first snatched The Princess.  The darkness cloaked The Boy's vision, but he could see movement everywhere.  The walls seemed to be moving.  The Boy knew that the movement was simply The Evil Chimera's body slithering around him.  The Boy turned, but the movement was there too.  He couldn't determine which part of the Chimera's body was what.  Dark, slithery motion was all he could see. 

And then the cave was lit again.  But this time it was not a fireball that the light came from.  Torches on the wall had suddenly lit by some unknown magic.  And in an instant, The Boy found that he could see everything. 

But what he saw made him grip his sword even tighter. 

The legends had been wrong as to what a chimera looked like.  If you have read anything about them, then just put away the pictures you have in your mind because they will not apply where this chimera is concerned.  The Evil Chimera was a blasphemous beast.  Three heads snaked from its reptilian body.  One a Lion, one a Serpent, and the third a Goat.  The heads moved independently, each evil and hideous in their own way.  Two short arms sheathed with talons protruded from its underside, the long claws ripping silently through the air.  The Evil Chimera's body was covered with dragon scales along its entire length.  The snake-like body of the beast was so long that it was curved and folded throughout the cave.  The Boy had no idea how he hadn't run into it when he had entered.  Now, The Evil Chimera's body surrounded him.  There was no escape. 

The Chimera was laughing. 

The Lion roared. 

The Serpent hissed. 

The Goat made a sound that The Boy couldn't describe. 

"You are foolish, boy," The Serpent head said with a hiss. 

"The Princess is coming with me.  She is not yours," The Boy said. 

The three heads moved close to The Boy.  He could smell their foul breaths.  "She will only leave here if you can kill me," all three heads spoke in unison. 

"Then you will die by my hand." 

"You are either brave or stupid," The Evil Chimera said, raising up a little.  "I am inclined to believe that the latter is more true, but I am not blind.  There is a small amount of bravery in you.  I respect you for that.  Tell me one thing before we fight.  Is she worth it?  Will she ever love you?  What is it that drives you so?" 

The Boy looked at The Princess.  She cowered behind a rock so that she was out of sight.  "Her voice brings life.  Her songs bestow youth and beauty.  That is why I fight." 

The Evil Chimera seemed surprised.  "You have amazed even me, boy.  I have not heard of a more noble cause." 

The Boy continued.  "And because you have stolen these things which were not yours to take, I will send you into The Abyss.  But not before I have cut off each of your three heads and burned them upon stakes." 

The Evil Chimera roared at The Boy's words. 

The Boy raised his sword. 

And the battle was joined... 

...and it was an epic battle that would be written of in history books, passed down from generation to generation.  Every time it was told, the tale of the battle between The Evil Chimera and The Boy grew just a little bit more.  Here is the only place where you will get the true events which transpired. 

But the battle was great indeed.  They fought as no two combatants had before.  The Evil Chimera was fueled by pure rage at The Boy's words and The Boy's pure heart.  He despised The Boy more than anything he had ever known.  The Boy fought valiantly.  He found himself possessed of strength and endurance which he had not known had been within his being.  The sun and moon appeared and disappeared many times during the battle. 

All in all, they fought for over a month. 

Unbelievable as it may seem, this is how long the two struggled.  But alas, there seemed to be no clear victor between the two.  They both had motives which pressed them hard to claim victory over the other, but neither could gain the upper hand long enough to finish the other one off.  It appeared like they would fight for a very long time. 

At the end of a month, The Evil Chimera brought about an end to the fighting by suggesting a challenge of a different kind. 

"You must pass three tests," The Evil Chimera said. 

"I will present you with one test," The Lion head said. 

"And I," The Serpent head said. 

"And I," The Goat head said. 

"If you pass all three tests, then I will give The Princess to you freely.  However, if you fail, then you will surrender to me, and I will rip out your heart." 

The Boy tired of the unending battle, so in the end, he accepted. 

All three of The Evil Chimera's heads smiled viciously. 

The Lion head moved close to The Boy and spoke words detailing the first of the three tests... 

...and The Lion spoke of a riddle. 

The Lion seemed to be grinning as he spoke.  "Solve for me this riddle, and you will have passed your first test.  Fail to answer correctly, and I will swallow you whole without bothering to chew.  You will suffer unknown agony in my stomach." 

"Speak your riddle," The Boy said. 

"Here is my riddle, boy: 

      I crawl my way across the land. 
      I strike the boy and even the man. 
      Sometimes clear and sometimes opaque. 
      You cannot touch me; I've no hand to shake. 
      I extinguish the sun and envelop the night. 
      In my embrace no warrior can fight. 
      I can float, but more often I creep. 
      Everything I touch has no choice but to weep."
The Boy was silent, his mind working the riddle over in his mind. 

"What is the answer?" The Lion asked. 

The Boy spoke but two words as his answer. 

And The Lion roared in anger, for The Boy had answered correctly of course.  He has passed the first test. 

"Very good, boy," The Serpent said, "you guessed correctly.  But my test will not be as simple as the first one I gave you." 

"What is this test?" The Boy asked. 

The Evil Chimera led the boy to a spot just outside the cave which served as his lair.  "Do you see that mountain in the distance?" 

"Yes."  The mountain was a long way off.  The Boy knew that it was known as Mount Thunder, though he did not know why. 

The Serpent smiled, a forked tongue slipping in and out of his fanged mouth.  "That mountain must be removed from my sight.  I do not care where it is moved to, but it must not be where it is.  It blocks my view of The Farthest Lands." 

The Boy knew at this point that he had been tricked.  He had agreed to perform three tests, but he had foolishly assumed that The Evil Chimera would play fair.  But the beast had not, and now The Boy knew that he had lost.  Still, despite all his feelings, he was not one to go back on his word.  So without as much as a glance back, he set out once again.  This time, Mount Thunder was his destination.  The Evil Chimera went into his lair and did not venture out for quite some time. 

Two months passed. 

And then one day The Boy returned. 

"Behold your mountain...it is gone.  I have passed your second test," The Boy said the moment he had entered The Evil Chimera's lair.  The Boy was covered with dirt and grime. 

"I cannot be!" The Evil Chimera exclaimed. 

"Um, do you have a pool of water I could wash in?" The Boy asked, ignoring the creature. 

But the mountain was truly gone--which only served to further anger The Evil Chimera.  The young whelp had accomplished what The Evil Chimera had thought impossible! 

The Evil Chimera approached The Boy.  "Very well.  You have passed the first two tests, and now we have come to the third and final one." 

"Give me your test, hellspawn.  I grow weary for home.  It has been a long three years," The Boy said. 

The Goat chuckled softly and deeply.  "Here, boy.  Here is your third test."  Come closer.  I want to whisper this one in your ear." 

The Boy took a step forward... 

...but before that final test is revealed to you I'm sure that you've been wondering just how exactly The Boy was able to remove Mount Thunder from its place.  You were, weren't you?  I thought so.  It was quite simple really. 

He didn't. 

I tell you the truth when I say that The Boy had nothing to do with it.  You see, what nobody in the land knew was that Mount Thunder was in reality an active volcano.  The Boy had spent a month traveling toward the mountain and he still had ten times that distance to go before he would actually get to the mountain.  But his problem was solved when the enormous forces beneath the ground decided that they needed to get out for once.  Mount Thunder had roared like no other volcano had ever before.  It erupted with such violence that it destroyed itself, scattering itself to the winds of The Farthest Lands.  The Boy, seeing that nature had accomplish what he had set out to do, promptly turned around and headed back.  And that was how Mount Thunder came to not be where it had been. 

But now, on with more pressing matters. 

The Goat was so close, that when he spoke, The Boy could almost feel the cold wetness of The Goat's nose and the slickness of his tongue--at least it seemed that way. 

"Your third test, boy, is quite simple," The Goat said. 

"Tell it to me," The Boy said.  He wasn't going to play games anymore with this evil being. 

The Evil Chimera motioned toward the depths of his lair where The Princess still hid in the darkness.  "You must go into my lair.  You must go to The Princess.  And then you must convince her to leave with you.  If she chooses to go of her own free will, then I will release her without a fight.  However, if you cannot do this, then I will rend your bones from each other and scatter them to the corners of The Farthest Lands." 

The Boy was confused at this point.  Convince her to flee The Evil Chimera's lair?  Surely this was an easy task!  But when The Boy approached The Princess she only turned her head before he could see her.  She shrunk away further into the darkness where the shadows enveloped her form. 

"Come with me, and I will take you away from this evil place and that evil beast," The Boy pleaded.  "Your mother and father are awaiting our return, as is the rest of The Kingdom." 

The Princess' voice rang out like a melody, but the sound was laced with fear.  "Get away from me!  I can never go back there!" 

"Why not?" 

"I--I cannot show my face there again.  They would not accept me." 

The Boy stepped closer.  The Princess was close now, just on the other side of a boulder.  The Boy could see that she had her back to him, and her head was ducked, her hair hanging down to obscure her face.  "What has The Evil Chimera done to you to cause this state of mind?  Has he bewitched you with some spell?" 

"No.  Now go away, please!  I cannot go with you!  I cannot!  I'm--" 

But The Boy had moved swiftly and silently.  And he grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her around before she could react.  Her shock paralyzed her and she couldn't do anything but realize that she was face to face with another human being.  Something that she hadn't experienced in over three years.  But it was only a moment of pure terror for her. 

"--ugly," The Princess finished her sentence. 

The Boy stood there, his hands on her shoulders, and knew that this was true.  She was ugly, her face deformed and mangled by the demented workings of The Evil Chimera.  Her deformity was so great that mere words cannot express the inhumaness which her countenance displayed. 

The Princess struggled momentarily, but realized that The Boy was one who had battled The Evil Chimera and it was no difficult task for him to hold her from escaping. 

The Boy's words caught in his throat. 

The Princess hung her head and she began to weep.  "Now that you have seen me, you may go.  I will forget that you ever came." 

And then a curious thing happened. 

A single tear ran down The Boy's cheek... 

...and The Princess saw that tear run down the face of The Boy.  And she knew.  She knew that The Boy was horrified at her appearance.  She was so repulsive that he was forced to tears.  She turned her head so that he could not gaze upon her anymore. 

But The Boy turned her face back to him.  You see, that tear had not resulted on account of her ugliness.  No, that tear had been one of sorrow.  Sorrow that The Evil Chimera had done this abominable thing to her.  Sorrow that anyone would have to suffer as she had.  And sorrow that he could not convince her to return home to The Kingdom. 

"Why do you cry?" The Princess asked, curious and disbelieving. 

The Boy said nothing, but continued to stare at The Princess, his eyes locked with hers.  Her eyes were not beautiful--The Evil Chimera's magic had affected them also.  No, there was not one beautiful thing to look upon on her face.  But in reality, The Boy gazed not upon the face of The Princess, but at her heart and mind.  He had seen wounds there that would not be easily healed.  And that was also why he cried. 

Why was The Boy still staring at her? The Princess asked herself.  Wasn't he repulsed?  Why didn't he run?  Didn't he feel the urge to vomit?  "Go, return to The Kingdom.  Leave me." 

"I will not leave you," The Boy said. 

And The Princess saw that he meant it.  "I cannot go with you." 

"Then I will stay here with you.  I will not leave."  The Boy spoke these words, knowing the terrible price that they carried.  To stay meant that he had failed the third test, and that The Evil Chimera would kill him. 

And The Princess could see that he meant those words also.  "But I cannot go back into The Kingdom!  Don't you realize what will happen?  I will not be accepted by the people!  I will be an outcast! I--" 

"I love you," The Boy said, cutting her off. 

The Princess found that she could not finish her sentence.  Her last will to fight left her, for she could see that The Boy had meant those words even more than anything else he had said.  Tears filled her eyes, for she had finally realized than someone loved her in spite of her appearance. 

"I...I will come with you," The Princess said.  She wept on The Boy's shoulder and just let The Boy hold her, content in his strong arms. 

Upon hearing The Princess' decision, The Evil Chimera went into a fit of rage.  His screams of anger were heard even to the far borders of The Farthest Lands.  But The Evil Chimera was bound to his word.  And so he let The Boy and The Princess go.  Their journey back to The Kingdom was long and not uneventful.  But those stories are to be told by others, and you can read about them in the history books, or maybe even dream about them at night if you wish. 

But this tale is not finished yet... 

...The Boy and The Princess arrived within the borders of The Kingdom and they realized that their journey had come to an end.  The entire episode had unfolded over four years and The Kingdom had changed.  The King and The Queen had resigned themselves not only to the loss of their daughter, but also to the knowledge that they had sent The Boy to his doom.  The Kingdom had continued those four years as it always had and always would, but there had been a veil of sadness that no one could have denied.  Hope had been stolen from them, and a despair had settled over The Kingdom.  It seemed as if the reason for continuing on in happiness had been lost. 

And then The Boy and The Princess returned. 

The Boy was a hero.  The Princess had been rescued.  The celebration lasted a whole week. 

But all was not well. 

All The Kingdom welcomed the two lost souls, but The Princess' appearance was something that could not be overlooked.  Her face was too horrible to look at.  She could not journey out among The People.  Though they had loved her in the past, and even some did love her now, her face repulsed and sickened all of them.  None of them could bear to look at her.  So she consigned herself to The Castle.  Never did she venture out from it's cold, protective confines.  The pain of watching people turn their gaze from her was too painful for her.  Even The King and The Queen, though they did love her with all their hearts, could not look upon her for long.  This saddened The Princess more than you can imagine.  Her heart broke, and she no longer sang.  No more did her voice float on the warm summer breezes.  Her melodies no longer filled the hearts of The People.  Though she yearned to sing, the hurt inside her was too deep.  The songs would not come. 

In truth, only The Boy truly loved her.  Her loved her for the beauty inside her.  He loved her even for the song that she would not sing. 

And that is why The Boy asked The King for her hand in marriage.  The King was not at all surprised, for he knew that The Boy was special, and that there was no other like him in The Kingdom.  And so, he granted The Boy's request. 

The Princess was filled with joy at her impending marriage, but she could still not bring herself to sing.  The music was just not there inside her to be let out. 

When the day of The Wedding came, all of The People turned out to see the union of The Princess and The Boy.  And The Boy would no longer be known as The Boy, but as The Prince.  On that day, there was a little bit of joy in The Kingdom.  The whole of The Kingdom celebrated.  But a dark cloud descend upon the celebration before it had hardly begun. 

The Evil Chimera was back.  He flew in with lightning speed, landing in the midst of the celebration, causing The People to scatter.  The Prince shielded The Princess with his body. 

"What do you want, beast?" The Prince asked in a commanding voice. 

The Evil Chimera hissed with all three of its heads, spitting flame as it spoke.  "I want what is mine.  I want The Princess." 

"She is not yours." 

"She is!  You took her from me!" 

"She was never yours in the first place, Chimera." 

The Evil Chimera had an insane look in his eyes.  "She was!  She was!  She was!" 

The Prince spoke firmly.  "I passed your tests, Chimera.  You gave your word that you would give her up." 

"I must have her!  Her songs--" 

"SHE IS NOT YOURS!"  The Prince yelled. 

"I will have her!" The Evil Chimera screamed, its slithering body twitching madly. 

The Prince drew his sword.  "Because you have betrayed your own word, you will surely die." 

The Evil Chimera hissed, "I will tear apart your body into pieces that will be swept away by a soft breeze." 

"So be it," The Prince said. 

And once again, the battle commenced. 

But this time, it was clear that The Evil Chimera would triumph.  His attacks were too fierce, too powerful, and too filled with hate.  Soon, The Prince faltered, his sword lost. 

But as The Evil Chimera loomed above The Prince, poised to strike a fatal blow, the creature paused.  There was something in the air.  Something... 

It was a song. 

The Princess was singing.  She had seen her beloved Prince fall to the ground, bloodied and beaten, and she knew what she must do to save him.  She reached down inside of herself and found one last song.  One last song that could give her Prince a chance at life.  The Evil Chimera stood motionless, hypnotized by the melodious waverings filling the air.  His corrupted heart was spellbound by the music of The Princess. 

What held The Evil Chimera captive was also what gave The Prince a renewed strength.  The Prince recovered his sword and quickly plunged it into the heart of The Evil Chimera.  The Evil Chimera only had time to look at that sword sticking out of his thick skin before he fell to the ground with a crash.  The Evil Chimera was dead. 

The Prince stood up, weary from the battle.  The Princess rushed into his arms, her head against his chest.  The Prince wrapped his arms around her body and just held her, the memory of her last song still  in his ears.  Would it be the last she ever sung?  Nevertheless, The Prince was content that The Princess was alive and that at last The Evil Chimera had been slain.  The Princess lifted her face, looking into the eyes of The Prince.  The Prince smiled, and for the first time in many years The Princess did the same. 

Then, a wonderful thing happened. 

The Princess' face began to change.  A white shinning haze swirled around her face, twirling her hair in little tornadoes.  The hellish spells which had deformed the face of The Princess were beginning to come undone.  The Evil Chimera was dead, and his blasphemous magic had died with him.  In mere seconds, the white haze had dissipated.  The beauty of The Princess had been restored.  And she also knew that the songs had returned to her as well.  A joy that knew no equal welled up within her.  She wanted to shout and run and dance and sing and fly all at the same time. 

But all those thoughts were cut off when The Prince kissed her, pressing her close.  It was her first kiss.  It was good, and it lasted for quite a long time. 

So the tale of The Evil Chimera and The Princess and The Boy who became The Prince comes to an end.  And yes, they... 

But wait. 

You want to know the answer to the riddle that The Lion spoke to the boy, don't you?  Well, the answer is quite simple mind you, and I'm sure that you've figured it out by now, haven't you?  Very well, for those of you who must have confirmation of what you already know to be true, then I will humor you.  The two words that The Boy spoke to The Evil Chimera were "A Fog." 

But you already knew that didn't you? 

Oh, and yes, in the tradition of all good fairy tales, The Prince and The Princess truly did live happily ever after. 

the end


this page and it's contents copyright (c) 1997 by ethan cooper