A/N: This story was written for the Fairy Tale challenge at the Forum, the Domain. I personally think this is one of my best works so far, and I hope you enjoy it.
Princesses Don't Believe in Fairy Tales
"And then they lived happily ever after..."
The words swung through the young girl's mind like a rabid monkey on a vine. They stung like an angered wasp. Those words, ones that as a child were said to bring about joy, had caused her more pain in the last seven years than any of the Dark Lord's minions. Those were the words that slew the heroes who rose to fight the Tyrant; those were the words that burned villages to the ground; those were the words that changed her life forever. And Zelda resented the words because of it.
In her younger days, when her world hadn't been torn apart by a madman, she saw those as a dream; something she could wish upon before she lay herself down for sleep every night. Now those words are less than any dream of hers: herdreams were ones that came true... and her dream of a hero was false. The boy in green- Link- was not coming. Her preparation was for naught. The training she did with Impa? It meant nothing because she would never be able to use it to save Hyrule. Not without Link, because he was the only one who could possibly wield the weapon of evil's bane.
She bowed her head in shame, sitting at the end of small wooden table, moving herself somewhat forward on her stool, as she leaned onto the table, her eyes closed tightly as images of the boy garbed in green attire flashed through her mind, and of the day she last saw him. She could feel the droplets of rain pouring onto her fair skin, dampening her dress, and wetting her golden hair. She could still hear the trotting of Impa's steed as they galloped away from the Market Town, now laying in rubble thanks to Ganon's forces. The images were still fresh in her mind, engraved like a headstone on Hyrule's grave.
She shook her head vehemently, her breathing becomming hard as she then reemembered what happened afterwards. Her throwing the Ocarina of Time to Link. She felt foolish, even betrayed, to have given up her family's most beloved treasure to that boy. That liar. That 'hero', who intruded the younger princesses dreams with twisted hope and a green emerald. Tears streamed down her face, leaving lines down her cheeks as they made it to her chin, and dropped down onto the wooden table with a silent splat.
Zelda put her hands to her face, sobbing violently as she remembered the night she realized happily ever after was just a bed time story...
Ganon sat quietly near the end of the elongated royal dinner table, with his head rested on his folded hands as he glanced about. Zelda sat not far off on the opposite side of the table, only a few seats left of him. However, she was sitting more apprehensively. Her body was shaking, though slightly, and she looked around nervously, setting her eyes on the King of Gerudo. But, just as she did so, his eyes had become set on her, as well. Their was an odd mix of anxiety, fear, and pure hate in the stare off between the two, though Ganon only produced the latter, while Zelda produced the former two. She bit her lip as she placed her hands together in a silent pray to the goddesses. It almost seemed as if Ganon knew what she was doing as he smirked smugly, turning his attention to the man at the end of the table, Zelda's Father, King Orpheus Harkinian.
The King sat in his throne-like chair, made of fine velvet and ivory colored material, as he twirled a finger through his fine grayed beard, trimmed only that morning for the purpose of this dinner. He looked listlessly through the room, a mixture of apathy and peace filling him as he set his eyes on the Gerudo guests that he had welcomed into his home. As expected, they were all female- the only male being their King- wearing the fine purple and red robes that their culture always wore, and for once letting their long flame colored hair down. The Gerudo guests were very active, speaking with each other mostly. Few Gerudo had any respect for Hyrulian aristocrats, and they were hell-bent on letting the upper class know this. The king knew not to question their actions, lest he wake sleeping dogs, but he felt slightly uncomfortable in this mess. However, as everyone settled down, he gave one final gander at the crows before rising from his seat. All eyes were immediately on him, including Ganon's and his daughter's.
He stood with a quiet dignity and spoke with eloquence to the guests. He spoke mainly of their recent bouts. Their war, having nearly torn both their lands apart, he said, came with great cost. Many had died, and while soldiers were off at swords' point with the Gerudo, in Hyrule, the families they behind were filled with strife. King Harkinian also touched on the subject of their peace, how Ganondorf, having wrested the throne from his now deceased father (Ganon smiled as he heard the King speak of his ascension; the tale of his father's death was most pleasing), and how Ganon came to Hyrule by himself, waving the flag of peace, and began opening negotiations with the him. And at the end of his little speech, he thanked Ganondorf, and the guests' applauded for him as he sat back down.
What the people had been expecting next was a grand feast. Food had been supplied by the King's greatest chefs; fruits, meats, breads of all sorts covered the table. Servants filled the room, helping the guests with gathering the food that they thought would be most succulent. All the while, Ganon leaned towards the King and let out a hoarse whisper. Zelda shuddered as she saw Ganon's smirk widen with the whisper. She did not know what he was planning, nor what he was saying, but this forlorn feeling that it was not good overcame her, and when her father smiled and said that he would be delighted, Zelda's heart began to twist. Ganon called to a servant, and asked him to bring a dish from the end of the table. A very specific, Gerudo dish that Ganon had brought as a gift for the king. The servant complied and went to fetch the dish.
Zelda's somber feeling nearly overcame her as she looked down to her own plate, covered in several pieces of fruit, and bread. She knew her dream well, back then. The dream that repeated itself every night. In this dream, black clouds would fill the skies above Hyrule, making all things go unseen in a total eclipse of the skies' bright lights. And then, with all hope gone, a light would shine through the darkness, coming from the east, and a lone figure would walk towards Hyrule, carrying a longsword that gave off a burning light that could pierce the darkness. And she believed this dream meant that the boy, Link- the one whom she entrusted to gather the three Sacred Jewels- was the lone figure. And the sword, most obviously, was the sword that she read of in legend: The Master Sword. However, the next moment would change her belief.
The servant returned, carrying a silver platter with a strange herb-like dish on it. It was a special Gerudo food, most often made for celeration. It was crafted by special cooks using fine herbs that only grew in the dessert, and was mixed with the meat of a dessert boar, and beaten into a thick paste. The platter was set in front of the King by the servant, who quickly withdrawed. Zelda wished she could verbalize her thoughts on the dish, but knew her father would not have any of her little conspiracy theories, especially not at this crucial moment, so she stayed quiet, only mouthing what she wished she could say.
The King looked down to the paste with an eyebrow cocked. It was definitely an odd kind of food compared to the food of Hylian culture, but he knew to not eat it would be to denounce the peaceful pact he had with the Gerudo. So he took up his silverware, and plunged it into the paste. It was thick, to say the least, but it took little force to get some on his spoon. He slowly brought it up to his face, sniffing it gently. It smelled sweet, though he couldn't quite pinpoint the taste. He opened his mouth as he brought the spoon in, Ganon smiling devilishly as he did so. The paste's taste was similar to its smell; sweet, though there was a bitterness about it as he swished it around his mouth for a few moments to adjust to it. It was not bad, not at all, but it was very different. He swallowed the mouthful and nodded in appreciation at the Gerudo man, before bringing the spoon down for another round...
Zelda raised her head, the memories beyond that being too scarring for her to think to recall. So much had gone down in the next few moment that recollecting it all was difficult. She moved her hands from her face, wet with tears and flushed with emotion, and balled them into fists. She stood up, backing away from the table and stool, as she began to force the memories of what happened next out. But even then, it only came out in sporatic bursts, and flashes of violence. Her father falling forward as he went for another spoonful of that venomous pig's feed. Then the Gerudos brandishing their weapons, easily slaughtering the defenseless Hylian aristocrats. Impa quickly leaping into the room, hidden in the shadows, and grabbing her. She recalled Impa leading her through the castle, and evading the Gerudo that searched for the two on Ganon's orders. Impa leading Zelda to the stable, grabbing Impa's steed, saddling up, leaving... and Ganon following close behind on his own Gerudo Stallion.
Then there was that moment. The moment where she and Impa fled, and the young princess saw the forest boy standing there, having returned from his farce of a quest to achieve the three jewels.
Zelda backed up until she hit the sturdy, wooden wall. There was a thump, and then she slumped down against it. Across from her, she could see out the window of the small house- Impa's house- and she saw dark clouds. The same dark clouds that she saw in her dreams every night almost seven years ago.
She mumbled to herself, dwelling upon the aspecta of her dream that was not out the widow. She thought of the boy with the sword. The boy who she thoughtwas Link. It was the only thing that ever gave her any strength. The thought that maybe the hero was still out there was all that she had left now, as Ganon ravaged the land.
But she knew her thoughts were in vain. Only Fairy Tales had happy endings. Stories told to children by their mothers at night to help them have nicer dreams. She was not living such a story. This ending would be one of sorrow.
Nothing much to say. I hope you enjoyed reading this, constructive criticism is always welcome, and have a great day.