An Old Bedtime Story

There was a time when it was difficult for me to fall asleep. (These days I tend to fall asleep before I’ve even made the conscious decision to do so, oftentimes when I am on the bus.) Those were the days when I came to rely on the self-told bedtime story.

My favourite story was about a girl who grew up in the forest, was discovered by the people in the city, and made a slave to the royal family. She was basically Tarzan, but she also had magical powers and she was called “The Watcher.” Her name was Midnight. I can’t remember what she “Watched.” Eventually she became something like a goddess, though her powers were limited to her Watching, and she appeared in more stories down the line looking just as young and beautiful as she ever had, but with older and very sad eyes. Aw.

Midnight wouldn’t be my character of choice anymore. She was too helpless at the beginning of the story. People came into her forest, found her, and dragged her back to society. They put her to work in the castle, doing laundry or something, and they beat her and were otherwise cruel to her. For some reason she endured it. She grew up in a forest with animals, for goodness’ sake, why didn’t she just kick their butts and go back to her forest? Instead, she waited, and the prince came to save her.

The prince was a good guy. He took Midnight away from her mean employers, and I’m pretty sure he taught her fencing, although why he’d go ahead and teach a wild woman fencing I have no idea. Naturally he fell in love with her, because she was a fascinating change from the ladies he knew. It probably helped that she was beautiful.

In the end she had to go back to her forest because…something…threatened the world. I can’t remember what the conflict was anymore. I wrote out her story, and the sequels and prequels, and kept the notebooks somewhere but I can’t remember the details.

The important part was the romance. Mr. Prince loved Midnight, she had to leave, and he probably went after her like a lovestruck fool. Never mind that he would never have been able to live off the land like she could.

If I told myself this story now, many things would have to change. The people who captured Midnight would had a much harder time of it. They would have to lock her up, instead of putting her to work, because she would refuse to do it.

The prince wouldn’t swoop in to the rescue; instead he would be somewhat useless himself, and Midnight would have to save him from a plot in the court. His uncle might want him dead so he can have the throne, etc. Oh, and Midnight would probably be a boy, because why not.

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