The prince crested the top of the hill and reined his horse to a stop. At the far end of the valley, he could see the castle, its walls polished gold in the rays of the setting sun. Beyond the castle rose mist shrouded mountains. He urged the horse forward. He had searched for this valley for many days and now that he found it he wanted to reach the castle before dark.
A pin prick of blood
A young princess in deep slumber
Many attempts were made to revive her
The legend grew
As tens, maybe hundreds of years passed by
It was said that only a kiss from a young prince
True and pure
Can awake her.
In the moonlight the castle walls gleamed white and smooth. Reaching the castle gate he dismounted and pushed against the massive wooden door. The gate swung open noiselessly. If he was surprised he did not show it. The prince was sure of his own heart. He had love no other princess and he felt confident that Sleeping Beauty will respond to his touch. He did not believe the stories that those who did not succeed forfeited their own lives. More likely they were too ashamed to admit their failures.
The courtyard was overgrown with sprawling rose vines. He walked carefully forward, his eyes searching for a path or an opening. There didn't seem to be any. Maybe, he could cut his way through the vines. He tapped his finger tentatively against a torn and immediately jerked his hand back. The pain was more than he expected and he watched ruefully at the drop of blood swelling on his injured finger.
There was a sigh, a faint rustling, a trembling of the wind and to his amazement a path opened up silently before him. For a moment he wavered but being too young to heed the warning of fear he stepped into the opening. He sensed the vines closing behind him as he moved forward but he was no longer afraid. He felt that he had passed the first obstacle and that the castle was welcoming him in.
The path led him to a doorway that open into a bigger courtyard, which like the one before was covered with rose vines. At the end of the courtyard stood the dark entrance of a looming building. This time the prince felt slightly uneasy. The air was laden with the heady scent of roses - sweet, pungent, overpowering. Something caught the corner of his eye. He turned to look at it properly and staggered back in shock. His knees weakened and he instinctively reached out to steady himself. Sharp thorns cut into his arm and a quivering wave whispered through the vines, but he did not hear it.
So, the stories of young men who never returned from their quest of awakening the sleeping princess were true. The prince hurried on, shocked and puzzled. Although the bodies were lacerated and penetrated in the most horrific way the flesh had not decayed, and all had perfectly preserved erect specimens of manhood. Most of all he was perplexed by the expressions on their faces. They appeared frozen in a cry of ... was it pain or pleasure? He could not tell. The prince was too young to know the fine line that separates the two.
He knew enough, however, that there could be no turning back. Reaching the dark building he paused in sudden realisation - from the day he set his heart desire on Sleeping Beauty, turning back had never been an option. He had moved inexorably forward to this place, this moment. This was his destiny. He was the one who will succeed where all others had failed. Gaining confidence, he stepped unhesitatingly inside. He took no notice of the swelling globules of blood on his arm.
The prince carefully worked his way through the dark, musty rooms and corridors until he reached her bedchamber. There, on a bed of white satin, lit by brilliant moonlight, was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had long silky hair and soft eyebrows that curved like swallow wings. Her face was smooth and pale, her sculptured cheekbones and delicate nose, like fine porcelain china. Her lips were full and red. Twin dark aureoles lift, with each intake of breath, the sheer material that covered her. Rose vines hung from the canopy of the bed.
Was that a moan he heard? Had her lips parted slightly, taking on a glistening sheen. Driven by his own urgent need the prince straddled Sleeping Beauty and pressed against the velvety shadows between her legs. Her hot moisture drew him in and the prince thrust harder and faster, willing Sleeping Beauty to awake. She began to breathe faster, her eyes opened and her hands rose to clasp him tightly, sending a thrill of triumph to course through his veins.
The rose vines stretched down, sharp thorns glinting. The vines pierced into his body. He cried out in fearful pain, and intense pleasure, as he exploded into her dark embrace.
His attention was fixed on the naked body of a young man trapped within the straggling vines, impaled by sharp thorns and piercing branches. Turning his head away in horror the prince saw another body, and another and another. Scattered amongst the vines were naked bodies of young men. From a distance, in the moonlight, they appeared to be held in loving caresses.
The prince bent over and kissed Sleeping Beauty. He waited. Nothing happened. He kissed her again. Now the prince was a fine young man from a good family. Like all fine young man he was, by this time, fully aroused. He drew aside the silken cover. Cold, clammy hands reached out to stroke her breasts, marvelling at their softness and the nipples stiffening between his fingers. Blood oozed from his throbbing arm. Above him the rose vines stirred.
Sleeping Beauty closed her eyes to continue her interrupted sleep,
a contented smile on her crimson lips.