In a castle nearby lay a princess deep in slumber, soft brown curls mapped out across the bed. Her breathing was shallow, her eyes were shut, in this magical world there was no room for waking up. Reality ceased to exist and she was trapped in the confines of her mind for many years. She thought she would never see the light of day again, never know what it was like to fall in love. At 18 she was caught in that precocious chasm between ‘youth’ and adulthood, unsure where her mind would take her next. She had been lost to humanity for so many years that even her parents had drifted away so long ago. But there was a ring once that she held and treasured, a ring named Pandora that she loved like her own child. For Pandora was no ordanairy ring, no Pandora had powers that could teleport into your own surreal fantasy, where humans were mixed up with animals and no words were used to communicate. You lived under the sea, using bubbles to speak and create patterns of communication, except of course nothing about this world was real. She had forgotten how to speak, how to feel, how to love and she was trapped in her underwater cave, desensitized to the chaos that had resumed around her. A modern day sleeping beauty, she was proof that fairytale’s did exist, except this fairytale was a nightmare that she could no longer wake up from. But how did it get to this point? Her Pandora ring who was once her savior was nowhere to be seen and she searched frantically through the murky waters of her mind, begging it to release her precious ring once more.
She was no longer dead inside but anguished in her search for her missing ring, desolate at the thought of her childhood sweetheart languishing in the back gates of her memory bank. Why couldn’t she find it, was it the loss of her ring that had led her into this impenetrable coma? Was it the rings fault that she had forgotten how to survive? But wait it was all coming back to her, she remembered what had happened that fateful night seven years ago. Aged 11 she not quite a teen but not quite a child, a gawky girl who loved nothing more than reading tales as old as time, tales where princesses were not weak and insubordinate creatures like other fairytales had written but empresses and warriors who were strong in mind, body and spirit. One day when fetching a particular book off the shelf she happened to chance upon a rose gold ring, nestled in a secret box behind her mothers favourite books. Entranced she gazed in wonder at its delicate beauty, a single entwined bow complete with clear cubic zirconia stones, a tribute to its immaculate perfection. It was not the first time that she had seen her mothers infamous jewellery collection but beneath the gaudy statement cocktail rings and art deco vintage that she seemed to covet, the precious Pandora was a wondrous item of beauty.
As she slipped the Pandora on her finger, she was taken back by the images that she saw, soft pastel unicorns galloping through Amozonian rainforests, macaws sleeping in waterfall hollows, the scent of fresh dew light on her lips. It was like a cool glass of water and the more that she held the Pandora on her child-like fingers, the less thirsty she felt. Taking care not to make a noise, she placed her feet softly on the ground before gradually retreating into her princessy hideout. But someone had been watching her, someone very bad indeed who loved nothing more than punishing the young for retrieving natures secret. The princess remembered seeing their face, gnarled and wizened by the visages of time, their cruel ironic smile frozen in place. She remembered nothing more but she knew that the strange old woman was the one who had stolen her Pandora. Although she could not feel its loss, there seemed to be a niggling voice buried deep underneath all the numbed senses that told her she was right. She waded through another endless tunnel of surfacing memories and spotted a familar face, it was her. She turned, three dazzling Pandora rings on her bloated fingers; ‘so you have finally figured it out?’ and let out a sinister cackle that seemed contrived. She was trying to invoke fear but the princess numb to all emotion but the anguish for her mothers lost ring was unfazed. She asked a simple why, questioning why she was in a coma and why her ring was gone.
It was mine, she turned a sour gaze on the princesses face, glaring at her un-ravaged beauty, it was mine. But why does my mother have it asked the princess in a monotonous voice without emotion. Because she was my daughter once, my daughter who was stolen from me when she became queen. I loved her dearly and she forgot who I was, too obsessed with the king, your father. And now she has forgotten you too; the princess for the first time flinched under the heat of her gaze, feeling the emotions course back into her veins. But why did you hurt me, the princess asked now vulnerable and afraid. Because you look like her, the one I used to love and when I saw you in that instant I remembered what it was like to love your mother. It was the first time I had met you and seeing that ring made me think that she still loved me after all. So I tested her, I put you under a spell thinking that it would reunite us all, including yourself as one happy family. But I was wrong and here you languished for many years. The princess asked whether she would ever be freed from her slumber and the old woman felt the years melt away again, saw in the young girl, her granddaughter’s honest gaze, realized that she had done nothing wrong. She slipped one of her precious Pandora rings on the princesses finger and whispered ‘now run free my child’.
Have You Got A Special Ring That Can Transport You Into Another World?