Dedicated to Pascale Black.
Hoping that for once, she'll wear something colorful.
Once upon a time, in a little somewhere, far, far away from here (actually far, far away from anywhere) there was a strange, wonderful crazy kingdom, where a kind queen and a gentle king lived happily ever after. Well… ever after, ever after maybe not. Because the truth is, there is a lot more after the wedding and the words “the end”. And even if the pair was in love, they weren’t completely happy. Why? Hum… It is difficult to know. Not even they were sure. The point is that one night, laying in their bed, the woman confessed to the king:
-Freddy, I think there’s something missing.
-Something missing about what, my dear?
-I’m not right sure. I just feel like we need something more to be… You know : Happily ever after.
-Like what?-, asked the man astonished. –I’ll give you whatever my little strawberry cupcake demands.
-Hum… I just wish there were more movement in the Palace. Something little and cute I could embrace…
-Yes… No! Something that could also speak.
The king started thinking and pondering and suddenly screamed:-A bird! No, they’re too little to be embraced. Except we can get you a condor… I’ve got it! You’re talking about a dwarf!
-A dwarf?-, she denied with her head. –I don´t like beards.
-Well then… I think we are going to need some help.
And so they did. The following day they sent for all the wise people, the wizards and the fortune-tellers of the country, in search of a solution to their problem. But they didn’t need to look far. Because already the first ancient man they asked knew the answer:
-King and Queen, happiness is something very difficult to attain and even more to explain. A lot of people search for it and never find it. I can’t tell you if this is going to make you happy, but I can assure you that what you are looking for, my Majesties, is a baby.
-A baby? How does THAT work?
The elder smiled and delivered them a strange book.
-I think it’s better if you follow the instructions than if I explain it on my own. If you do what is written, you will not fail.
And so they did. And they enjoyed it so much that they didn’t only have one, but three little children. And they named them Sabine, Marc and Pascale. The three kids filled the palace with joy and intricacy, amusement and headaches. And there was not even one place left in peace. They caused trouble everywhere, but they were loved. And the kingdom lived happier than ever before.
Until one day, something unexpected happened. It started as every other common morning, with the kids playing in the throne hall, jumping and laughing. But then, Marc had this great idea of licking Pascale’s face as if he were a cow. The princess shouted, disgusted, and tried to hit her brother. And he ran and ran through the chambers and soon left the palace and ended up in the forest. She followed him through the trees and the grass blinded by her anger. And so, by accident, she crashed into a horrible looking, elderly woman who was walking along in the forest. As she saw her, she screamed again, confused and terrified by the person that lay in front of her on the ground.
Suddenly, she heard her brother laughing at her and the whole situation filled her with ire.
-You miserable creature!
She started chasing him again and forgot the poor woman completely. But once again, she lost him. And stopped to take breath. It was then that she heard a strident voice calling for her. A voice that was heard through the whole land and filled every corner, every room and every head in the kingdom.
-Oh, little, little girl. What have you done? You call yourself a princess? Well, these aren’t the manners of one. This isn’t the behavior of one! You should feel ashamed of what you’ve done!!! Throwing a poor innocent old lady onto the ground without reason or explanation, without a word of excuse or amiability!! Calling her a miserable creature and then running away as the devil…
-But that was not what…
-Silence! I had a horrible day and I shall punish you for your impudence and discourtesy. I promise you, princess Pascale, that you will die, before you achieve the age of marrying. I will make sure of it.
And suddenly, the silence overtook.
The king and the queen went crazy.
First, they scolded the scared children. And they were educated by strict teachers who forced them to study the forms and ways of behaving in the court. Then, the majesties ordered and shouted and went all over different kingdoms, crossing mountains and rivers, in search for someone who could save their little daughter from the evil witch of the forest. Soldiers and knights went in there, trying to kill the beast. But didn’t find her. And when all hope seemed to have disappeared, a miracle came true. From the land of the sparkles and stars came a little fairy and advised the saddened parents:
-Your daughter can be saved. It’s never too late, even if it’s never too easy. It is told in the books that only a true blood prince, a brave and honored knight or an honest man can break a spell. And that true love is the most powerful magic of all the worlds. So don’t drive to despair. And while you’re searching for this man, protect your child.
And so they did again. Time passed while they searched for honest men, making no differences between poor and rich, but none were found. Because even the most simple and nice guy had lied at last once in his life. So they started looking for a brave and honored knight, who was definitely more appropriate for a princess. But all the good ones were taken.
And Pascale grew older and properly and turned out to be a beauty. With her skin pail as snow and her hair as brown as wood. And as she always dressed in the same clothes, all tainted in black, she started to be known as Pascale Black. Marc was soon sent to become a warrior and ended up marrying a young and noble lady, who lived next to the sea. Sabine fell in love with one of the knights and went with him to a neighboring kingdom.
So, the doomed princess ended up alone with her duties and her games in the castle. And the time came to search for all the princes of the neighbor’s lands and to invite them into the palace.
Pascale met and spoke to everyone, but found them all filled with pride, presumption and way too refined manners for her liking. All except one. And so she wrote to her sister:
“He is so gentle, funny, intelligent, (and well, I admit it, so hot). Nothing compared with those princes of true blood and their pretentiousness. If I have to marry anyone, it’s him.”
They started talking together, walking together and even studying together.
-So, why do you never go out of the palace?-, asked once the prince charming.
-Because a fairy put a spell on this castle, so that it has become a safe place. While if I leave it, the witch will find me and kill me. And then only an honest man, a brave and honored knight or soldier or a true blood prince will be able to rescue me from death.
-Oh. That doesn’t sound too good. But, why don’t you go searching for an honest man? Wouldn’t that be easier than a true blood prince? I mean, it’s so easy today to fake blood, or to mix blood… And we live in the modern world. The differences between classes shouldn’t be so important.
-Yes, but the truth is… My parents searched through the whole kingdom and found not one honest man.
-Oh, my. I didn’t expect that.
-And now you’ve got to choose between all these fancy princes! Well… If I have to be honest myself, there is something I would like to confess … Even though I don’t actually know how…
She listened quietly.
-The truth is: I’m gay.
And that was it. She ran away from the castle, ran away from everything, and ran into the forest.
-I’m not going to marry anyone! Therefore, there’s no need to kill me! I’m sick of it, you here it? Sick of it!-, she shouted into the wind. And continued so, till the night came and the forest turned into something dark and scary. Then, lost in the middle of nowhere, she saw a light sparkling through the trees. It was a house with a little chimney and a wood door. Could it be the house of the three bears? Or the three little pigs? Or the witch? She swallowed and knocked at the door. But nobody answered.
-Hello? Is someone there?
The door was open. She looked around, and afraid of the dark and the cold, decided to enter. The house was warm. In the middle of the principal room was a table with six chairs and six plates. Over the subdued fire stood a casserole filled with soup. She was hungry, so she tasted it.
-Hum, too cold.
Suddenly something rubbed her. She screamed and found a cat looking at her. She smiled.
-Hello, little pussy. Are you alone?
Suddenly the cat scratched her and ran away. The princess was astonished. But calmed down slowly. She ignited the fire, warmed the soup and put some other spices in, filled a plate and sat down, when a noise of trotting horses resounded and the door was opened. Six persons entered, all wearing the exact same colors, blue, red, brown and white, just different clothes. Three men and four women. And every single one remained still, as he saw the newcomer.
Pascale smiled and waved her hand: -Hi!
And then, everybody reacted.
-What the hell is happening here?
-Who are you?
She continued smiling and waving her hand.
-Mmm. It smells good! I’m hungry! Tengo hambre!-, shouted one of the seven caressing his gut. And suddenly everything changed again. Five sat down, one started serving and the last one and the tallest stood still, his arms crossed with an angry face.
-You’re in my seat.
All the others started eating while they watched the scene.
-Oh. I’m sorry.
She got up.
-You’ve entered into our house without permission and stolen our privacy.
-I knocked at the door and waited. But it was cold and dark and I was hungry and tired.
-You eat of our food.
-I warmed it up and had no time to eat anything!
-But you were going to do it!
-Who cares? The soup is warmer and tastier than when Flowery does it. –commented the one that was wearing a The Who T-shirt.
-Hey!-, exclaimed the woman with the vest of flowers, infuriated.
-What? It’s true!-, claimed the girl with the big sweatshirt.
-What’s your name? Who are you? And what are you doing here?-, asked, still furious the one with the blue shirt.
She stood still for a few instants, thinking. Could she tell the truth? Could she trust them? They would think that she was just a little persnickety princess if she told them the truth…
-I’m the princess Pascale Black, and I came here escaping from my stepmother…
-Liar, liar pants on fire-, shouted the blond girl.
-We know the story, we know the story, everybody knows it.-, sang the one with the sweatshirt.
-What story? Everyone where?
-The story about the beautiful Pascale Black and the witch. Are you supposed to be the Beauty?-, asked ironically the The Who fan.
-No. Didn’t you know? I’m the ugly, evil witch.
-Poor witch- claimed Flowery.
-Don’t worry; you’ll be able to console her soon. If the princess stays, she will visit us… to kill her.
-No! - exclaimed the blond girl.
-Great! I’ve never seen a witch or someone getting killed before! - laughed the youngest.
-Shut up! - shouted the angry one. –The princess isn’t staying.
-Yes, she is! She’s a great cook! - argued the hungry one while eating.
-I understand that you’re afraid of the witch…
-I’m afraid of no witch!
-No, Grumpy. The song is: I’m afraid of no ghost- commented the sweatshirt girl.
-But where will she sleep?-, asked the blond one.
-You heard it? Blondie just asked an intelligent question! –congratulated the ironic man.
-I’m not blond and definitely not stupid!
-She can sleep in Clowny’s bed and Clowny in the sofa. We can’t leave her out in the cold, dark night…- commented Flowery.
-Why not? - asked Grumpy.
-No! I’m the only sofa king! - claimed the The Who fan.
-Okay, donkey. Yours is the sofa, I have my bed –smiled the young Clowny.
-Blondie, Grumpy, Flowery and Clowny? What kind of names are those?
-Dwarf names, of course. – explained the eating one.
-You don’t look like dwarves.
-Why? Because all dwarves have to be small, tiny men with beards, who work in mines? The hell with stereotypes!
Grumpy seemed in a bad mood.
-So, how are you two others called? Whoy and Eaty?
-No. I’m Hungry.
-I see that. But you’re eating.
-No. I said I’m Hungry!
-What? You want more soup? - asked Blondie.
-He’s called Hungry. And I’m Sarcasm.
-Without an I at the end or beginning?
-Do I look like an Apple product?
Flowery jumped up and gave Pascale her seat.
-You must be hungry.
-No. I’m Hungry. She has hambre.
-Shut up, Hungry! –shouted everyone.
-Ok. You can stay, but it isn’t for free.
And so, the first night passed.
In the morning, as everybody woke up, the princess had prepared fruit, cheese, bread, eggs and bacon.
-Hum… Bacon… - smiled Clowny.
-I’m Hungry- claimed… well, you know who.
-It’s kind of American- commented Sarcasm.
-Great! Beautiful! - said Blondie and Flowery.
-We’ve got work to do. – added Grumpy.
-Is he always bad-humored? - whispered Pascale.
-No. He’s called Grumpy for no reason at all – laughed Sarcasm.
-Only when he comes from work or he has to work or he’s tired or ill - explained Flowery.
-Let’s go! – sang Blondie.
-Wait! I’m not finished yet.
-You’re going to the mine?
-No. We aren’t miners, we’re inventors.
-Inventors? What do you create?
-A little bit of everything. Stories, machines, clothes, movies, jokes, humor, curiosity, fantasy…
-Sounds great! Can I come?
-No. –shouted every dwarf.
-It’s a dwarf thing –explained Clowny.
Suddenly,someone knocked at the door. And they heard a strident voice saying:
-Good morning owners of this beautiful house.
Grumpy went to the door opened it and shouted: -We don’t need anything, we don’t buy anything, we don’t sell anything, we don’t want anything!!!
And he closed the door with a slam.
-Poor salesman- reproached Flowery.
-It was a saleswoman.
He then turned to the princess.
-Thank you for breakfast, your Majesty. We’ll go to work now. And you may work here, too, if you want to stay another night. Don’t let anybody in, especially not the thieves. Don’t buy anything with our money. Don’t touch anything if it’s not necessary… We’ll return tonight.
And with those words, they disappeared.
Pascale fed the cat, swept and washed the house dancing and singing rock songs, fought against spiders, cooked and cleaned the kitchen, cleaned, hung and ironed the clothes. And finally, almost out of breath, she found a few manuscripts under a bed and began to correct the spelling mistakes.
So she passed the first day. When the dwarves arrived, they spread mud and soil all over the floor, left the boots thrown wherever they could, the jackets on the chairs and rushed over to the food. And the second night passed, too.
The second day started as the first. She cleaned and worked and played with the cat pulling strange faces. She danced and sang old rock songs. But suddenly, a knock on the door interrupted her. And she heard a strident voice ask:
-Good morning to the owners of the house.
-I’m afraid we don’t buy anything.
-A girl? Would you let me in?
-No. I can’t.
-I have a great invention for you.
-They are inventors!
-It’s as present.
-I’m not interested.
-But, you nice woman…
-No! Thank you!
And she started cooking. When the dwarves arrived, they spread mud and soil all over the floor, left the boots thrown wherever they could, the jackets on the chairs and rushed over to the food. And the third night passed, too.
-Why do you always wear Black? –asked Blondie the next morning.
-She’s preparing for her funeral, Blondie – smiled Sarcasm.
-I’m not blond!
-It’s a sad color- commented Flowery.
-Bacon- said Clowny –But still no pancakes.
-We’ve got to work.
And another morning had passed, when someone knocked at the door. And Pascale heard a strident voice.
-Hello? I’ve got wonderful, beautiful, colorful scarves!
She went to the door and looked through the window.
-They looked marvelous. So hippy!
A woman all dressed in pink with hundreds of scarves in her hands smiled at her.
-You want one? Can I come in? Then you’ll see them better.
-I’m not buying anything- said the princess still hypnotized by the scarves.
-I’ll give you one for free.
-For free? - She doubted.
-One wonderful, beautiful, colorful, magical scarf for free.
-You said magical? No! I don’t want anything magical! Thank you! And goodbye!
And she closed the window.
And she started cooking. When the dwarves arrived, they spread mud and soil all over the floor, left the boots thrown wherever they could, the jackets on the chairs and rushed over to the food.
Suddenly, Grumpy shouted angrier than ever before:
-Who has touched these manuscripts and plans?
-It was me –answered Pascale Black.
-How dare you!? I told you specifically not to touch anything if it wasn’t necessary! Who gave you the right to do this?
And she just couldn’t stand it for longer.
-Shut up, banana head! I work here all day cleaning and cooking and you don’t show me any respect! You just enter here dirtying everything and rush over to the food! Well, damn it! This place was a breeding-place of pigs before I came in. And the manuscript was full of mistakes! I know what I’m doing! I spent my entire life studying in a castle. So just shut up.
Everybody stared at her in complete silence. Grumpy had his mouth open and couldn’t close it. No word was spoken.
-Tengo hambre- said the princess and sat down.
And the fourth night passed. The next morning, Clowny claimed: -No pancakes and no bacon! What’s this?
-Health – answered Pascale.
-Exactly what a doomed princess needs. – commented the sofa king.
-Great! I’m on a diet- said Blondie.
-Again? - asked Flowery.
-It’s okay, as long as there’s food.
-Thanks for the breakfast, your Majesty… And I’m sorry for yesterday. –said Grumpy. –Would you like to correct more stuff?
-Sure. I’d love to.
-Then I’ll bring more tonight.
Pascale Black smiled. And he kind of smiled back.
And a lot of days passed. Until Halloween came. And for the first time, the princess really missed her home. The town, the celebration, her parents and her brother and sister... Would they miss her, too? Would they be partying? She remembered the costumes and the tricks and jokes and how they used to scare soldiers and knights, while she cleaned the house. Suddenly someone knocked at the door and she heard a strident voice which said:
-Trick or treat ?
She ran to the door and opened it. And there stood a little kid costumed as a phantom with a sheet and a bag in her hands. She smiled but then realized she had nearly nothing to give her.
-I’m afraid I don’t have any sweets… But I can give you some fruits and chestnuts if you want.
-Great! If you give me some fruits and chestnuts, I’ll give you a piece of my pumpkin pie.
-Oh. That’s wonderful! Come on in!
And the little kid entered. She filled her bag with food and took a piece of pie.
-It looks tasty…
-Then take a bite – proposed the little child.
And so she did. But then she didn’t. She couldn’t swallow it and suddenly started coughing and coughing, until she ended lying on the ground, not breathing.
The little child laughed and laughed and screamed for joy: -Finally! You have fallen! You miserable creature!
And she disappeared.
When the dwarves arrived that night, there was no smoke in the chimney and no light at the window. They entered into a dark house, where nobody answered their questions. Just a cat meowing next to a dead body.
-Nice try, Pascale Black- said Sarcasm as he lit the fire –but we all know it is Halloween.
-But she’s not moving and she’s not breathing- whispered Clowny.
-She really is dead! – shouted Blondie.
-I think I’m not hungry anymore- said Hungry.
-Poor Pascale- said Flowery.
-There’s no time for your “poors”! –yelled Sarcasm.
-Leave her in peace- responded Blondie.
-Shut up! - said Grumpy. He kneeled next to the corpse and came very close. –Dear Pascale- he started to whisper. And then he seized her and began to shake her. –We’ve got no time for this, you hear it? You just can’t be dead! There’s way too much work to do!
And poof! The chunk of cake shot out of the mouth of the girl and she breathed again.
-Stop thinking about work- she murmured and opened her eyes.
The cat got near the piece of cake and started to smell it.
-Don’t think about it- said Clowny and took it away.
-You ate a cake without waiting for us- protested Hungry- Y tengo hambre, again.
-That’s what I call a terrifying Halloween party- commented Sarcasm.
Flowery smelled the piece of cake and noticed: -It’s bewitched.
-How do you know?
-I’m a dwarf.
-We all are.
-Well, I suppose I’m just more of one than you. That’s why I’m the tiniest of them all.
But Pascale Black wasn’t listening. She was looking at Grumpy.
-You saved my life.
-But, are you an honest man?
-I don’t think so.
-A brave and honored knight?
-A true blood prince?
-Definitely not. Why?
-Than I must love you.
-That’s a strange conclusion- he smiled.
-A crazy conclusion- added Sarcasm.
-A romantic conclusion- said Blondie.
-A great conclusion- commented Flowery.
-Yea. But guess what? No one has made dinner- said Hungry.
-This is going to be bad- concluded Clowny.
The End ?