Dreaming Beauty

With thanks to Trisha.

Sleeping Beauty’s 100-year trance was not a peaceful one. She was beset by dreams – dreams of life, dreams of normalcy, dreams of flying and dreams of ecstasy. And every time a dream ended, she would become horribly aware that she was still asleep.

Triggered by unconscious memory, she would dream of her prince, the handsome, gentle prince who would wake her up and take her away to his kingdom. And then she would find herself back in her wooded alcove. Strengthened by her persistence in remembering it, the dream returned again and again. She would either be clinging to her prince, or about to marry him, or about to allow him into her bed, and suddenly, everything around her would disappear and once again, she would be kissed anew by her prince, who, although he looked different every time, was still her prince.

So when she awoke after a hundred years, she believed she was still dreaming. Her prince took her to his kingdom, as he did in every dream, and the world around seemed to make sense, as it did every time. She kept waiting to return, or to be woken up. The dream persisted.

She retreated into herself, unable to engage with her life. The prince sequestered her in a tower and would visit when he felt like seeing her. The dream ended with her attempt to fly away.