Here’s the weekly story for the Monday Flash Fics page, August 1, 2016.
The Princess and the Tree
By Jeff Baker
“Gramma! Gramma! Tell us a story! Tell us a story!” The two little girls were excitedly jumping up and down on the big bed in the guest room.
“All right,” Grandmother said smiling. “But you have to get right to bed after.”
“We will,” the girls chorused. “We promise!”
“Once upon a time, a man lived on top of a…” Grandmother began.
“Not that one,” said the youngest.
“You know the one,” said her sister. “Pleeeeease?”
“Well, all right,” Grandmother said. “Once upon a time, in a kingdom far out to sea, a young prince had been put under a spell and placed with the trees of the forest. One day a young princess came by and was told she had to find which tree was the young prince. Or else!”
The girls on the bed giggled.
“But the Princess was used to getting her way. She walked into the forest and ordered ‘Come,’ and the enchanted tree began to walk on its roots and followed the Princess to a boat on the water. The Princess stepped into the boat, pointed and said ‘Sit.’ And the tree walked into the boat and sat down, as best as a tree can.
“The placard hidden on the tree began to glow and the boat pulled away from the shore. After a time, the boat pulled up to an island and the tree stepped out onto the shore and suddenly became a handsome young man and helped the Princess ashore.”
“And they went and lived in a castle!” That was the youngest girl, interrupting.
“Full of horses and gold,” said the other.
“And they became a King and Queen,” the girls squealed. “Forever and ever!”
“Well, no,” Grandmother said. The Prince was the youngest son, he never became a king. And they didn’t have a castle, they built a farmhouse and they…”
“Awwww, Gramma! That’s not a story!” the girls said.
Their Grandmother smiled. Listening from the doorway, their Grandfather smiled too. He loved her even more with silver hair, and he rarely thought of the years he’d spent as a tree.