With a debt of creative gratitude to Robert Munch and his 1980 masterpiece:
Warning – this is a very long story. I’m not much in the editing mood or mode, so it isn’t going to get shorter. If anything, I’d probably make it longer. :-)
All typos are my muse’s fault. In fact any error in this manuscript, including the manuscript itself, is all my muse’s fault. And, now she’s off to another one of her spa weeks!
A while ago, when there still was magic in the world, undisneyfied princesses really did live in castles. You must believe this, or the words will disappear off the screen.
Princess Eos stood in the middle of her room, foot tapping, arms folded, and a rather big scowl on her face. For “appearances” (both meanings!) she wasn’t allowed to wear the dresses she designed. She had to wear her hair in elaborate arrangements; she wanted short, purple hair. Her parents were just too traditional!
“It was all too predictable,” she thought. “The princess wears stupid fluffy gowns, uncomfortable crowns on top of ridiculous hair, and such.”
Pacing, she said to the room:
“The princess in the fluffy dress is always engaged to a prince. About this time, she is abducted by: a) dragon b) evil wizard/witch c) evil stepmother et. al d) ogre, troll or some other sort of low life e) trickster, con man.
She is held captive in: a) cave b) dungeon c) castle tower d) evil palace e) underworld city or prisoner camp.
She is then rescued by a) her fiancee b) knight in shining armour on a white horse c) a handsome, honourable commoner d) a handsome, honourable commoner who is in reality a prince e) some sort of contrived ending so that they a) live happily ever after!”
Scrunching up her face, she declared, “Oh, I forgot, there is the royal wedding. No, I won’t go there.”
So, there she stood, a very unhappy princess. Soon, too soon, her engagement to Prince Rupert would be announced. Rupie wasn’t a bad guy, he just was so traditional. Not exactly what she had in mind.
You might have figured out by now that Princess Eos’ life would not be a Disney animated movie – more like on HBO or Showtime. Traditional was the last word anyone would use to describe her. She firmly believed in nonconformistism . Her parents despaired of her (she drove them nuts), and were more than happy to marry her off.
Then Princess Eos had an idea: “If I get abducted before the engagement, then I’m in the clear. Hide out til everyone gets tired of looking, Rupie is engaged to Princess Cupcake, and Princess Eos, now Gemma Louise Grimm, could live happily every after.
But, abducted by who? A through E just wouldn’t work. “I mean,” she thought, “Herbie is a nice dragon and his cave isn’t all that bad. But he couldn’t keep a secret. The Troll brothers are a lot of fun, but on a kingdom tour with their band.”
Then she snapped her fingers. “Of course, Warrior Princesses, yes a band of wayward Warrior Princesses. I’m captured and trained to become one of them. Perfect.”
Since there were no Warrior Princesses, she didn’t have anything to worry about. Except, figure out how to make them exist long enough to abduct and indoctrinate her. So she started a rumour they had rode in from the East, and were wrecking, reeking, or wreaking havoc and mayhem where-ever they went. If you saw what one looked like, she had to kill you.
Once the buzz about the Princess Warriors was heating up, she added the threatened plot. “I’m having too much fun,” she thought. She arranged to be taken just before the big announcement. She put on her commoner clothes (good for getting away from the stuffy palace). She messed up her room, dangled a rope from the window ledge, made lots of noise, then ran down the back steps to the castle grounds.
She yelled, “They have her. They have her.” She was so shaken up, all she could do was point in the general direction of the gate. (Everyone seemed to forget the “got to kill you” part)
A posse of knights and princes conveniently there for the party rode out to rescue her. Even Rupie who was allergic to horses gave it a go.
Princess Eos simply walked out the gate with a bundle of her important stuff she had stashed earlier. She made sure she was far enough away, then she did a happy dance! She could do whatever she wanted. Now, she didn’t really have a plan, and wasn’t sure which career path to follow, but she was away from the traditional princess thing!
Things were going along fine, when a knight in shining armour recognized her from the “have thou seenth” posters. However, when he took off his armour, it became obvious his intentions were not honourable. He had more than a ride back to the palace in mind. Princess Eos bopped him on the head knocking him out cold.
She reached down and drew his sword out of it’s scabbard. She made a few moves, cutting the air with the gleaming sword. “You know,” she thought, “maybe I am a Warrior Princess. Maybe I’ve always been one.”
My heroes are all the Warrior Princesses I’ve had the privilege of knowing. I’m a better person for having met them. They pick up the sword and shield and fight. They battle physical and mental illness, chronic pain, and addiction. They cut through stigmas and stereotypes. They are caring, supportive, nonjudgmental warriors fighting for the common good.
Warrior Princesses do exist. And not one of them looks like Lucy Lawless!
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver #13: Heroes
@ phylor 2015