Once upon a time, there lived a king with his beloved daughter. Most of the people in the kingdom thought of her as the most beautiful thing they had ever laid their eyes on. Her captivating smile was enchanting enough to bring down a prolific poet to ineffability. Her eyes were a magical juxtaposition of innocence and acumen. Her hair flew in the wind with such effortless grace; it almost looked magical, even surreal. The wind danced around her hair with perfect rhythm nearly falling in love with it. Her face glowed of an aura powerful enough to transform the lust of the most lecherous men into veneration of the beauty that stood before them. Her voice transcended from the physical world and somehow reached the soul of those listening to it, pouring in it the sweet nectar of joy and happiness. Even if God was to descend on earth, he would feel unworthy of her, his own creation.
She ran through the mountains, jumped through the streets, fluttered through the kingdom, bringing with her the deluge of life she had within. People stopped their work to look at her and got overflowed with joy and pride. It was an enigma that girl of such immense beauty had an untainted heart of a child. She talked, played and showed love to everyone, even birds and animals. The thought of being a princess never crossed her mind. Vanity could not cripple her innocence. When she glided through the forest, trees sang along with her, birds joined in the chorus. The wind swayed the trees to the melody of her song. The leaves forsake the droplets to the cadence of her music, flaunting their prowess in this pristine, cathartic orchestra. Tired of all the chirping she did in the day, she slept like a baby in the night to refill her reservoir with the spirit of life.
One night, while she was fast asleep, she felt someone touching her legs. She opened her eyes and was flabbergasted to look into the eyes of the devil glaring at her from the side of her bed. She wanted to scream and yell, but the eyes crippled her. They looked at her with the ferocity of an animal waiting to devour its prey. She had never seen such eyes, filled with libidinal greed and hunger. Her heart was pounding so fast, she thought it would come right out her body breaking off the cage. Her skin burned wherever he touched her. Fear started to grip over her, horror surfaced as the devil meandered treacherously over her body. Still, her muscles refused to move, they won’t listen, she cried and pleaded before them, they just won’t move. Now the devil was all above her, the dreadful pain oozing from every part of her body. Shame started to settle in, it tore her apart. It crawled allover beneath her skin intending to peel off her skin, to scratch off every cell from her body that had come in contact with the devil. The pain never ceased, it increased tremendously with every second as the devil consumed her body and her mind. Her mother had warned her of the devil, told her to be prepared; she wasn’t. Now the pain spread to such parts of the body where she never felt pain before. Blood gushed out, pain and shame intensified to such levels she felt unconscious.
The next morning, she woke up from the nightmare and was slightly glad that it was only a dream, but then stench of blood came over followed by the waves of pain extending allover her body. It created havoc in her mind, the shame, the fear, the terror all returned. She rushed to the bathroom, washed off all the blood, but the stench remained. She threw away her clothes and washed her body again and again. How was she to wash away all the shame, pain, guilt, fear, horror instilled in her mind? She locked herself in her room and stared at the painting of her mother for hours. Her debilitated mind could no longer think of anything other than her mother. She wanted to be with her, immerse herself into her bosoms and forget everything that happened, forget herself. May be the gentle embrace of her mother could have cleansed away the shame indelibly marked on her skin.
Days passed by. She mostly remained to her room. Joy and happiness had absconded, leaving behind an empty shell devoid of life. Her morose and sullen face created rumors of being cursed by a witch. Her eyes looked like pits filled with melancholy and misery. No one had heard her voice for days. It got more frightening at night, sleep seldom visited her. If luckily some night she slept, nightmares crept from inside her sorrow, dark side of her mind and decimated her insides. She almost always woke up screeching and shouting, for the devil’s eyes peeked right into her soul and devoured every essence of life she possessed. Her health deteriorated with her mind. She could no longer run or walk for long distances. She became weak and looked emaciated.
One fine morning, she dared to leave the palace and roam the mountains where she once glided through. But the forest seemed different; it had turned evil as if it was deceitfully planning to harm her. The wind made a shrill noise admonishing her. The shadows of the trees morphed to generate demonic creatures. The birds and animals all had the eyes of the devil which sent shudders through her body. They joined in the cacophony of sound created by the wind gushing through the leaves creating a haunting effect. She ran from the shadows but they seemed to follow her. Her withered body abandoned her and she tumbled into mud. She got up and ran gasping for air towards the village. Even the village seemed unusual, it seemed distant and uninviting. People looked at her disgraceful carcass as it was, with pity and repugnance, even fear. She ran away from their faces from their disturbing eyes towards the castle. She glanced at the sun, which was shining without remorse. The scorching heat became so unbearable that her feeble body abdicated her and fell head first on the ground. Through the red mist, she could see their abhorrent looks, she closed her eyes. She could still hear them muttering. Intense desire to evaporate away completely came over her.
Suddenly, the mutterings vanished; she could hear her heart beating. When she opened her eyes she was staring in to an unbroken emptiness. She stood up; she noticed she could stand up. There was nothing but parched land in every direction wherever she gazed. Suddenly, a silhouette of a woman emerged at some distance. She ran towards her with all her strength. When she got closer, she recognized it as her mother. She galloped towards her using every bit of energy left in her. She wanted to leap into her arms and cry like an infant. But no matter how far she ran, the distance between them remained the same. She looked at her mother in despondency; hopelessness engulfed her. Another figure emerged beside her mother that made her stop in her tracks. It was her sister. Memories started rushing back in her mind. She had always loved her sister; instead adored her to the extent of idolizing her. She could remember how her sister had jumped from the cliff to extinguish her abject life. All of a sudden, it got hazy. The mist started spreading everywhere which made it impossible to see anything. When the mist cleared, she was in her bed and a person resembling her father stood besides her talking with the doctor. She closed her eyes again but in vain.
Seasons changed; her health started improving. Her father had gone to the north to invade another kingdom and was to return after a long time. She spent most of the time gazing from the castle window in to the horizon. From that window, she could see the exact place where her sister’s body was found. She investigated all her servants about her sister, but got no answers. Nightmares had died down along with the dreams of her mother and sister. The king returned with his glorious victory bringing joy and pleasure for everyone except his own daughter. She had lost her war on shame and guilt and was being held as a prisoner. The flower could not protect its fragrance in this lecherous and contemptuous world. She tried her best to forget everything but the thoughts lingered.
Then, one night, as she stood in the gallery, staring at the lights lit in the villages, her mind shimmered with the light. Dark clouds were gathering in communion over the village. Lightning struck inside the clouds, making them glow perniciously. The draconian sound that followed made her quiver with fear. She stretched out her hand out of the window and felt tingle of some droplets. Rain started pouring heavily as if in vicious anger. She stood there in the rain, as if it was pouring just to cleanse her. She thought the rain could somehow wash away the poison that was feeding of her. A voice behind her made her turn, her eyes appalled in terror. The devil had returned to ravish whatever that was left of her cadaver. He walked right towards her; holding her hand, threw her on the floor. As he came closer to her, he grew larger and bigger in her mind. Shivering with fear, she closed her eyes shut. She wanted to throw off the layers of flesh that she wore every day and vanish into nothingness. At that instant, she found herself in the desert, she had visited before. Her mother and sister were looking at her in compassion. She loped towards them but they somehow drifted away as she came closer. Every part in her was pleading and gesticulating for her to be taken away. She could see the land breaking off into a cliff in the distance. Her mother and sister vanished. She scurried towards the cliff and plunged into the ocean below. The cold water felt to her like prickles. But it didn’t matter as she could see the face of her mother which gave her warmth. Something unusual caught her attention when she looked at her sister. Her sister had the same eyes as her. She saw in them the same pain, the same guilt, the same fear and the same hollowness as she had experienced. For the first time, fury blasted in her, exploding in her veins and overwhelming her mind. The terror and embarrassment disappeared, as she looked at her sister, cognizant of the reason of her sister’s death. She opened her eyes to gleam in the eyes of the devil, startling him for a moment. Pushing him aside, she dashed towards the dagger hanging on the wall. The devil understanding her intentions tried to grab her. But she was fast; she had unsheathed the dagger before he could grab her. Then, with all the energy she could muster, she thrust the dagger into his heart. The devil fell on the floor with hands on his heart. Blood was sprinkling out, spraying allover her and the floor. She stood over the dead body of the devil with dagger in her hand, looking at the painting of her mother with ting of glimmer in her eyes.
The next day, the king was found dead in his daughter’s room lying in his own pool of blood. A withered red flower was found right beneath the balcony with a dagger in her hand.