I had the opportunity to try out a MacBook today, and because the keyboard and everything associated with writing/typing is one of the most important things to me when it comes to computers, I wrote a sample story to test the features. I just started writing with “once upon a time”, and waited to see what came out. What did come out was a (startling) satirical twist on the typical princess-dragon-knight fairytale.
Once upon a time, there was a princess. She was captured by an evil dragon, and carried off to his stronghold in the mountains.
Then a heroic knight heard of the fair lady being held captive. He immediately got on his horse and rode to her rescue.
Unfortunately, the evil dragon heard of his coming and descended from on high to do battle. The knight fought him valiantly for many hours, but the dragon had the victory, and the brave knight never saw another sunset. The princess escaped from the dragon’s stronghold while he was off fighting the knight and fled back to her kingdom from which she had been taken captive.
When the dragon found that she was gone, he returned to her kingdom and the heat of his wrath was so great, that when the sun rose the next day, only hot ashes marked the place where the princess’s kingdom had been.
Dissatisfied? Well, rest easy. As soon as my sister got her hands on the MacBook to try it out, she wrote out an “improved” ending to the story.
But within this kingdom had dwelt a Wise Man named Theo, whose power and knowledge were unrivaled in all the history of the world. Just as the fire of the dragon was about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting kingdom, Theo lifted his hands and spoke a word known only to him and instantly the kingdom vanished from the face of the earth. The dragon departed, gloating in his victory, but unbeknownst to him, by command of Theo, the kingdom was brought to rest on Theo’s own world far from the dragon and his malicious purposes.
Aside from a few repairs to a few towns and injuries to a few people, the kingdom was unharmed. After his kingdom was safe and restored, the king rallied an army, accompanied by Theo, and together they returned to slay the dragon. Theo did not have many offensive powers, but he was a great asset to the army in assisting them in their defense. By a mighty feat of cooperative strategy and skill, the dragon was slain and everyone returned the kingdom to live happily ever after.
The princess was forever grateful to the brave knight who gave his life that she might live, and to commemorate him, she wrote out the story of him and the dragon, that coming generations might applaud his courage and sacrifice, as well as that of Theo, who had saved the whole kingdom by his quick thinking and action.
I told her she ruined the story, but I didn’t really mean it. I didn’t have anything invested in the story, so I just shook my head at her story.
How would you have ended the story? Do you object to horrible endings, even in satire?