The two women appeared out of nowhere and stood in a clearing in the woods, their jet black robes camouflaged in the blackness and illuminated only by the radiance of the prevalent moon which was at its largest. For a few moments, they stood still, eyeing each other with immense interest as though lovers reconciling after years. Then, they started walking towards each other and stood a few inches away.
“What’s the news?” inquired the first witch, in a soft and silky tone, raising her hood to reveal a face of utmost glamour and youth.
“The best of a kind,” the other responded in a typical girlish voice, smiling widely, unveiling her hood. “The prophecy has come true indeed, of a mortal offspring being born at the full moon, bringing with it the promise of eternal youth and beauty for us, which would assuredly lead to a graceful end to all our hunts in search of youthful souls and make us retain our immortality forever,” she announced, in a sort of horrifying bliss.
“Enlighten me more dear, about this offspring, is it completely true, does the description in the divination accurately match the face of the child?” the witch asked hysterically, unable to contain her curiosity and exhilarating anticipation any longer.
The other witch beamed with pleasure, revealing her sparkling set of perfect teeth and claimed loudly,
“Yes, it is! The baby girl is blessed with a face, with the capability to flinch the full moon into shyness, crystal green eyes through which a being can view its detailed reflection. Its smile, which can raise the sun, and whose tears can bring a thunderous storm. I can assure you with my life’s sake that this child would fulfil the hundred-year-old prophecy, and provide us with the everlasting beauty that we have craved for centuries.
“Indeed, but bear in mind,” warned the second witch, as she walked aside with her head up, watching the moon with its glamour reflecting through her dark eyes. “The child will only be able to fulfil the prophecy when the full moon cycles escort her to the verge of adulthood, till then you must eliminate every obstacle guarding her and keep a close watch on her until she is ready to embrace her destiny,” and with these words, she vanished into the woods, leaving the other woman beaming with ambition…
Meanwhile, the king of Windsor glowed with pride, holding his only heir, a precociously gorgeous baby girl in his arms and celebrating in the castle, with the royal crowd gathered all across the place.
“At the birth of my dearest daughter, I would be giving away a thousand gold coins to each farmer, blacksmith and other workmen in my kingdom,” he announced proudly, standing at the top of the castle as the entire kingdom rejoiced and praised the king and blessed the baby girl.
Amidst the celebrations, a scream was heard from inside the castle, and chaos was created as the king ordered his guards to search through the castle to discover the source of the gut-wrenching noise. The guards rummaged the castle thoroughly and to the king’s worst horror, they found his wife, and the queen of the castle, lying in a pool of blood in her chamber. She had been murdered in cold blood, however, there was no sign of any weapon or the murderer. Most astonishingly, the wound was neither made by any dagger nor by any other weapon that they could contemplate or recognize, it was an oddly large and circular slash made on her stomach. The elderly lady who was present at the time of the princesses’ birth had been escorted back to her place under the eye of the king and his guards, therefore, they couldn’t suspect her in any case.
The noble king was immensely heart-broken, severe dejection ruled over him to an extent that he unequivocally lost the desire to live and for the next few days, he shut himself fully in his chamber where he laid grieving in his deplorable despondency. In the interim, the king’s guards searched through the entire kingdom but achieved no success in finding any suspect, let alone the murderer.
“Dear king,” began his chief advisor earnestly, watching him as he laid on his bed, overcome with substantial gloominess. “You must continue living, not for yourself then at least for your beloved little daughter. Whom you vowed to cherish unconditionally, till your final breath. For what happens, happens by the will of the gods, and cannot be denied, nor can it be reversed,” he advised sagaciously, placing his hand on the king’s palm.
A young woman entered the chamber carrying the baby princess in her arms and caressing it with immense affection. The king noticed this and was moved to a profound extent that he hurled a proposal at the maiden for her hand in marriage. After a moment of contemplation, the girl, who glowed with the essence of immeasurable beauty and ostensibly endless youth gave her consent with utmost honour and delight and vowed to raise the princess as her flesh and blood.
The night of the royal wedding, a peal of vile laughter was heard through the sky, which reverberated dreadfully across the kingdom. A laugh capable of taming the roar of thunder, which caused the forest trees to tremble, and one which shook the horizon and the resilient walls of the castle….as a witch revelled that night of doom.