Story Saturday: The Prince's Betrothed (Once Upon a Time)

I recently got a copy of one of my favorite card games, Once Upon a Time from Atlas games. The game has a series of fairy tale-themed story prompts that allow players to take turns telling a story in an attempt to drive it toward their ending card. It can be a fun party game, and it's also an excellent tool for writers who want to tell a story but have trouble coming up with ideas. I'm hoping to use this game to revive my Story Saturday prompts and develop more short stories about princesses. I stopped sharing weekly stories a while ago due to a lack of inspiration. Let's see how many more I can create using my new story deck.

"The Prince's Betrothed"

Once upon a time, there was a giant named Pete who was in love with the fair Princess Madeline, despite the fact she was hardly bigger than his thumb. Another problem was that Princess Madeline was already betrothed to Prince Drake, who she admired for his bravery and charm. Pete's devotion to the princess posed a threat to her kingdom because he could crush all of it with a single step of his massive foot. Still, Madeline refused to marry a big ugly giant and was certain that Drake would keep her and her kingdom safe.

To celebrate her engagement to the prince, Madeline was invited to a ball in Drake's kingdom as an esteemed guest. She donned her finest gown and jewels for the occasion, glowing as much as the brightest star in the sky. However, when she pulled up to Drake's castle in her gilded carriage, a dark shadow loomed overhead. It was Pete, wearing an enormous tattered suit. He begged Madeline to share a dance with him as she looked so lovely in her fine clothes, but she refused, telling him she would never dance with such a big ugly giant when she was already betrothed to a handsome prince.

When Madeline entered the palace, she searched everywhere for Prince Drake but couldn't find him among all the elegant lords and ladies in the ballroom. Most of the party guests recognized her as the prince's betrothed and avoided contact with her because they did not want to cause an international incident. She was so distraught by the fact that the only person who asked her to dance was a hideous giant that she slipped into a dark empty corridor to weep. When she leaned against the wall, she heard soft footsteps nearby and decided to peek around the corner. There, she found Prince Drake arm in arm with a servant girl sharing an intimate dance together.

"How could you do this to me?" Madeline cried. "You're betrothed to me!"

With a heavy heart, Drake introduced Madeline to his true love, a kitchen maid named Delia. He explained that in spite of his marriage alliance to the princess, Drake had always been in love with Delia and was only waiting for the right time to convince his parents to let them wed. Madeline could not believe the nerve of the prince for giving up such a beautiful princess as herself in favor of a plain servant. She stormed out, where she found Pete waiting for her in the garden. He plucked an entire rose bush and presented it to Madeline as a bouquet, but most of the roses got crushed in his gargantuan fingers, causing a slurry of petals to rain down over Madeline's intricate ballgown.

"This is all your fault!" she sneered at him. "If it weren't for your interference, Drake would want to be with me, not some sniveling kitchen maid! He must have gotten scared off when he saw you following me to the ball."

Pete got down on one knee and apologized profusely to Madeline. He promised that if she were his bride, he would never hurt her the way that Prince Drake did.

"If you really wish not to hurt me, you will leave and never return," Madeline huffed.

Pete cared for Madeline so much that he was willing to do anything she asked, even if it meant never seeing her again. So with a heavy heart, he stomped away from the palace, crushing several trees in the process. Madeline ran back inside to tell Drake the good news.

When Madeline returned to the ballroom, a great celebration was taking place. The king and queen appeared to be giving Prince Drake their blessing with the servant girl Delia. Madeline explained to them that the giant was no longer a threat so they can be betrothed again, but he scorned the princess and asked the poor servant to marry him.

Madeline spent the rest of her life in regret. She even made a bargain with a witch to get a magic potion that would allow her to become a giant like Pete, but true to his word, she was never able to find him again.


Sugar said…
I like the story! I think it would be perfect to teach girls about dont being pampered and cruelly despising a suitor just because he's not as handsome or who you love and obsessing over someone else.
I didn't know about that game, it seems so much fun!
Lisa Dawn said…
I'm not sure if it's out of print, but there were only two copies left from the official vendor (Atlas Games) when I got it on Amazon. It's the third edition, so it's been out for a very long time.

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