Story Saturday: The Prince Competition

"The Prince Competition"

Once upon a time, there was an Amazon princess named Jacqueline. Princess Jacqueline's world was surrounded by strong female warriors. She was trained her whole life to be one of the best. Her people believed that men were weak and could never hope to compete with the strength of a woman. Still, one person in each generation was selected to find a mate so they could bear their next queen, and unfortunately, Princess Jacqueline was that person. Though she did not look forward to the task, she knew that if she was going to choose a prince, he would need to be the strongest among men. She called forth a competition among all eligible men, stipulating that she would only marry one who could defeat her in combat.
Challengers traveled from all over the world for the opportunity to marry the Amazon princess. Many of them were royalty, and despite their confidence, these warriors were defeated the fastest by Jacqueline's royal entourage, and most never even made it far enough in the competition to fight the mighty princess. The few that did were taken down in an instant by her might and skill. She was disappointed that most of the competitors fought using basic moves that she had learned to overpower as a child since these were the techniques that were taught to knights and princes around the world and were the easiest for the Amazons to overtake.

"Is there no man out there who is worthy of taking me in combat?" the princess sighed.

Her ladies tried to comfort her by sparring with her using their best moves and providing a true challenge, but even that could not raise her spirits, for she knew it was her solemn duty to sire an heir.

Soon, the stories of Jacqueline's strength spread far and wide, and the number of competing warriors visiting her kingdom slowed to a trickle, for they all knew they were no match for her. The rumors spread so far that a young man in a peasant village who had been abused by his wicked stepbrothers and stepfather all his life heard about this opportunity to escape his dreadful situation. Though Ellis knew of the princess's strength, he had ways of outsmarting any foe, something he had taught himself in order to survive his stepfamily's abuse. He was an expert at dodging and used his opponents' strength against them by moving at just the right time to cause their attacks to injure themselves. Late one night, he snuck away and boarded a ship to enter the competition.

When the Amazons saw Ellis arrive at the palace gates, they scoffed at him thinking he was lost. His ragged clothing and scrawny muscles were nothing like the buff armor-clad competitors they were used to fighting. Still, they saw how sad the princess had become and decided to let him enter as a joke. Perhaps seeing such a goofy-looking competitor would help to cheer her up.

Jacqueline took pity on Ellis when she saw his meager appearance. Since he had not brought a weapon, she relinquished her sword and agreed to fight him in hand-to-hand combat, promising to go easy on him. After all, anyone who would challenge the Amazons in his condition was quite brave, so the least she could do was let him leave without any debilitating injuries.

Princess Jacqueline determined the best way to fight Ellis was to take him out with a single blow to prevent as much damage as possible. She squeezed her fist and channeled her strength into her best knock-out punch. When she released it, however, she was shocked to find that the power of her punch caused her to double over and punch a hole in the ground, scraping her own knuckles. Ellis was nowhere to be seen. She heard his breath from behind her and managed to dodge his own blow in just the nick of time. Perhaps she had underestimated this peasant. He fought nothing like the royals she had grown accustomed to. If a punch couldn't hit him, perhaps she could take him down with a kick. She turned to face him and prepared to knock him off his legs, but as soon as she released her foot, he was gone again, and her legs got tangled together, knocking her down instead.

When all was said and done, Jacqueline could not deny that Ellis had bested her in combat. Not only that, but she actually liked this warrior for he lacked the arrogant air of the others she had fought. While most of them were as simple as a rock, Ellis learned to rely on his own cleverness to battle her instead of the formal training that she was so accustomed to taking down. Jacqueline held up Ellis's hand in victory and announced him as her new prince. The Amazons cheered for him. They preferred him to any of the other warriors they had fought because his humble appearance served as a reminder that they would always be bigger and stronger than any man in their territory, while his cleverness would prove a valuable asset.

When Ellis's stepfather and stepbrothers received word that he had bested the Amazon princess in battle, they could not believe it. They traveled to the Amazon kingdom to fight them, swearing it was a mistake, and were immediately defeated and locked up. Without ever needing to worry about his family bothering him again, Ellis lived happily ever after and spent many years sparring at Jacqueline's side.

Comments

Sugar said…
A Cinderella style story in masculine!
I liked how you used the modern stereotypes of a man and a woman (meek, kind and non-threatening to the girl and a strong independent woman who doesn't need a man) to create this story making the boy smart and the princess compassionate.
I even imagine that with the marriage of these two there is another fairy tale brewing after all the Amazons are still obsessed with being better than men and I imagine them being the type to despise "weak" women from other continents who don't fight but rather play the piano and wear long skirts.
Perhaps it is the task of the future princess who, instead of fighting, prefers diplomacy or sewing or singing...in a world where all women love to fight, wouldn't that be revolutionary? Hahaha
Lisa Dawn said…
Yup, you understood exactly what I was trying to do! :) This is a tongue-in-cheek "Cinderella" reimagining that plays on modern gender roles.
Lisa Dawn said…
By the way, have you ever seen the anime Ranking of Kings? It's about a disabled little prince who defeats powerful monsters by being clever, compassionate, and good at dodging. It also has tons of subtle references to popular fairy tales, especially "Snow White."
Sugar said…
I know it! I like how it combines adorable and childish-looking drawing with sadder themes.

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