Sleeping Beauty (The True Story)

To whom it may concern,

My name is Sleeping Beauty. Yes I am the Sleeping Beauty they wrote about. What they didn’t tell you was that my real name was Edna. I hear you gasp in horror! Its ok, I don’t like it either. I don’t think it’s a name for a princess. I got stuck with the name Sleeping Beauty when I turned 16 years old. Yes I look like her. Well I am her, the only difference is, I have long black hair and the one they drew had golden brown hair, they got the rest right though; pale complexion, quite tall and skinny, but not unhealthy skinny, I hope! The sleeping bit happened by accident not from a prick on a finger and certainly not from a witches spell. In no way has my life been magical with witches and fairies. As for the kiss and living happily ever after, I will come to that later. I would like to tell you how it really was, the truth, not sweetened up.

Firstly, I must tell you my mother and father, were the king and queen of the land. We did live in a beautiful castle. I did like living in a castle to a certain extent, it was fantastic for parties. But for three people and just day to day living, it seemed empty and cold. Parties brought the warmth and life into the castle. Anyway, due to my father’s financial interests and short sightedness. His reign and the castle were in trouble.

My father trusted only one man when it came to financial matters and his name was Fredrick. My father and Fredrick grew up together and he had become a very close family friend. “What is wrong Fredrick?” my mother asked, as she saw him walking into the great hall. “The king has stopped listening. He’s always angry. What’s happened to him?” Fredrick asked softly as he held my mother’s hand. “Fredrick, he doesn’t listen to anybody anymore. He has shut me and Sleeping Beauty out too. I thought that if he was at least listening to you everything would be ok. But now I don’t know what to do.” My mother feeling helpless burst into tears and Fredrick comforted her. “I will try and get through to him, my dear.” Fredrick said concerned for my mother.

But Fredrick couldn’t get through to him. My father got so consumed in his problems, to the point where my mother and I hardly ever saw him. When we did see him it was always on his way out. “Not now!” He would shout and this had become two words my mother and I would hear very often, if not all the time.
Eventually my father admitted he was in trouble. I only know this because I overheard my mother talking to my father.
“You weren’t to know George.” George was my father’s real name.
“Fredrick tried to tell me. I thought I knew it all. We could lose our reign and the castle.”
“Fredrick will sort it out.” My mother said trying to console my father.
“I’m so sorry.” My father then broke down and sobbed.
I didn’t realise grownups could cry, until that day. I think my father would have been mortified if he had seen me watching and listening to everything.
Fredrick and my father started to sort out the financial mess. I had to say goodbye to a lot of people who had looked after me from the day I was born. We had a lot of staff in the castle but not anymore. My mother decided to take me to my grandmothers while father was busy. Due to not having any chauffeurs my mother had to take some refresher courses in driving as she hadn’t driven for years. Once she had her confidence back we packed our bags and off we went.

This is how I really became known as Sleeping Beauty. My Mum was driving along the motorway and we were both singing songs, as you do on long journeys. Suddenly a lorry pulled out in front of us. Well, of course my mum had to slam on the brakes. We started to skid and BANG!
Do you believe in ghosts?
Well I didn’t until that day. I saw my mum; she was badly injured but conscious. Me, well I didn’t look that good and I was out for the count. My mum tried to wake me by shouting out to me, as she couldn’t move.
How do I know all this, I hear you ask?
Well believe it or not I was able to observe me and my mum. It freaked me out at first, until I saw my mum calling out for me. Tears were streaming down her face, hysterical because I wouldn’t wake up. That freaked me out more. I did try to call out to her but she couldn’t hear nor see me.
However a big crowd of people gathered around me and my mum. “Call the ambulance!” somebody yelled. It took them a while to realise who we were and then suddenly everything got chaotic. All I could hear were people gasping and saying “It’s the queen and her daughter!” Somebody else shouted right in my ear, “Call the Fire brigade.” I know I may have looked dead, but if I am going “up there” I don’t want to be deaf as well.

My mum had to be cut out of the car, as her legs were stuck. They got me to hospital first. The Doctors told my mum and dad that I was in a coma. I was obviously hovering between life and death, because the people “up there” couldn’t decide whether to take me or to leave me living. So until they made up their mind I hovered. I would have loved to have been there for that discussion. I wonder how they make a decision like that.

It was a strange experience, looking at myself, completely lifeless and my mum and dad at my bedside, talking to me and every now and then bursting into tears. You don’t realise how much two people love you and you love them until something like this happens. I broke into tears a few times. I did miss them so much, not being able to talk to them and get a hug. It hurt so much.

He came while I was asleep. My mother and father had gone home to have some rest. I didn’t know he knew where I was. My mother and father call him a peasant boy; they can be quite old fashioned when they want to be. He was an ex-gardener and had worked in the Palace gardens. We used to meet three times a week and talk about our weekly events. Sometimes he would read poetry to me and occasionally he would surprise me with a poem that he had written just for me. Our eyes would meet after, and we would both look away quickly, too nervous to take it any further. I knew he liked me and I liked him. I have met many princes, but none have made me feel the way he does. My heart races with excitement when I know it’s our day to meet. My breath catches when I get my first glimpse of him. When we meet, I feel myself blush and I have to look away, embarrassed. When he left my bedside, I woke up. The doctors and Nurses rang my parents immediately. My mother and father cried with joy, but I was in a daze, not sure of what was happening.

The doctor came to check on me and told us of this man who came to see me. I knew who he was immediately. The doctor described him as a tall, slender man, with well-groomed brown hair and deep blue eyes. He was wearing his work overalls. My mother and father were surprised and asked me why I had never mentioned him before.
“I didn’t want my heart broken.” I replied. I always thought they would not approve of him. I was wrong.

This is my true life story without the sugar.
My parents are happier now they are not king and queen anymore (another story for another day) and I live with my wonderful gardener. I would say that the happy ever after bit is true!

Dominique Gorman

online creative writing school