Okay, Folks, this page is going to be for my short stories, which I will post as I have the time. The first one, entitled The Adventures of an Alien Princess, I wrote as a class project, I think in my Junior or Senior year of high school, which would have been between 1977-1978 or 1978-1979. This is a completely tongue-in-cheek spoof and never intended to be published, so please nobody sue me (LOL)!!!!! In advance, my thanks to any and all copyright owners and President Jimmy Carter. Here goes….
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, on a beautiful planet orbiting a double star sun, a civilization lived in peace.
In less than 18 hours, they landed on the California coast. While Earth’s single sun set, they found themselves in an orphan’s home run by Catholic nuns, where the “leader” told them the strict rules they must follow until they were adopted by “good Christian families”.
Within a month, Prince Michael was adopted into a good “not-so-Christian” family and lived in Colorado Springs. Princess Jenny’s luck, however, was not so well. She was adopted by a strict, overly-Christian millionaire from Washington, D.C., with a 6 year old daughter and insane housekeeper named Ophelia.
The years passed sadly for the princess, with many attempts on her life by the housekeeper. Then, one day, unable to tolerate Ophelia any longer, she packed a duffle bag and ran away.A week later, she was picked up by the police in Western Ohio and returned to Washington, where she was put on trial, convicted and sent to a juvenile detention centre in Los Angeles. As the months went by, Princess Jenny became more and more popular among her peers and, for the first time in her life, was falling in love. She and several close friends, including her lover, soon put together a rock group and put on concerts every other Friday for the other kids. They were a smash hit! Three years later, the warden told her that her sentence was over and that she was now free. After a few tearful goodbyes, she picked up her bags and was driven to the airport. Twelve hours later, she was settled in a warm bed in an apartment in Washington. By the following week, through a mutual friend, Princess Jenny had a high-paying government job as the assistant of a NASA astronomer. Six months later, and tired of Washington, she moved to New York and enrolled in a nearby public high school to finish her education. On weekends, she did volunteer work at the city orphanage.
The months flew by. In December, her fiancé was also released from the detention centre and they were married by a judge on Christmas day, her 18th birthday.
After her honeymoon, the princess found out that her back-up girls were out of the detention centre. Delighted, the quartet began playing in nightclubs. Eventually, they found another drummer and signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. When their first album came out a month later, they were overnight stars.Twenty years went by. Princess Jenny, by then, had eight children; the oldest being age 20, the youngest age 5. She and her husband walked the beach one quiet evening, when a call came through from NASA headquarters in Washington. A UFO had landed on Pennsylvania Avenue and the government felt Jenny would be the best person to communicate with the aliens.
There was once a lady who married, for her second husband, the kindest and most considerate man who ever lived. He had two sons of his own who were exactly like him in all things. The lady had also a young son of rare ignorance and the vilest of tempers which he took from his father, who had been the foulest creature on Earth.
Scarcely was the wedding over that the step-father took the boy under his wing. Upon the request of his new wife, he took Allerednic, for that was the boy’s name, with him and his two sons on fishing trips, journeys into the city and every other outing. But Allerednic refused his kindness. He teased and taunted his step-brothers mercilessly and even pulled pranks on his parents. In spite of all this, they were as nice to him as their natures would allow.
It came to pass that one day the King and Queen gave a grand ball to honour the eighteenth birthday of their beautiful daughter. Allerednic and his family were among those invited, for they cut a very grand figure among the people of the countryside. The brothers — Charles being the elder and Andrew the younger — were very excited, for Princess Gemma was very beautiful and both wished that one or the other would win her hand in marriage.
“Allerednic,” said Charles as they were dressing, “aren’t you the least bit excited about meeting the Princess?”
“Yes, if you’re nice to her, she might ask you to marry her.” this from Andrew.
“I couldn’t care less about that silly old Princess,” Allerednic snapped, “and I don’t want to be her husband. The only reason I’m going tonight is because your father said I must.”
They ended the conversation there, for the carriage soon arrived from the palace. As soon as the family got in, the coachman cracked his whip off they went.
In her chambers, Princess Gemma paced nervously. The thought of having to pick a husband made her more than just a little uptight. As a matter of fact, she was terrified. Her mother had just explained all the good points of having a husband but they were no comfort to her.
I know, she thought suddenly, I’ll talk to Father. He always helps me understand the ways of these people.
She dismissed her servants and locked the double oak doors to her room. Then she went to her mirror.
“Father,” she called, “Father, it is I, Gemma. Can you hear me?”
The gold-framed mirror began to cloud over. When it cleared, the face of a bearded old man came into view. He had gentle gray eyes and white hair and he smiled kindly at Gemma as he spoke.
“Yes, daughter, I hear you. What is it?”
“Father, I’m desperate, I have to talk to someone.”
“Well, that’s why I’m here. Speak your heart, Gemma.”
“Father, it’s this whole idea about choosing a husband. Why must I marry a mortal?”
“Because the mortals are regressing instead of progressing,” he explained, “They need a fresh supply of new blood — too much interbreeding, you know.”
“So I must pick from a roomful of nubile virgins just to bring a half-mortal child into the world?”
“As the expression goes, that’s the long and short of it. But chin up, my dear, at least you’ll stay young forever; you won’t look like your mother.”
He laughed and she laughed with him. How it pleased him to see her happy. Of all his many children, Gemma was the youngest and his favourite.
“You had best get dressed now,” he told her gently, “By tomorrow’s eve you must make your choice.”
The Princess smiled weakly, then reached over and kissed the cheek of the mirror’s image.
“I love you, Father,” she said and the face vanished.
The ball was well under way when Princess Gemma realized how much fun she was having. She had spent most of the evening dancing with Charles and Andrew. As they were dancing, Andrew said to her –
“Princess, will you grant me a very small favour?”
“Why, of course, Andrew. That is, if I can.”
“Well, would you please dance with my step-brother? His name is Allerednic and he’s so shy I’m afraid he isn’t having much of a good time.”
“Which one is he?”
“The wallflower next to the window.”
Gemma looked in the direction her partner had pointed, then she smiled – he looked harmless enough.
“All right, Andrew, I’ll ask him.”
“Thank you, Princess. Oh, don’t tell him I suggested it.”
When the dance finished, Andrew joined his brother and the Princess approached Allerednic.
“Hello, Allerednic,” she said sweetly.
“Good evening, Princess,” he said from his seat.
“Are you enjoying yourself?”
He was silent a moment.
“I would be if we could talk somewhere.”
“Well,” Gemma smiled, “how about in the garden?”
“That’ll be perfect,” he said.
Mimicking Andrew’s manners, he led the Princess out to the fountain, where they both sat.
“What would you like to talk about?” she asked.
“Actually,” he said shyly, “I have a small surprise for you.”
“Oh, Allerednic, that was sweet of you, but you really didn’t have you, you know.”
“Will you close your eyes?”
The Princess did so and Allerednic removed a fat bullfrog from the pocket of his suit coat and put it down the front of Gemma’s gown. He howled with laughter and walked back to the dance hall, not even noticing the glowing, crimson eyes of the Princess as she threw the frog back into the fountain or the thunder that rumbled in the clear evening sky.
“Oh, Moon, I should have thrown a lightning bolt at him!” Gemma said to the little wood nymph who was her favourite attendant, “That would have fixed his boots!”
“But great Zeus would be angry.”
“How would you like a slimy frog put down your chest?! No, Father would not be angry.”
“But I would be a bit annoyed, Gemma,” said a voice from the gold-framed mirror.
The girl turned to see the image of her father’s face as it had been before the ball.
“Father, he’s the vilest mortal I’ve ever encountered,” she said.
“Yes, perhaps, but you must remember, Gemma, the boy’s been cursed.”
“Oh, I’d give him a curse or two. I’d turn him into a giant, fat bullfrog and then make him leap off a mountain!”
As hard as he tried to be serious, Zeus couldn’t help but laugh. She was like him in every way. Finally, her anger faded and the corners of her ruby mouth twitched and she burst out laughing, too.
“Oh, Father, I love you so,” she said and paused slightly, then continued, “but I’d better prepare for bed lest my royal mother has a fit.”
“Before you go, my daughter, I have something to tell you. I know you won’t like it, but you must do it at any rate.”
“What is it, Father?”
“Tomorrow night, before you make your choice, you must ask Allerednic to marry you.”
The face of the Princess paled and her sapphire eyes turned scarlet.
“Never!” she hissed.
“It is my wish, Gemma,” he said quietly, “and my command.”
At that, the image vanished.
“Princess, may I have this dance?”
It was Andrew and he looked more handsome than ever. How Gemma wished her choice could be him or Charles! She acknowledged her suitor.
“You may,” she said, “that is, if you don’t put a bullfrog down my dress.”
“A bullfrog?” the boy asked.
“Yes, your step-brother thought it quite funny.”
Andrew closed his eyes.
“Oh, no, he didn’t.”
“He did indeed.”
“You must forgive him, Princess Gemma, and me, too. I thought, or that is, I didn’t think he’d go that far. He’s been a prankster since before our parents were married. My step-mother insists that as a child he was a charming, polite little boy, but shortly before his father died he started acting like he does now.”
“I see,” she said, then changed the subject. “Well, shall we dance?”
The young man smiled and led her out onto the dance floor.
Gemma sat on a low stone bench in the Royal Gardens. The Lord High Chamberlain had been sent to find Allerednic and would return with him in a few moments. What worried her was how she would ask a total stranger to become her husband, a stranger she didn’t even particularly like.
As she was deep in thought, his Lordship appeared with a disheveled young man in tow. From the way the boy stumbled, it was obvious he’d had a bit much to drink. The Princess looked at him with disgust.
“Where did you find him?” she asked.
“He was in the bushes over by the lake. If your Highness will forgive me, I won’t specify what he was doing.”
“I’ll use my imagination. All right, leave him to me now. You may go.”
The portly man bowed respectfully and departed.
It took Gemma nearly a half hour to get Allerednic sober. When she did, she sat him on the same bench she had occupied only an hour earlier.
“Allerednic. Allerednic, can you hear me? It’s Gemma.”
“What can I do for you, Princess?” he giggled.
“Allerednic, are you sober enough to understand me?” she asked.
“I think so.”
“All right, listen closely. Against my better judgment, but to fulfill my father’s wishes, I must make you my choice. What I’m trying to say is, will you consent to being my husband? Will you marry me?”
A strange look came to the boy’s face. He didn’t move a muscle. The Princess was about to ask him again when a screen of green smoke began to flow from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. A foul smell filled the air and Gemma swore.
“What in the name of Great Zeus is going on around here?”
Just as suddenly as it began, the air cleared. Where a shabby Allerednic had only a moment before sat, there now stood a tall and very handsome young man. He was dressed in a fine suit and his hair was combed and tied neatly with a ribbon.
“Good evening, Princess Gemma,” he said with a smile.
“A-Allerednic?” she questioned.
“Yes. What you see before you is the real me. When you asked me to marry you, you freed me from the witch’s curse.”
“What witch’s curse?”
“Well, you see, when I was a child, I often went on trips with my father into the city. On one of these trips, he insulted a witch.”
“What did he do to her?”
“Well, first he called her a number of obscenities. Then, to make matters worse, he cut off her nose.”
“My goodness!” exclaimed Gemma, “The poor witch!”
“Indeed,” said Allerednic.
“What did she do then?”
“She put a curse on me instead of my father. She said that until a Princess of blood royal would ask me to marry her, I would behave in my father’s mirror image.”
“Then what is your decision; yes or no?”
“Before I answer, I must know if you meant it with your heart.”
“I didn’t when I asked, but now….Allerednic, do you believe in love at first sight?”
“Until just now I didn’t, but if you’ll accept me, I love you, Gemma.”
“I love you, too, Allerednic,” she said and closed her eyes as he reached down to kiss her gently.
When they parted, she said –
“Well, shall we announce the news to the Court?”
“Would you mind if we told my parents first?” he asked, then explained, “My poor mother would probably die from shock if we told the Court without her knowing what had happened to her son.”
The Princess smiled.
“All right,” she said and took his arm.
Together they went inside.
Allerednic’s parents were seated side by side on a couch in a smaller ante-room when their 26-year-old son and Gemma approached.
“Hello, Father, Mother,” the boy said and nodded his head respectfully to both.
Edward gave him an odd look, for in the 16 years he and Elizabeth had been married, this was the first time his step-son had called him “Father”. As soon as he noticed the Princess, he remembered his manners and rose to kiss her hand.
“Good evening, Princess. To what do we owe the pleasure of this meeting?”
“Your handsome son, Sir Edward.”
“My…son?” he asked and wondered what the boy had done now.
“Yes, he wanted to tell you first.”
“Tell us what?” asked Elizabeth.
“Mother, Princess Gemma and I are going to be married,” Allerednic said and smiled at Gemma.
She smiled back. At that moment Charles and Andrew came along. Both greeted the Princess with utmost courtesy and she exchanged the greeting.
“Hello, Gentlemen! You’re just in time to hear the announcement.”
“What announcement?” the brothers asked in unison.
“The announcement, my dear brothers,” said Allerednic, “that I’m to be married to my beloved Gemma on a date as yet unknown. I’ll explain everything at home later. Now, if you’ll excuse us, my bride-to-be must announce her choice.”
There was a slight pause as he added –
“And don’t worry; she’s cured me of all my bad habits once and for all.”
“And if he doesn’t behave after the wedding,” the Princess added with a smile, “I’ll just throw a lightning bolt at him.”
And she looked at the young man at her side and laughed and everyone laughed with her.
The wedding took place two weeks later. When Gemma told her parents, they were well pleased and soon the young couple were receiving congratulations from all those assembled. The day of the celebration was marked by a holiday so that no one would miss the union of the new Prince to the Princess. As the young lovers exchanged wedding vows and professed their eternal love for one another, no one but Gemma noticed an old man in the crowd with white hair and gentle gray eyes….
Well, I hope you enjoyed that! I’m considering turning it into another children’s book at some point — what do y’all think?