The Princess and the Apple Tree - Part Three
Author Note: Thank you all for bearing with me and being so patient in awaiting this last part, the conclusion of our tale. I can’t say thank you enough for all those who have left comments and messaged me directly about this story. I never expected it would be so enjoyed, and it warms my heart. I hope I’ve done well by you all in the end.
Thanks to my girl @bleebug for looking over this for me and squeeing in all the right parts. I’m also incredibly thankful to my dear friend @sunbeamsandmoonrays, who made a lovely graphic based on the first chapter of this story. (If anyone felt compelled to do any type of artwork based on this tale, I’d die of happiness, so please tag me if you do!) Thanks for reading!
Summary: Princess Emma knows no better place than the expansive garden that was built for her as a small child. When a young thief dares to scale the garden’s walls, Emma finds herself befriending Killian Jones, a boy who lives in her kingdom. Over time, they become inseparable, and as they grow, so does their love for one another–until the day Killian mysteriously disappears, and Emma finds herself strangely drawn to an apple tree that appears in her garden.
A Lieutenant Duckling-inspired fairy tale, inspired by an A.A. Milne story with the same title.
Throughout time, there had been much speculation about True Love—whether it existed, firstly, and secondly, in a more secretive debate, whether it held power. Most kingdoms were not built upon love’s promises, as few royals married for affection when arranged marriages and business mergers were generally much more beneficial. Those who did marry for love, royal and commoner alike, always wondered whether their love met the standard for what could be considered True love.
With some couples, for better or for worse, it was self-evident.
King David and his Queen, Snow, were one such couple. Their love was one of which sonnets were written, and ballads sung in the streets. Their kingdom thrived, its denizens secure in the knowledge of their rulers’ hearts. For when one ruled in love, the whole kingdom felt it.
Much speculation had also been made through the centuries about what came of True Love. A child born of it, rarer still than True Love, itself, was said to possess power all its own, the lightest and purest form of magic.
Of course, this was speculation derived from mages, sorcerers, and other magic-wielding folk who had the experience and knowledge to even entertain such thoughts. Most people gave little thought to True Love and absolutely no thought to what extra power one such couple’s children could potentially possess, and life went on as usual.
In truth, True Love was a magic all its own, and the power it created when it brought forth new life was insurmountable.
Unbeknownst to her, Princess Emma possessed such power. It lay in recess, a subtle hum of strength beneath her skin, a fire behind her eyes. It was why her garden flourished beneath her touch, thriving far better in her care than any of the palace gardeners had ever seen before.
As the ax struck again, Emma’s heart seized. The basket slipped from her hand, her breakfast spilling out onto the grass as she took off, racing along the main path, toward the center of the garden—toward her apple tree.
Her father stood before it, ax in hand. King David, not hearing her approach, raised his ax to take another swing at the tree, which already bore a deep, irreparable gash. Emma slammed into him, nearly knocking the king to the ground. With a ferocity that made her father gape in shock, she reached for the ax and began to wrestle it out of his hands.