There are many stories told of princesses, each described as the most elegant, the most beautiful princess who had ever lived. None of these stories are true, for the most beautiful princess who ever lived is, without a doubt, the desert Princess Sun.
From the moment Sun was born she has been graced with the gift of beauty, her skin is black and pure, her dark hair thick and coiled, eyes so brown you would believe they were born of the earth, and kissed by the sun with flecks of gold.
As Princess Sun grows, so too does her beauty and grace, sun gifted vitiligo on her skin growing and strengthening as she ages. Strangers travel the harsh desert of her homeland just to gaze upon her, and bring gifts to earn her favour. All those who come wish to be the one to receive a royal kiss from the Princess’ own perfect lips.
Sun is kind and gracious, she will offer food, drink and shelter to those who travel to greet her, but never will she offer a kiss. Some will plead and beg, others bargain and bribe, but not a single soul is able to pry the much yearned kiss from the lips of the world’s most beautiful princess.
“It is a silly tradition,” Sun will tell her servants, “A kiss will not heal them of their weariness, a kiss will not fill their bellies or dry their parched mouths. I offer them something they should value far more for their efforts and still they remain stubborn for the touch of my flesh upon theirs. I refuse to take part in such a useless exchange.”
A palace guard risks his life for hers and is refused a kiss, but offered medicine and a life of ease in the palace. A magician saves her people from a frightful Monster of the Sand, she too is refused a kiss, and instead given gold and jewels and rare herbs for her potions. Princess Sun gives only what is deserved and what is needed, she gives generously, her people love her, her people respect her, and yet-
“The Sun is cold,” her people say. “I hear she has never loved, she has never embraced another, never even touched another. She is generous in spirit but she is cold of heart.”
They pity their princess, incapable of love, cursed to be forever alone without a soulmate to complete her. They mean well, but Sun loathes the whispers. She is not cursed, she is not incomplete, but she is lonely.
She is loved by all and befriended by none, those she meet want her kisses, they want her devotion, they want her to bear their children, they do not want her unless they can have her lips or her hand or her womb, all things Sun is unwilling to give.
“I do not understand,” she says to her servants, “I give them all that they need and they ask only for parts of my body. How can my body give them the pleasure of a soft bed, or a fine wine? What pleasures can my body give them that riches and jewels cannot buy? I do not understand.”
Her servants say nothing, they understand the pleasures of the body that Sun has never craved, but these are not things to be spoken of to a Princess.
Things change with the presence of a new visitor to the palace. His pale skin is wrinkled and sallow, face gaunt, eyes sunken and back bent, he appears simultaneously bloated and withered. The servants fetch Princess Sun immediately and she hastens to greet the ill foreigner.
“I have not long in this world to live,” he rasps. “Please, all I ask of you Princess is a kiss, a kiss from your own beautiful lips to ease my pain.”
“Nonsense,” says Sun. “You are not in need of a kiss, you are in need of medicine and herbs and rest. My servants will take you to a room of your own, you will have your own personal healer and food and drink delivered to your bed.”
The old man clutches his chest in pain, “But my lady! I have come all this way at the end of my life just to gaze upon you, and you will not even ferry me to the afterlife with the touch of your soft lips upon my cheek?”
Sun feels pity for the man, in his state she knows he may not last the night, but she cannot accept his request, he is ill and perhaps diseased, were she to kiss him she may become sick herself and she would not risk her own health for the sake of a simple useless gesture.
“I am sorry I cannot grant your request, but I can give you comfort, my most beautiful guest room and the finest foods you can eat. If my healers fail you and you pass into the afterlife this night, you will pass on in luxury.”
In the great arched entrance of the royal palace the hideous old beggar transforms. In his place there is a stunningly beautiful young man encased within a whirlwind of pure light, his hair is like spun gold and the blue of the sky dances in his eyes.
He points a slim, delicate finger encrusted in shimmering jewels at the stunned Princess.
“You believe your wealth to be of more worth to an old dying man than a simple gesture of love and warmth. The Sun of this kingdom truly is cold. You do not deserve the beauty you flaunt in the faces of all those who adore you, those you bring the hope of love and then snatch away in exchange for mere trinkets! You are a heartless beast!”
As the servants cower before this shining Sorcerer in his otherworldly beauty, Sun stands firm. A scowl on her lips and the flare of her namesake in her eyes, she is no helpless waif and she will not be intimidated.
“I offered you comfort and medicine!” Sun’s voice echoes through the halls of the palace. “I offered an old beggar the luxury of passing on in peace with the chance to live another day, a chance to keep his flame alight! Most paupers could only dream of such a way to pass! How dare you liken this gift to a mere ‘trinket’! Were I a princess of any other kingdom I would have granted you your precious kiss and left you on the street to DIE! And yet you call ME heartless?!”
The Sorcerer’s soft, pink lips pull up in a sneer. “I see you will not easily learn your lesson Cold Sun. It will take more than my words to prove to you the meaning of a tender loving touch to one in need.”
“Don’t preach false lessons to me Sorcerer,” Sun spits. “You come into my home a liar, here to steal my intimacy through trickery and now that you’ve failed you claim a higher morality to save your ego. I see right through you Sorcerer, you are no more than a selfish, deceitful, entitled BRAT.”
The Sorcerer’s face hardens in fury, his magic lashing out and twisting around Sun, grabbing at her with golden hands of light, fingers clawing and grasping until not even a strand of the Princess’ dark hair is visible under the blinding light of the strange magic.
“YOU HAVE MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE THIS DAY COLD SUN, FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD YOU WILL REGRET EVERY KISS YOU NEVER GAVE, FOR NO HUMAN ON THIS EARTH WILL EVER LOOK UPON YOU WITH LOVE AGAIN. NEVER WILL YOUR KISSES BE COVETED, NEVER WILL YOUR HAND BE SOUGHT AFTER. YOUR BODY WILL REFLECT WHO YOU TRULY ARE INSIDE, A COLD, HEARTLESS BEAST.”
As the Sorcerer’s magic peels away, the palace guards and servants look on in horror as a creature unlike anything they have ever seen is revealed in the place of their beloved princess.
Knotted locks of dull, tangled hair covers her large, hulking body, standing on all fours her sharp claws dig into the marble floor as she shakes off the tattered remains of her fine clothing. A ragged tail cuts sharply through the air as Sun rears her head, flicking a matted black mane off of her beastly snout and ghastly twisted horns.
All that remains of the beautiful Princess are the sun kissed markings upon her deformed face, and the bright flecks of gold within the black beads of her monstrous eyes.
The twisted beastly lioness turns to face her servants as they run in terror, pointed ears twitching at the sound of the Sorcerer’s manic laughter. Before she can leap upon him he disappears, leaving in his wake an enormous pulsing heart of molten flame. It hovers in the centre of the palace hall, shifting shape and shooting off tendrils of fire with every beat.
A mocking voice echoes through the palace doors, “If you fail to find someone who will look upon your monstrous form and willingly place a kiss to your beastly snout before the heart grows cold, then, and only then, will my spell be broken. It is your turn to yearn for a tender touch that will never come.”
Sun roars. She roars in anger, she roars in despair, she roars in outrage at this unfair curse undeservingly placed upon her. She has no lesson to learn, she has done nothing but show kindness and generosity to all who graced her halls, and still it is not enough, it has NEVER been enough.
She refuses to be punished for the greed of the Sorcerer, she refuses to bow to his whim and search for one who will kiss her, she has never wanted such things and this new beastly form will not change that for her now.
If she is to be this way forever, so be it.
Her servants quickly abandon the palace, guards blockade the front gates to keep the monster inside. Sun knows that she could easily jump the outer walls but she thinks better of it, her people are terrified of her, her presence would insight only violence and panic among them. She stays inside the palace, wondering what to do next, she no longer has a village to run, no diplomats to meet, no treasury to organise, no future to plan for.
Sun cannot remember a time where she had so little to do, so she sleeps.
Her claws tear up the fine silken sheets and her heavy mass collapses the bed frame, but she hardly notices once she lays her great maned head down to slumber. Sun does not dream, the fate of her village and her people does not come to her mind, all of her stress and worries simply melt away, but she cannot sleep forever.
When she wakes and finds herself unable to grasp the calming nothingness of her deep slumber once again, she concedes to the waking world. Lifting herself upon her large legs she walks the palace grounds. She has not eaten yet she feels no hunger or thirst, and so cannot use such needs to distract her, boredom settles upon her quickly and Sun begins her search for entertainment. She avoids the palace entrance, and the large pulsing heart of fire within.
Word spreads through the village fast, “The Princess has become a beast!” they say, “Cursed by a Sorcerer, only a kiss will free her!”
The palace guards stay by the gates for days, they stay as the people flee to neighbouring villages, wishing to keep their children safe from the monster behind the palace walls. The beast makes no move to escape, but every so often the guards will hear the heavy footfalls of the creature shuffling through the gardens and they remain in place. Their princess would have wanted it.
As days pass the village degrades, most left the day the curse was laid, others followed slowly as resources dwindled and looted homes become empty of valuables. The guards are the last to leave, ensuring that no one has been left behind.
Sun wakes one morning to silence from outside the walls. In her boredom she had circled the grounds, listening to the guards chatting outside. She recognised most of them by voice, she had considered many of them friends after all, but her friendship had always been one-sided. She could speak freely to them, but they could never speak freely to her, it had always been that way. Sun will miss listening to them talk casually amongst themselves.
Years pass and the princess swiftly runs out of ways to keep herself occupied and the palace begins to fall apart with neglect, her library is useless to her when her claws tear apart any book she sets her paws on, the gardens become more and more overrun with weeds every day, the once beautiful golden sheen of the palace walls become dulled without regular cleaning. Floors begin to crack under Sun’s immense weight, many narrow doorways are destroyed when she tries to fit through them. Parts of the palace roof and walls degrade quickly from her daily climbs up to watch the sun rise and set over the dunes.
Though she does not require food Sun still eats from the overgrown trees and vines from her once impeccable garden and leaps over the walls to reach the large oasis that her servants would fetch water from to deliver to the castle so long ago. She had never visited the large lake herself before she was cursed, but she now does so regularly, as splashing through the water feels wonderful on her thick, dark fur.
With every year that passes, Sun forgets more and more of her human life as she falls into the nature of a beast, hunting rodents and small critters through the empty streets of the village, sharpening her claws on the remains of sandstone walls. Chasing and pouncing upon the surviving abandoned livestock for sport, eating only out of boredom than any real need for food, more interested in chewing on the bones left behind.
There is hardly a shred of Princess left in the beast that roams the neglected desert kingdom, and the Cold Sun lords over the grounds with eyes of pure gold and a heart that no longer feels.
Until the day comes when a stranger enters her palace.
She is small and weak, young and fragile. Damp from a dip in the oasis but the smell of unwashed clothes and many days of travel still cling to her skin. Sun stalks the malnourished waif through the ruined village, watching as she raids old stalls and homes in search of something. Food? Treasures? The girl’s search leads her to the palace, she climbs over loose stones through a break in the dilapidated wall and enters the great doors.
Sun, focused on the hunt, follows the girl, she forgets that she has not been inside the entrance hall in many many years, she forgets why she has been avoiding this place for so long, she forgets until she looks upon the great heart slowly pulsing in the centre of the room. Every beat sends a weak tongue of flame flickering through the cracks of the icy skin that has grown around it. Heat shimmers below the cold armour, splashing the walls with eerily beautiful patterns of light.
The Sorcerer, the curse, her Palace, her people. Sun is a princess, Sun is a leader, Sun is a woman who cares deeply and gives generously. Sun is not a beast, Sun is not cold like the heart before her. Sun is not cold. Sun is NOT cold.
“Sun is not cold.” her great, gravelly voice echoes through the chamber.
The ragged girl, entranced by the heart before her, quickly turns to find she is not alone. Sun can see the fear on her face, she can smell it in the air, it sickens her.
“Do not be afraid child.” Sun sits on her haunches, tail sweeping lazy across the grand marble floor. “I mean you no harm.”
“You are the Great Beast,” the girl says. “I believed you to be a story, a legend to frighten away thieves.”
“Are you a thief?” asks Sun.
“No! I am not here to steal treasures! I simply seek shelter from the harsh desert winds.”
The girl’s skin is rough, her eyes and lips are red, chapped and raw, but there is also hunger in her narrow emaciated face. Sun knows it was not merely the promise of shelter that brought her here.
“Did not the temptation of my lush gardens draw you in? Did you not hope to find food behind the palace walls?”
“I had no intention of theft Great Beast! I did hope to perhaps find food in your garden, but now I know this garden has not been abandoned, and so I will not take from it. Unless you would allow me? I have little to trade but I will give you everything I have for a night’s rest and a full belly.”
Sun thinks. She thinks of the curse and the girl and a trade. A kiss on her beastly snout for a night of rest and respite. The heart is close to frozen, she has little time left, it is a fair trade is it not?
Sun shakes her wild mane in disgust. Never in her life has she asked a price for food and comfort, she has given freely to all those in need who have graced her halls, she refuses to change now. Curse be damned. The Sorcerer’s magic heart can grow as cold as the lands of the far north for all she cares, for her own heart will always be warm as the desert sands, warm as the great celestial being she was named for.
Sun does not need a kiss to prove so.
“The palace and gardens are yours to roam at your leisure, the garden’s spoils and the water of the oasis are yours to gorge yourself on as you please. I need only look upon you to see that you have lived a life of poverty and pain, so know that for as long as you remain here, you will be cared for. I will give you all that you need, child.”
The girl’s face is clear with suspicion. “Do you intend to fatten me up to eat me?” she asks.
Sun laughs, a mighty roar of a laugh that sends the short, black hairs on the young girl’s neck standing straight. Her blazing eyes soften to a comforting dark brown, only subtle flecks of their previous gold shining through.
“Child, of food I have plenty. Of company, I have only you.”
The girl, though still weary of the beast, does not turn up her nose at the generous offer. She feasts upon the sweet fruits of the garden, returns to fill her water-skin at the oasis when it runs dry, and the Great Beast simply sits and watches, leaving her side only once to return with the leg of a large, hoofed animal for her dinner. The young girl sleeps in the most comfortable, luxurious bed she has ever laid eyes on that night, pleasantly surprised to find that she has not been eaten in the morning.
The girl does not leave the next day as planned, never has she been so comfortable and well fed, never has she had such a pick of fine, though dusty, clothes to wear, never has she had someone look over her with such generosity and care.
“If the Great Beast truly wishes to fatten me up and eat me,” she thinks to herself, “perhaps I won’t mind if it means living my last days like this.”
The girl does not merely spend days living alongside the Great Beast, she stays a much longer time. Every day she wakes fearing her generous host less and less, she passes time telling stories of her travels, the places she’s seen and the many languages she speaks. For a girl so young she has been through so much, and she is grateful to have a place to rest and feel safe.
“My name is Acacia.” the girl says one night as she lays against her friend’s great black hide, decorating her mane with tidy, twists and braids.
“You may call me Sun.” the beast says in return.
During daily visits to the lake they both romp and play in the water, splashing and roughhousing before drying off in the desert heat. Acacia helps Sun brush the clinging sand from her fur, and in return Sun will lick the sand from Acacia’s own short locks of hair.
Acacia spend the years teaching Sun the many songs and rhymes she has learned in all her languages, Sun teaches Acacia how to hunt and track and kill large prey. The two run together through the dunes, chasing the wind and challenging the sandstorms, for they know that no force on this earth can take them down when they ride together.
One day Acacia ask, “How is it that you became a beast? Stories tell of a curse, that you were changed for being cold of heart, but I can hardly believe such a lie about one so warm and loving.”
“Those who hold magic are not always deserving of their power,” says Sun. “The curse is what froze my heart dear Acacia. It is you who reminded me of it’s warmth again.”
“Is it true you can be saved with a kiss?” Acacia asks. “You have done so much for me, if a kiss is what is required to end your curse I will gladly give it.”
“Thank you my child,” says Sun as she bows her great head. “But I have no reason to return to my mortal form. My spirit has grown too large for the skin I once wore, and to accept a curse as a gift is a greater insult to a Sorcerer than playing his game and breaking it.”
Sun laughs to herself and nuzzles the young girl’s hair with her great snout, Acacia responds with a scratch behind her friend’s large ear, she does not ask about the curse again. The flames within the magical heart flutter with one last beat before finally succumbing to the icy cold of the Sorcerer’s spell.
Sun, enveloped by the warmth of Acacia’s love and friendship, does not even notice.
In time Sun knows her friend will grow old and pass away, but they have many many years to spend together before such a tragedy befalls her, and in that time Sun hopes that others will come to the old palace, others who may be seeking food and shelter. They will find all that they need here in this forgotten desert village, as they always have and always will, because despite what all the stories say;
The desert Sun was never Cold.
oh my god this is so long I’m so sorry but the tumblr app dOESN’T LET YOU USE READ MORES AND I WROTE IT ON MY IPAD AAAA
*cough* so here’s my spin on aromantic, asexual Beauty and the Beast, take care to notice my own aro ace ass projected literally everywhere and also my love for giant monsters mothering tiny humans, also changed the working title from The Cold Sun because The Desert Sun was Never Cold resonated stronger with me 😎👌✨
SOME VISUAL NOTES:
Sun’s looks are loosely based on Canadian model Winnie Harlow, (vitiligo yo it’s gorgeous) the setting is loosely based in North Africa, you can basically assume everyone but nobody’s-favourite-blue-eyed-blond-haired-asshole-Sorcerer are POC
Sun’s beast form is like a huge mix between a lion and a Tibetan Mastiff and I want to cuddle her SO MUCH and Acacia you will be braiding that mane all fucking day if you aren’t careful there is a lot of hair to work with and Sun will just sit there and let you do it
man but yeah, I wanted this story to highlight the importance of not assuming asexual people are unfeeling robots, and how we need love and attention just as much as any other person, we just don’t need the sexual and/or romantic kind of love and attention, and that doesn’t make us cold or selfish and ngl we are all secretly giant lions on the inside don’t tell anyone
AU Meme: Rapunzel meets Jack for the very first time.
↳ Jack had watched over Rapunzel since the day he witnessed Mother Gothel steal the princess away from her castle. He didn’t even mean to be there; he just wanted to see what the commotion was about the baby. He felt powerless as he watched her carry Rapunzel to the tower, as he could make no effort to help. For years, he came to visit her, with guilt heavy in his heart, the little princess with the beautiful, ever-growing hair. When days became too boring, he would bring the snow a little earlier for her to admire. When Mother Gothel was gone for too long, and her stomach growled (to which she never complained) he always made sure he left behind treats that he stole from the Easter Bunny. For Christmas and birthdays, he always left her something under her bed, a little something to make up for the lanterns she never got to see up close. Soon, he saw the little girl had grown up to become a beautiful woman, almost eighteen. He realized he smiled when she did, laughed when she did, cried when she did. He ended up spending days at a time with her in the tower, helping her any way he could, just keeping her company. It never bothered him before how she couldn’t see him. He was used to it. But year after year as he attempted to cheer her up, he was tired. He wanted her to smile at him. One night, after letting the cool wind put her to sleep, he went to the window that she always longingly gazed out of. The moon was full and bright. “Just this once,” he pleaded. “Just this once.”
imagine Darry having daughters when he gets older:
french-braiding their hair
dressing up and attending stuffed-animal tea parties (the gang makes fun of him of course, but he loves his kids too much to care)
asking Ponyboy to tell his girls stories about princesses who were strong and intelligent because he wants them to grow up to be independent and confident young women
Darry absolutely LOSING it when his ‘beautiful little girls’ start dating (he can’t help it though - his daughters deserve the best and it is pretty hilarious seeing their dates squirm under his glare)
one of his daughters is just as athletic as he is and he spends hours on the soccer field with her. his wife has to calm him down on the sidelines during games
he has nicknames for all his girls (equivalents of 'little buddy’)
trying to sew repairs into dresses and becoming comically frustrated bc he used to roof houses and yet SEWING is the chore that has caused him the most injuries
Single dad!Michael taking his little tyke everywhere with him, so when he decides he needs his hair colored, little Olivia is in a chair, playing games on her iPad while the ‘pretty lady’ (as she calls you) put hair dye in her daddy’s hair.
“Y/N.” You hear her say, so you turn to look at her as Michael sits under the dryer. “Do you have a husband?” You laughed, glancing at Michael.
“No, but I have Netflix.” She giggled.
“Daddy told me he thinks you’re pretty too.” You raise your eyebrows. “Do you think my daddy is pretty?” You squatted down to her level, her green eyes watching you curiously.
“Of course, he has to be pretty because you look just like him and you’re a beautiful princess.” She giggled again.
“Are you a princess too?” She asked you.
“Nope.” You sighed. “You’re too cute so I can’t be a princess.” She grinned. The dryer turned off and you directed Michael to your chair, styling his hair like you usually did. Olivia came up and stared up at you, Michael chuckling.
“What were you two talking about?” He poked her chubby cheek.
“I told Cassy you think she’s pretty and-” Michael sucked in a breath as you finished up and you whipped off the cape thing. He paid you, Olivia saying something about ice cream. Michael squatted down to her level and she looked at you, smiling mischievously. He stood and she came over to you. “My daddy wants to know if you want to have ice cream.”
I CUT MY HAIR INSPIRED BY HOW HARRY LET HIS HAIR GROW OUT EVEN THOUGH SO MANY PEOPLE WERE TELLING HIM TO CUT IT
I SAID “Screw it!” AND CUT MY HAIR AND GUESS WHAT I DONATED IT TO LITTLE PRINCESS TRUST TOO
AND NOW HARRY DID IT TOO AND I AM CRYING BECAUSE I AM SO HAPPY BECAUSE HE DONATED IT AND IT WAS LIKE ME BUT ALSO I AM DYING BECAUSE OMG HARRY JUST CUT HIS BEAUTIFUL LONG HAIR AND IDK WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF 😭😭😭