网站导航|设为首页|加入收藏
您当前的位置:首页 > 外国小说 > 短篇小说

Valiant Princess Molly

时间:2013-12-25 12:59:32  来源:  作者:www.tclxh.com  [ 下载本书 ]
简介:A fantasy/romance story about a resourceful princess who despairs that nobody will attend her upcoming sixteenth birthday because they are all afraid of the ogre who lives in the forest surrounding her castle....

   Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Molly.  She lived in a great castle with six-foot-thick solid-stone walls that had been built so long ago that nobody could remember its construction.  Indeed, it was doubtful that it had even been constructed by human hands.  The walls were made of 100-ton stone blocks that fit together so tightly that one could not find a crack that would accept even the blade of a fillet knife, yet they had no mortar between them.

  
  No modern mason could shape stones with such precision.  Could any human have done such precise work?  How had the massive blocks been transported from their quarry over three miles away and 500 feet lower?  And to what purpose?  What monster could have prompted Molly’s ancestors to build such sturdy walls?  These questions had been posed by Molly as a small child but, like so many of her questions, they went unanswered.
  
  Molly was forbidden to leave the castle grounds, for there was an ogre who lived in the forest and had eaten many a man from the nearby town.  Indeed, besides her mother and the servants, the only people whom Molly had ever seen were the villagers who came once a month to deliver supplies.  Molly’s mother had to pay triple prices, for the teamster would not cross through the forest without twenty men ringing his wagon with crossbows to defend it from the ogre.  And he could not draw it with horses, for they would bolt at the first whiff of ogre-scent.  So, instead, he used oxen with blindfolds over their eyes lest they see something in the trees that might frighten them.
  
  Molly, who was desperately lonely, looked forward even to this meager contact with the outside world, though the teamsters unloaded their wagons wordlessly and with the greatest haste as they were deathly afraid of not making it back to town before nightfall.  Yet so great was Molly’s beauty that word quickly spread far and wide of the enchanting princess who lived in what was commonly referred to as the haunted castle.  Princes in kingdoms hundreds of miles away could think of nothing but the stories they had heard of her radiant beauty.
  
  Molly, however, knew nothing of her fame and was despondent, for her sixteenth birthday was approaching and she could not bear the thought of spending it alone.  Who would risk being eaten by an ogre just to attend some girl’s birthday party?  “Nobody,” Molly answered her own question, “nobody at all.”  She sat and cried for hours, despairing over her sad plight.
  
  “If only there were some way to kill the ogre.”  kill the ogre…  kill the ogre…
  
  “Oh, I hate that echo,” thought Molly, who had learned long ago not to talk to herself out loud because of the strange echo, which gave her the creeps.
  
  “Why does the castle echo so?” Molly asked of her mother that evening at dinner.
  
  “All old castles echo, dear,” her mother responded peevishly, “Eat your vegetables.”
  
  “But why,” Molly persisted, “does it return only certain words?  Especially when I speak of Grandfa…”
  
  “Hush!” snapped Molly’s mother, cutting her off in mid-sentence, “There’ll be no dessert for you.  The one of whom you speak is dead and buried and is of no concern to you.  Now off to your room and I don’t want to see you again until you’ve completed your algebra homework.”
  
  “The one of whom you speak?” thought Molly to herself, as she bent over her homework assignment, “What kind of way is that for Mom to refer to her own father?  Anyway, dead he may be, but not buried.  Isn’t that his casket in the secret room?”
  
  With so much time on her hands, Molly had spent endless hours exploring the castle.  Once, when she was about twelve, it had occurred to her that the dimensions of the rooms were wrong.  She carefully paced off the sizes of each of the rooms and, using her knowledge of geometry, drew a sketch of the floor plan.  But the dimensions didn’t add up.  There had to be another room!
  
  After much investigation, Molly discovered a hidden lever that, when pulled, caused a bookcase to rotate, revealing what must have once been her grandfather’s study.  There was a portrait of Molly’s grandmother on the wall, much younger than when she had sat for the portrait that hung over the living room fireplace.  The walls were lined with dusty medical books and there was a bust of Hippocrates on a pedestal.  In the corner, suspended from a metal pole, was a human skeleton, wired together for the purpose of anatomical studies.
  • 上一部:《The Muffin Man》
  • 下一部:《最初的爱情,最后的仪式》
  • 来顶一下
    返回首页
    返回首页
    按长短分类
    专题阅读
    国外小说网站
    1. Bartleby参考网
    2. 青空文库
    3. ReadPrint
    4. short stories
    5. bookrix
    栏目更新
    栏目热门
    【本站所发布的资源来源于互联网,内容观点不代表本站立场;为保障原创者的合法权益,部分资源请勿转载或商业利用,谢谢配合!】
    网站xml地图
    站长信箱:smf101@163.com
    Powered by www.tclxh.com
    苏ICP备15052759号