By Tavinder New
Gabriel Borin tore and battered his way through the tall vines obscuring the view that lay ahead, as they wounded his skin leaving signs of his blood onto their branches andthe floor. They were like protectors an army of the The Old Apple Tree, that many before had failed to release the Princess from the ancient curse.
As he reached past the vines into the middle of the forest he could see thousands of statues of his predecessors. They were worn, frozen and kept in their shapes by not choosing the true apple that would rescue the princess Giselle.
He tiptoed past them to face the old tree it was huge, with branches that reached towards the sky and looked as though it was in distress. He was afraid to touch it like it was a jewel only to look at in a museum.
Gabriel had travelled several months to reach the Royal Forest of Evergreen, he was lethargic but he wanted to see if he could set the princess free.
The tale of the Princess who had been cursed and turned into the Old Apple Tree.
Legend said she was beautiful with golden hair, exquisite green eyes like emeralds and her release would bring back the beauty of the forest which had become overgrown, wild and violent in its nature.
His eyes darted towards the thousands of apples that lay there beyond shining like stars, it was a bite that was to either bring salvation or being frozen as a statue. All he had to do was to pick the correct apple.
His trusty bow lie on his back like an old friend that had never left his side as he had received bruises and scars from travelling to this place. His eyes searched the tree as it overshadowed him like a tower, all the apples looked the same all luscious and green.
Several apples had been bitten into, deposited rolling at his feet, they were rotten, worms had devoured them and the smell was bitter of the fruit that was not the correct one chosen.
They were a warning to pick carefully. He had to wisely as he could see the statues that had failed before him. They must too have be courageous and brave as the journey to get to the forest was not easy.
But they had not chosen without error.
As he looked at several apples he could see a small apple that was hidden away that was golden like the sun glistening. It was not like the other apples ripe and ready to eat.
It was different.
He decided that was the one that he would collect, so he took out his bow as his eyes fixated into the apple and shot at it as it fell into his hand like a rain drop as he caught it.
It was heavy, glistening and shiny. All he had to do was to take a bite. One would mean he would release the princess the other his death. He was not afraid, he had to take the chance, as he desired to kiss the princess and hold her in his arms.
Chomp, Chomp he bit into the apple.
As soon as he did the floor began to rumble and shake, he looked at his body afraid that perhaps he had chosen the wrong apple. But it was Old Apple Tree.
He could see it was metamorphosing before his eyes, the branches were joining into arms, the trunk into a beautiful figure as he could see it was turning into a woman. It was the Princess.
She was mesmerizing, the stories of her had not been justice to her beauty.
‘Gabriel I thank thee for saving me’ she spoke softly.
Gabriel stood aghast she knew his name.
‘Your true bravery has shown, by releasing me you have freed the Royal Forest of Evergreen from its curse. He could see now that the trees were luscious green and flowers had grown around him, the vines that had cut him had now died.
‘My lady….’ his voice quivered.
She glided towards him like an angel and stood opposite him.
‘As my token of gratitude I give you this new bow and arrow’.
She handed him the weapon, it was leather and had feathers on its end.
‘Gabriel’…. She whispered.
She came towards him and they kissed.
He held her in his arms close and his body surrendered to her embrace. It felt like eternity.
The Princess Giselle held Gabriel’s hand as they walked together out of the Forest. His eyes and her eyes locked in their love for each other forever.
The frozen statues were all now broken as the previous contenders all returned back to life. They were in awe of the new couple that walked past them.
Their new King and Queen of Durean.