Copyright – Janet M. Webb

‘Good morning, Sleeping Beauty. You must have had a few lifetimes of sleep last night.’ He kissed her forehead.

Rory roused herself, battling the fatigue that had taken possession of her whole body. Who was this man beside her?

She focused, and saw through the window an icy winter landscape, an unfamiliar garden with colourless flowers – brittle, papery, like ancient skin.

This was all wrong. She recalled her godmother’s whispered assurances, that sleep would come, and then awakening. Then she remembered her warning that this spell was new, untried, risky.

Rory wondered just who, at this moment, was awakening to her prince’s kiss.


This Sleeping Beauty hasn’t exactly followed the script, although there are several versions of the story in existence. If you’re interested, here’s a Wikipedia article with the main elements of the tale, and an overview of its variations.


“Sleeping Beauty”, by Henry Meynell Rheam

This story is my contribution to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers, where writers post 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt.


16 thoughts on “Awakening

    • Rory does sound male, I agree. I wondered about that, but I wanted to I use a shortening of ‘Aurora’, the name she’s usually known by in recent times. Apparently there was a very old version where her name is Talia, and I liked that too. I’m glad you liked the ideas. Thanks for commenting.


    • I really wanted to make it longer. It was hard to know how much to say and how much not to. I had lots of thoughts about where it could go. I also wondered about giving him a name. Perhaps I shouldn’t have. She wouldn’t know his name, of course. Thanks, as always, for your kind and helpful feedback.


    • I guess she didn’t get many opportunities to practise this one – although there have been quite a few sleeping princesses lying around waiting for just the right kiss to awaken them. Maybe the fairy godmother guild aren’t into skill sharing. I’m happy you liked my angle on the tale; thank you for your comment.


    • The originals certainly are darker than the Golden Books or Disney versions. I’m glad you detected a sinister element – I was undecided about what tone to use, and wondered if I could have taken a lighter, humorous approach, but I went with this one. Thanks for your feedback.


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