Story inspired by the following image.
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The Princess cast nervous looks upon her father. He was alone in his room when she entered and her heart bled to see his unshaved face and weary eyes. Her presence seemed to cheer him.
“What is it, darling?” he asked.
“I can't bear to see you like this, Papa.”
“Come and sit on my lap, my child. And give your Papa a hug,” he said with a wry smile.
She walked up to him with small steps. He scooped up her tiny frame and placed her on his lap.
“I'm the cause of all your worry. You always worry about my marriage,” she said, making a brave effort to hold back her tears. The moment those words left her lips, she regretted it. His face clouded with deeper melancholy and his eyes turned moist.
“I'm sorry, Papa.” She whispered. He didn`t respond. Instead, he caressed her dark hair and dropped his eyelids. Suddenly, a great din was heard from inside the palace. The Princess heard footsteps outside her father's door followed by a knock. Seeing that her father was lost in his thoughts, she responded.
The door opened and excited soldiers rushed in. “Greetings, Your Highness. The car has started.”
“What!” exclaimed the king, who suddenly looked wide awake.
“The car has started, Your Highness!”
The king got up in great haste clutching his daughter to his bosom and hurried to the royal garage. The Princess felt embarrassed. I'm a grown up girl, Papa. she wanted to say, but sensing his excitement, maintained silence.
“Leave me alone, you stupid idiots!” She cringed on hearing the uncivil language which emerged from the garage. The accent and voice sounded strange.
“How can you humans be so…” the creature stopped midway and his jaw remained open.
The Princess had never felt anything like this before. The creature was about three feet in height, slightly taller than her. He wore a red jacket with several rows of buttons and matching red breeches. On his feet were shiny shoes and on his head sat a conical cap. She felt her heart pounding against her chest and her eyes sparkled with joy when she saw the unabashed admiration in his eyes.
The king cleared his throat. For long the question of his daughter's marriage had troubled him. Today when he saw the Princess blush he realized that his worries were over. The time to say goodbye to her had come. The thought stabbed his heart with pain. How will I live without her? He scratched his head.
“Welcome to the kingdom of Myrtle. I am King James,” he addressed the creature who would be his son-in-law.
“I'm Grimson, the Leprechaun,” he replied rather ceremoniously not taking his eyes off the Princess.
“This is my daughter, Princess Bonita.”
Not surprised by the shock on Grimson's face, the king explained, “Her father King Mitukas of the Leprechauns was my good friend. When she was only a baby both her parents passed away due to illness and I brought her to live with me. She is not LIKE my daughter. She is MY daughter.”
“Your highness, I must complain that your soldiers are harassing me. You announced that any Leprechaun can come to your kingdom and claim this car. You even put out photos on the internet. I've come to stake my claim. But they're not allowing me,” Grimson complained.
“I can explain. To protect the Princess' privacy we did not publish all facts. This is no ordinary car. It is a gift from my friend King Mitukas. The Leprechaun who can make it work is the one destined to marry my daughter. Many Leprechauns tried without success. You did it,” the king responded.
The news of the Princess' marriage was widely celebrated in the kingdom. She was popular with her subjects for her kind and simple nature. They all rejoiced that she had at last found her love, something which had worried their king for a long time.
The marriage was solemnized amidst great fanfare. At last, it was time for the Princess to leave. The king could not control his grief and sobbed like a child in front of all his ministers. He had not married himself out of fear that a stepmother would trouble his beloved adopted daughter. After she would leave today, he would be completely alone.
The king could not reply. The Prime Minister broke the silence in the courtroom.
“Your highnesses, the people of the kingdom have a request. May I voice it?”
When the king nodded, the Minister continued, “Our kingdom was plagued by famines till the Princess came to live with us. Ever since she has been here the rains have never failed. They are all worried what will happen when she leaves.”
“That doesn't give us the right to keep her from her husband,” the king spoke out at last.
“What if Prince Grimson makes our kingdom his home. Your highness, you've to also pick your successor. We all have confidence that the Princess with her intelligence and kindness will make a fine queen.”
“You've to ask her,” replied the King. He observed from the corner of his eye his beloved daughter glance at her new husband. When he nodded his assent, the King heaved a sigh of relief. Thus started one more round of celebrations in the kingdom. The subjects were overjoyed that their Princess wouldn't forsake them.
Princess Bonita started helping her father in managing the affairs of the kingdom. Grimson uncovered vast hidden treasures in the forests of Myrtle which were all spent by the royal family in enhancing the prosperity of their subjects. After King James passed away, Queen Bonita ruled wisely and well.
Word Count: 965