Time can be a curse for young lovers.
Anyone can see her. There behind the translucent shield. Designed by fairies. Made from magic. A millennium ago.
The punishment was requested by a rejected royal suitor. She had rejected him after looking at his royal continence, and decided that her beauty was too great for one as ugly as he. He requested the fairies to design an appropriate punishment. Each morning at dawn, she makes her way, fully clothed, into the waterfall. Once in contact with it’s water, her clothes slowly evaporate, as she stands there immobile, until she is fully unclothed. When the last thread of covering is removed, the water stops, and she walks slowly away from the falls, up the steps, to return the next dawn.
Some say it is not her arrogance that caused her rejection, but a great love, that she refused to reveal. A great love who will one day come to rescue her.
Those who come to watch come early. Not only to get the best view, but to watch the curse reveal itself upon the translucent curtain.
“ All may come and watch, the beauty and the arrogance. None may touch, save the one true love.
All may come through the curtain to claim the maiden, All may come to risk their sanity
All risk their sanity, except the one true love. To all others, your sanity will be ours.”
Through the millennia many have tried. Men, woman, child and beast. Drawn by her beauty and dignity and bravery. They would watch as she exited the falls, head up, face terse, and continue back, the way she first came in.
They would walk, run or crawl through the curtain, drawn in by the illusion that they were the one. They wold leave, running, their hands on their heads, screaming. The woods around the falls were full of creatures, wondering aimlessly, with no knowledge of who they were, what they were, or where they should go. Legend has it that when her true love returned, they would get their sanity back. Until then, their loved ones search the woods, hopeing to come home with them. They would leave alone, weeping in sadness.
Antoine came every week, with his friends. None of them went in. Except for the friends they lost. It was hard not to. It wasn’t only her beauty. There was her song. It penetrated the curtain and sounded like she was singing at you, for you.
“Oh my love. Please come. Please save me. I can bare my humiliation, because I know you will not abandon me. My love, please come. Please save me.”
Her song was like a siren, forcing you to move to her. Some from the town tied themselves to the tree to stop themselves from rushing to her aid.
Antoine heard her song, but was not moved. He sat at the woods edge searching for a sight of friends lost to her song. He found her dong a lie.
“She is either a fairy herself, or in league with them.” That is what he told his mother.
“No. Her story is true. I know. One day so will you. She is waiting for her love. The one brave one, who will care for. The one the heart so true, his soul so brave”.
He was 18 then. A year later she was gone. No one knows where or why. She left him her necklace with the strange gem in the center. He never took it off.
He could hear the waterfall. He could hear her song begin, as she came down the steps. He heard the screams from those attempting to rescue her. Then he saw Josh running for the curtain.
“No. Josh stop”. He was past him before he could stop him. He went after him, catching him just before he went through the curtain. As he pushed josh away from the translucent curtain he fell through. The music stopped
Outside, Antoine could see the reunification of families and friends. Inside there were screams.
The fairies were losing there looks and their lives. The leaves were losing their color. Time was catching up. He turned and saw the maiden. He beauty remained. He stepped to meet her. Their embrace and kiss was sweet, like a well aged wine.
“My love”, she said.