The challenge was to take a fairy tale and mess it up/add a new twist in 500 words or less. So here is my modified version of the Princess and the Pea.
The Princess and the Marble
In a kingdom far, far away a prince lived happily and haughtily with his father the king and his mother the queen. The prince felt he was better than everyone in the kingdom and refused to marry just anyone. His parents agreed and they sought far and wide for only the best and most beautiful princesses from far away kingdoms. Many ladies of the prince’s kingdom came to the castle in attempts to win his heart but he had security escort them out as any such lowly peasant was simply not good enough to be his wife. He wouldn’t even look at them.
On one cold and rainy night, the prince and his parents returned home from yet another failed trip to faraway lands. As they gathered together to enter their grand castle, a young woman was waiting by the gate. Dressed in a fine silken gown with edges laced in gold, she wore an elaborate crown upon her head and insisted the king and queen bow to her as she was better and more beautiful than they.
“Surely this must be the princess we have been seeking,” said the king to the queen.
“Yes but we must be sure,” the queen whispered to the king, “We shall place a pea beneath her mattresses tonight when she retires to sleep. As everyone knows, no one of true royal birth could sleep with even a pea offsetting the balance of their bed. If she cannot sleep due to this simple unevenness of the bed, then she must be a princess.”
And so that evening, the queen snuck into the young lady’s chamber to place the pea. But the kingdom had no peas as the prince despised them and had banned them years ago. So she placed a marble instead.
A disgruntled postal worker had overheard the queen’s plot and informed the young lady. So that night, as she made her way towards the bed, she instead removed the marble from beneath the mattresses and placed it on the floor.
“Aaahhhhh!” she screamed as she collapsed onto the floor in the loudest and most painful sounding way possible, “Oh my! I have slipped on a marble and hurt my back. Oh, the pain! Oh the tremendous pain! How did a marble find its way into my room? Who would place a marble here for me to slip upon? Surely this is negligence on the part of the king and queen who own this castle.”
And so the young lady sued the king and queen and with the disgruntled postal worker’s testimony, she won her case in the kingdom’s court. She was awarded several million dollars in damages for her pain and suffering which ultimately bankrupted the royal family and sent them to jail when they were unable to pay their taxes. The young lady, who was not a princess but the daughter of one of the turned away courtiers seeking the prince’s hand, married the postal worker and lived happily ever after.