Prologue - Once Upon a Time
...in another time, in another dimension, another world existed.
A world created by magic, its oceans spanned across continents of timeless wonders, its mountains grew tall with infinite greatness, and its kingdoms prospered with eternal peace and harmony.
This world was Fablemyth. Also known as the Fairy Tale Realms.
Though its name is foreign to us, we are familiar with the famous stories of its people. The stories of Cinderella and Prince Charming... Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty... Snow White and the Snow Queen... Alice in Wonderland and King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, and many stories among others.
Fablemyth was their beloved home. A home where happily ever after is a reality we see in them, and a dream we wish in us.
But for them, that is far from their reality.
An urgent knock at the door stirred a young boy from sleep.
“Prince Galenflyn!” an urgent voice followed, “Please wake up!”
Before the boy--Galenflyn--could lift his little blond head from his pillow, the door to his bedchamber slammed open and he heard the clanking sound of footsteps from a man clad in iron armor from head to toe.
“You have to wake up!” a strong hand coated in leather fabric pushed on the boy’s shoulder, shaking him awake.
“Wh-what?” Galenflyn groaned, “What is it? What’s going on?”
“There’s no time, Your Highness!” The soldier said aloud, “We have to go!”
“Go?” Galenflyn sat on the bed in his dark room, and tried to make up the face of the soldier in front of him, “Go where? It’s the middle of the night.”
“Your parents requested that I come get you.” The soldier responded.
“My parents?” he whispered. News of his parents in the middle of the night was never good news. “Are they all right?”
“They’re fine.” The soldier answered, his whispering voice kept his tone urgent, “Put on your slippers and hurry!”
“Okay, okay…” Galenflyn hopped off his bed and put on his slippers as instructed.
“Here, grab my hand.” The soldier stretched out his large callous hand toward the boy. Galenflyn took it, while his other arm wrapped across his shoulder tugging the fabric of his silk white nightgown. Nights such as these were always cold and the boy needed to keep warm.
They rushed out of the room and into the corridor--which was supposed to be familiar to Galenflyn since he’s been living in the castle for the past 10 years of his life. Instead, it carried an unnatural feeling that this was not his family home.
The tall marble pillars that stretched out down the path to the many rooms of the castle loomed over the boy in a threatening stance. The moonlight hid its glowing face, providing no light to the boy’s way. Only darkness was at every corner. The cold breeze added to the chill the boy felt in his spine. He surely felt unease.
He watched the soldier, gripping his hand. Then he noticed his shadow, growing before him, giving him a strange sense of doom. He was still a small kid but the soldier’s back appeared to be growing, towering before him as if that monster in the closet was going to turn around and strike.
“It will be all right Your Highness.” The soldier spoke, his voice gentle and friendly, “You’re safe with me.”
Galenflyn nodded. A small sense of relief appeased his heart. He was safe. The soldier was only taking him to his parents. Nothing to be afraid of, right?
But wait, the soldier mentioned his parents. He only had his father and his stepmother. His real mother was gone.
…unless, she was found. Did that soldier know something about his mother’s whereabout? Was she found? Was she okay? Was he taking him to see her?
The two reached a section of the castle where the moonlight was finally seen, shining its radiant light through a sunroof on a circular marble floor. The soldier let go of Galenflyn’s hand and bended over to catch his breath.
“Are you okay sir?” Galenflyn asked.
“...I’ll be fine.” The soldier straightened, “Don’t worry about me.” He stared at the prince over his shoulder, “It’s you I should be worried about.”
Galenflyn took a step back. “Why? Is something happening?”
“Oh. Something is happening all right.” The soldier turned to the boy and started toward him. A wave of nerve stirred the boy’s chest, especially since there was nobody around the castle but him and this soldier.
Thunder roared from the distance. Galenflyn took another good look at this stranger, now that his face was exposed to the moonlight shade above the skylight. He had empty brown eyes devoid with care, a mop of brown hair flopping over the forehead of his egg-shaped head. Since living in this castle, Galenflyn has crossed paths with many soldiers and knights in the kingdom, and has recognized each and every one of them...
…everyone except this one.
“Who are you?” Galenflyn inquired.
The soldier took another step then threw a lopsided smile, “Sorry kid.” he reached into his metal boot and drew a sharp knife. The blade glistened under the fluorescent moonlight, “I’m not gonna answer that.”
Galenflyn turned to run but found himself backed into a corner when the soldier kept coming toward him.
“Wait! What are you doing?” the boy gasped.
The soldier raised his knife, Galenflyn raised his arms up and cried out.
But instead of his own scream, he heard a loud vengeful roar followed by the crashing of glass and the horrifying scream of the soldier. The boy opened his eyes to see a massive monster-looking creature raise the soldier with just one robust arm. The monster had drop from the skylight as glass particles were scattered under the monster and the soldier’s feet.
The boy dropped to his knees, gasping for breath; too stunned to process what just happened but, he barely escaped with his life.
The soldier gagged and choked in panic, dangling three feet off the ground with his neck clutched by the monstrous hairy beast the face of a lion, the legs of goat but the strength of a gorilla.
A strange monster in an even stranger outfit: a blue tunic, dark blue trousers and a cape fit for a king: His father!
“What do you think you’re DOING?” his voice made Galenflyn jump. It was so loud, even a mere whisper could shake the walls.
“N-nothing!” the soldier gasped.
“Are you trying to hurt my son?”
“ANSWER ME!” The Beast tightened his grip around the soldier’s neck.
“Father, don’t—!” Galenflyn tried to speak, but the Beast roared; the soldier teared up. “He was just—!” the boy tried to speak again.
“Trying to protect you?” The Beast said for him. Galenflyn got quiet.
The Beast glanced over to the boy, “I seriously doubt that.” He replied.
“Yes! Yes, I was!” the soldier begged.
“Son, what did we say about defending your enemies, ESPECIALLY those who are plotting to kill you?”
Galenflyn dropped his guard and looked down on the floor, “Don’t give them the—” he started saying.
“DON’T GIVE THEM THE CHANCE!” The King interrupted then raised his mighty hand and claws until the moonlight found it. The soldier lost it, “HELP! HEELP!”
Galenflyn turned away. Eyes on the floor, he could only see the shadows of his beastly father and the soldier under his grip. The soldier thrashed, struggled, freaked out.
Then the Beast drove his arm through the soldier’s chest. The soldier croaked, stopped thrashing, as his arms dropped, as limp as a rag doll.
The Beast dropped the body then turned to Galenflyn. “It is all right my son.” He spoke.
The boy turned to his father. The Beast gave him a reassuring smile; his great form towered between him and the lifeless soldier, “You’re safe now.” He said.
A wave of peace and protection warmed Galenflyn’s chest, for the first time since waking up that night.
“I’m sorry you had to see that.” His father replied, a small drop of regret in his commanding voice.
“No Father! I...” The boy paused briefly, “you saved me.”
“There they are!” A loud noise of what must’ve been half a dozen of enemy soldiers running toward them caught the Beast and his son’s attention.
“Son I want you to hop on my back.” The Beast said, “We must escape this place!”
“But Father, this is our home!”
“Not anymore.” His father turned around and went on all four, “This place is no longer safe. Climb in! Quickly!”
Galenflyn quickly climbed on his father’s hairy back, “Father, what’s happening?” he cried out.
“We’ve been ambushed. We must make haste to the Northern Tower. Our comrades will be there.”
“There they are!” Someone shouted. Four soldiers armed with swords were coming full-force toward them.
“Hold on!” The Beast warned.
Galenflyn gripped on his father’s hairy back and like a cheetah after a prey, the Beast King spun around and shot through a nearby window and out into the cold air. His legs kicked the hard-packed dirt as he and Galenflyn ran out of the castle and deep into the woods.
Galenflyn looked back and saw at least four soldiers assembled at the window, watching him and his father leaving the castle behind. The one place he once called home filled with family, friends and love; it was now a desolate building full of strangers all plotting to kill him. And for what reason? None that he could or was too young to understand.