A Wordy Quest

A Wordy Quest

“Will you marry me, Princess Myra of Arcdale?” 

Prince Allen of Lindenvale had gone down on his knees with a beautiful red rose. She glowered at him and folded her hands in an unwelcome gesture. The rose wilted away. He dropped it, upset for the umpteenth time. 

But, Ira, Myra’s best friend, didn’t miss noticing a fleeting smile cross her face.

***

The friends were strolling through the palace gardens of Arcdale.

“Why d’you turn down his proposal, lady?” Ira snapped at Myra.

“Huh? Who?” Myra played along nonchalantly.

“Prince Allen, whose portrait is stashed away in your dome-top trunk? The pixies have got a whiff of what’s going on. The whole of Arcdale would know about it soon,” Ira announced. 

“Hmmm…” Myra responded, caressing the century-old willow tree’s trunk. “I’ve got an idea. What’s that latest word game you earthlings play?” she enquired.

“What’s Wordle got to do with your love story?”

“You’ll find out soon,” winked Myra.

***

A dazed Prince Allen was led by a party of leprechauns to Arcdale’s palace grounds. Although he was pleasantly surprised, he was equally intrigued by the Princess’s sudden invitation.

As his eyes scanned the place, he caught sight of her smiling at him from the castle’s palatial balcony overlooking the gardens. Even before he could gather his senses, scattered at her slightest reciprocation of his love, a bunch of fairies began to sing.

O’ handsome Prince,
Game for a small guess-game?
All’s fair in love, you see;
A little quest awaits thee.”

“What have I gotten myself into?” mumbled Prince Allen as the pixies trilled rhythmically.

O’ handsome Prince,
The first clue comes your way.
The Oak, the Mahogany, or the Willow;
What holds up their crowns bright and yellow?”

He looked visibly lost at the squeaky rendition. 

“Stems? Ummm…barks?” he murmured. But, as his gaze fell on the canopies of trees surrounding the garden, his face lit up. “Trunk?”

At that word, the elves tending to the lawns sang in unison.

O’ handsome Prince,
Name the largest land-mammal on the Blue Planet.
Now, find the Oak’s and the mammal’s uncommonly common facet!”

The Prince trudged across the lawn pensively observing the clouds. One appeared to take the shape of an elephant trunk.

“Elephant. Trunk?” He sounded bemused. Realisation dawned. He was in awe of Princess Myra’s ingenuity in constructing the quest. Another rhyme continued.

“Hail the Prince of Lindenvale!
Welcome to Arcdale!
A dome-top box awaits you,
That’s the same as the clue.”

“Trunk?” He voiced out. A glint of gold shone underneath the willow tree. He rushed to the spot and found a trunk. As he pried it open, a stunning portrait of his stared back. On top of it were a proposal note and the same red rose he had offered Princess Myra.

***

“Hail Princess Myra!” cheered Ira. “Well…Wordle doesn’t provide clues, you know,” she winked.

“Soon to be on the NY Times’s agenda,” Myra informed as she blew kisses to the Prince from the balcony.

***

Author’s Note:

  • Wordle is the 2022-trending word-game (recently bought by NY Times) where a player needs to find a five-letter word in six guesses. (I’m a self-confessed addict!)
  • The characters Ira and Myra in this story are borrowed from my #Fantasmo entry for Harness Writing  last year. ‘Fashion in Fairyland’ gives the backstory of their friendship. (Both are stand-alone tales.)

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