Monday, June 29. 2015
Please post your completed story - including your first version! - here, along with your rationale for your writing choices.
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The handsome boy strolls over to the door on the right. This could either be the death of him or the joyous nuptials of a bride and groom. Palms sweating, heart racing, the spectators lean forward in anxiety as the youth grips the golden handles of the doors of his destiny. He violently swings the door back. The crowd waits for the surprise with bated breath. The arena is so silent you could hear a pin drop. The suspense is slowly building. Finally, the crowd lets out a tumultuous roar, but is it of joy or sorrow? The tiger pounces onto the princess’s lover. Ruby-red blood is splattered throughout the arena floor.The crowd is mourning. The iron bells ring their melancholy tunes as the tiger strips away the boy’s flesh and has a feast. The crowd retreats to their humble abodes as the remnants of a courageous hero is left, rotting away.
Why would the princess choose such a horrific fate for her true love? It’s probably in her blood. The story states that the princess had ‘a soul as fervent and imperious as his own,’ referring to the semi-barbaric king. She also adored this man ‘with an ardor that had enough barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong.’ Why would she hand off the man of her dreams to the fairest maiden of the land? You could say that she was jealous. The best way to see the man of her dreams was in the afterlife rather than on the arm of another beautiful woman.
It has been 10 years since the princess has led the young man to his doom. The princess is having trouble sleeping so she opens her large silk curtains and looks through the enormous windows. Out of the window, she sees the vast arena glowing in the moonlight. But it sure wasn’t something to be highlighted by the beautiful beams of light. She remembered that appalling day. She had witnessed the death of her one true lover, and she was the “murderer.” She kept thinking to herself, “Why would I lead him to such a horrible death? Why couldn't I just have been happy for him and lead him to the fair maiden? But I couldn't bear seeing my hero with another woman.” The princess beat herself up with these questions, knowing that the dashing boy could have been saved. It was because of her guidance that this man was eaten alive by the ferocious tiger. She knew she had to stop these unfair trials for all the people accused that have fallen in love or have a wonderful family. No person should go through the pain of this unorthodox trials. She used all the feelings of guilt and turned them into anger against her own father. She tried to do anything for people to having a normal trial in court. She asked, “ For those people that have families, how do you think their family is gonna survive? Their family member is either dead or married to another woman!” There was so much hate and resentment built up in her, ready to attack the king. She rebelled against him, trying to put an end to this immoral tradition, hoping no one would have to feel the pain like she did and having such a heavy burden on their back.
I think that the princess would rebel against the king. She has done it before. When the princess was with the handsome lad, she never said a word about this secretive courtship. She knew it was wrong and illegal, but she still kept a secret from the king. She knew that the prince could have a different fate if it wasn't for the king’s unusual trials. All that guilt and bitterness has built up, and when she explodes, the main target is the king. He was the one who started these horrible trials.
The tiger pushed its way through the door, smelling meat and eager to get at it. It caught sight of the young man and eyed him hungrily. The tiger pounced upon the human, and proceeded to tear him to pieces. The poor man was given no time to react. The iron bells sounded out immediately, and the mourners’ wails rose up. The audience cried out in horror as they watched the tiger rip the man apart. Not a soul was silent and untouched by the death. All the while, the princess watched stoically. In the last few seconds of his life, the young lover looked up at the princess, and she met his gaze solemnly. There was no blame in the look that passed between them, only sorrow and pain. Then the trial was over, the lover’s fate decided, and the royal family retired to live with their decisions.
The princess chose to send her lover to his death. Although the lover may not have been consorting with the lady, jealousy contorts the princess’s vision of the two to make it seem so, despite all evidence to the contrary. The princess has “a soul as fervent and imperious as [the king’s]”. The princess is just as barbaric as the king. Neither is not beneath sending people to a horrid death, whether they be innocent or guilty, if they have a good reason to do so. The princess does have good reason to do this. She has often “imagined... [the lady] throwing glances of admiration upon the person of her lover, and sometimes she thought these glances were perceived, and even returned”. Her jealousy overcame her love, blinding her reason and encouraging her to send him to the tiger.
After the trial, the princess was inconsolable. The first thing she did was imprison the lady. The princess thought that if it had been any other woman behind the door, she might have allowed her lover to live, even at the cost of her own heart. She hoped that the lady’s imprisonment would lessen her own pain, but it did not. She was overcome with grief and shame for what she had done. Such a horrific death! She relived it over and over, tormenting herself. A week after the trial, a month, and she still did not come out of her room. People were beginning to worry that she would never get better. She didn’t want to eat, and she grew thin and haggard.
One day, a year after the trial, as she was laying on her bed, gazing lifelessly out the window, she felt another presence in the room. She recognized it as the young man’s, and when she turned her head, she saw him there, looking as real as if he had been brought back to life by the gods. She cried out to him, toppled out of bed, and kneeled in front of him, begging for mercy and forgiveness. Alerted by the noise, her nurse ran into the room to try to comfort her, but she had no idea what the princess was babbling about. A young man in the room? The room was empty but for the princess and her nurse.
These hallucinations did not stop. The princess’s condition only worsened over time. Soon, she was locked in her room with only a few trusted servants to care for her. She was the royal family’s secret, forgotten by the public, and it was as if she never existed.
The princess became crazy with grief and shame for her actions and decisions. Her jealousy would make her imprison the lady behind the door to ensure that she could not hurt her again. But such actions never make one happy. She would never be able to forget her decision and live with it. She won’t be able to live knowing that she sent her lover to his death, and she would drive herself insane reliving the moment again and again. After a while, when she is not getting any better, the royal family would prefer to simply forget about her and hide the fact that a member of them is doing so poorly.
The youth opened the door.
At first, he couldn’t believe his eyes, but there was the tiger, its enormous orange form filling up the doorway.
In his mind, he imagined that the princess must have made a mistake. He didn’t want to believe that she had knowingly sent him to his death, but one look at the pale, trembling girl and he knew what she had done.
The princess looked away from the arena. She couldn’t bear to see her lover torn apart by the tiger, limb by limb, but she was sure it would have hurt much more to see him married to that other girl. Just the thought of her lover holding the other girl, whispering sweet nothings in her ear, was enough to reduce the princess to tears. The decision wasn’t easy, but the princess couldn’t bring herself to let her lover love another.
The princess hated the piercing sound of her lover screaming for his life, but she told herself it was better this way. And it wasn’t like she would never see him again. He would only have to wait a few decades before she joined him in heaven, and then the two of them could spend an eternity together, far away from the prying eyes of other girls. Wasn’t death a small price to pay for an eternity of happiness?
Deep in the arena, the young man screamed for the pain that he could not feel, and for the princess who did not love him enough to let him live. His last thought was of the girl who wouldn’t let him go.
By the time the tale of the princess and her lover were retold several times, the details had been tweaked. One old man claimed that the young man was a murderer, while another claimed she saw the princess jump into the arena after her lover.
For months after, the young man’s trial was all everyone wanted to talk about. Everywhere the princess went, she heard whispers.
It wasn’t the rumors that bothered her; it was the memories. She saw her young man, strolling alongside her, holding her close like she was the most precious thing in the world. She felt his presence in the courtyard where they used to secretly meet. At night, she would cry herself to sleep, overcome with grief, overcome with longing for the loving arms and the loving whispers that would never come.
Memories are funny things. They are emotions that lessen with every passing hour. They are stories that fade over time, until there is nothing left but empty pages. Memories are forgotten, and yet they never really leave us.
She didn’t dare to think that she was the one who had caused his death; she had no choice. It was either losing him to death or losing him to that horrible woman. He would have agreed with her that death was the better option, she was sure he would have. No, her father was the one to blame.
It took nearly a year for the princess to finally ask her father the question.
The king looked up from his reading. ¨Why what?¨
¨Why did you send my lover into the arena? You knew he mattered to me.¨
The king shook his head. ¨I’m so sorry, dear. I had to do that. I couldn’t ever let a young man take you away from me. He proved that he was guilty, did he? Don’t worry, I won’t ever let that happen again. I’ll keep you safe from the world, forever and always.¨
What was he trying to do? By ¨keeping her safe,” he was sacrificing her freedom. He was clipping her wings.
The next morning, the princess ordered a chariot to take her far, far away, to a place where there were no arenas. No ladies, no tigers.
She would live far away from the arena, in a place where no one knew the tale of the princess and her lover, but the memory of her young man would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Analysis Part 1:
To some extent, the princess did love the young man, but she wanted him for herself. She didn’t love him enough to let him marry the other girl, even if it meant that his life would be spared. In addition, the princess was used to getting what she wanted, so she would have reasoned that if she couldn’t have the young man, no one else could. It was true that the girl didn’t want her lover killed by the tiger, but in her eyes, the thought of him dead was better than the thought of him happily married to the other girl; ¨How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the tiger! But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! (Stockton)¨ However, the princess didn’t consider that even if she were to see her lover again in heaven, he probably would not love her anymore, given that she was the one who had sent him to his death.
Sometimes it’s in our nature to only think of ourselves, and it’s easy to be blinded by jealousy. If we could all take a moment to consider others, the world would be a better place.
Analysis Part 2:
The princess’s barbarism had caused her to act rashly when she decided on the tiger. She would mourn the loss of her lover, but I don’t think she would ever admit that she had caused his death. However, she knows the truth deep down inside, and it is the truth that haunts her. The effect of killing a person is that their ghost never leaves you.
But it’s easier to make excuses for yourself than to face the cold, hard truth.
In addition, the princess didn't have the courage to let her lover live, so it's unlikely that she would have the courage to face her troubles with her father. Instead of confronting the king, she would probably run away from home, to a place far away from the memories.
The king has to have a motive for putting the young man in the arena. Stockton claims that the king loved his daughter, but if he loved her so much, why did he take away the man who made her happy? My answer is that the king was afraid of losing her to the young man. In the end, it was his own selfish action that caused him to lose his beloved princess.
The man smiled as the tiger jumped out and quickly tore him to pieces. The crowed gasped and cried in horror that such a handsome youth was killed so gruesomely but the king silently rejoiced. The princess used the distraction as an opportunity to pull out a dagger and stab herself in the chest. The king stared horrified as he saw his daughter dead on the ground surrounded in a pool of blood.
I believe that the princess told him to go to the tiger. If he was greeted by the lady she would become intensely jealousy towards the woman, ¨How her soul had burned in agony when she had seen him rush to meet that woman...¨ The king rejoiced because he thought that this meant her jealousy surpassed her love for the man. However, it means the exact opposite. Her love for the man led her to kill him. She thought of him and knew that they would both suffer more if he lived. This is why she decide to kill him and why he smiled for he knew this too. She killed herself so she could reunite with him. If they lived it would be a fate worse than death.
The king let loose a thunderous roar despairing in the loss of his beloved daughter. His daughter's death transformed him and his barbaric nature was fully revealed. The kingdom descended into a state of sorrow and despair. Events in the arena stopped and those who broke the law were typically killed. The king ruled with an iron fist and a bloody sword. He brought his anger out on any citizen that dared enter his path. He had the arena torn down and sentenced to jail all those related to the handsome youth that had stolen his daughter’s heart. Over the course of time his anger diminished but the Kingdom was never restored to its former grandeur.
The death of his daughter would certainly greatly affect the king. She was described as the, ¨apple of his eye.¨It would cause him to be mad at any commoners or those related to the youth, for he is the only one who could be held accountable for her death. The king would also tear down the arena because he would not want to revisit the place of his daughter's demise
As the striking boy started to pull up the right door revealing his fate, suspense began to upsurge within the amphitheater as every living soul grasped the edges of their stone seats. Instead of confronting the bloodthirsty fangs of a ferocious tiger, the lucky boy was awkwardly welcomed by a lady, followed by a prompt wedding. Joyous celebration rang exuberantly throughout the crowd filled with lively spectators. A sharp, conspicuous shriek ripped across the arena, disturbing the rapturous applause. All eyes suspiciously rotated intently toward their emperor and immediately followed his gaze down to the stadium floor right below the royal balcony. Roughly a 50 feet drop, the princess lie frozen, facing downward, in a crimson splash of blood. The imperious king became stricken with grief as the people began to perceive that the dead girl is his daughter. Moments later, the semi-barbaric king unnoticeably murmured something concisely, to his advisor, who ran off in a flash. Everyone was too caught up mourning with despair when suddenly, the left door started to escalate with roaring power, revealing a ravenous and savage tiger. As the maiden scurried away through the right exit through the right door, the dispirited and hopeless youth, who laid by the princess’s side was delectably devoured by the robust tiger, leaving him to be with the princess, forever.
Her strong affection for the youth shows why she desired to let him live with the lady. Due to the princess’s jealously, she couldn't stand knowing that her lover is going to live with another girl for the rest of their lives. Thus, this influenced her to commit suicide so she doesn't have to witness the marriage of her love with another maiden and suffer from interminable anguish in the future. To the king, the princess “... was the apple of his eye, and was loved by him above all humanity.” As a result, the king’s endearment for her and heartless attitude elucidates why he commanded the release of the tiger into the stadium to consume the boy due to his fury from his daughter’s demise.
A week later full of agony, the kingdom held a funeral in the royal courtyard where people stood solemnly in formal manner, blessing the princess and later, leaving her flowers and riches that rested around the sumptuous yet depressing, coffin. The heartbroken king, who avoided contact, made an unforeseen appearance into the courtyard and strode up to the coffin as he swiped away his grief. He halted for several moments in front of the coffin, reciting prayers to wish the princess with an optimistic afterlife. Although the barbaric king eventually got around his state of desolation, there was still an extreme cost, which didn't back down without a fight. Soon after the princess’s funeral, the king declared and initiated a massive search for the dead boy’s family to seek revenge.
As time seeped by, the dead boy’s family were mourning the passing of the youth. On top of their enemy list, slumped the king, who was confronted by the boy’s relatives at the entrance of the courtyard after the end of the somber ceremony. A vast majority of the monarch’s armed forces were currently on their way to imprison the dead boy’s family and ultimately execute them honorably. In hopes of expressing sorrow and respect for the the king’s emotional affliction, the family envisioned that they will be doomed from the wrath of the merciless king. Blazing blindly before the boy’s family, the king astonishingly bowed down with regret and graciously accepted their acts of kindness by apologizing. In a few years, he soon granted the youth’s desperate family affluence and royalty, enduring deep remorse from his irascible frame of mind and ruthless actions he carried out throughout the past.
Ever since the tragic incident, the enraged king believed that the boy is accountable for the cause of his daughter’s demise. “... whenever there was a hitch, ... some of his orbs got out of their orbits …” Since the king was distressing from agony due to the princess’s death that was impacted by the boy’s affection for the princess, his brutal and ardent disposition provoked him to hunt for vengeance on all the commoners associated with the youth. Soon, the king became repentant of his intentions that ran loose and attempted to fix them from his assimilation of ethics, which defined his somewhat tranquil and “fair” conduct.
The youth flung back the door, barely blinking as he heard the low growls erupt from within the chambers. Out leapt the tiger, lusting for blood and immediately pouncing upon his handsome visage. As he was torn to shreds, the princess could not bring herself to look away from her lover. Even as her own father, the one who had called upon such a trial, shielded his eyes from the gush and splatters of crimson, something in the young princess’ semi-barbaric heart stirred, and she continued to look on. Oh, and how the blood flowed! The stunned gasps and sighs of the audience were accompanied by slash after slash by the tiger. He ripped into the young suitors ribcage, tearing at his stomach until he was completely disemboweled, until he was nothing but a pile of bloody bones and guts on the floor.
Four years later, and the well-used arena that had once been covered in fresh blood had now faded to a musky brown. Today, as the people gathered about, there was none of the usual jovial chatter. It was silent.
The king rose to his throne, having more than a little trouble sitting down due to the overwhelming result of nature’s path. As he fumbled clumsily between his long robe, he knocked over the chair that was next to his own. He didn’t bother to pick it up.
Breathy sighs and wheezes rushed throughout the crowd as the latched door opened slowly. Out stepped a little girl, littler than any the crowd had ever seen, littler than the kids that eagerly crowded against the ledge of the arena, hoping for some action. The mothers in the crowd anxiously bounced the children that were perched on their laps. Whispers passed through the crowd like waves in the sea. How could the king do such a cruel thing?
The king stood up. With a look that was nothing short of bored, he held a hand up sternly and the crowd fell silent. ¨Since we have a… unique situation today, the person on trial shall not be wed if innocent. Instead, in the situation that she is innocent, the young maiden behind the door shall become her new mother.”
The girl looked up at the large masses of people who were staring forlornly back. No one wanted to see this little girl, reminiscent of their own little ones, die in this arena. She looked questioningly up at the woman seated next to the king, who was staring back just as intensely. The lady next to the king fidgeted with the dampened strings on her dress, which were slightly stained red, a result of a harsh childbirth. When her eyes met the ones of her daughter, she sat still as the fat tears trickled out of her eyes and onto her lap. The little girl smiled back toothily, then teetered around to face the two doors.
Of course, the princess had took it to herself to find out which of the two doors held the tiger or the young lady. The decision was instantaneous. Her daughter looked up at her mother in a moment of hesitation. A sharp, quick jab with her left hand from the princess and her daughter understood, cracking open the door on the left. The princess winces as the large, metal door creaked and groaned as the six year old struggled, until it slowly started to swing open on its own.
The audience held on to their seats, many shielding their eyes, not wanting to see a large cat come bounding out. Instead, a pretty little lady came out tentatively, not wanting to frighten the young child. The lady led the little girl away by hand as the happy bells began sounding, and the princess wilted. With an emotionless expression, she covered her face with her clammy, trembling hands, and prayed for the sun to go down.
I believe the princess pointed her suitor in the direction of the tiger because she was jealous and would rather have him killed then see him love another. “But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady!” This proves that she disliked the thought of him being wed to another more than having him ripped to shreds by a tiger.
The little girl is the daughter of the princess. The king, who still sees his own daughter as “the apple of his eye” had to blame somebody for the birth of her daughter. In the king’s eyes, his granddaughter was a wretched creature born by a suitor that did not suit his princess. Because he couldn’t directly punish the father, whom he already killed off, he punished the next best thing, the one who contained the same genes as him. I think the princess chose the lady because even though she loved her child, she would rather see her grow up with another mother then have her killed and not get to see her survive and live a happy life.
The fair and lovely lady awaited silently behind the sound proof door she was placed for what seemed like a long period of time. The dimly lit room was just a wall away from the presence of the hungry beast. She could hear the soft growls that echoed through the wall. Suddenly, adrenaline kicked in as she eyed the grand latch on her door tilt and lift above the metal holding. Fast and strong, the door swung open and rays of light exploded into the room. Red radiance flushed her cheeks as the light blinded her. As her eyes tried to adjust to the brightness, she stepped out of the door into the warm atmosphere of the crowd.
The audience roared with excitement as they rose to their feet and rejoiced, for the subject has been declared innocent. Right after spotting the lady, the subject swung his head towards the princess. They locked gazes and the man casted a horrifying expression. The princess frowned in confusion. Was this not what he wanted?
Without a moment’s hesitation, the ceremony began. A priest followed by a class of people emerged from another door. The choir quickly lined up against a side of the arena in a zigzag fashion and began to project strong wonderful harmonies that echoed throughout the entire amphitheater. Maidens pranced towards the pair, blowing golden horns with joyous passion. As the priest announced a quick speech for the future of the pair, the marriage continued outside in the royal gardens.
Bundles of multicolored roses coated the garden with a sweet alluring fragrance. Anemones, Carnations, Herbs, Lilies, and Orchids swayed with the soft wind as a colony of bees pollinated the hundreds. Majestic white fountains sprung pure water as the sun scorched high above the clouds. The walkways were padded with glittering emeralds and smooth rocks. Hollyhocks rose tall above the heads of the kingdom as they scampered in. The sight of the garden awed everyone, slowing the crowd down with gasps and exclamations. However, the man took no notice of the beauty of the patio. He desperately searched around for the princess who he lost sight of in the midst of the crowd. People casted confused glances, yet no one questioned. Not even the King, for he saw the haste in his eyes, but cared no more because he was proven solely innocent.
Their gazes met like magic. Out of the thousands of people here to celebrate, the man easily spotted his love. He sprinted to reach her. She rushed to embrace him. They crashed into each other’s arms. Both with staggered breathing and helpless tears. He pulled a little bit away so that he could observe her eyes. Their eyes both read the unsaid words.
“I love you and only you,” read both eyes.
The fair lady swam through the crowd to her husband and grabbed ahold of his forearm with a tight grip signalling to come with her. Pulling him away from the princess, he spilled the words, “Never forget.” After a few glances back at the princess, he disappeared into the chaos. The princess fell to her knees and wailed. What he said, taped her broken heart back up. This is what love is. Love heals.
At the front of the kingdom, thousands of citizens watched as the man took the lady’s hand, but with a somber expression. A hesitant gentle kiss on the hand, a peek back at where the princess could be, and when he did not sight her, he turned his back against the kingdom, and strode away with his wife to start a new future.
Analysis: True love heals. Even in the most messed up situations like this judicial event, love can heal. True love also tempts sacrifice and unselfish desires. If the princess truly loved the subject, she would not lead him to death’s door, but she instead, she would want the best for him. Even if he were forced to marry the lady she envies, the princess would go through the pain of jealousy and loneliness just to see him alive and happy. In the story, the princess truly did love the man. The man also returned the love, for he was unhappy with her decision. He knew that each door led to consequences, however, he did not want her to grieve the loss of him over the lady. He knew she would be in deep pain and jealousy. At the end, both broken hearted, they share last words that changes the course of their lives. Perhaps the princess will not cry any more into her pillow because now she knows who he truly loves. Possibly the man will not grieve as much also, for they love each other and no one else. True love marks the painful scars, yet can heal the deepest ones.
From the clouded darkness appeared
a fair maiden,
his bestowed wife-to-be,
the symbol of innocence.
The grim silence is immediately suppressed by an eruption of cheers throughout the arena. A momentary wave of relief washes over the lover’s face only to be stymied by the consequence that he will forevermore have to live without the princess. Through the spectators shouting satisfied hurrahs and the clinking of brass bells, the princess sits quietly weeping her loss.
The lover, now married to another woman, is devastated. Day by day all he thinks back to is the love that he shared with the princess, while he has to live with a woman to which he does not have a connection with. One day he could not take the isolation anymore and set out to see the princess again. In the middle of the night he through the back of the castle, dressed as a servant, and slyly makes his way to the princess’s chambers.
His heart pounds with excitement.
His palms sweat with anticipation.
He taps her door as if he was sure of everything and anything, as if nothing else seemed right, as if this was the last barrier between his sanity.
From the clouded darkness appears the same, yet all the opposite.
In her robes appears the princess; her smile lighting the once bleak room. In each others arms their feelings, still confirmed, spur them to run away from the castle and from the city, to any place that would let them live out their lives together.
“Without the slightest hesitation” the lover follows the signal and opens the right door. His action reveals that he expects the lady to be behind the right door, and although he is happy to see the lady, he is disheartened because his true love is the princess. The princess loves the lover “with an ardor” and, thus, cannot bring herself to watch him be slaughtered by the “most savage and relentless beast”. Although portrayed as a jealous, semi-barbaric personality, the princess goes against the odds by making “a slight, quick movement toward the right” that leaves her mourning the jubilation expressed by the arena. One could say that by pointing to the right door, represents the “right” decision. Even though it means the lover will be wed to someone she abhors, she ultimately lets the lover live because she loves him. Many say that due to her jealous nature, a tiger would have sprung out of the door, devouring the lover in cold blood, but what they do not realize is that love trumps all. As simple or dumb as that may seem, when you love someone, you want to protect them, you want the best for them, even if it hurts you. Their love was so extremely strong that nothing could separate them in the end. Although it took longer, and it wasn’t the desired path, they ultimately ended up with each other because love conquers everything.
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