Written for the Twelfth Night Masquerade Flash Fiction Contest. Check out all the awesome stories.
The Masque of the Fairytale
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Katarina watched them dance around the room, the King and Queen of the Masque. The anger inside her surged as they twirled past, the two smiling, secure in their joy. That should be her in his arms. He had been hers… Once upon a time. That was long ago, when she had believed in fairy tales and happily ever after.
Then she had shown him her sister. The curse the witch had put on her made Aurora appear as though she were simply sleeping.
“We’ve been waiting for the spell to be broken for seven years,” Katarina had whispered.
“What is the cure?”
“A kiss from her true love. But none that have tried have succeeded.”
Katarina had turned to leave before she’d realized what Philip intended. When Aurora’s eyes opened, Katrina’s heart was shattered.
“You should be happy for your sister,” her mother said just days before the wedding.
She tried, truly she did. And each day her anger grew, filling her until all she could think about was destroying their love.
“I can help you get him back,” the witch had whispered.
They looked alike in every way, except that Katarina had a small mole on the side of her lip. A blemish that no longer adorned her face. She’d had it removed with the help of the witch.
“Lure her outside and I will take care of your dear Aurora,” the witch promised.
“And my first payment?”
“Your first born…a fair trade to find the happiness you deserve.
Katarina pulled the mask over her face and approached the happy couple.
“May I borrow my sister for a moment, Philip?”
Aurora took her arm, winking at her sister conspiratorially, as they had done when little girls.
“Have you seen the way Prince Dashing looks at you?” Aurora asked once they were outside and away from the others. “I think he may have designs on you.”
Katarina shuddered. John Dashing was short, barely taller than those idiot dwarves their cousin Snow was slumming with.
“I have designs of my own, dear sister.”
Aurora’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Who is he? Is it the Duke? I saw you dance the first dance with him. He’s not the most handsome, but I’ve heard stories… ”
“No sister, the prince you stole from me,” Katarina said, removing her mask. “Philip.”
“Your mark… it’s gone,” Aurora gasped, and then, “Philip?”
“He was mine and you took him.”
“If you hadn’t wanted us to marry, why didn’t you say so? Katarina, I never would have if I’d known.”
“Because,” Katarina said, as black smoke surrounded Aurora, “he wanted you. And now he will think I am you.”
When the smoke cleared, her sister was gone.
“Where is Katarina?” Philip asked when she returned to the ball.
“She had to leave. She said to give you her goodbyes.”