All the apples in the kingdom & a missing damsel

Aleksander stepped into his kingdom once again. Where another viewer saw a slightly seedy terrace overlooking newer apartment blocks and a small potted tree bearing mouldy apples, what Aleksander saw in his private kingdom was the tree of golden apples.

It had always been so, ever since his baba (grandmama) had narrated “The nine pea-hens and golden apples” which had held his childish fancy. At the time of her passing, her only senile words to him had been – “Grow the golden apples, the eight pea-hens and the damsel will come.”

In the intervening half century, he had been ground in life’s grim realities and watched his children grow up and start their own families. His grandchildren, as other youngsters of the day, were enamoured with shiny gadgets and had no interest in visiting their old dyado.

He felt himself whispering – “Where is the damsel, baba? She never arrived.” as he tended to his golden apple tree.

Author’s note: The nine pea-hens and the golden apples had always been one of my favourite fairy tales. It had all the elements that captured my childish imagination – a prince, a flock of birds – one of which turned into a beautiful damsel, a dragon and a witch! Sorry Karen – when I read Bulgaria – I just couldn’t resist dragging this tale in.

“What Pegman saw” is a weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Using the 360 degree view of the location provided, you must write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here.



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