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Three Variations on "Sleeping Beauty"


by Niko Silvester

I. A young man sets out every morning to destroy the roses that threaten to snag the fleeces of his father's sheep.
II. A prince makes his way through the rose bushes to an ancient castle only to find he's not the first prince to arrive.
III. A princess slumbers in the shelter of monstrous briars fed for thousands of years on the blood of the princes who died on their thorns.

These three short stories were each inspired--in very different ways--by the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. In "The Promise of Roses," the son of a woolen mill owner sets out every morning with a shovel and a bag of salt to destroy the roses threatening to snag the fleeces of his father's sheep. In "Spinning," a minor prince from a small European country nobody has ever heard of makes his way through the rose bushes to an ancient castle where a princess lies sleeping--only to find he's not the first prince to get there. And in "Caught on Thorns," a princess slumbers in the shelter of monstrous briars fed for thousands of years on the blood of the princes who died on their thorns.

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