A 1-post collection

Challenge #01060-B328: In the Middle of a Faery Tale

And a third -- Gallifreya

Gloria had been combing her hair by the river when a wandering man stumbled upon her. He stood there, gaping like a landed fish, until Gloria started braiding it up.

"Fair maiden, I beg your boon," he began. "I am labouring under a terrible curse. A foul witch decreed that I must never refuse an opportunity for generosity until such time as a maiden bestows her true love's kiss."

Hm. That sounded like one of Mama's. "That's a rather mild curse," she allowed. "And unfair to the maiden, as well. She thinks she's getting a generous soul, but instead he turns back into... a selfish prince?"

He knelt. "You don't understand. I once owned vast expanses of land. Boundless forests for hunting in. Thousands upon thousands of slaves to cater to every whim. And I have lost it all and more. I look like a peasant! I've been forced to give away everything I have, to toil like a common labourer. Dear lady, a prince should not be forced to perspire."

Gloria gave him the Askance Look that let her read the spell. A simple enough Geas and, yes, Mama's work. She could lift it with a thought. "And what have you learned under this curse of yours?"

"The lesser classes are greedy, grasping, worthless louts! They should be--" he choked on his next words as the Geas took over. "--given... all... they... need... and more."

"So you have learned nothing," she said. "And I have no reason to love you. You have lost your property, selfish prince, but you have yet to lose your disgraceful attitude."

A very small squeaking noise. He looked so very close to tears. "But... fair maiden... I would not be selfish against you."

"Ah. So I would get to watch you being selfish against the people who depend on you for protection? Against the people you tax? Against the serfs and the slaves that you own? I get to see you being cruel to everyone in your lands, and keeping them from any means of help. I see."

At least he had the decency to be embarrassed. "Um. When you put it like that... I can almost see why I was cursed."

Gloria finished her braid, tying it off with a leather strip. "You've much to learn, selfish prince. Including the meaning of 'true love'." She resumed her journey, not caring if he followed or stayed.

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