The Six Beasts
Once upon a time, there was a princess, and she was to marry a prince, as is the tradition.
The princess’s name was Ira. She was gentle and kind, with a lilting accent and ever-watchful eyes.
But when she got to the prince’s castle she found no prince. Instead, something loomed over her, half hidden in the shadows.
“We are cursed,” he told her, “my brothers and I. You are to rid us of these hideous forms. Once you have done so, we may wed.”
So she did.
First she went to see the youngest prince, a mass of black feathers and round, twitching eyes. She sang to him in a silvery voice and told him he was safe, and the curse was broken.
Then she went to see the second youngest, a tall, scaly creature that flicked his tongue at her and pestered her with his slimy words. She gave him a good slap, and the curse was broken.
The third youngest prince was nowhere to be seen, but she could feel him in her bones. He felt like static. She begged him to sho