The Princess and the Flutist

  Story by Simon N.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess. Not only she was beautiful, she was also a true lover of music. She could not eat, play or sleep without someone standing besides her playing her favorite tunes.

When it was time for her to get married, the princess asked her father to organize a talent competition inviting the best and brightest musicians in the kingdom to come and compete. With the competition, she hoped to find her ideal husband – one who would enchant her with the most beautiful of music. Unfortunately, none of the competitors was able to impress her. The princess was thoroughly disappointed; she would lock herself in her room for days, lamenting her fate.

On one starry night, she was sitting soberly inside her private quarters when she heard a mysterious yet enchanting flute sound. The music quickly conquered her heart. Regretfully, she was unable to identify the author of these beautiful melodies.

The music would return every night thereafter. Although she still did not know who the flutist was, the princess’ views on life took a dramatic turn. She started to enjoy life again. In fact, she was never happier than now. Her sudden change of attitude caught her parents’ attention. Seeing how much the princess was deeply in love with the flutist, her parents ordered their guards to find the mysterious musician and bring him to her. After much effort, the flutist was apprehended. When the musician was brought to the princess, he wore a ragged attire and his face was covered by a mask.

The princess was ecstatic to see the person she had long desired for the very first time. What she really wanted to see was his face, because it was the subject of many beautiful dreams. When the flutist refused to remove his mask, the princess had no choice but to ask the guards to gently remove it.

Unfortunately, what she saw was totally opposite of what she had romanticized. The man’s face was very repulsive. In fact, it was the most hideous thing the princess had ever seen. Disappointed, she ordered the guards to send the man away.

The next night, the beautiful music returned once again. But instead of bringing joys and happiness to the princess’ heart like usual, the music infuriated her. In her rage, she had the man executed. She also convinced her father, the king, to ban all flutists from playing music in his kingdom.

Commentary: When people claim they prefer inner beauty over looks, one should not always take it at face value. 

Extended ending: The flutist became a vengeful spirit after death and sought revenge on the princess. Every time someone played music, all the princess could hear was the dead musician’s melodies.

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