The Birthday

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Taryn grew up to be a boy with a hunger for knowledge, and his questions were a challenge for his teachers and his parents alike. As soon as he knew how to read, he made use of his father's extensive library to still his hunger and feed his mind. Whatever book he grabbed was devoured within days, without making a difference between study books about the human body or fairytales from lands far away. The boy didn't have a care in the world and was often seen laughing, and when he wasn't seen reading, he was chasing his dog through the garden where he learned to explore the world on his own. He liked to know how things worked, how they were taken apart and put back together. Logic came easily to him, as well as an understanding of the world that showed wisdom beyond his years. Despite his peaceful and carefree life, the young prince Taryn was lonely because there were no other children around, and the king decided to invite the guards' and servants' children to the castle as a gift for his son's birthday. Taryn was excited and made plans to show this to the children and play that with them. But alas, everything turned out different to what the prince and his parents had expected.

The king had not known how cruel children could be until he heard them chant evil words at his son. He regretted the hurt he had brought upon his son when they had mocked his face and the scars it had. They had chased the young prince and had thrown rocks and stones at him, and he saw no other way out than to run to his room and hide.

Until that day, he had never known how different he was. Everyone had always treated him well and with respect. But not those children. They didn't know how to look past something as blatant as appearances. They said what they saw, unaware of the hurt and sadness they spread. The King was livid and forbid the children to step inside his halls again until they were old enough to apologise to the prince.

The queen tried to offer solace to her son, but he was devastated and couldn't believe a word she said when she told him about the magical spell that had been cast on him.

He had heard the children's words, and they were burned in his brain. For them, he was a monster, and Prince Taryn's careless ways came to an abrupt end. His twelfth birthday had changed him and left him with one sad certainty; he would forever be ugly and alone. A monster.

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