“Test1” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Valeriya Petrenko, Lozova gymnasium, Ukraine.
Once upon a time, there lived a kind man and his wife in a faraway country. Most of all, they wanted children, and one day the woman informed her husband proudly and happily that they would have a baby.
The family's house was at the high wall that was surrounded by the beautiful garden of the witch. No one has ever dared to look there, for fear of causing trouble and misfortune on his head. But the woman, looking from the small loft window of the house, sometimes admired with beautiful flowers, wonderful trees and magic herbs, which the witch grew.
Unfortunately, the future mother fell ill, her appetite was gone, and the caring husband laid his wife in bed. He carefully took care of the beloved, bringing her something delicious every day, but, the wife did not eat anything. "Honey, just tell me what you want, and I will bring it!" - the husband pleaded. "I want to taste the herbs of Laura that grows in the witch's garden."
The desire to see his wife healthy and happy again, her loving husband overcame his fear. Waiting for darkness, he climbed over the high fence and found himself in the forbidden garden. It seemed that the heart of the man was just about to jump out of his chest - it was beating so violently with excitement. Quickly finding a bed with grass, he picked up some greens and hurried home.
His wife, in fact, became much healthier after she ate a little grass. The next morning the young woman asked for more green: "Please, dear, bring me that grass, otherwise I will not get well! "Late at night her husband sneaked into the garden again. But before he could rip off a couple of stalks of grass, the old witch came out of nowhere:
"Ah, a thief, got caught! How dare you get into my garden? "
"Please, my wife fell ill and she asked me to bring her some greens!»
"Okay. Leave the grass for yourself, however, with one condition: you will give me your first-born." He had to agree to the poor woman.
A few weeks later a happy couple had a beautiful daughter. The same day an old evil witch appeared in their house. Parents begged the old woman to leave them a child, but she did not even listen to them.
"I'll call her Laura," the evil witch laughed sarcastically, grabbed the little girl and carried her to her house.
Laura grew up a real beauty. She had eyes of violet color and luxurious hair, like golden yarn. When the girl was twelve years old, the old woman took her to a dense forest. There the witch confined Laura in a tall tower without doors and steps, with a small window in the room at the top. Only one person could see Laura - a wicked witch, who visited the girl every day. She approached the foot of the tower and shouted: "Laura, Laura, well, put the braid down! "The poor girl obediently did what she was told by the witch. The ugly old woman, as if on a tightrope, scrambled up her luxurious spit into the little room.
Once the prince, lost in the woods during the hunt, heard a delightful female singing. Laura was singing to get a relief from her loneliness. The prince rode up to the high tower. After dismounting, he tried in vain to find the entrance to the building. It was getting dark, the young man had to return home, but the next day he continued his search. For many days the young man tried to get to the tower and see the singer.
Once he was lucky. Standing in the bushes and enjoying the marvelous voice of an invisible singer, the prince saw the witch. Hiding, he began to watch the witch. "Laura, Laura, lower your braid," ordered the woman. Immediately from the window appeared a wonderful golden braid, and the old woman climbed it through the window.
"So, this is what I need to do to see, at last, who is singing so wonderful!" - the young man was delighted. In the evening, standing at the foot of the tower, he said: "Laura, Laura, lower your braid!" And a few moments later, wavy golden hair hung from the window. The prince climbed upstairs.
Laura had never seen a man in her life. She hid in the corner of the room.
"Who are you?" - the girl breathed out, barely audible.
"Do not be afraid of me," the prince said gently, taking her slender fingers into his hand. He fell in love with a lovely creature from the first glance. "I just wanted to know who sings so beautifully." And the prince told Laura how he came to the tower every day to listen to her singing. Gradually the girl calmed down.
"Marry me, and we'll leave this awful place," Prince suggested.
"I'm happy to run away with you, but how can I get out of here? You can go down my spit, but what about me?
After thinking a little, the prisoner suggested: "Come to me every evening and bring silk threads with you. I'll make a strong rope out of them, we'll go down and run away from here."
The prince began to come to the beauty every evening. From the threads that he brought with him, the girl made a strong rope. The witch, seemed to notice nothing, until Laura, dreaming of her beloved, did not ask the woman somehow: "Why is it harder to lift you than a prince?"
"Oh, I thought that I hid you safe!"- The witch hissed. "And you fooled me all this time!"
She took out a huge pair of scissors, grabbed her wonderful braid and cut it off. Then the evil old woman hit the girl on the arm and in a moment she found herself in a valley alone. In the evening the witch returned to the tower and began to wait for the prince.
Soon she heard the voice of the young man: "Laura, Laura, lower your hair! "The witch tied one end of the braid to a heavy chair near the window, and the second - lowered the briaid. The prince quickly scrambled upstairs. But in the window instead of a beautiful girl he met with an old witch.
"There is no princess! She has disappeared for you forever! "- cried the woman and pushed the young man down. He fell on the bramble bush, and its sharp thorns scraped the prince's eyes.
Not seeing anything in front of him, the unfortunate man wandered through the woods for many years. But he wanted to find his beloved so much! The prince asked everyone he met on his way, about a girl with eyes of violet color and short golden hair, but no one had ever seen such a person.
One day a young man got into a valley. Suddenly it seemed to him that somewhere nearby someone was singing. "I know this voice!"-cried the prince. "It belongs to my beloved, my Laura!"
The unfortunate blind man went to the beautiful voice, and soon found a girl. The young man was very thin, his clothes had turned into rags, but Laura recognized her lover. With happiness and pity the girl cried. Her tears fell on the eyes of the prince, and a miracle happened - a young man has received his sight!
They lived happily for many years.
Together they went to the kingdom of the prince and arranged a magnificent wedding there. The rumor of a happy couple spread all over the earth. Mother and father of Laura found out that their daughter became a princess, and their happiness and pride were boundless!