“True Bravery” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Keya Das, GIIS, Queenstown, Singapore.
Once upon a time there lived a princess named Grace. She was always loyal and truthful. One day as she was taking a walk in the village area, she met a boy whose name was James. He was sitting alone while everyone else was playing. Grace went to play with him and from that day onwards they became best friends. They both used to play games in the castle since it was huge. Grace used to tell all the secrets about the palace since she could trust him.
One day while James was going back home, he got captured by a gang of bandits. They wanted to know where the gems and jewellery were kept in the castle. They kept James for a long time. Grace was dishearten because her best friend was missing. She sent every guard to search for him, even she went to find James. But they couldn’t find him. One day, at midnight James was forced to steal the gems and jewellery because he was the only one who knew where they were. There were lasers in that room, and if he hits one of them there would be a loud alarm. James was very careful but he accidently sneezed and moved his hand tripping the wire. The guards immediately entered the room and arrested him at that spot. When Grace entered the room, she was shocked and could not believe it. But, she knew he was not guilty. James could not tell why he did so, as the bandits had put a tracking device on him. Grace asked the king if she could find out why James committed the crime. The king gave her two days to figure this out.
She immediately went back to sleep so she could get a fresh start in the morning. In the morning Grace went out in the village to search for clues, she tried to question a few people but she could not find any answers. While she was going near the forest she was kidnapped and taken to a secret hideout by the bandits. She was really scared, and after sometime she realised maybe this the bandit’s secret hideout. Shewas trying to break free but she could not. Once the people of the kingdom realised she was missing, everyone went to search for her. James thought of looking for her at midnight when the bandits were sleeping. He was trying to sneak out but he was caught by the guards. He explained everything to them and they all decided to help him save the princess. Once they reached the bandits secret hide out they busted out the door and started to arrest all the bandits. James untied Grace and both of them returned home safely. The bandits confessed that they forced James to commit the crime. The king demanded to banish them and put them for twenty-five years of exile. James family was rewarded thousand pieces of gold because of his bravery. They were also invited to live with the royal family and Grace was so happy. The king invited the entire village for a feast and they all lived happily ever after.