Once upon a time, in a busy city by the lake, lived a girl pretty and bold. Her name was Fiona and she had a heart of gold. Of late, she had this pondering question, ‘If true love existed for her.’ On consulting peers young and old, she was only intrigued further. One said, ‘an artist will reach your heart through his art’. While the other said, ‘a Royal can fill your life with delights and more.’ ‘A scientist,’ said another, ‘will put all effort to maximise your comfort’. Soon she found out a different opinion was voiced by every friend. Some simply shrugged and said, ‘To this quest there is no end.’
She saw poets, singers, doctors, and more. Each of the match made on earth seemed too good to be true. She wondered, ‘Where is the one who would be my partner for life? If only I knew the one who’d never let me fall. I wonder if inside there’s a little voice, to know whether I’m capable of making the right choice.’
A blast of light filled her entire room. The ceiling, walls and floor disappeared as she moved. Right in front of her was through a gigantic door. With nothing to lose, she turned the knob and went through. She walked for a while and then she saw a little girl with a constant happy smile. Behind her stood seven Princes each with a different coloured crown. She learnt it was made of the special stone found only in their town. ‘Welcome Fiona, This is the Rainbow Kingdom. You came here in search of your one true love. Choose a suitor by the end of the day. If you find the Prince you like, I warrant a happy ending. If you can’t then you’ll stay forever inside this Kingdom.’
‘Is it possible to select the one, in such little time? How do I choose without studying, the factors I consider prime?’ Fiona expressed her doubts. ‘Go spend a while at each town and they decide if you fit in there. You then get to choose which one you like before the Sun’s down,’ said the little girl. ‘Rejection in any form shall impose a curse on you. Skipping on the other hand will only land you on the next hue’.
The only path being that in front, she entered the Violet Town – the first stop in her love hunt. Prince Lust came forwards and presented his proposal, ‘To become my princess you should have intense desire, for all things pretty that your sight sets on.’ Fiona said, ‘But Prince, I don’t fit the role. I reject this offer as I can never be so shallow.’ The next moment her arms turned violet. The prince looked at her and said ‘This shall serve you right for rejecting me. We now reject you so get away far, before I count up to three.’
Next she set foot into the Indigo Town – Prince Gluttony came to receive her and said ‘We have a table for two set down, except the food is more than double. You shall become the Princess here, if you join me and finish it all and ask for more.’ ‘I eat only what I need Prince, may I eat in moderation?’ asked Fiona. Prince Gluttony said ‘You get cursed for turning down my proposal; I already have made preparations for your disposal.’
The next thing she remembered was seeing a flash of light. When she woke up her left leg was indigo, from knee till the toe. She heard a voice say, ‘This is the Blue Town and I’m Prince Greed. Unless you are mean to share, you cannot be here.’ She replied, ‘The strangeness of your manners, it’s no surprise there isn’t any joy here. I reject your Town and you.’ The Prince shouted, ‘You dare to insult us, you deserve this curse.’ A familiar light was all she remembered and her palms turned blue.
She was knocking on the gates of Green Town; Prince Sloth came slowly. He said, ‘If you are planning on being my princess, wait till the next day when the conditions will turn better.’ Fiona asked, ‘But I only have until the night, maybe you could hurry?’ ‘You defy my orders? If you get out of here now I’ll curse you with colour just on your face.’
With that she fell in Yellow Town below. Introducing himself as ‘Prince Wrath’, he asked ‘Answer this one question Fiona, can you ever forgive others?’ Fiona said, ‘Yes, if not what’s the meaning of being human?’ ‘Lady, you failed at the quality we value. I can’t ever bear your sight now,’ he howled. Yellow flash and a minute later everything around her looked orange. Except her hair, this turned a nasty yellow.
Orange Town’s Prince, Envy welcomed her. He started, ‘You win if you promise to update me, every now and then, what every other kingdom has better than in ours.’ ‘You sure appreciate beauty I believe?’ asked Fiona happily. ‘No, I just feel it’s unfair and want them to be stolen or broken,’ said the Prince. When she denied, a curse followed which she didn’t bother to hide anymore.
The last chance was at Red Town, she went with all her hopes. ‘As long as you believe the other Towns are all inferior, you are welcome here,’ said Prince Pride. She denied the offer and got another colour, the added red only proved she valued her honour.
With no Prince wanting her, unable to fit in any of the Towns she went to the end of the glass path. There stood the little girl, with that same smile. She said, ‘Whatever your decision is, Fiona share it all.’ Fiona started, ‘Not once did I feel that I could be one of them. In rejecting them I found out what I want. I decided I want no one but myself. Is there any way you could send me back? As I found out the answer to the question I was in search of.’
‘If you are willing to forego the happily ever after I promised , then there is one way. By getting the approval of Chastity from Violet Town, Temperance from Indigo Town, Charity from Blue Town, Diligence from Green Town, Forgiveness from Yellow Town, Kindness from Orange Town, and Humility from Red Town you can be set free,’ said the little girl. ‘You seem to possess them all as I can see their colours on you. You are now allowed to go.’
‘Are you saying these curses I got are the keys to release me?’ There was no answer to Fiona’s question. She turned around to realise that she was back in her room safely. With this experience, she did figure things out. To conquer the world outside, she needed to know battle the evils within. Though it pained at the moment, the experience made up for that.
Also quite puzzling is the thought, ‘Why does what I want be defined by what I cannot have?’