My Mum used to write a lot of kid’s stories. If I was lucky, they would star me and knock-offs of the Ninja Turtles. Thanks to Huntington’s Disease she can’t really do that anymore. So when she spontaneously came up with the idea of a vampire princess who wears massive boots the other day and told all the carers about it, I asked her if she wanted it written up for her granddaughter, Lily, who’s 3 years old. So this is our joint story for anyone who would like a taste of my Mum’s fun and dark imagination. Sorry for the bad rhymes, that’s my fault!
By Danny Dourado and Sandy Sulaiman
Once upon a time, as all good stories start,
There was a crooked tower, tall, thin and dark.
With lanterns above the windows and doors,
And a hundred bats on every floor.
It was cold,
It was old,
It belonged to the night,
Just seeing this tower would give you a fright!
So you’d have to be crazy, and a little bit dim,
To want to go in when the sun was setting.
But lucky for you, there was just such a boy,
Who would skip through a graveyard full of pure joy.
His name was Winston, a porky young lad,
Brave-hearted, which meant he was a bit mad.
He had lived near the tower for years and for years,
And he sneaked to its entrance without any fear.
The door creaked open as he stepped inside.
The bats shrieked loudly as they tried to hide.
“I’ve heard,” Winston said, looking round at the mess,
“That this tower holds in it a proud princess
Perhaps she is trapped, perhaps it’s her home
She must talk to the bats if she lives all alone!”
A thin layer of dust was all over the beds,
And the only decorations were spider-webs.
Nothing was pretty, pink or at its best,
Not a thing on the ground floor was for a princess!
“Where does she sleep?” Winston wondered aloud.
“Maybe, in this tower, cleaning’s not allowed.
I hope this is true, she’d be the girl for me!
I’ve not had a wash since I was a baby!”
He checked each room as he continued to climb,
But there was not a thing in them for him to find.
No dolls, no jewellery, no sparkly dress,
Not a thing in the tower was for a princess!
“Where could she be?” Winston pondered aloud.
“She must live up higher, nearer the clouds.
I hope this is true and isn’t a trick.
Heights make me feel all dizzy and sick!”
But Winston was brave, and not very smart,
He kept on climbing with fear in his heart.
And what should he find on the dusty old stone?
A footprint that chilled him right to the bone.
“What could do this?” Winston was taken aback.
“Whoever had these feet could squash a whole cat!
Monsters guard princesses from dashing knights!
This is proof all my bedtime stories were right!”
Yes, I told you, he’s not very clever,
But try not to laugh at the poor little fella.
“I’m coming, princess! I’ll put this to an end!
Then perhaps you will be my princess girlfriend!”
With that Winston bolted and ran for the top,
Nothing was going to make this boy stop.
He ran up the stairs, and in no time at all,
He made it to the top, to a dark, creepy hall.
And at the end of the hall was a big metal door.
Winston did not feel so brave anymore.
It was open a bit, and he quietly snuck in,
Wishing he’d brought a torch with him.
Much to poor little Winston’s distress
Not a thing in the room was for a princess!
No crown, no staff, no four-poster bed.
There on the floor was a coffin instead.
“Princess!” he gulped. A creak made him wince.
“I’ve come to save you, and be your new prince!”
“Save me?” said a voice that was not soft and sweet.
Nothing like a song or a morning bird’s tweet.
The light from the moon passed through the window,
At her desk was the princess, sat in its glow.
She looked neither scared nor worried at all,
And her hair wasn’t soft, it was a mad scrawl.
She was cracking her knuckles ever so slightly.
Her dress was pure black and her jewellery all spiky.
But still, to the boy, she was pretty and young,
And he spoke before he could stop his tongue.
“Thank goodness I came all the way up here!
A princess! Locked up for all of these years!”
“A princess,” she said. ”That’s certainly true.
But this is my castle. Who on Earth are you?”
“I’m Winston, come to save you from this creepy place.
Now quickly, before that monster gives chase!”
The princess cackled, and sure enough,
Winston was no longer feeling so tough.
“Save me?” She laughed. “But this is my home.
And you have dared to come in all alone.
Did you see the beds that have not been touched?
Were the bats and the footprint not enough?”
Poor Winston’s bravery was about to fail,
But we know he escapes, ‘coz he told us this tale.
So if anyone reading this thinks it’s all grim,
Don’t worry, the princess is just teasing him.
“Poor little Winston,” she said with a grin,
Her sharp teeth as white as her pale skin.
“Oh, there is a monster, you’re certainly right!
It’s me! A vampire! A creature of the night!”
Winston wanted to find somewhere to hide,
But he could not have moved his scared legs if he’d tried.
“The bats are my friends,” the vampire princess said.
“I sleep in a coffin and leave all the beds!”
I drink only blood and the finest of wine,
And that giant footprint? That footprint was mine!”
She lifted a leg, and there Winston could see,
A huge metal boot that went up to her knee.
She cackled and stomped to the scared little child,
And much to his horror, she widened her smile.
“And I am sorry to say,” she said quietly.
“I have a boyfriend, who is here already.”
“So my dear little Winston, why don’t you,
And out from the shadows, with an ear-splitting roar,
An ogre leapt out, like a green giant boar.
Winston screamed out every last bit of fear,
And he fell back onto his over-sized rear.
Then, with a shriek and a squawk and a shout,
The boy pulled on the door and sprinted straight out.
And as Winston ran, the two left in the room
Laughed together in the dark and the gloom.
“That’ll show him,” said the princess with a twirl.
“To think I’d need saving just because I’m a girl!”
© Danny Dourado 2013