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In Which Antigone and Rudyard Disappoint a Large Quantity of People

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Prince Rudyard and his twin sister, Princess Antigone, of the kingdom of Piffling were, from the time of their births, exceedingly odd. Things started out well enough, as babies they were remarkably well behaved. It was as they got older, however, that they began to pose problems.

 

Princess Antigone was quiet, had eyes like dark lakes surrounded by thick lashes perfect for fluttering at princes, and the sort of milk white skin that sent storytellers into raptures. However all of this was overshadowed by the tangled black hair, the sheer dark and ominous depths contained within said eyes, and an frankly uncanny fascination with death.

 

She could never seem to grasp the concept that a princess should be seen and not heard, needing to be easily noticed from quite a long way off, simply due to her beauty and undeniable presence. Antigone went unnoticed until one was practically on top of her (and sometimes not even then, if the amount of bruised feet and loud exclamations of shock she'd received were anything to go on.) She also spent far too much time she was supposed to spend learning how to dance and curtsy and be kidnapped properly sneaking off to the castle doctor to read his books of anatomy and examine any new corpses he'd been charged with.

 

Her brother Rudyard was a similarly disappointing case. The boy was too short, too skinny, and too annoying by far to ever be anything even close to a proper sort of prince. How was he supposed to rescue a princess or save an entire kingdom from invading hordes? Why, a stiff breeze could very well snap him in half!

 

And he was a nuisance. No one in Piffling Vale could stand the boy for long, he was odd, off putting, and singularly grating.

 

Additionally, both children had an uncanny ability to muck up any attempt to bring them closer in line with the done thing. 

 

When they were left to wander the woods alone with only breadcrumbs to find their way home, instead of defeating a witch and returning home triumphant, they were found a few days later, having fallen in a hole and eaten all the bread. 

 

When young Antigone was told to separate a pile of hopelessly mixed grains, she fell into a sneezing fit from the grain, and it was Rudyard who managed to convince some passing birds and mice to help.

 

When Rudyard was sent to slay a rampaging beast, it was only when Antigone stepped out of seemingly nowhere, and glared at the thing that any progress was made. At first sight of the gaunt young girl the great beast died on the spot. (The entire kingdom was horribly upset by this newest failing of the children's, except for poor Rudyard, who was inconsolable over the creature’s death. He'd thought it had seemed rather sweet, rampage aside.)

 

It was evident that, what one was challenged to do, the other would step in, no matter how improper, and to separate them would simply cause them both to fail miserably.

 

And so it was that on the week of their sixteenth birthdays there was only one thing left to do. Of course, being closed up in a tower was really only traditional for princesses, but at this point everyone was quite desperate and would have frankly taken any opportunity to get rid of either of the children. Thusly Rudyard and Antigone were bundled off to their new home, a tall and crumbling tower in the darkest corner of the local enchanted forest. And there they were left until either something proper could be done with them or they could be quietly forgotten.