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Once upon a time - Flaviera: the princess that fell in love with the wind

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Once upon a time there was a woman, no half, no let's say she wasn't there, actually, because she got lost on the way, she hid so well to win the game of an already written life that she couldn't find herself anymore.

Her name was Flavia, raised as a princess, to respond to the standards of a restricted society, dried out, crystallized on the weak splendor of a glass facade.
Flavia was a princess but she didn't dream of becoming a queen, she didn't want to catch the eye, she didn't call for respect or reverence. She wanted to fade, instead, to stand in her place so that no one would notice her anymore, like you don't notice a beautiful vase on a shelf full of identical vases.

Like all of the princesses of the fairytales in fact, Flavia was beautiful, a gift she considered her biggest fortune because when you're beautiful everyone looks at you but no one sees you.

One fine day the princess got married to an ogre disguised as a prince and there was a big feast, as benefits the king's daughter. The pair retired to a big castle and lived their ever after, and it wasn't happy and it wasn't forever, because only one thing is forever.

Flavia had never dreamt about her wedding and in lack of expectations everything might not be perfect but it is something. In the highest tower of the castle Flavia designed a tiny room, so narrow that no one could get inside. In her ivory tower she believed that it was enough, that there was enough air to breathe. She didn't know back then that a dead soul doesn't breathe, that a still body doesn't use any space, that with no air you can't grow up but you get old.

The world outside reached for her with the whisper of the wind through the cracks in the wall, the landscape was painted on the tinted glass of the windows and it was beautiful but always the same. There was a time when she dared to look and see and she fell in love with the blue of the sky, the flowers, the air on her face. There was a time when she touched the grass with her fingers but she forgot about it because forgetting turns off the heart, turns off the pain.

Once every seven days the ogre disguised as a prince climbed the stairs to his bride’s room to take what wives owe to their husbands. It was a deal and the princess strictly respected it, careful not to make mistakes. So she gave birth to a baby girl: Miranda, as precious as nothing else in the world.

The child grew up and soon the room became too small. Without air Miranda grew thin and pale, sick of an unknown disease that gave Flavai so much grief. The child became a girl and her eyes were beautiful but opaque, her face delicate, too much, her heart fragile.

Years went by, they ran and who knows where they went, left behind the tower and the castle, the bedroom, the wall, the cracks and the painted windows. One day Miranda fell, and her tender heart broke. The open air would do her good, said the doctor when he took her away, but a broken heart heals badly if no one takes care of it and the girl’s illness returned to the castle with her.

Years ran and in the same way the wind did not stop. It was a bit by chance, maybe by luck, maybe by irony, maybe because it is not said that everything in life must have a precise reason that is only that and nothing else. It was, and that’s enough.

One day the wind came from afar and when it was at the foot of the castle it turned into a woman. She was looking for a missing person, they said. For some she was a knight, for others an angel, for us she will be Javiera, the wind and nothing else.

Day by day the air consumes the stone, widens the cracks, its voice becomes stronger and leaves room for light. In the narrow room at the top of the tower the light had not entered for years and the princess rushed to close those cracks that disturbed the calm of the castle so much. For each fissure she laid a paper flower, with fragile and eternal petals, beautiful but fake.

Day by day the air consumes the stone, widens the cracks and the wall of the tiny room would soon be covered by flowers. The princess was increasingly busy picking up those that fell, filling the void dug by the wind and there was a time when she forgot, but one fine day she made the mistake of looking.

The sun was high in the sky when she heard a voice through a crack, she saw a woman in the wind, her eyes green like those lawns she loved so long before. For a moment those eyes looked at her, it didn't last any longer than that, but they saw her.

In her sleep the princess always saw those eyes and stopped sleeping, in the dark they were there looking at her and she stopped turning off the light. With the light always on the paintings on her windows became unbearable, the green of those thick blades of grass, the leaves of the trees could not compete with the eyes of the woman she saw, with the gentle hills that in her youth Flavia loved so much.

Days went by, the flowers fell and the beautiful princess did not pick them up. Sitting in a hidden corner she looked through the cracks, the other woman was standing there, motionless, waiting, and who knows what she was waiting for. For a moment Flavia thought she was waiting for her.

Once every seven days the ogre disguised as a prince climbed the stairs to his bride’s room to take what wives owe to their husbands. It was a deal and the princess strictly respected it, but one day she got it wrong.

Lost in the eyes of the unknown woman, she did not notice the presence of the ogre and he, devoured by jealousy, dragged her into the cellar and locked her up. Night and day the princess cried and the jealous ogre began to visit her every night, convinced that this would make her his own, convinced that so she wouldn't end up looking at anyone else.

Night and day the princess cried and her tears formed a mirror on the floor. Every morning the princess combed her long, red curls in the mirror and instead of her own eyes she imagined those of the woman in the wind.

Days went by and Flavia received permission to return to the tower but the ogre had closed all the cracks. Without a thread of light, without a thread of air Miranda got sick again and even Flavia began to feel suffocated. For seven more nights she endured the ogre, with the wind knocking on the window, pounding against the walls, trying to enter and the princess wanted to go out. Night and day she cried and with her tears she forged a magic hammer. She kept it hidden under her clothes in the closet, waiting for the right time to come.

Miranda was sick and couldn’t leave her alone, Miranda was sick and had to go out in the open air.
Day and night the wind whispered to the thick stone walls secret and beautiful words and Flavia, with her ear outstretched and her heart clenched in her hand, listened.
The doctor returned and took the girl again, so Flavia was left alone and the right time got closer.

The ogre went mad with jealousy, he was taken with anger, without the princess by his side he wouldn' t be able to pretend to be a prince, they would discover his secret and he would lose the castle. So it was that one night he dragged the princess out of the tower, and she, sweet, fell down the stairs, and he, terrible, locked her in the basement. How the princess cried that night, so much that she filled the mirror on the floor with her tears once again.

She thought about the wind outside and lacked the air inside, she thought about the woman and her hands, about her lips and her eyes, she thought and stopped crying. As if by magic the hammer appeared in the mirror and Flavia understood that the time had come.

One bash after another she opened a crack in the wall, one bash after another the whole castle began to shake and the morning came. Every bash broke a stone, every broken stone gave way to a breath of the wind, every breath of the wind made the princess breathe and gave her the strength to continue.

The evil ogre was frightened of the deafening noise, of the tremor that felt like an earthquake under his feet. He went down to the basement to stop the princess, to kill her if it was necessary but it was too late. As soon as he outstretched his hand to reach for her, she ran away and the castle collapsed.

The world outside was better than the brave princess remembered, the air finally entered her lungs and never left. The sun was shining bright in the sky when Flavia came to kiss the lips of the wind, when she rediscovered the grass and the branches of the trees in the eyes of a queen. They were brides soon and there was no great feast but there was joy, there were tears and smiles. Flavia became a wife again, Flavia became a wife for the first time and it wasn't a deal, it was a choice.

Miranda came back in time for the wedding and her heart would be repaired by the side of her two mothers. They loved each other as real families do, Flavia, Javiera and Miranda, and they lived their happy ever after.

The End.