Once upon a time there was a little girl named Amelia Pond. She was very beautiful, and very clever, and very, very sad. She was sad because she was a princess, but her mummy and daddy, the brave king and queen, had both died about a year ago, and she was terribly lonely. She tried not to think about her mummy and daddy, but that was very hard because she had been sent to live with a wicked witch who didn’t like her very much, and she really missed her parents. The wicked witch said that if Amelia didn’t start to behave and forget about her mummy and daddy, there would be Consequences. The wicked witch was the sort of person who could pronounce capital letters, which made her even scarier when she shouted at Amelia.
The wicked witch shouted at Amelia for making up stories, telling her that for making up stories little girls got very bad punishments. But Amelia wasn’t making up stories. She tried to tell the witch that the crack in her wall whispered to her at night and that it scared her, but the witch didn’t listen, and just punished Amelia more. When Amelia had been very bad, the wicked witch would leave her in the spooky cottage all alone at night time, when the wind howled through the trees and Amelia could swear that someone was watching her, someone who was evil, even more evil than the wicked witch.
And then one such night, when Amelia was all alone, she heard a grinding, whirring noise, and then a loud crash. She raced down the stairs and out into the back garden, when she found a big blue box. From out of the box came a man. This man was the oddest man Amelia had ever seen. He was dripping wet, and seemed to believe that in his little box was a library and a swimming pool. Amelia thought that this man was very strange.
The man went with Amelia inside the cottage, where he ate all sorts of food. He didn’t seem to like any of them, until he came across a box of fish fingers, and a carton of custard. He sat at the table and dipped the fish fingers into the custard and kept eating the mixture in big bites; he seemed to really enjoy it. Then he started to ask Amelia about the crack in her wall.
When Amelia took the man to see the crack, he didn’t laugh at her like her friends did, and he didn’t shout at her like the wicked witch did. Instead, he pointed a magic wand at it, and made it open up wide, until it snapped back shut. Amelia thought that he was the most magical prince in the whole wide world.
The prince had to go back into his magical box, but he promised Amelia that he would be back in five minutes, and when the box had disappeared Amelia ran back into the house, and packed her suitcase. She put on her coat and her wellington boots, and because it was cold she put on a bobble hat. And then she sat in the garden, on top of her suitcase, and waited for the prince to come back.
Amelia had been waiting a long time; the sun was coming up, and she knew the wicked witch would be back by now. Sadly, she picked up her suitcase and went back inside. She knew that the witch would want her to do her chores now, so she hid her suitcase back under the bed and began to clean, and whilst she was cleaning, she thought of the prince.
Later on that day, she saw her friend Rory. Rory believed that the prince would come back for her; he said that princes always come back for beautiful princesses and so he had to come back for her. Rory agreed to pretend to be the prince so that Amelia could practise running away with him. Amelia imagined marrying the prince and jumping into his box with him and escaping from the wicked witch forever. For years and years and years Amelia would tell everyone about the man, describing his royal suit and his magic box to anyone who cared to listen, and many people who didn’t. Amelia loved the prince, and knew that one day he would come back and rescue her from her prison.
It took many years, but Amelia stopped believing that the man would come back. She stopped calling herself Amelia, and became Amy; she went on dates with Rory; she got a grown up job. But although she may not have believed that her prince was coming back to her, she never forgot him. Her room was filled with drawings of him, and dolls that she had made to look like him, and in her head she still made up stories about how he would come back and whisk her away and dance through the stars with her.
One day, of course, the prince did come back- anyone who has ever read a story knows that the prince always comes back to the princess, no matter how long the princess waits. And when the prince came back he brought with him scary creatures from Amy’s nightmares. Amy had never been so scared, but she still ran alongside the prince, and then Rory came and ran with them both. She felt bad for Rory, since now he would not be able to be her boyfriend anymore- it was obvious that she and the prince would run away together, finally. But, yet again, Amy was left at the cottage, all alone. Her prince had left her once more.
Amy tried very hard to fall in love with Rory, and to forget about the monsters and the prince and his magic box. She worked very hard, and agreed to get married to Rory. The day that Rory asked her to marry him was not the explosion of romance that she had imagined- instead, it was boring. Amy had thought that there would be sunset and roses and violins playing, but instead Rory looked scared and dropped the ring and tripped over. Amy said yes anyway because she was convinced that she would never again meet the prince whom she still wanted.
Amy seemed very happy, an d tried to forget about the prince; she was a grown up now, who was getting married and had responsibilities. She went to bed on the night before her wedding and she slept poorly; she couldn’t help feeling as though something was going to happen- there was a tingle in the air that she thought she recognised from years before, but she didn’t know exactly what it was. When she finally got to sleep she was woken at exactly midnight by a grinding, whirring sound in her back garden.
She raced outside, and there, basking in the moonlight, was the magic box, with her prince stood outside it, waiting for her. For a second she was Amelia again, full of anticipation and wonder and pure joy at the thought of escape and adventure with this prince. But she hid this, and talked to her prince like the grown up she was trying to be. And then, because deep down she was still the little princess who waited up all night for a handsome prince with a magic box, she stepped through the door of his machine and followed him to the next adventure.
And they both lived happily ever after.