East of the Sun West of the Moon with a QAF twist
Once upon a time there was a poor man who had many children. He had little to give them in the way of food or clothing. They were all handsome, but the handsomest one of all was the youngest son, with his golden hair that shone like starlight and his sapphire blue eyes.
One cold and blowing evening in autumn, the family was sitting around the fire, each busy with something other including the youngest who was sketching the family scene, a knock was heard on the window pane. The times it sounded. The father got up to see what was the matter. It was too cold and blustery for visitors. He opened the door and there stood a great white bear.
Good evening to you said the White Bear.
Good evening said the man.
Will you give me your youngest son? said the White Bear. If you will, I will make you as rich as you are poor.
Interesting, said the man. But I must ask my youngest son. It has to be his decision. He went back into the house and told his family what the White Bear had asked and what it would mean for the family. His youngest son was not only the most handsome of young men on the outside. He was truly beautiful inside and of course he would go with the White Bear if it meant his family would benefit.
Carefully he packed the few things he owned including his sketchbook, for in it he had many pictures of his brothers and parents and he would need them to remember them by.
The next week, the White Bear appeared again and the youngest son bid farewell to his family and climbed upon the White Bears back and they departed for parts unknown.
Are you afraid? Asked the White Bear of the young man.
No, Im not afraid. He replied.
Hang on tight to my fur, and there will be no danger.
And they rode far until they came to a great mountain. The White Bear knocked on the mountain and a door opened. They went into a wondrous castle where the rooms shone with gold and silver and the dining hall had a table laden with food.
The White Bear gave the young man a silver bell. He said that if he needed anything, all he had to do was ring the bell and what ever he wished would appear.
After Justin had eaten, he was feeling sleepy, he picked up the silver bell and rang it. Justin had scarcely rung the bell when he found himself in a bedchamber fit for a Prince. It had a splendid bed filled with silken pillows. He had barely put out the light and climbed into bed when the White Bear appeared. He cast off the appearance of a bear and became a man getting into bed with Justin. Justin never actually saw him, because he had always extinguished the light and the White Bear or Brian as he liked to be called once he was in bed, always disappeared before dawns light.
This went on for many weeks, Justin came to love Brian and Brian loved him as well. But Justin was sad, because he missed his parents and his brothers. Finally Brian couldnt stand the sad blue eyes any longer and told Justin, I could arrange for you to visit your family if you really think you need to. But you must never let yourself be alone with your mother, for she will want to tell you something that could cause harm to both you and I.
Justin agreed that he wouldnt be alone with his mother and one Sunday the White Bear and Justin set out for Justins familys home. They traveled many miles until finally they came upon a large beautiful house. This is your familys home now. The White Bear said with a smile. Please Justin, remember what I told you. If you dont, you will do us both harm.
I wont forget. Justin said with confidence and he planted a kiss on the great black nose of the White Bear.
When Justin appeared, there was cause for a huge celebration and much dancing and feasting. Finally when everything was settling down for the evening, Justins mother tried to get him to come with her to her rooms. She implored him so sweetly that he couldnt disappoint her and say no though the words of the White Bear were ringing in his head.
Justin, I know youve told us all how wonderful your Brian is and how handsome. But you havent seen him ever. You are probably sleeping with a Troll. The way to find out is to take this small piece of candle and when Brian falls asleep, you can light it and look upon his face. But be careful dont allow any of the tallow to drip on him lest he wakes up.
The next day the White Bear arrived to pick Justin up. As they set out for the long journey to their mountain, the White Bear asked. Did everything happen as I predicted?
Justin couldnt lie to Brian, ever, Yes. He admitted.
Then you will have done us both great harm. Brian was saddened
I havent done anything. Ive only just listened to her. Justin exclaimed.
Brian looked sad; he knew what was going to happen.
That night when Justin crawled into bed and later Brian the man moved in beside him. Brian took his time making love to Justin, as if he knew everything was about to end for them. He caressed the handsome young man with his fingers and worshiped his body with his lips, until they both were satisfied and content. Brian fell asleep and Justin, not being able to stop himself, lit the small bit of candle his mother gave him and gazed in wonder at the beauty of the man who lay with him. So enamored of Brian was he that he didnt notice the three drops of tallow fall on Brians arm.
Immediately Brian woke up. Oh Justin, what have you done. My wicked stepmother put a spell on me that I would be a beast by day and a man at night. If I could have my love sleep with me for a year without looking at my face, then the spell would be broken. Now I will have to return to my stepmothers home and marry her son, who is whiney and clingy and you and I will be apart forever.
Can you tell me the way to your stepmothers and I will seek you and take you away from them. Justin implored.
It is east of the sun and west of the moon, if you can find it then I will surely be pleased. Brian said but he didnt have much hope for that to happen for the place was far and hidden well. Brian spent the rest of the night watching his true love sleep. He touched the porcelain white skin and memorized each part of the man he loved, savoring his very scent until dawn.
When Justin woke Brian and the castle were gone and he was lying on a small green patch in the middle of a dark, thick forest. By his side lay the same bag of rags that he had brought with me to the castle and on top was his sketchbook. Justin cried for his lover and for his foolishness in listening to his mother and when he was done he picked up his bundle and his sketchbook and began to look for his true love. After days of walking he came upon an old woman who was sitting at the foot of a mountain playing with a golden apple.
Good woman, Im searching for my true love who has been magicked back to the castle of his stepmother where he is being forced to marry her son who is whiney and clingy and who he doesnt love like he does me. Its east of the sun and west of the moon. Do you know of it?
I have heard the story so it is you who didnt listen to him well it is far away and you will be a long time finding it, but I will give you the loan of my horse and when you get there you must strike the horse beneath the left ear and bid it go home again, but you must take the golden apple with you.
So Justin thanked the old woman and got on the horse and rode for days and days until he came to another mountain where there was another old woman sitting with a golden carding comb. Can you help me good woman to find my true love, hes in the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon.
You will be a long time finding it my son. She said. But your heart is pure and your love is strong for your Prince. I will loan you my horse and you must find the old woman who lives nearest to me and ask her. When you arrive strike the horse beneath the left ear and send him home again. She handed Justin the golden carding comb. Perhaps you might find use of this.
So once again Justin found himself on the back of a horse and after many days travel he came upon another mountain where an old lady sat at the base with her golden spinning wheel.
Good women, Im searching for my true love Prince Brian, can you direct me to the castle where is staying, its east of the sun and west of the moon, but I cannot locate it. Justin was near tears, for he missed the touch of Brians hand and the tender love making the man had shared with him.
Ah, so it was you that should have had the Prince. She said. Well you will be a long time getting to him, if you get to him at all. But you may have the loan of my horse, I think you had better ride to the East wind and ask him, perhaps he may know where the castle is. When you get to him strike the horse beneath the left ear and he will return home. You may take this golden spinning wheel, you may have some use for it.
After a long and weary ride, Justin finally arrived at the home of the East Wind. He once again asked for directions.
Well, said the East Wind, I have heard tell of this Prince and how he pines for his true love, though forced to wed the son of his stepmother, a whiny git if there ever was one. He lives in the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, though I have never traveled that far. If you get up on my back I will take you to my brother the West Wind, he is much stronger than I am and perhaps hes been there.
The answer from the West Wind was much the same as that of the East Wind and Justin was beginning to despair more than ever that he would never be with the man he loved again. The West Wind offered to take Justin on his back to the South Wind, he assured him that his brother the South Wind was much stronger than both the East Wind and the West Wind combined and must have traveled east of the sun and west of the moon.
The South Wind was sympathetic to Justins plight, but hadnt ever traveled so far that he had run across the castle. If you get on my back we will go to my brother the North Wind for he is the strongest of us all, surely he knows how to reach the castle that sits east of the sun and west of the moon for if he doesnt than no one in this world would ever be able to find it.
Justin nervously got on the South Winds back and in flurry of gusts they soon approached the North Winds home, in fact they began to feel the bite of cold well before they reached it. What do you want? the North Wind roared.
This young man is in love with Prince Brian and he needs to find the castle where the Prince is living its east of the sun and west of the moon. Can you help us? asked the South Wind.
Why yes, I know where it is. Ive blown an aspen leaf there but its so far, I was tired for day afterwards and couldnt blow at all. However, if you truly love your Prince and want to find him and you are not afraid of me climb on my back and I will take you as far as I can and blow you the rest of the way there.
I must find my true love, not matter how far or how cold or how fast the ride is he is well worth searching for and I have no fear for I know he loves me as much as I love him.
Very well, said the North Wind You must sleep here tonight, for it will take a whole day to travel.
The North Wind woke Justin up early and he puffed and puffed himself up so that he was enormous and away they went so high up it was if they were reaching for the end of the world. Below them the storm was the worse one in years. It blew down houses and pulled out trees and when they were above the sea many ships were destroyed. They moved on and on and still they were above the sea and the North Wind was tiring, so tired was he that he could barely puff and he slowly sank lower and lower until Justins heels were touching the waves.
Are you afraid? the North Wind asked.
No Justin said. We arent far from land and I can feel I am closer to the man I love. Cant you hear the beating of his heart?
No, that I cant, the North Wind gave one final push and was able to deposit Justin under the windows of the castle that was east of the sun and west of the moon.
The next morning Justin sat under by the walls of the castle playing with the golden apple. The first person he saw was the whiny man who was to have his Prince. How much do you want for your golden apple young man. Asked the whiny dark haired man.
Im sorry, Justin said. It cant be bought for gold or money. And he continued to play with the apple.
If it cant be bought for gold or money that what can it be purchases for? whined the dark haired man.
Well, Justin paused. If I may go to the auburn haired Prince that is here. The one with the hazel eyes filled with flecks of gold and green, and spend the night with him, than you shall have it.
Okay, said the whiney young man. He led Justin up to the Princes room and let him in, but hed cast a spell on the sleeping Prince and no matter how many kisses or where Justin placed his lips, his love continued to sleep. In the morning, as soon as the day dawned the whiney young man came and threw Justin out.
Justin, discouraged, but still wanting to try sat under the castle window and began to play with his golden carding comb. Soon the whiny young man looked out the window and asked if he could buy the golden carding comb.
No, not for all the gold and silver in the world but Justin paused for effect. If I may spend a night with the Prince again in his room and gaze upon his handsome face, then it is yours.
Of course the whiner said yes, for he knew his spell would keep Brian asleep. Justin walked into Brians room and it all happened as it had happened before. No matter how many kisses or where, his handsome Prince lay sleeping under the enchantment that had been placed on him. With his tears barely held back, Justin allowed himself to be driven from the castle again when morning fell.
Justin only had one last chance to wake Brian. He took out his golden spinning wheel and sure enough the whiner once again appeared in the window and once again a bargain was struck with the underhanded whiner.
Unknown to Justin or the dark haired whiner, some
other folk from the
Brian had always been kind to them and championed their cause, so they returned the favor and told him of the handsome blond with the tear filled blue eyes, who had so much love for the Prince and had tried to wake him.
Brian, suspected that his fiancé was drugging him in his nightly shot of Beam, so this night, much as he wanted the taste of the Beam to wipe out the sight of the whiner, he only pretended to drink it and instead threw it away. When Justin approached his bed he opened his eyes to smile lovingly into those of the man who had come so far to find him.
Justin, my love, the man of my dreams, I knew you would come and just in time for tomorrow I must wed.
Brian I could not bear it if you have to wed the troll who whines so badly. Justin said and tears sprang to his eyes.
I will ask that I be granted one wish and of course my stepmother will do so, for it is our custom on ones wedding day to ask such a question. I will ask that the one I wed be able to wash out the three spots of tallow from my shirt, that were spilled on that fateful night but what she doesnt know is that only someone whos heart and love for me is pure will be able to do so, not one who is a troll.
With that plan decided upon, Justin and Brian spent the rest of the night making love as often and in as many ways that they could to make up for the days they had been apart.
The next day, when the wedding was to take place Brian looked at his stepmother and said. I have a fine shirt that I want to wear for my wedding shirt, but alas it has three spots of tallow on the sleeve. I have vowed to marry the one who can remove the spots. If the one I am to marry can not do so, then he is not worth marrying.
Well, thought the stepmother and her son, it is a very small matter so they agreed to do it.
The dark haired whiner began to wash the spots but the more he washed them the larger the spots grew. Oh you cant wash this at all. Give it to me the old troll hag that was his stepmother said. She began to wash it but the spots only became larger and blacker.
Other trolls tried to wash the shirt with even more disastrous results until the shirt began to look like it had been cleaning the soot from the chimney.
Brian looked at them all in disgust. There is a poor beggar boy outside the window. He will be able to clean my shirt.
Bring him in. shouted his troll stepmother. You will see it is impossible to clean this shirt. She looked at the trolls in the room. Bring in the beggar boy.
Justin came into the room and took the blackened shirt in his hands. He put it into the wash water and instantly it turned whiter than snow, enraging the trolls so much that their heads exploded. Luckily no one was close to the shirt as it was a messy scene.
Brian and Justin flew into each others arms. After a passionate kiss they released all those held captive by the trolls and gathering up as much silver and gold as they could carry, they moved as far away from the castle which lay east of the sun and west of the moon and they fucked happily ever after.