Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Story: The Harp

(Harp. Web Source.)

Story. At a museum, a tour group is with a tour guide and they stop by a broken harp on a table.

The guide said, “And this is the famous harp said to be made of a princess’ remains. The harpist saw the body of a princess so beautiful that he would never forget her even after traveling far away. When he passed the town where he saw her body again, only her bones and hair remained. He made a harp out of those remains. When the harpist sang in front of her family, she began singing of what happened to her and broke right after singing. Now, we will be going to some skeins made by a Tom Tit Tot…”

As the group followed the tour guide, only James remained. He was entranced by the harp. He looked around, making sure no one was watching and touched the harp. As soon as he touched it, he was sucked into a different time period.

“Where am I?” James thought. He saw a swift little river or millstream. A young woman was yelling for help in the water. James dove in the water and reached her. Then, James heard some yelling and the water's swiftness stopped. James then brought her on land.

A teenage girl and her father ran to both of them. The girl exclaimed, “Oh dear! The princess! Come this way to my home.”

They both went to the girl’s house. The teenage girl’s father offered him tea and the teenage girl attended to the princess. James and the father sat at a small wooden table and talked about the situation that happened. Then, the father left him alone and continued working.

“This is crazy. I am here? In the period of the harp? Who would have known?! I’ve been researching about the harp for so long and to be sucked in right after touching it? Wow! And I helped the princess?!” James happily spoke to himself.

“Sir, the princess wishes to see you,” interrupted the teenage girl.

James went in to see the princess.

“Thank you for helping me, Sir,” the princess sincerely said.

“Miss, please send a message to my father,” she addressed the teenage girl. “Tell him that I am here and to meet me, but you have to tell him personally unless my sister will know. Show him this bracelet when you meet him.”

The teenage girl left to send the message.

“What are you planning to do?” James asked.

“Why, of course I need to tell my father what happened. My sister will surely be beheaded,” replied the princess.

James didn’t reply and the princess did not continue. After a long silence, James spoke to the princess. “I understand that what she did to you was unforgivable. However, why don’t you try looking at it from her perspective?”

“Why should I? She tried to kill me. Her heart is as black as the darkness,” the princess angrily said.

“You know what you did to her was unforgivable as well. The man your sister loved betrayed her by loving you, who is her blood sister, and you loved him back. Sisters are not supposed to do that. What if it happened to you? Wouldn’t you feel the same as your sister?” James reasoned.

“No! Now, please excuse me and leave this room,” the princess sternly said.

James left the room in anger. In solitude, he talked to himself. “I was only trying to help and this is what I get? I don’t need to do this. I’m going home.”

However, James stopped in his tracks. He did not know how to return home. He has never time traveled before. Therefore, he went to talk to the Father in the mill next door because he did not know where else to go.

After a while, the teenage girl returned with the King. Everyone went to the room where the princess was in. As the King asked the princess who the culprit was, the princess shifted her gaze to James.

“As long as you know that I am fine now, you do not need to know the culprit. Please arrange a safe home for me. Someone wanted me dead and I decided that I will stay dead,” said the princess.

(House in the forest. Web Source.)

The king protested but he could not stop his child. So, he arranged a safe home in the forest, a few of the princess’ servants, and everything the princess needed. As time went on, he would send things to her occasionally. The princess’ sister would often look pale and drained due to the guilt of killing her sister, but she told no one of what happened. William was often sad because his beloved died, but he still lived with the sister.

As time went on, the princess frequented the teenage girl’s house because it was a place of her rebirth and James lived there. Everyone on that day would create a bond that would last forever. James, although he liked living there, always tried to find a way to return home. He discreetly asked the teenage girl’s Father and people he met while working with the father about time traveling, but he could not find a way home.

It was not until he met a traveling harpist that a method came to mind. The traveling harpist would pass by several times but he never met the princess. The only way James got to the past was through the harp made of the princess. Perhaps if he touched the same harp, he would return home. However, James would never kill the princess just so that he could return home. As last, James decided that he would let fate take its own course.  

Author's Note. My story is based on Binnoire from the English Fairy Tales. Binnoire is about a princess who stole her sister's lover's love. As a result, the sister got angry and pushed her sister in a millstream. They had a little conversation while she was floating away. The princess in the river asked for help, but the princess who pushed her did not help. A little girl saw something in the river and told her father to dam the water. They got the princess but unfortunately, she was already dead. A famous harpist saw her beauty and golden hair, but he could not forget about her. So, when he went back, all that was left was her bones and hair, which he made into a harp. Then, he had to perform in front of the princess' family. He sang with his old harp first. Next, as he sang with the harp made of her, she began singing of what her sister did. After that, she snapped and broke.

In my story, I wanted to write about some time traveling, and created this story. Adding James changed my story greatly from the original. Another route to this story could have been her having amnesia and living a humble life or her sister killing her off in order to get James back to the present. However, I felt that having the princess let go of her bad deed of stealing her sister's lover would be better for her.

Bibliography. Binnoire from English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.


  1. Time traveling is so cool! I like how you took the original story and inserted a new character to make it interesting. The reader is able to walk in James' shoes because he also doesn't know anything about what's going on. When he makes discoveries, so does the reader. It's a really neat way to tell a story and I think you did a great job!

  2. Hey Stephanie,

    I really enjoyed reading your story this week. I think adding the time travel aspect into your story made it really good! I thought it was really fun to discover the details of the story as James would, cause he doesn't have a clue whats going on. Your story was super entertaining and enjoyable, keep up the good work!

  3. I love the aspect of time travel and the changes you made his story! I wrote my story this week on the sisters as well. I really enjoyed reading yours and think you did a great job of retelling the details and stills remaining true to the original themes of the story. I loved your interpretation and look forward to reading more of your works.

  4. What an interesting story. The idea of adding time travel tot he original story and incorporating James were really nice touches. Like James, I had no idea how he would be able to get back to his own time. There were a lot of questions that I felt were unanswered. I like how you gave James a strong moral compass and decided to let his fate play out for him rather than him returning to his time.

  5. Hey Stephanie! I loved the time travel idea! It gave you story a unique aspect. I would not know even know where to start if I was in Jame's shoes. You did a great job of making your story unique but still having that original theme. People who have read the original story would know its a retelling of Binnoire. Great job!

  6. Hey Stephanie,

    First of all, I really enjoyed reading your story this week; you have some great writing skills! Secondly, your story had a unique and creative twist in the time travel aspect. Often times, time travel stories can get lofty because the author needs to explain the world and its rules but can easily over-explain and confuse the reader. You did a great job of avoiding this by being descriptive but concise and clear! Your story makes me want to go and read the original which I think says great things about your talent in writing. Thanks for the great read!


  7. Pretty trippy story! I thought it was very clever to have the only option for his return be the creation of the harp, however, wouldn't that create a paradox in which he would never have gone back in time if the harp had not been created? Time travel in stories is tricky. Anyway, good job.

  8. Hi Stephanie! This might sound weird but I like how you vary your sentence lengths. It makes the story more dynamic and you might not have done that on purpose, but it really helps the audience read stories more seamlessly. I think you do a great job using a variety of dialogue in your stories as well. Overall, great job!