This idea's been floating around in my head for a while. Just think of how different the story would be if Poppy was the gray one and Branch was the one who still had his colors. I'm going to try to keep them in character, meaning that Poppy won't be exactly like Branch was and vice versa. Anyway, please enjoy!
"Go, go!" chanted King Peppy as he guided his subject through the tunnels. It was once again the most dreaded time of year for troll kind; Trollstice. The annual holiday where horrible creatures known as the Bergens each devoured one troll. They thought that since trolls were naturally happy - always singing, dancing, and hugging - that eating once would make them happy as well.
You see, the Bergens were the most miserable, nasty creatures to ever exist. They simply did not know how to be happy without the use of eating a troll. For decades, they had been stealing trolls to from the Troll Tree in the center of their town. No troll had ever had the strength or courage to change that. That was, until Peppy had become king.
"We got Poppy!"
"Pass her to me!"
"Here comes Poppy!"
Peppy stopped, torch still in his hand, as he was handed his small infant daughter, Princess Poppy. He smiled lovingly. "Ah, there's my princess," he cooed. The young troll looked so much like her mother, the late Queen Lily. She had sacrificed her own life to the Bergens to give their daughter and the rest of the village a chance to escape. He was going to make sure every troll made it out so that her sacrifice would not be in vain.
"Dada!" gurgled Poppy, beaming up at her father.
"King Peppy," panted a troll, appearing next to him. "some of the others can't keep up."
"No troll left behind!" Peppy declared, tucking Poppy into his hair and running back to aid the rest of his subjects. He discarded most of his clothing to make a clear path for those staggering behind. Numerous trolls thanked him profusely before continuing on their way.
The Bergens had apparently caught on that they were escaping and has begun to stab the ground with shovels and picks. As King Peppy lugged a group of trolls on his shoulders, one had lodged into the band of his underwear preventing him from moving. There was no way he could escape, especially not with the weight he was lifting. Making a quick decision, he plucked Poppy from his own hair and into the hair of another troll before launching the group forward.
As the tunnel crumbled around him, Peppy smiled. Giving his own life was worth it if it meant his daughter would be able to live on. One day, her time would come to rule and she would lead the trolls wisely. Until then, he hoped that she would get the chance to enjoy life without either of her parents.
The cluster of trolls rolled out of the tunnels, landing safely on the other side. Silence hung in the air as there was no sign of the king. "I don't think King Peppy made it..." one trailed off, peering into the tunnel. Everyone there was silently praying for a miracle, that somehow the mighty king had pulled through. Alas, there was no such miracle. The orange troll never emerged.
"Has anyone seen Princess Poppy?" asked another.
A quiet shuffle sounded and one pulled her out of their hair. "Here she is..." they responded solemnly.
The infant looked around. "Dada?" she muttered curiously, looking for her father. Upon not seeing him and witnessing the saddened faces of the villagers, she promptly burst out into tears. Everyone watched in horror as she began to turn from her usual bright pink to a light, dull gray.
"She... She's turned gray!" one exclaimed in horror.
"The princess is gray!" another added on.
"Enough!" boomed a third. "We can figure out what to do about the princess later! Right now, we need to get as far away from Bergen Town as possible!" Everyone murmured in agreement. "Now, who is going to carry the princess?" The trolls eyed one another, but no one moved to step forward.
"I will," decided a strong, wise voice. The village moved aside to let through Rosiepuff, one of the oldest trolls in the village. As the child was placed into her arms, she stopped crying, making them all sigh in relief. True, her pink color hadn't come back, but she wasn't making noise to give away their location to the Bergens. Now they were free to escape.
As the village began to trek through the forest, Rosiepuff cradled the child before looking down at a small, blue troll next to her. "Branch."
The boy, Branch, looked up. "Yes, Grandma?" he asked softly.
"Promise me that you'll watch over Princess Poppy for me," requested Rosiepuff.
Branch titled his head to the side. "Why?" he asked, not fully comprehending the situation.
"Her father is gone, Branchie," his grandmother explained. "As is her mother. She won't have anyone in this world, she'll be all alone. You don't want the princess to be alone, do you?"
He quickly shook his head. "No..." He didn't think anyone should be alone. He didn't know what he'd do without his grandmother. The boy finally nodded. "I promise."
It has been so long since I've written a prologue. It almost feels unnatural. Anyway, please review and tell me what you think!