Disclaimer: Yeah right. I wish!
"Smerek," Marti happily yelled as she threw herself onto her big brother's lap. "Will you and Casey tell me a bedtime story?"
"Aren't you getting kind of big for bedtime stories, Smarti? You're almost ten." Derek asked with a grin.
"I'll never be too big to hear a bedtime story from you, Smerek."
Laughing, Derek turned to look at Casey sitting curled up on the side of the couch nearest his chair. "What do you say, Case? Will you help me put Marti to bed?"
"Of course," Casey quickly replied, giving a large grin to Marti. "I'm always willing to spend time with Marti."
"Yay!" Marti cried as she pulled her two favorite people up the stairs.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Casey. For many years she lived with just her mother, Queen Nora, and her sister, Princess Lizzie. Then, one day, Queen Nora met King George and they got married, joining their two lands. Upon King George and Queen Nora's wedding the three ladies moved into King George's castle. There, they met Prince Edwin and the beautiful Princess Marti, King George's children.
"King George only had two children?" Derek asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Just listen to the story," Casey reprimanded.
Prince Edwin and Princess Marti were wonderful and kind to the two new princesses. Princess Casey and Lizzie loved their new home. That was until they found out the terrible secret King George was keeping from them.
It seems that King George had another child. A boy, Derek, who was heir to the throne. He was next in line to become king until an evil witch turned him into a disgusting ogre.
"Was the evil witch named Abby?" Derek asked dryly, well aware that after her first and only psychology class (the family wouldn't let her take anymore), Casey decided that he had mother issues.
"No one but Ogre Derek knows her name," Casey answered primly.
"Hush, Smerek! I want to hear the story."
"Yeah, Derek," Casey teased. "Hush."
Princess Casey was a kind girl and went to the ogre to see if she could help him. When she saw Ogre Derek, however, she knew she had her work cut out for her. Ogre Derek liked to spit and throw slime at her.
"Come on," Derek interrupted.
"No comments from the peanut gallery."
But, Princess Casey was a princess for a reason and didn't let his grossness deter her. She took him with her everywhere and tried to teach him manners. Slowly but surely, Ogre Derek learned how to control himself. He was still gross, but part of that was because of the horrible spell that had been put upon him.
Then one day while Princess Casey and Ogre Derek were in the village market they met a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom.
"The Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players," Derek smirked.
The handsome prince, Prince Max, instantly fell for the beautiful Princess Casey and started to court her. Everyone in the kingdom was so happy for the couple and knew that soon there would be a wedding. Everyone, that is, except Ogre Derek. Every time Prince Max came by, Ogre Derek would shout and spit. No one knew what was wrong, however, because the wicked spell made it impossible for Ogre Derek to speak correctly.
"Well, isn't that convenient," Derek drawled.
"Well, it would certainly explain Ogre Derek's grades in school," Casey shot back.
Unable to calm Ogre Derek down and because he was becoming violent, Princess Casey was no longer allowed to take Ogre Derek with her everywhere she went. This only seemed to upset Ogre Derek more, but no one was able to communicate with him so he was locked back up in his room and surrounded by strong guards named Sam and Ralph to help keep him in line.
One day, several months after Prince Max and Princess Casey began to court, the Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players threw a ball. Princess Casey bought a beautiful new gown for the occasion and got dressed up very pretty. Just before she left to go to the ball, she stopped by Ogre Derek's room.
Upon seeing her, Ogre Derek grew still and drool ran down his chin. Deciding that was his way of saying she looked pretty, Princess Casey smiled and kissed the side of his slimy head. As she started to leave, however, Ogre Derek went nuts. Guards Sam and Ralph were barely able to keep Ogre Derek back long enough for Princess Casey to escape Ogre Derek's room.
Once at the ball, Princess Casey started to dance with Prince Max, but the whole time she was worried about her poor ogre friend. Seeing her preoccupation, Prince Max ordered the royal musicians to play Princess Casey's favorite song.
"Okay, that's it," Derek interrupted. "It's my turn."
"I'm not done," Casey protested.
"Marti asked us both to tell her a bedtime story. It's my turn. I'll finish the story."
Rolling her eyes and crossing her arms across her chest, Casey ungraciously agreed. "Fine. Tell the rest of the story…Ogre Derek."
Ogre Derek was worried. He knew that because of the evil spell no one could understand him. Not even his best friends, Sam and Ralph. He also knew that the evil witch who put the spell on him was sent by the Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players to stop him from claiming the throne. They knew that because Prince Derek was now an ogre, the throne would go to the next oldest, Princess Casey.
"Wait a second," Casey interrupted. "The spell was put on Prince Derek before King George and Queen Nora ever met."
"The evil witch had the ability to see into the future and told the leaders of the Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players what was going to happen," Derek snootily replied.
"She could see into the future?"
"She is an evil witch, Casey," Marti replied patiently.
"Thank-you, Smarti. Now, may I go on with the story, your highness?"
Casey regally nodded her consent, playing up her part.
"Ham," Derek mumbled with a grin.
Knowing that Princess Casey was to be the next ruler, the wicked and rather stupid leaders of the Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players, came up with a plan to take over the Great Venturi Kingdom. The first step, of course, was to get rid of Prince Derek or at least make sure that he couldn't interfere with their plans.
Worried about the beautiful Princess Casey and what the Kingdom of Meat-head Football Players might do to her, Ogre Derek tried to warn his family but nobody understood him. Not willing to give up, Ogre Derek waited until his guards, Sam and Ralph were distracted and climbed out his window and down the side of the tower.
Running as fast as his ogre body could take him, Derek rushed to the palace where the ball was being held. Beating up the guards that tried to stop him, Ogre Derek flew into the ballroom to find Princess Casey and Prince Max dancing to her favorite song. Looking into her blue eyes, Ogre Derek realized they were brainwashing Princess Casey so that she would do whatever they wanted.
By this time, Sam and Ralph had caught up with Ogre Derek. Luckily, he was able to get them to look at Princess Casey. Though they weren't as smart as Ogre Derek, Sam and Ralph soon figured out what was going on as well.
Hearing Casey's snort of disbelief at Ogre Derek being smarter, Derek smirked and shot back, "No comments from the peanut gallery, please."
Led by Ogre Derek, Sam and Ralph rushed the musicians and broke all their instruments which in turn, broke the spell on Princess Casey. Princess Casey, who was as brilliant as she was beautiful, looked around the room and figured out what had happened. Turning to Prince Max, she slapped him hard across the face.
Then, to the surprise of everyone in the ballroom, Princess Casey ran into Ogre Derek's arms. Ogre Derek tried to grunt his feelings to her, but she still couldn't understand him. Looking into his eyes, however, Princess Casey could see the love he had for her. Smiling, she pressed her lips to his.
The entire ball room was then filled with a bright flash of light. When the light disappeared, Ogre Derek was gone and in his place stood Prince Derek. Princess Casey was so happy to see the gorgeous man in front of her that she burst into tears of joy.
"Oh, please," Casey scoffed. "She burst into tears of joy?"
"Hey, she didn't have to marry an ugly ogre," Derek justified. "Besides, once she saw Prince Derek's hotness, how could Princess Casey not sob joyfully?"
"What happened to Prince Max?" Marti asked, interrupting their banter.
"After the spell was broken, everyone realized that Max wasn't a prince but an animated piece of wood," Derek answered with a grin.
Casey burst into laughter at that, but didn't argue the point.
"And then Prince Derek and Princess Casey lived happily ever after, right Smerek?"
Smiling at his little sister, Derek shook his head. "Not yet, Smarti." Shifting on the bed, Derek pulled a small box out of his pocket and flipped it open. Holding it out to Casey, he said, "First they had to get married. So, what do you say, Case? Will you marry me?"
Not surprising anyone, Casey burst into happy tears, threw her arms around Derek's neck, and blubbered, "Yes" over and over again.
Watching her Smerek slip the diamond ring on his Casey's left ring finger and pulling her into a passionate kiss, Marti giggled and decided that Prince Derek and Princess Casey would live happily ever after.
And, indeed, they did.