Please note: my mother wrote this and requested me to publish it. Neither of us own The Princess Bride.

Westley took her in his arms. "Child; sweet child. I have a knife. I have my sword. I did not come across the world to lose you now." Buttercup was searching somewhere for a sufficiency of courage. Evidently, she found it in his eyes.

At any rate, hand in hand, they moved into the shadows of the Fire Swamp.

"I am afraid, Westley," said Buttercup.

"It will all be happy at the end. Consider this: a little over three years ago, you were a milkmaid and I was a farm boy. Now you are almost a queen and I rule uncontested on the water. Surely, such individuals were never intended to die in a Fire Swamp."

"How can you be sure?"

"Well, because we're together, hand in hand, in love."

"You give me courage, Westley, to believe when I thought all hope was lost."

It was then that Westley noticed the R.O.U.S. (It must be noted that the R.O.U.S. are a pure rate strain, weighing in at eighty pounds, and had the speed of wolfhounds. They were also carnivorous, and capable of frenzy when they smelled blood.) The R.O.U.S. were almost upon her before Buttercup had realized what happened. She had seen a quick flash of Westley's blade, and he suddenly turned and fled toward the far end of the Fire Swamp, toward the pirate ship Revenge, as the warm flow of blood began to ooze from just below Buttercup's heart.

The rats struggled with each other to reach Buttercup's wound. "Well, this was bound to happen," thought Buttercup as she scooped up some rich Fire Swamp mud and smeared it in the wound. Reaching into her corset, Buttercup retrieved her Florinese dagger, which she kept close in case of emergency, and throwing it, caused a gaping wound in the nearest R.O.U.S. The other giant rodents instantly turned on their own and began eating it while it was still screaming. Buttercup leaped over the writhing mound of hair and flesh and made toward the daylight she could see through the trees. Carefully avoiding any Snow Sand, she emerged into fresh air and light just as Prince Humperdinck arrived on his White.

The woman who emerged from the Fire Swamp had never looked as well. She had entered the Fire Swamp as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, an ocean sadder. This one now completely understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering.

"Are you all right, Buttercup?" asked Humperdinck from his mount.

"Yes, dear, but I do need a haircut," answered Buttercup, as she took his hand and allowed him to pull her up into the saddle behind him. She thought of her life. Most people who knew her adored her instantly. She was very likely the most beautiful woman in the world. Now she was going to be the richest and most powerful as well. "But I must never love again," she whispered to herself.

She never did.