It had been foretold that he would find true love in time.
And at the age of forty, he believed he had.
She was young and beautiful, attentive, kind, considerate and charming to his relatives and friends alike, so it came as no surprise when they agreed to marry within a few months of meeting.
Everything was arranged, the bride excited in her chamber as she was waited on by her attendants, so looking forward to becoming his Queen and taking over the realm.
He on the other hand was nervous and pacing as his groomsmen joked and toasted his health, still trying to fathom why one so beautiful as she would fall in love with him, an aging bachelor so many years her senior.
The ceremony went off without a hitch. Well, almost.
In the shadows, a darkness loomed, sad and resigned, knowing the bitter truth.
He would be devastated, but it was not meant to be and for the best.
To the flourish of trumpets blaring, he placed the crown on her head and bent to kiss his bride.
It was to be their final kiss.
She screamed, cursing fate and all things unholy for being wrenched from her goal of Queen, riches and supremacy.
The groom watched as his bride shrank to his feet, her silken gown billowing to shroud her disappearance from view.
A slight rustle in the folds revealed a wart covered toad, the spell broken as her love was far from true.
Art by Alison Fennell (google images)