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Best of IIG News Once upon a Time  
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Best of IIG News Once upon a Time

Werner Ainhirn wrote a fairy tale which was based on a true story:

Once upon a Time (a modern fairy tale)

Once upon a time there was a big city. And in this city there was a palace of a powerful wizard. From the outside it looked just like all the other palaces in the city - big, splendid and magnificent. But inside, in the many corridors, chambers and halls strange things went on. In the hallways you could hear strange sounds - sounds that could hardly come from this world - and in the dark corners stood magic boxes with phantom pictures showing mysterious signs and numbers.

Many people entered and left the wizard's palace. Inside, they sat in front of piles of paper, staring at them, now and then writing down yet another magic formula whose meaning is better kept secret from mortals. Unceasingly, the wizard's apprentices tried to conjure new mysterious images from the boxes, and their magic art was known and feared in the whole country.

In a small attic under the roof of the palace, a young prince over whom the wizard had cast a terrible spell sat in his room, performing strange things just as the other apprentices. Day after day, the prince sat in his room trying to write down the secret teachings into which he had been initiated. It was hard to explain all the symbols and rites, and very often he had to stay far into the night. However, he was not the only one to stay in the palace after the night had cast her mantle over the city. Also the wizard stayed in his chambers day after day, night after night. Till this very day, no human being has found out what he was doing there.

One night, as the silver moon was shining on the sleeping city and the wizard's palace and the small windows were staring into the darkness like empty eyes, the prince had to visit a secret place which, from time immemorial, humans only enter alone. However, when he got there he discovered that this place was unlit, and fearing the consequences of deeds done in darkness, he decided to enter the wizard's private room. But this was a fateful decision. For this was the moment the wizard had been waiting for. He shrouded the palace in impenetrable darkness, locked all the doors and left the palace with a sneering grin. When the prince wanted to go back to his chamber, he found himself locked in.

No words can describe the following night. It was bitterly cold, and the prince who only wore a thin jacket shivered with cold. The wizard had planned his plot well and had hence locked all the doors to all the chambers. It was thus impossible for the prince to find one of the small boxes, which the wizard and his apprentices used to contact assistant spirits, in order to call for help. So he lay down on the cold stone floor and awaited the things to come which no human could fathom.

Only when the light of the new morning brightened the room, a good fairy showed mercy and released the prince from his prison. Chastened, the prince swore never to enter the wizard's palace without a heavy bunch of keys.

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