I woke up surrounded in a warm cocoon of blankets. For a few seconds I thought it was just a dream. The ball had never taken place, I had never kissed Charles, and the bandits were just figments of my imagination. Too bad I hadn't met my Fairy Godmother though. She actually seemed pretty cool. Then I opened my eyes to the odd box with all the buttons on it. It wasn't a dream! Yay! Wait, maybe it should be a "boo" instead. I don't know. I sat up and looked around. My Fairy Godmother was in the kitchen, cooking something that smelled delicious. Pancakes!
"It's about time you woke up dear," my Fairy Godmother said.
"What do you mean 'It's about time'? It can't be any later than eight or nine!" I complained, standing up.
"Yes, but its eight o'clock on the second day you've been sleeping," she replied offhandedly.
"WHAT!" I cried. How could I have slept that long? I hurriedly looked around for my clothes (don't ask me how I got into pajamas, but somehow I did).
"Now, now, calm down. You still have plenty of time to get back to the castle. Trust me, it's not going anywhere soon." I slumped back down on my bed and dumped my head into my hands. Charles and his family must be worried sick. I felt so guilty. How could I have slept for two days? "Here, come eat some breakfast," my Fairy Godmother said, placing a plate of pancakes on the table.
I shook my head slightly, and moved to the table, devouring the pancakes. They were very good, but then I'm a bit biased, because pancakes are one of my favorite foods. As my stomach ceased it's mumbling I became really worried about having been gone for so long. "Umm, Fairy Godmother?" I hesitantly asked.
"Call me Susan," she called back.
"Susan . . . umm, how do I get back to Prince Charles' castle. I need to get going. His family's probably worried sick about me," I asked, and added in my mind, 'Plus Charles is going to feel really bad because I disappeared right after he kissed me.' But I didn't want to think about that too much. After all, I needed to explain to him that it wasn't his fault I went missing, without making it appear that I cared for him that way. Oy, that would be a long conversation.
"Oh don't worry about that," Susan said merrily, "You'll be back in no time once I show you the way, but there are a few things I should probably tell you, before I turn you lose on the world once more." She threw me a smile over her shoulder.
"Ok," I said, playing with the extra syrup on my plate. Susan sat down across the table from me, and folded her hands on the table.
"See, since your parents never told you that you have a fairy godmother, you don't understand how this all works. Whenever you are in trouble, or just need a friend to listen to your problems, you can call out to me, and I'll come and help you."
"How do I call you? Susan , help? Or what?" I asked.
"'Susan, help!' will work just fine," Susan said brightly. "I'm so glad you didn't try to make a rhyme. I hate rhymes!" She shivered to emphasize her point.
I smiled weakly back at her, and then turned to gather my clothes again from the bed. "Is that all? Can I go now?" I asked impatiently.
"Yes, yes you can go. But remember what I said about Vasilisa and Jack. And don't hesitate to call for help. You may need it sometime soon with those two about." I quickly dressed and Susan led me outside and pointed to a path just to the right of her house. "There lies your way. Don't stray of the path or you'll get lost." Then she pulled me into a hug. "Goodbye dear. It was great to see you again."
"Yeah, it was great to finally meet you," I said, a little dazed by the hug. I turned away from the house and started on the path. A little ways down I remembered that I never thanked Susan for feeding me and all, but when I turned back the cottage had disappeared. Fairies! Honestly, couldn't they keep things in one place? I started down the path again, this time a little discouraged.
I knew Charles and I were going to have to talk about that night. It was unavoidable. But, what would I tell him about that kiss? I mean, it couldn't happen again! I didn't love him, or anything like that. It should never have happened in the first place. It's just that things had happened so quickly . . . I hadn't known how to respond or . . . but it had felt nice, so warm and safe, but also exciting! Oh! I didn't know what to think. I mean I wasn't in love with Charles . . was I? No, I couldn't be.
I stopped short when I noticed Charles' castle right in front of me. That was fast. How did I get here so quickly? Then I remembered that I had followed Susan's path, which was likely enchanted. Thank goodness! I hurried towards the castle, with no thought except freshening up and finding Charles and his parents. Or maybe I should do that the other way around? Just as I stopped to debate which to do first in my head, I heard a shout from my left.
"Elizabeth! Thank goodness you're safe! We've been looking all over for you. Where have you been?" I didn't actually have the time to turn towards Charles, because he ran up to me and picked me up in the tightest hug I have ever had in my entire life. I felt like he was bending my bones.
"Well, I guess that means you're happy to see me," I said, not knowing how to reply.
"Of course I'm happy to see you. Where have you been the last few days? Was it . . . I . . . was it because of me?" Charles asked, ending in a voice barely louder than a whisper. He was so close to me. Almost as close as he had been when we . . . well, you know!
"No, no. I . . . it wasn't you. I just needed to think, and then . . . well, there were some bandits, and Prince Jack, and my Fairy Godmother, and well, things just didn't work out right, you see . . ." I was rambling and I knew it. I peered up at Charles to see his mouth hanging wide open.
After a few splutters he said, "Bandits! What did they do? And how did you see Prince Jack? He's been here for the past several days. He's worried that you've been missing. And how does a fairy play into all of this?"
I considered how to answer this, but instead of really answering I just asked, "Can I please go change and bathe before I answer all your questions? I can feel the dirt in a layer over my skin." I know, it was a low tactic, but I needed more time to put together the story I would actually tell Charles. I couldn't tell him everything, or he would obviously freak out.
"Of course! I'll tell the servants to start your bath right now," Charles said, and then he kissed my hand. Oh no! He definitely got the wrong message out of my rambling! This is bad, very bad!
A/N: I'm so sorry that its taken so long for me to update! I had a very serious case of writers block, so hopefully it won't happen again. Please forgive me! And be sure to leave me a little note, called a review. They make me very happy!