Disclaimer: I don't own From Far Away or its characters. The very talented Kyoko Hikawa owns that particular splendid tale. And the rating may be wrong (I did my best.).
By: year of the snake (at fanfiction) (aka.) crescentmoon (at mediaminer)
Let Down Your Hair!
"The End," said Noriko.
"That was an odd tale Noriko. The story of Rupenzel." said Gaya after Noriko finished the story.
It was just after Rachef and Keimos had been defeated. Noriko was still recovering from her single synchronized teleportation. So they were still in Ennamarna, the home of light. She was asked by a curious Agol to tell a children's story from her world because he had run out of fables to tell his sweet daughter Geena Haas. Noriko had recently been thinking of her grandfather and his favorite fairytale had instantly started to pour out.
Noriko chuckled a little. "Yes I suppose it is. And the girl's name is Rapunzel."
Geena had fallen asleep during the tale. Which was nice as recently she had trouble falling asleep; some of the visions of the World of Light were keeping her awake, delighted but awake.
Izark couldn't help but think that the people of Noriko's world must be extremely…weird. Not that he'd say that to Noriko. He wondered as he'd listened to the fairytale of the witch, the girl and the prince, if she would choose to go back if she knew she could. He didn't want to tell her but he knew he must confide his new power to her soon. No matter how much it would tear him apart when she chose to leave him for her home, her family, her world. He sighed. "It's time for someone else to get some rest." He then ushered the people out of her room. Izark left only her friend and sometimes protector, Gaya, with the wounded girl.
Izark entered the bedroom he shared with Barago and Agol. Agol's little girl slept in the room that Gaya's sister, Zena stayed in. They settled on their beds.
"That was some story huh?" asked Barago. "I like to picture myself as characters in stories." He laughed. "I'd make some handsome prince wouldn't I?"
"Who could ever confuse you for a handsome prince?" said Agol.
"What did you say?" Barago confronted him. He was right in Agol's face.
"Uh… that is to say…" Agol started to wave his hands around like crazy trying to think of something to say that would make it better.
"You think I could be the prince from the story don't you Izark?"
Izark sputtered. "Y-Yeah," He turned red. 'What a question for him to ask!' he thought startled.
"Who could be my Rapunzel I wonder." He contemplated that with a wide smile.
They blew out the lights while Barago was still contemplating who his Rapunzel could be. Barago told himself the story again as he lay waiting for sleep.
Izark across the room was thinking about the story too and what Barago had said about imagining himself as the characters. 'What nonsense.' Soon he followed Agol into the land of dreams. He needed his rest after all. He had determined that tomorrow he would tell Noriko he could send her home.
He saw a woman, his mother; she was large with child and lying near the only window in a dirty little hovel. She looked malnourished, if she kept this up the baby inside her would wither and die.
His father came in and gently caressed his mother's face. Something Izark had never seen before. As long as he could remember his father had done everything in his life for the gain of money and power, never anything gentle and out of love. "Dear wife you must eat." His father removed the dirty bag from his shoulder. "Look see what I brought you, rabbit-bread your favorite."
"No. I don't want it. Fill free to eat it love." she moaned in misery.
"Is there nothing you will eat?"
The thought of food rolled her stomach. She turned her face away from her love and gazed out the window. What she saw made her suddenly famished. "Dragon's Egg Root Soup." she said. Outside was a garden of Dragon's Egg, a plant that was large oval and white with bright green speckles. And it is poisonous, only the roots were eatable. It was also near impossible to get. It only grew in the dung of Flower Insects, as it needed extra, exceedingly acidic soil to grow. So it only grew in two places. In the Sea of Trees and at the neighbor's house. The neighbor kept them as pets, dangerous man-eating pets.
The man carefully balanced the risk. 'It's worth it to save my wife.' It was likely that if he went over there he would die, but he had to try for her and the baby.
That night after dark, when the neighbor had penned her 'precious Silky, Feelers and Petals' the husband snuck into the garden.
He packed a large basket full of Dagon's Eggs, bulbous leaves and all. Then he rushed back to his home. There he immediately set to work making the Dragon's Egg Root Soup. He then tenderly fed his wife.
The Dragon's Eggs lasted the week then they were gone, all of them. He thought, 'Perhaps now she will be content with foods I can buy.'
She wasn't. In a few days he finally gave in, he needed to keep the one he loved and their unborn child alive. So he went back to steal again.
As he was plucking the food from the ground he heard something shuffle right beside him. Then a voice said, "Who dares steal MY Dragon's Eggs?"
There she was the neighbor in all her beauty, Lady Tazasheena. With her faithful beasts, Silky, Petals and the male Feelers on their chains towering above both humans.
"L-Lady Ta-Tazasheena. I-I'm sorry. My wife she is expecting and she will eat nothing but Dragon's Egg Root Soup."
"And you had to steal from me to make it? You could have gone to the Sea of Trees and gotten some there." She swiped her hair from her face.
"B-But the Sea of Trees is a week away from here. And the Flower Insects would tear me to shreds."
"That is not my problem." She laughed. Petals' feelers rubbed against her. "You know I could feed you to my precious darlings here and nobody would even know about it." She giggled.
"Please ma'am I have a pregnant wife to take care of. She will die without me. And our child..!" he despaired his fate and the fate of his small family.
She smiled, a lovely and sinister thing. "I am not completely heartless. I will help you out… for a price."
"Anything I have I will give you!"
"I am glad to hear you say that. I will support your wife; give her all the Dragon's Eggs she can possibly eat. What a healthy baby you'll have. You won't have to pay me back right away; I'll wait until the baby is weaned." She turned to go.
"Wait you never said what you wanted!"
"Oh, is that so?" She faced him. "In return for my generosity I want your baby. It's a fair trade. I'm saving both mother and child's life and all I want is one in return."
"What! How can I give you my child?"
"How can you not? If you don't the babe will die as will the mother. Is it not enough that you keep her? She can give you more children." Tazasheena smiled.
The breath in the father's throat froze. 'What other choice do I have?'
"What is your decision Mr. Kia Taj? I won't stay out here all night waiting for you to decide."
Mr. Kia Taj swallowed and attempted to speak. Not a sound came out. He tried again and nothing. Finally he nodded, it was better to know your child was living than to lose both wife and child.
Tazasheena smiled and tilts her head. "Good. Continue your picking I and my darlings will not disturb you." She left her garden to her neighbor.
After she put her darlings away she returned to her mansion. She looks at the picture of her departed husband, a man you might recognize as Rachef.
"Ah Rachef we will finally have that child we've wanted for so long." She brushes her fingers over the well smoothed bumps of the painting. Her hands had traveled his face, this hanging on the wall many times. "We had it all but even that didn't satisfy. Without a child we were still empty. But now we will have that child. We will be filled." She pressed the fingers of the other hand to her mouth and then to the smirk of her beloved statesman, he was by all accounts ruler of the country before he died. She had been kicked out of the palace when he died as they'd had no child. Following that she had had a nervous breakdown. Then she became a potions expert, particularly high selling was her beauty tonic. It was made with mainly Dragon's Egg Leaves; it also served as a stinging poison when ingested.
The dream skipped to after the baby was born. A little baby boy. Lady Rienka visited the couple just hours after the birth to look on her child. "What a handsome boy he'll be… Much like my Rachef."
The dream skipped again to the day when Tazasheena came and took the baby. Both parents had tried to keep her away from the child but nothing worked. The babe was soon cradled in Tazasheena's arms and she was out the door. After four years still living by his birth parents Lady Rienka took the boy she named Izark to live in a tower. She did this because her neighbors kept coming around with efforts to steal him back.
The tower was a tower where Izark, handsome child he was, would be alone, it was a tower of strength, as the child inside had great power. It was located among the Sea of Trees, insuring that he would never see anyone. Let alone a girl with whom he could fall in love, for if he married he would leave her. The child that was Rachef's and hers would leave. She had deluded herself into believing that the kid was actually hers. Tazasheena couldn't let the only thing of her husband she had be stolen by anyone.
So she locked the child in the impenetrable tower with no doors. No way out or in. Only a lonely window located several stories up. That is how she would enter to visit her son, her Izark.
This is what happens just before she takes him away to put him in the tower. "Mother," Izark asked one day while she was applying goop to his hair, "Why are you putting that in my hair?"
"To make it grow my dear."
"Because you need long hair Izark."
"Why do I need long hair?"
"Because we are going somewhere soon where you will need it."
"Why are we going away?"
"Because Izark, those bad people keep trying to take you away from me."
"Mother, why would they want to do that?" he asked having no idea that he was their son.
"They want you because they lost their child when you were young. They couldn't let go and so they think you're theirs. I feel sorry for the pour fools." She smiled her only kind smile, the one she reserved for those she cared deeply about. "There now. Go play until I call you in to wash it off."
She walked up to the portrait of Rachef. "Rachef I will be going away with little Izark soon. I must hide him away to protect him. I know you'll understand. Don't worry I'll be back. I promise to take you to see him once I've got him settled."
Thus once his hair was extremely long she climbed a scaffold that led to the room in the tower with her son. Then Tazasheena burned the scaffold down. She taught her Izark a little rhyme so he would know when to let his hair fall out of the window.
Let down your hair
That I may climb
The raven stair.
The next morning she left four year old Izark in the bare tower. They practiced the poem and climbing up and down for an hour. Then she left the child alone.
Later that day she brought food. She left completely after lunch. Tazasheena hurried away.
The morning of the next day Tazasheena was back again. With food in a bag. She had bought a flying dinosaur that would get her to her house quickly. She would be moving her things to a village just outside of the Sea of Trees.
Years passed and the only person who ever saw Izark was the mysterious Tazasheena. The town's folk didn't know what to make of her. A beautiful woman who disappeared into the Sea of Trees ALONE, was gone for hours and then came back unharmed. It was awesome, fantastical, unheard of nonetheless true. What could she be doing in there? Why did she go into the forest every morning and come back every afternoon? The town's folk didn't know what to think of this woman. This woman who brought Flower Insects into town as pets. And the insects didn't loose their incredible strength even away from the source of their power. They were in awe of her. Yet even more they feared her. She had to be dangerous.
Soon Izark was a teenager. Still the only things outside his window that moved on there own was the animals of the forest and his mother when she visited. He gazed out of the window looking for anything he hadn't seen a million times before. The patches of sky were the same as always. The ground was just as far away as it had been yesterday. The animals scavenged and hunted in the same way and areas they had for years. 'Did nothing but the seasons change this place?' Every night it was the same star he could see through the trees. Every day the same as the yesterday, and that was the same as the one that had come before. The patterns seemed to stretch back into eternity, and continue to the same goal. It was boring. Only the birds and a few brave lemurs ever came near. Only to flee when he approached them. It was lonely. But it had always been that way.
In his eighteenth year something changed, birds were making strange caws and flying erratically. Then through the trees something of which he couldn't remember ever seeing before broke the monotony. It was a person on a horse.
"Hmm? What is this watch tower doing in the middle of a dangerous forest?" a melodic voice fluttered on a draft to his ears. While he hid from view he watched the strange creatures. The female on the horse guided her steed around the tower. "That's odd. There's no door. Nothing but a window, clear up there…" She looked at the tower contemplating the strangeness of it. "Ahh! I don't have time for this! I must get out of the Sea of Trees before the Flower Insects realize I'm here!" She caused her horse to gallop.
"What were those strange creatures? Were they those bad people mother has warned me about? Should I tell her they were here?" He thought on that all that night, by the time Tazasheena arrived the next morning he had decided not to. "I wonder if they'll come back." He whispered as his dream self drifted into dreams.
A few days passed and everything had gone back to its routine. Tazasheena was just coming for her daily visit when a shadow passed in the forest. The birds cawed but no one appeared. Izark's hopes had risen with the flying birds, but nothing came of them.
The cause of the squawking had been the person and horse from before. She had come back to see if maybe there was a secret entrance she had missed before. She came very close to asking the beautiful woman about the tower but something inside her, instincts perhaps, had told her to keep away from her. There was something horrible about her. So she lay in a bush and watched the woman.
The woman cried up to the top of the tower,
Let down your hair,
That I may climb
The raven stair!"
Then a long black rope flung itself from the tower toward the ground. And the tall woman scaled the tall building like it was nothing of consequence.
The young woman waited for hours then finally had to press on. She had to make it out of the other side of the forest before nightfall or her companions would assume the worst and leave her behind. And she wouldn't be able to fend off the nocturnal beasts that had even the invincible Flower Insects running in fear.
Riding on she promised the next time she came that way she'd find out the secret of the tower in the trees.
Three weeks later she was back. She got there just in time to see Tazasheena leave. She waited until the woman in her early 40's was long gone. Then she went to the tower and cried,
Let down your hair,
That I may climb
The raven stair!"
Sure enough the rope cascaded down to the ground.
She grabbed the 'rope' and found it was hair, silky, shiny, soft, HUMAN hair. She blinked astounded. 'I thought 'let down your hair' was a code. I didn't think it was the truth.' Nevertheless she began her assent. It was harder than the woman before her had made it seem. Eventually she made it to the top.
While she was climbing Izark couldn't help but wonder two things, 'Why is my mother back so soon?' and, 'What's taking her so long?' His mother was usually so quick at reaching the top. She hates heights.
When he heard the boots on the wooden floor he started to pull his hair in without looking at his mother. "Mother, why are you back so soon? Did you forget something?"
"Man what a climb!" huffed the girl.
He jerked around. His eyes became as wide as the sun. 'There's a woman in my room!' His face flushed. "Who are you? Why are you here?"
She turned to face the long haired man. 'I climbed up his hair!' She blushed darker than he did. "I'm Noriko…I came here because I was curious about this place. Who are you?"
"My name is Izark Rienka. Noriko that is a strange name."
"Yeah I used to live on Tabeena, one of the islands in the East." She smiled at him. "Why are you in this tower?"
"I live here."
"You do?" she sounded shocked, she looked shocked too. "What's it like?"
"It's like living anywhere else I guess."
She smiled. "I doubt that. Most places don't have such a beautiful view! And your place is furnished like a king's! How amazing it must be to live here!"
"It's not that amazing being here all the time."
"All the time? Don't you ever come down?" she questioned wide eyed.
"That's terrible! I'll find a way to get you out of here I promise."
He was dumbfounded. "Leave here?"
"What's wrong with that?"
He explained his whole story. Noriko listened like it was the most important thing she'd ever hear.
"Wow. That's awful." She looked outside. "I've got to go."
"Will you come again?" he asked. He desperately needed her to visit again.
"Yes. If you want me to."
Noriko grinned "Then I will."
He smiled back at her.
'Wow!' she thought breathless. Then she was out the window climbing down his braided black hair, hiding her burning cheeks from his gaze.
She visited every afternoon she could. Noriko would tell him things about 'her world' as he thought of the outside world. Things Tazasheena kept from him. Tazasheena made it seem like there was no life outside his stone prison.
Noriko told him of strange animals she'd met, she told him of the people she traveled with, she told him about her job as a traveling merchant and about the places she'd been to.
He told her things he knew from all the studying of his surroundings he did.
Izark found he enjoyed her company. He loved to sit for hours and listen to her talk. He loved to have someone who listened when he talked. And Izark found he loved her.
Noriko one day told him she would be leaving soon and not coming back for a year or more. She said she'd be coming through the Sea of Trees one more time then she wouldn't be able to come see him.
"Take me with you!" he shouted without thinking.
"What? You want to go with me?" She blushed deeply. "I don't think that's a good idea. Look I've got to go." She picked up some of his long braid so she could toss it out the window.
He stood in front of the window. "Why not?"
"What about your mother? She needs you. And I lead a hard life. You wouldn't have near the luxuries you have here if you came with me. Much of the time I sleep outside. I don't even have a home. You're much better off here." She attempted to push him aside. He wouldn't budge. "Besides how would you get down?"
"I don't know I'll figure something out. But I'm going with you. I don't care if it is hard. I want to be with you." He was determined.
"I don't think you understand how hard my role in life can be. Sometimes I have to work in fields and sometimes my group and I have nothing to eat. This is not a life you take on willingly. Not when you have this." Noriko gestured behind her.
"I don't care! Don't leave me behind! I love you!" With no more ado then that he pressed his lips to hers like he'd heard in fairytales she'd told him.
When after what seemed like months and she didn't respond he pulled away from her stiff form and fell to his knees. Her hands pressed her lips.
"Please don't leave me." He begged shamefully hiding the tears in his eyes as knelt there like a wounded soldier.
Her hands slid down Izark's cheeks. They, her hands, held a cherishing caress. "Of course I won't. I promise." Noriko lifted his face. "Actually I've heard of an animal that can teleport. I was thinking about acquiring one, to help you get out of here. It's called a Chimo. But I had decided not to get one because I wasn't going to bring you with me… but I'll get one and come get you out of here." She hugged him and kissed his forehead. "I'll be back in a week. Be ready to go… if you don't change your mind."
After she left Izark remembered the day she'd first told him she loved him. It was magical. Noriko couldn't visit for a month before that visit. She told him that she had realized how much he meant to her while she was gone. Izark had the same feelings but at the time he had said nothing.
The day they'd planned for his daring escape was at hand. Izark thought he'd be nervous but he couldn't wait. And his anticipation had little to do with leaving the terrible tower behind. More than anything he couldn't wait until he could spend all his time with Noriko.
Tazasheena noticed his mood. "What's got you fidgeting so Izark?" She asked with a smile.
His excitement bubbled over. This secret was too hard to keep locked away from the woman how raised him. "I'm going away soon!"
"What?" she inquired deadly. Tazasheena glared at 'her boy' for the very first time ever.
"I'm going away. Noriko's taking me." He laughed.
Her eyes blazed. "What! You've been seeing someone! Here? How dare you betray me so!" The exquisite woman lounged at him. "You ungrateful boy!" She raked her long powerful fingernails across his handsome face.
"Mother! What are you doing!?!"
"I'm not your mother, you swine!" His deceit had made the truth resurface in her mind. "I'll not let her have you, you great lout!" In anger she cut off his long hair as best she could. It was now just past his shoulder blades.
He was so shaken that he couldn't react to her well.
Tazasheena dragged him to the window. "You'll not be here when she comes. You'll be somewhere she'll never find you." He looked at her with pleading eyes. "Oh don't worry I'll take care of her for you."
When he saw the evil look on her face it incited a wild "No!" from his throat.
Her potions and lotions managed to make it so she could drag the stronger boy where she wanted him. Then she set a particular type of potion bound 'fence' that kept him within the boundaries of her wishes.
Then she returned to the tower. And climbed back up the long hair she'd tied around a hook near the window. It wouldn't be a long wait now. Little Miss. Noriko would be along soon. Tazasheena drew in the silky strands.
When the young lady's voice came to her Tazasheena let the hair fall down the tower's face. 'I'm ready for you princess.' Tazasheena scoffed in her mind.
When she got to the top Noriko was smiling, she was so happy at the thought that Izark wanted to go with her. Now she'd never have to leave him again. 'What a wonderful day this is!'
After entering by way of the window Noriko turned to embrace the man she loved. Only he wasn't there. In his place an enchanting lady stood. The lady looked lethal, menacing. The threat in her stare was nearly too much to handle.
"Your little bird has flown the nest. He has always been able to leave," she lied, "he finally left because he didn't want to be here when you returned. You forced my baby to leave his home! How dare an insignificant girl like yourself even think to see someone high above your lowly status?" Tazasheena growled at her. "How dare you take my little boy away from me!"
Unexpectedly the woman pounced on her, tearing at her. Tazasheena got Noriko's eyes so bad with her claw-like nails that Noriko would be permanently blind. If she lived through this attack, that is.
Out of the blue Noriko disappeared.
In the real world
In the real world Izark had been tossing and turning ever since Tazasheena had started her attack on him and that woke Agol and Barago up. And it really takes something to awaken Barago. They were worried when they couldn't wake him. When his fighting became even worse they became completely alarmed.
What could they do? Nothing they endeavored worked. Barago sent Agol to go get Noriko; maybe she'd know what to do.
Meanwhile in Izark's dream
Noriko with a Chimo on her shoulder reappeared in the Sea of Trees, bloody, wounded and blind. Soon Flower Insects would be upon her. And there was nothing Izark could do about it. He was stuck in the Golden Nest.
He charged again and again, but he couldn't escape. His dream was giving him flashes of the danger rapidly slithering towards his love, his Noriko. Yet it would let him do nothing.
In the real world again
Noriko entered the room leaning on Gaya as they didn't want her to fall sleep, fall and reopen her internal wounds. As soon as the Awakening came in the entire direction of Izark's dream shifted.
Back in Izark's dream
The sky demon's power suddenly filled him and it practically said, "I am here make use of me." And Izark did.
The barrier that kept him constrained dissipated under the presser of the sky demon's might. In one measly second Izark was at Noriko's side slaying Flower Insects like chopping custard.
Izark spoke to Noriko kindheartedly when they were out of peril. He renewed his confession of love to ease the fears that were beyond a doubt racing through her mind. Then he kissed her eyes in the gentlest motion he had ever done.
A miracle occurred Izark's kiss was like magical salve that healed her blindness.
She jumped in his arms and kissed the vastly taller man on the lips. And of course this was the perfect moment for him to wake up.
At first he thought that it was undeniably horrible to wake during such a nice part of an otherwise dreadful dream. He changed his mind when he opened his eyes and saw Noriko leaning over him.
Izark smiled kindly at her.
Noriko smiled back at him. "Are you alright Izark?"
"Yes. Why wouldn't I be?"
"Your roommates said you were tossing and that they couldn't wake you. Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yes." he answered. He thought about getting a real, flesh and blood kiss but he decided against it. Izark would have kissed her if they didn't have an audience. "You need to go back to bed Noriko. Tomorrow will be a busy day."
"Okay Goodnight Izark. Goodnight Mr. Agol, Barago."
"Goodnight Noriko." said all the guys.
"Goodnight Gaya." Agol continued.
Gaya just grunted. They woke her and it wasn't an emergency. She didn't see the need to be awake at this hour, let alone coherent. She took Noriko back to their room.
"Hey Izark, are you sure you're alright?" asked Barago.
Izark smiled in the once again dark room. "Yes. I'm just fine." He got up and left the room. Once he was certain the girls were slumbering again he went into the room and, 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so I may kiss the maiden fair.' Izark kissed Noriko.
Hi Everyone. I wrote this because I saw how few fanfictions there are for this charming tale. This is a series everyone should read! Hehe!
Anyway I when I decided to write a From Far Away fanfiction I looked at songs and fairytales, because I decided that I wanted to do a short fiction. Anyway I looked through this Aesop's fables/Grimm's fairytales/Anderson's fairytales book that we have at my house and decided of the stories I knew none of them fit, and I started to look at some songs on my computer. Well my mind had caught hold of the story Rapunzel, from the book, not that I wanted it to. I finally gave up and wrote this story. I wrote it in two nights. Yeah!
Please do not be mad at me for making Izark Rapunzel. Although I have decided that he and Rapunzel have a lot in common, metaphorically. Well I hope you enjoyed Izark's journey in the land of fairytales.
Please review, bye!
Ps. I put this up now because my friend just started a school break today. So she needed something to do on her break.
Ok now I'm done.
Please tell me what you think!