Block 4, Feb. 14
My life story is different than the other fairy tales you may have heard of. There are ups and downs just like everyone else's. Also it ends in happiness but mine takes its toll.
My princely experiences didn't become remotely interesting until the day that my young servant, Peter, rushed home to my glorious stone palace to tell me the news heard in the local market.
The run made him wheeze and cough for his lack of exercise. He had to take a minute to catch his breath, but the excitement was plain on his face as he swayed back and forth. Meanwhile, I waited silently on my Persian sofa for him to speak. With one last cough he stood firm and reported that there was a man and wife, the Porters, looking for a hero; someone who would be willing to go after the despicable enchantress and rescue their precious daughter. In return they would allow him to ask her hand in marriage. Of course this recent information sparked my interest. It just so happened that I was in need of a wife. Soon I would be turning 18 and coroneted to king. And a king needs a queen to help rule over his people. Ever since I was 12, I have been introduced to many fine princesses. None of them acquired a liking to me nor I to them. With the request of the parents, my bachelor days would hopefully end.
I set out the next morning at dawn, determined to get a head start from any competition. The horse was eager to go, his trot turned into a gallop as I passed through the villages iron gates. I had dressed in light clothes made from silk the color of the deep forest. The wind flapped through my loose fitted hood. I felt a sudden urge of anticipation for the coming journey I was to make.
I searched endlessly for her in the following two years and to no avail. All hope of finding this mysterious woman was slowly draining. I checked every city, town, and village. I inspected the lakes and woods far and wide. But there was no trace left of the enchantress or the Porter's daughter. Through the expedition I had used up most of my supplies; the food was all eaten and the irrational materials sold for more. The only things of importance I had left were the animals, Chuck, my stead and a young German Shepherd, Amore, and my inheritance. Concluding that no one, not even I, was going to succeed in her rescue, I decided to return to my homeland. The trek home would have been a lonely and disappointing one if not for a meager miracle.
One blistery evening I started to make camp under the thick canopy of trees in Giant Forest. The fire was alight and I had just finished setting up the stiff vinyl tent. I laid down to rest and eat a portion of my cornbread by the glowing flames to stay warm. The pup was playing around and chasing falling leaves swept by the chilling breeze. I was watching her when suddenly her fuzzy black ears perked up. Her head moved in different directions until it fixated toward the south. My first thought was that there was another animal, maybe a bear, nearby. But Amore didn't seem frightened. Her ears didn't flatten nor did her muzzle pull into a snare. Instead she took a quick glance back at me like she was asking permission to leave and scampered farther south into the endless forest.
I did not hesitate to follow her. With a walnut branch from the fire as a makeshift torch, I rushed through the dark trees. The light only showed a few feet in front of me. The remaining shadows like the black side of the moon, made it hard to find Amore's tracks. A couple arms lengths later I was lost. The night air was quiet; the only sound was the occasional hoots of the snow owl. The gloom of the events rained down on me. There was no hope left. I was going to die alone and cold. But the silence was broken by a faint sweet noise. It drew me from my depressed stupor. The sound grew louder with every stride forward. When the moss covered timber started to clear I could tell that I was hearing a female voice.
And there was Amore, only 30 feet ahead. She was sitting beside an olympic tree trunk. Her tail waged energetically when she saw me. Amore barked once, her way of calling me. All the while the voice invaded my frozen mind. Amore scratched repeatedly at the trunk. I hurried to her and a closer look told me that I was wrong. The "trunk" was smooth, a light shade of beige. Looking up there were no branches protruding outward from the 100 yard tall cylinder.
"It's a tower!" I exclaimed with amazement. Amore barked again. The woman was in the top of the tower; her voice flowed down to me through a curved window. I examined the base for an entrance but found none. This had to be the fair maiden I was in search of. But I couldn't get to her.
Fearing I would scare her, I called gently up, "Who is up in this tall tower?"
I held my breath as I waited for an answer. It never came. Her singing ceased abruptly. I stood as still as a statue for nearly an hour, wishing for the hidden woman to appear in the window.
Several silent hours later, the sun was just starting to seep through the forest cracks, giving the world a pale glow. The night animals scurried back into the holes in the trees and leafy ground. I stretched my rigid limbs, patted Amore on the back, and glumly trudged to my camp. Just passing through the first ring of trees, Amore again suddenly stopped walking and perked her ears in alert. But this time she quickly growled fiercely and then it changed just as fast to a whimper. I rapidly pulled at Amore and took cover at the woods edge. Whatever made her that way was headed toward us. The only thing I could see was a lanky inklike blob weaving through the dense brush. I peered around the rough bark to see it glide next to the tower. The blob was actually a person in an overflowing cloak. The hood fell back to reveal a scarred but elegant face of an older woman; this was presumably the hated enchantress. Her ebony hair camouflaged with the rest of her attire. She stared at the window at the tower's top.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Let down your hair to me," she screeched. Immediately, a river of copper hair tumbled down to the hags outstretched arms. I was horrified as the enchantress wrapped the untangled hair around her arm and climbed nimbly up the tower. Soon she entered through the only opening and was out of sight.
"So that's how I will get to her," I whispered to Amore.
I skirted the forest ground for my camp and gathered my scarce supplies into Chuck's saddle bags. Relocating my settlement closer to the tower, I sat down and observed the area for the reappearance of the enchantress. The sun shined down against the tower and left me in its shadows. The horse was grazing in the brush and Amore had fallen asleep beside me. I used this time to prepare myself on what I was going to say to the Porter child. She must have been there all alone for most of her life. She didn't know anything about the world or the wonderful proceedings it allowed. My daydreams almost made me let the enchantress leave undetected.
It was only thanks to Amore who snarled in her sleep. The enchantress had just let go of shimmering hair and swiftly turned back into the woods, passing only a few yards from my shady shelter.
I had waited impatiently for another 3 hours or so until the sun headed for the horizon until I called again to this Rapunzel.
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Let down your hair to me," I said, professionally imitating the enchantress.
This effect was a success. The golden-brown hair flowed to me. I left Amore to stand guard at the tower's base. Like the woman before me, I too wrapped the hair around my toned arm. The climb reminded me of the time I sneaked out of my palace when I was young. The ascent came to an end. I had reached the wooden window sill.
The sight that met my eyes made me blink several times before I could comprehend the scene. There was a beautiful juvenile sitting in a magnificent carved chair. Her sapphire eyes sparkled with both shock and curiosity. She took a graceful step back against a flawlessly straight cupboard.
"Don't come any closer or I'll...I'll stick you threw with this candelabrum," She defiantly spoke and snatched up the one on the dark oak table.
I approached Rapunzel with caution and tried to reason with her. "My dear lady, don't be frightened. I'm not here to harm you." She still held it high. I tried again. "I'm here to rescue you. It's very dangerous for you to be here. I'm going to return you to your parents." This caught her off guard. The household weapon fell to her side.
"My parents?" she asked baffled. "I only have a mother. She visits everyday"
I took another step closer, "You think that cruel enchantress is your mother?" Rapunzel slowly nodded her lovely head, her hair rippling. "How could a mother lock her only child up and hide her from the world? No, she's not your mother. Your actual mother has been grieving for years to get you back." I realized that she had been mislead by the enchantress.
Rapunzel dropped the gold candleholder on the table and wrapped her arms around her slender body. Her features contorted in confusion. She looked small and fragile in the magenta gown she wore.
"She's not my mother," She stated. It wasn't a question.
"Well, that's a relief," She said as she sat back down in the chair.
I expected this meeting to take a turn for the worst but her statemnent made the whole situation seem like a breeze. For the next few hours I described to her the world outside the tower and the deal that her parents had made for her safe return. She seemed a little reluctant at first but she accepted my proposal with a small smile. We then devised a plan to rid her of this cramped tower. She suggested tying some silk strands together to form a rope. I complimented the brilliant idea and used her hair once more to retrieve anything I could find to knot together. The rope consisted of my tent, a blanket, my winter cloak, and some authentic silk rope. I circled it through my arm and climb back to my Rapunzel. She waited for me by her window, her scarce belongings tucked inside a weaved handled basket. She had braided her endless copper hair and put it in a giantic bun in the short while it took me to fasten the rope to the hardened mud wall. I was just going to test the substitute rope when Amore started to bark. I glanced out the window to see the enchantress below. Her beedy eyes had spoted the rope. She screetched and howled with rage. In her anger she had appeared in the window by her evil magic. I stumbled back, getting out of her way just as she lept from the sill. Rapunzel ran to the table, scrambling for items to protect her. The wicked witche's eyes were ablaze with hatred as she charged me.
"How dare you try to steel my darling from me!" she hollered with malice.
She reached toward me with her pointed nails; her hand about to strangle my neck. But Rapunzel had attacked her with various sewing needles. The witch cried with pain and spun around to face the girl. Rapunzel blundered back, tripping over her feet. She fell to the coarse floor under the window in fear. Her hair had come undone and tangled over her body. The enchantress closed in on her. I took this distraction and pitched forward with all my strength.
We both toppled through the paned window. The air rushed fast against my body. The rope was always parallel to me. With both hands I secured the rope and jerked to a sudden halt. But gravity pulled at the enchantress. She had no way to escape her doom. I didn't dare watch as she reached the bottom. All I heard was thud muffled from the thicketed ground. The enchantress she was no more. I stayed there swinging with the rope until Rapunzel called out to me.
I shuffled down and was met by my German shepherd. Rapunzel came down next. Her hair pulled back again and her basket around her arm. As she neared the bottom the rope gave way. Luckily I was ready to break her fall. We skirted the flattened dead woman and I gallantly rode away with Rapunzel hugging my back.
Thanks to Amore, I am now a King who has his Queen.