The birth was almost painless. I assume this can be contributed to the flower.

Before I knew it, there was a baby in my arms. A girl. She was small and pale and had long golden hair.

The color of her hair surprised everyone as both Will and I were brunettes. The amount of hair she possessed at birth was also astonishing.

I did not care, though. She was my baby, nothing else mattered. I sat there, holding her in my arms, smiling.

Will walked into the room, and we talked about our beautiful child. It was time to decide on a name. We had of course been planning and brainstorming about this, but had not come to a decision.

"What should we name her, Will?"

He sat there for a moment thinking. "Rapunzel," he said, in a final sort of way.

I was shocked. What kind of name was Rapunzel? "You mean…like the plant?"

"Yeah. I like it. It is pretty. What do you think?"

I was hardly sure about the idea, but I gave in, "It is a beautiful name, Darling. My dear Rapunzel." I pulled the child close in a warm embrace. Rapunzel laughed, causing tears of joy to roll down my cheeks.

The next day, when I was strong enough to stand, Will and I went to the baby's cradle and I lovingly took her in my arms and embraced her. Will took the tiara we had had made just for her and placed it on her head. It was much too big and slid down her forehead. All three of us laughed.

We then walked out onto the balcony. All our subjects were waiting below to see the child. Also waiting for us was a lantern decorated with the royal crest, just like the one we had released on our wedding day. Will and I lifted the lantern into the air. Rapunzel seemed to have loved the glow coming from the lantern, for she gave a squeal of delight.

As we watched that single lantern float into the sky, everything seemed to be perfect.

We lovingly placed Rapunzel in her crib that night and went to bed. I was plagued with my dream again and again that night, but this time the darkness seemed stronger than ever.

I woke up, sweating, and heard a scream. I thought it must have been part of my dream, but then saw Will sit bolt upright as well. I realized that the sound had come from the baby's crib.

We rushed in to see a hooded figure standing out on the balcony, clutching our baby in its arms right before the figure and Rapunzel disappeared from sight.

I stumbled back and collapsed against the wall. Will dashed to my side, tears running down his cheeks.


I shook my head. I could not tell him. This was something I must keep to myself. The figure was the darkness from my dreams. I do not know how I knew it, but the second I saw it, I was sure.

Indeed a darkness had come into our home and taken our source of light. I was astonished at the similarities I noticed between my dream and our situation, but at that time I was so unaware of the deeper relationship between the two situations.

I stood up weekly and hurried to my personal bedchamber, locking the door behind me. I sat on my bed and wept. This could not be happening. It must be a dream. It must!

But it was not. My Rapunzel, my beautiful child I had known for only a day, was gone.

I sat there, shaking, my eyes filled with tears. Will came to the door and knocked, calling my name, but I ignored it.

What was I to do? What vile creature would do such a horrendous thing? All I could think about was my dear Rapunzel with her glowing green eyes and her golden hair. Where was she now?

I lay down and eventually cried myself to sleep.