Briar Beauty sat in her carriage, her suitcase next to her. For once in her life, she didn't feel like sleeping. She was too upset, too riled up, too agitated (and not in a fun way, like jumping out of a tower). No, this feeling made her stomach churn; it kept her up last night.
Raven Queen had ruined their legacy day, and she almost ruined their legacy day dance, but Briar would not let that happen. No, it's one thing to ruin a school tradition, but it was another to ruin one of her parties.
Briar and the other Royals were determined to have a good time, no matter what Raven had done…but it was difficult. Even Apple, her best friend forever after, looked like she wanted to run into the enchanted forest and disappear. Raven had destroyed Apple's chance at a Happily Ever After, and for what? Because she didn't like her destiny? Because she was jealous of Apple's role in the story, or simply because she wanted to spite everyone in Ever After? Briar didn't like the idea of sleeping for a hundred years, but that was her role. That's how everything had to be whether she liked it or not. But now that destiny was gone, where did that leave Apple? What if others followed Raven's rebellious nature? What if the daughter of the evil fairy refused to follow her part in the story? What if she refused to curse Briar? Where would that leave the story? Where would that leave her? Briar felt that knot in her stomach form again…was this how Apple felt now? Unsure of every little thing? Terrified of that new horizon that the day brought?
Briar took a deep breath…she didn't like that feeling at all.
The carriage stopped in front of her castle, a row of servants waiting to open the door and grab her bags. Normally, Briar hated the idea of coming home. Her mother was so traditional, the Queen disapproved of Briar's carpe diem lifestyle. She believed a princess should sit properly, smile and walk with elegance, not throw dance parties in the palace stables.
Before, tradition was something Briar thought was a nuisance, but now, the idea of the well-worn path was the only thing that comforted her. She stepped out of the carriage, and began walking towards the palace. What would her mother say? Would she even believe her? The Queen was so set on rules that the idea of deviating from them seemed impossible to her.
Briar's heart thumped.
What was she supposed to do now? What was any of them supposed to do? For the first time the future was so…uncertain.
"Your majesty," one of the servants said as he bowed, "You're mother is away on business in the neighboring kingdom, but she will be back shortly."
Briar smiled and bowed, her mother always told her that politeness was expected from her, no matter the rank of the person she addresses. This was good, with her mother gone it would give her more time to gather herself…or freak out more, whichever came first.
Of course Briar didn't even have to tell her mother the news to know what her reaction would be. She'd be shocked, appalled, and then she would call a meeting with every other queen (and then some) to discuss what they were going to do about this change of events. They'd meet, talk about Raven, and the Evil Queen. How she met her end, and how her daughter was placing the whole land in jeopardy. They'd discuss their encounters with Raven. They'd call her father, they'd call Milton Grimm and try to arrange some sort of…intervention. All things that would never work. Raven was too set in her ways, and even worse, others were following her lead.
Briar knew that Apple wouldn't take this lying down, no, a queen's job is to keep peace and order (or at least that was the creed Apple kept spouting). Apple would fix this anyway she knew how, and Briar knew she would be right there with her best friend. This was bigger than just them, this was about all of Ever After. This was about all of their destines, and Briar wasn't just going to sit around while their futures go away from them.
Briar held her head up. Her mother was right. Tradition was the only thing keeping the kingdoms together. It was the only thing that grounded everyone in the simple comfort of familiarity. Raven was destroying that. Threw her one act she had somehow surpassed her mother in wickedness. She had stolen Apple's happily ever after and now she was after everyone else's as well.
It was time to restore tradition, to reinstall the tales they had been dreaming of since they were nursery rhymes.
Raven needed to be stopped…one way or another.