While writing for Nano, I needed to take a break from my novel for a few hours and had a ‘what if’ moment. It turned into a little bit of fun flash fiction. Fairy tales are often set up in a way that might not make sense in today’s world (if it ever did to begin with). Here is a little side tale with Rapunzel. Enjoy 😊
“Hello Rapunzel. How are you feeling today?”
“It’s been hard doctor but today is easier than yesterday,” she said.
She creased her eyebrows and spoke wearily. She was tired. I’d have to be a fool to miss that.
“Please elaborate. Is it your dreams again?”
“I wish it were so easy an explanation as that doctor,” she said, raising her eyes to meet mine accompanied by a newfound gusto.
“If it were a dream I could wake up and avoid it until my next sleep. No… no, this is much worse. My dreams have now become my refuge.”
The poor child. Her dreams had been a source of so much anxiety, so much loneliness. What changed?
“What is happening to you? Please, tell me.”
“It’s the prince. My alone time in the tower had always been a curse, or so I thought. It was actually a godsend. Living with a man… it is horrible.”
“Don’t you love him?”
“I guess so… but what is love? I’ve never really known a man.”
“Do you enjoy his company?”
“Actually no. He’s nice to look at I suppose but he’s a savage!”
“Does he hurt you?”
Her hand swung up and she looked at me, puzzled.
“He wouldn’t dare lay a hand on me! No, he’s a slob.”
This was an unexpected turn of events. She is certainly entitled to her expectations but I wouldn’t have expected this from somebody who had spent so much of their time alone.
“Tell me more about this.”
“He doesn’t clean up after himself, he misses the chamberpot half the time, and he makes lewd comments. Don’t get me started on the belching and other releases.”
“Does he please you?”
I cleared my throat.
She froze, a signal I read as me having gone too far, before letting out a laugh so bitter and seemingly full of malice that I flinched.
“Do you think I would actually touch that thing? I told him the first time that he presented it, that if he exposed it to me again, I would remove it for him. I stick to what I know to wet my appetites and only let down my hair for my lady-in-waiting.”
“Truly?” I asked, nonplussed.
“Am I just a bitch waiting for a stud to mount me? Of course, truly doctor.”
“But the prince rescued you—“
She leveled a stare at me that I had not seen since I was a boy; the look reserved for foolery that would not be tolerated. I felt small, shrinking by the minute.
“I believe our time is up doctor.”
“Yes—yes of course.”
I started to stand and she raised a hand.
“I’ll see myself out.”
Things are truly not always what they seem.