To Catch a Prince

Her hair kept catching in her teeth. Worst part of never cutting your hair.

Rapunzel crouched over the flames, careful to keep her hair as far back as she could. The clearing still held not a few drifts of snow, but spring had melted clear a few patches of ground. She stirred the pot of sew. Nearby a small pile of wood and a well-sharpened axe lay.

Cooking: Not the easiest thing in the world, either. Or pretty much anything involving any sort of movement. Or fire. And kissing was right out. No prince ever enjoyed pulling three-feet strands of hair out from between his teeth either.

The wolves howled in the distance.

Rapunzel smiled.

She lifted a spoon of broth to her lips, blowing on it. A taste. She reached into her bag for some dried basil. Stirred the pot again.

The wolves stood at the edge of the clearing. The fire reflected in their eyes.

“Come, my friends. I have food aplenty for you,” she sang.

“We reject your offer, Woman of the Blood. We would drink your blood and use your bones for games.”

“Oh, you don’t mean that,” she answered, standing. Her head pulled back under the weight. She rubbed the sore spot on her back. “My bones are far too small and brittle after a lifetime in the tower. And you always enjoyed my singing.”

“Music is worth less than food.”

“Hm. And yet you’re not attacking. Scared of a frail little princess?”

It growled. “We smell the hair packed around the clearing. It makes my pack nervous.”

“Hair? Oh, and what would it do to you? A single hair can be snapped so easily. And you eat enough of it, don’t you? Rabbit? Beaver? Rather hairy beasts, those. But if you distrust my hair, come, enjoy this stew.” She bent to snatch up the spoon. “Quite tasty.”

The shine on the wolves’ eyes moved as they surveyed the scene. “What do you want with us, Woman of the Blood?”

“I would have your allegiance.”

“No female leads the pack.”

“Of course not. I do not wish to challenge you. I wish to work with you. I have access to many things you would enjoy.”

“Oh?”

“My enemies are all around. I want you to hunt them for me. I will tell you where they are. Oh, such a hunt it would be. You would fell so many brave warriors and add their souls to your pelts. Imagine, my fine alpha, how it would be to have such a prize as that!” She dipped the spoon into the pot again, tasting. She pulled a hair from her mouth.

The wolves growled to one another in their guttural tongue. Rapunzel waited and stirred her stew.

The alpha stepped into the clearing, followed by three smaller wolves. Their gray pelts shone in the moonlight. “We would eat of your stew, Woman of the Blood. And we would hunt.”

Rapunzel smirked. “Very well.” She picked up a bowl and dipped it into the pot, filling it with savory contents. She stepped forward.

The mass of hair followed her and fell into the fire’s embers. The hair burst into sudden flames.

Rapunzel spun, snatching up the axe and chopping it through the hair near her head. The sharpened edge cut through, leaving her free. The fire raced around the clearing, following the path of her hair.

The alpha growled. “What have you done?”

“Gone hunting.” She flung the axe at the alpha. “You cowards always run. Had to find some way of keeping you nearby.”

The wolves backed away from the flames to the center of the clearing.

A horses hooves thudded against the cold ground. An armored steed leaped through the flames. “My lady!” A man in armor reached out his hand. “What has happened?”

“Oh! My prince!” Rapunzel ran to the man. “Save me from these beasts and flames!”

The prince plucked her from the ground and set her behind him on the horse.

Well, it was one way of getting around the hair in the mouth. She needed to get close to the prince somehow. How else would she finish the job she was hired to do?

Fifteen minutes of writing… I think this one is a little better for quality. It actually has a story, which is a plus! 

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2 responses to “To Catch a Prince

  1. Not sure I get what is going on here, but here’s something I do know – your niche might just be fantasy-horror. You have the whole familiar-and-bizarre thing down.

    • Yay familiar-yet-bizarre! Rereading, I see I wasn’t clear at all about the picture in my head — Rapunzel had encircled the clearing in her hair, and intentionally lit her hair on fire to trap the wolves. Alas, I was not clear.

      And no, I really have no idea what her real mission with the prince is…

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