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Jail-Break Rapunzel

When True Love is an Escape

By Ellen StedfeldPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Use whatever tools you have at your disposal...

His sword was the first thing I noticed when he arrived. People might assume I mean that euphemistically, considering the kind of relationship we're rumored to have had, and how he was - at that moment - covertly climbing through my bedroom window. Can't say I didn't sneak a look at both. But when you've been living in a cushily padded room your whole life, with hair so long that everyone else uses it as their mode of transportation, or at least if you're me, you've been searching for escape from every angle. Day in and day out, to no avail. That witch who calls herself my mother is awwwfully careful about not leaving sharp objects unattended. So then all of a sudden, unless that scabbard's just for decoration (and it very well could be, considered how fancily dressed the dunce is) this pointy stick at his waist just might be my ticket out of here.

Maybe both were of help, now that I think about it. He was certainly weak to my charms, enchanted by melodious songs, and I milked him for information about the outside world. Some facts I already knew from the witch's teachings, and the selection of books she allowed, or other tidbits she let slip in conversation. After all, I'd learned from the best when it came to steering things in the direction I wanted. Sweetened with feigned innocence, she usually didn't notice I was using such trickery on her. And the prince, he was such an easy mark. All delusion and delight. He told me anything I wanted to know, with the use of only a few thoughtful words, some heavy flirtation, and none the wiser.

How did I get away with it? I think she thought she'd instilled in me a desire to stay in one place, to keep things in harmony as they are, to want only enduring beauty and the same fresh air. I certainly played into that role, when I felt she needed convincing that this was my state of mind. Meanwhile, I'd plotted.

Making myself known to the outside world, not by obvious cries for help, but through songs that could be overheard and entice curiosity. A secret siren's call. It certainly brought him to me, again and again.

I waited to ask the important question, until just the right time. Until I'd heard enough, and earned his trust."Dear Prince, may I take a closer look at your sword? It seems sooo glamorous."

"Why of course my sweetums. Just be careful not to hurt yourself upon it, with your fragile little lady fingers."

It didn't matter how gracefully I swung, so long as my head stayed on.


With a few firm hacks at it, my long braid was severed from the remaining hair on my head. It felt so much lighter, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders (it literally had) and formed a floating golden cloud as a halo around my face. Which resolved into an expression of fierce determination.

"Well, are we doing this or not?"

He stammered a moment, then collected himself. "But of course, my love. Allow me to go first, and offer you an assist."

Not that I needed it, since I'd been practicing after all. My hair had gotten THAT long, I could both hang it and climb down it. But at least in the case of an accident, there'd be someone beneath me to break my fall. Of course, that's all I saw him as -- an extra pillow.

He smiled at me gleefully, in a way I refused to admit I'd grown fond of.

"So we're going on an adventure then?"

When we got to the bottom of the tower, I could have kicked him in the sword and ran off with his horse myself. But his good manners got the better of me. After letting him help me up into the saddle, I let him mount the horse behind me, and we galloped off into the distance together. After all, better to abscond on get-away horse with someone who's actually had a chance to learn how to ride.

HumorShort StoryFantasyFable

About the Creator

Ellen Stedfeld

Perpetually immersed in drawing, illustration, and creative experiments, at live events and

Community arts in NYC/Queens -- LIC Arts Open festival May 15-19th 2024

Love participating in challenges to motivate new work!

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  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I loved the tone of this! So funny! That Rapunzel will go far, even if it's not on a horse!

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