They moved into the castle when she was four years old. That was the best day of her life. Even better than her birthday when she got a Barbie dream house, because this was her dream house. The yard was overflowing with flowers outlined by stepping stones made of recycled glass that sparkled in the sunlight. There was a koi pond close to the castle full of mermaids, and two regal stone lions guarding the steps leading up to the porch.
Inside it was like any other house but what made it a castle was the turret for a princess at the northwest corner. She had declared it her room upon first sight, and made sure her parents, the real estate agent, and the nice lady at the bank who gave her a lollipop were well aware. There was also a dungeon in the basement for the bad guys; her brothers.
Daddy said they didn’t need a dungeon, which she contested. Every castle needs a dungeon but her parents remodeled it to make it lighter and brighter with a rough in bath and a guest bedroom.
A comfortable dungeon for the in-laws.
Sometimes she would play pretend that she was trapped in the dungeon; locked away by an evil King because she refused to marry him. Her brothers would be trolls and taunt her by calling her names and pelting her with creepy crawlies they made from their bug maker.
“The King said we can only give you water and a crust of moldy bread until you decide to marry him,” her brothers decreed.
She tossed her head back with her hand to her forehead. “I’d rather eat bread for the rest of my life than marry that monster!”
“So that’s why we brought you scorpion soup instead!” One of her brother’s tossed a plastic bowl at her filled with rubbery spiders and a black and red scorpion. She screamed and they ran away doing their best troll laughs, a mix of snorts, scoffs, and sometimes farts.
Today she sat at the egress window, staring up at the metal rungs, and singing “Someday My Prince Will Come.” She was still trapped but without the trolls. They were at pee wee football practice.
She picked up Icarus, a stuffed animal and her trusty eagle steed. “Now to make my escape,” she thought, “with the trolls gone and the evil King asleep.” She tiptoed to the door and opened it. “Oh no! I forgot! The wicked King’s castle is surrounded by a grey fog. If I’m not careful, I could fall into quicksand or be eaten by wolves!”
She set off into the fog, feeling around with her bare feet, hands outstretched. The fog billowed around her, harassing her nose with its acrid smell. She could hear something far away, a screeching. “Oh, no,” she thought. “They know I’ve escaped.” She coughed and choked on the fog.
She ran, leaping over the pits of quicksand, dodging past the outstretched claws of a pack of hungry wolves, galloping away from the King’s horsemen. Falling to her knees, she crawled, holding her breath. If she stayed quiet, they would ride over her.
She bumped her head and looked up. A light! She saw a light filtering through the cracks of some kind of ivy covering. All she had to do was climb to the top of the ladder and she would be back in the land of blue sky and sunshine, and orchards of cotton candy and chocolate fountains.
Her arms shook, mouth gasping, eyes watering as she grasped the first metal rung. She could hear the horsemen baring down on her. Looking back, she saw the flickering flames from their jack-o-lantern heads. A battalion of headless horsemen.
With a grasp on the next rung, toes on the first, she reached for the next, then the next, up, up, up. The ivy above her rustled and became wings and talons but she wasn’t afraid. It was Icarus, her trusty eagle steed!
Icarus took her gently in his fearsome talons of gold. He stretched his golden wings and lifted them both into the air with one mighty stroke. Together they flew for the clouds. She peered back at the black smoke rising from the castle, the fires from the jack-o-lantern eyes licking at the empty air as Icarus took her away to the land of infinite sun and blue sky.
A/N: I decided to change it up a bit, straying from poetry to write a short story. I wrote this on 4/3/18, so it only has minimal editing. Thank you for reading. 🙂