Chapter 9 – Our First Chapter
(The references to the Disney movies and story versions might make more sense if you have seen or read either.)
*Waves crash on the rocks and shore. You can hear the seagulls overhead. A ship's crew is singing and cleaning somewhere off in the distance.*
"Rach-blur-blur-blur-blur-blur. Rach! Rach! Rachellll!" I hear someone calling my name, it’s not the clear call you here from your room when your moms calling you down for dinner, its quieter and unclear-like the type of thing you would here underwater. I'm underwater. I spring out onto the surface and look around to see who was calling me. "Rachel! Rachel up here!" I wipe the water from my face and look up. Jake is waving at me from a pirate ship.
"Jake!" I say in relief. "We're alive!"
"I know!" he replies.
Jake was dressed as a pirate. I was going to ask why, but I'd rather not. "You okay?" I ask.
"Had a bit of a rough landing, but ya I guess I'm alright." He says with a smile. "What about you?"
"A bit wet!" I shout from the ocean.
"Well don't just sit there like a dolphin! Climb aboard the ship!"
I laugh, "Okay I'm coming up!" I head toward a rock that will give me enough leverage to climb onboard. I place my hands on the giant moss-covered rock and pull myself up. I slip. I try again and slip off again. What? What’s going on? I keep trying and trying to climb onto the rock. I can't understand what’s happening. I look down to see where I should place my feet on the rock. I. Have. A. Tail. My face goes pale with panic. I turn my head quickly to Jake. His face is frozen in shock as he stared at my tale. "Rachel! Your a fish!" He finally blurts out.
"I know!" I say in confusion and panic, "What do I do?"
"Well," he says, “You could swim around and eat some kelp, maybe make friends with fish and then when I find a big enough fish tank, I'll take you home!"
"Jake! I'm serious!" I plead.
"Okay, Okay I'm thinking." he reassures "Okay, hold on I'll hel-“
And then he was gone.
"Jake?! Jake?!" I whisper, I fear something bad has happened. Great. Now I was completely on my own. In Neverland. As a fish. I look back to where Jake was standing moments ago and whisper to myself, "I hope you'll be okay." I felt guilty to leave my friend behind, but even if he were in danger I had no idea how I could help. Wait, if I could get my legs back, then I would be able to climb onto the ship and help Jake. I looked around and spot something that looks familiar to me, or at least that I've seen in the movie, Mermaid Lagoon. I swim over.
"Hi" I say.
"Um who are you." One mermaid with a purple tale says in this jersey shore tone, her names Adella.
"Listen I'm going to cut right to the chase. I'm a human that for some reason has been turned into a mermaid." I explain. "Is there anyway I can be human again. You know. With legs?"
"Ummmm....no." She replies.
"What! There’s gotta be some way!" I shriek.
"Nope." Adella says as she fixes her nails.
"Well she could go to-" Alana, the mermaid with the orange tail begins to say.
"SHHH!" The green mermaid, Andrina says, placing her hand over Alana's mouth.
"We gotta help her!" protests Alana.
"It's too dangerous." The Andrina whispers.
"What? What's to dangerous?" I curiously ask.
The mermaids went back and forth and back and forth arguing. Finally the bickering broke and Andrina approached me. "We'll help you on one condition."
"Sure, anything" I say.
"Okay, truth is we're really scared of Hook. In exchange for us helping you, you must do whatever you have to do so that he never bothers us again."
"Wait, hold up, Hook? As in The Captain Hook?"
"Is there a problem?"
"Nope" I quickly reply,"um....that wouldn't happen to be his ship, right?" I ask, pointing to the one Jake was on.
"We'll of course it's his ship!" She exclaims.
Jake! I think. "Not good" I say under my breath.
"Scary isn't it." She said shivering in fear. "So do we have a deal?" Andrina held out her hand.
Man, why did Jake have to get kidnapped and fall into trouble. But this opportunity (for their help) might be the only way to save my friends and get out of this story.
"Deal." I say, shaking her hand.
"Mulan! Get of off the floor this instant! Mulan!"
"Woman who you callin Mulan?" I say in replay.
"That's no way to speak toward your mother. I know you’re nervous but your going to do just fine with the matchmaker."
The who now? Why was she touching me? Why did she say mothe--oh I get it. This is the Mulan story. Ohhhhh.
"Oh I get it," I say "I'm Mulan."
"You've been Mulan your whole life! Why you acting strange?"
"Why are YOU acting strange?" I reply emphatically.
"Mulan we don't for have time for this! Come let's get you all cleaned up and out of these ridiculous clothes!"
"Ridiculous? I got this at forever 21!"
"Haha Mulan you so funny."
The Asian led me to this spa house! Looking around, I thought, I could get used to this.
"It will be okay." Arthur said to me.
"We're right behind you." Czarina said.
I looked at Max. He nodded at me. I faced forward again towards the shack. About to be pushed down into the swirling vortex that had taken Krystina. At least Vicky had gotten away, I thought. I had to warn her somehow someway about what had happened to us and the danger she was in. I reached under my cuffs and slowly pulled off the friendship bracelet we had made together. The guard was coming my way. I steadily dropped the bracelet to the floor. The rest was up to Vicky now.
"Your next." The guard said to me. He grabbed me by my chains and dragged me to the hole. The hole began to spin bright. "Wait!" I quickly say, "Let me say goodbye!" I turned around and tried to get back to Arthur, Czarina, Jordan, and Max.
"No!" He says, "Queens orders." I struggled to say goodbye as he struggled to pull me in.
"Hey let go of her!" Czarina yelled.
"Leave her alone!" Jordan said as he struggled against the chains.
More guards showed up and helped drag me in while other guards kept Arthur, Max, Jordan, and Czarina back.
"Guys!" I scream.
I fell backwards into the hole.
"Vicky!" Arthur yells.
Those words echoed and then slowly fade into the distance.
I gasp! I sit up and look around. I'm alive! I'm in bed! I was sleeping! Thank goodness! It was all a dream, everyone's okay! I sigh with relief. I climb out of bed and stretch. Suddenly, bells begin to ring as a clock strikes 6:00 in the morning. Wait a minute, since when did my alarm clock have bells. And this isn't my room at all. I've been kidnapped, I think. I jump out of bed and hurry to the window to see where I am. Outside is bright and, well, shining. I'm appear to be in a mansion! Alright! There's a grand white tower with a big clock, it's right next to a shimmering castle. But there's no castles in-
Dang it. I was still inside the story. Well this definitely isn't Wonderland. But if this isn't wonderland, which one I'm in then? Hmm. I continued to look outside. People in lovely carriages ride by. Blue birds fly back and forth. What a nice day. I smiled. Time to explore the rest of my mansion! "Eep!" I shrieked with joy. It's like I died and went to heaven. I opened the door and skipped down the stairs. "Ooooo," I said in an impressed tone, as I looked around. Suddenly a bell rang. It must be the doorbell, I thought. I headed toward the door. I opened the door and looked outside. No one was there. Damn ding dong ditchers. The bell rang again. But no one was outside ringing it.
Maybe its ghosts. The bell rings again, but this time someone's yelling at the top of their lungs, "Cinderella!!!!" Oh that's what story I must be in. Haha I guess I'm a stepsister. I never thought I'd have a mansion and a maid. Isn't this the life! Suddenly a stepsister (Anistasia) is standing at the top of the staircase. She demands, "What's taking so long!" The second stepsister (Drazella) appears at the top of the staircase too. Drazella asks, "Do you know how long I've been waiting?"
"Well you'll have to continue to wait, she's serving me first!" Anistasia says to Drazella. Drazella turns to her and says, "You don't need anymore food, you’re as fat as a pig!" Anistasia put her hands are on her hips and in a snotty tone she says, “I’m telling mom!"
Drazella says, "Not if I tell her first. Mother!"
Anistasia yells "Mother!” too.
Soon the both of them are screaming and pulling each other’s hair. Lady Tramaine, The stepmother, slowly walks to the top of the staircase too. "Girls, Girls" she says, "Enough!"
"Yes mother" they both say, splitting apart.
The stepmother turned towards me. Looking down at me from the top of the stairs. "Cinderella, because you were unable to serve us breakfast you shall sweep the barn, cut the tulips, weed the garden, mop the floors, clean the dishes, see to it that Lucifer (their cat) gets a bath, polish the silverware, dust the attic, make the beds, pull the drapes, clean the rugs, polish the shoes, feed the horses, fix the latch on the carriage, and do the laundry. But before you do that, make us breakfast and step on it. The girls and I mustn't be late for our fitting for the ball. Is that understood?" she demands.
Frightened to say oh hell no, I say, "Yes."
"Come girls." The- I mean my stepmother says, “let’s get ready."
The three of them disappear into the hallway. I go to the kitchen. I have no idea what to make. I go with what my dad usually makes me in the morning, scrambles eggs and toast. I cook the eggs and toast. Near the burner there is a pot of tea. I guess they drink tea. I quickly made some and sprinkled some dirt into it. "Ya that's right, drink your dirt tea. That's what you get for making me work." I mummer as I prepare the tea. After I've finished cooking, I balance all the plates and walk up to the rooms. One by one I deliver the food. They weren't even grateful at all for the food. Psh starve for all I care. Or better yet, make your own food! Yeesh. After I delivered breakfast to the stepmother, she gave me a bucket and told me to fill it up at the well and to start scrubbing the floors. Then she slammed the door in my face. I sulked down the stairs and outside. I walked around for about half and hour until I finally found the well. I filled it up and headed back towards the house. Slowly getting on my hands and knees, I scrubbed the floors. I wasn't a stepsister after all, I was the maid. I'm Cinderella. But if I'm Cinderella, then where's my happily ever after? And what were the chances that I'd end up in this story. I wonder what story everyone else got.
*Arthur is running with a loaf of bread in his hand through the market streets of Agraba while being chased by an angry swarm of palace gaurds.*
"Stop thief stop! Get that Aladdin!" Guards shout while running.
"For the last time I'm not Aladdin!" I yell back. Suddenly music starts playing as I run.
"Riff raff, street rat. Scoundrel. Take that!" They sing.
Oh I like this song. Well might as well go along with it.
"Just a little snack guys" I sing.
"Rip him open, take it back, guys."
"I can take a hint, gotta face the facts, Your my only friend Abu!" I sing as a monkey jumps on my shoulder and I hop onto the tops of the market place. On top of the market's cargo platform, I look down at the guards and sing, "Gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat, otherwise we'd get along." And the chase continues. I run across the market place and sing, "One jump ahead of the hoof beats."
The guards are chasing me and pushing over vendor’s carts. "Vandal!" They scream.
"One jump ahead of the hump."
"One trick ahead of disaster." I sing as they corner me. "They're quick, but I'm much faster." I grab one of the carpets for sale and slowly back up toward the window. "Here goes, better throw my hand in, wish me happy landin', All I got to do is jump!" Abu and I jump out if the window which is fucking 10 times scarier then what it looks like in the movie. But I guess since this is Disney I can't die. Abu takes off and I chase him towards the hideout. "Abu would you like some stolen bread?" I say as I give him half. I know in the movie the Aladdin gives the bread to those kids, but with me loosing all my friends and our house in wonderland in one day, this loaf of bread and Abu were all I had now. As the monkey eats the bread, I space out from everything that was going on right then and there and think back to what the guards had said to me. Riff rat, street rat. Pft, well I don't buy that. If only they'd look closer, would they see a...lost boy? No-sireee. They'd find out, there’s so much more to me. I turned around, pulled back the torn curtains and looked up at the night sky. This sky was much different than the one we'd see in Wonderland. Here, at least, there’s no carnivorous birds. But even still, I would prefer a sky filled of those strange birds if it meant being there with my friends. I turned back around and wiped off the dust of an old bread sack. I laid down and thought about the gang. This felt like and episode of Scooby-Doo gone wrong. Right now we’d be telling stories or someone would be fighting over the last chicken leg. I laughed to myself, thinking about those memories. I can’t believe the last time I might see them is seeing them in chains. Those who went before and after me, what happened to them? Did they go back? Were they somewhere hidden in the same story as me? If only I knew. Suddenly, I heard loud snoring. I turned my head and saw Abu curled up beside me. He reminded me of Czarina, oddly enough. Man did that girl love to sleep. Heck, she’s probably sleeping right now!
* She is in raggity torn up clothes, passed out on the steps with a soggy piece of cloth and a bucket. She slowly wakes up and begins to scrub as if she’s been doing it the entire time.*
"Wait..why am I cleaning?" I say as I drop the wet piece of cloth.
I stand up and go to throw the bucket in the wishing well.
On side, the wishing well read, Make a wish into the well, that’s all you have to do. And if you hear and echo, you wish will soon come true. Hmm. Well, I am hungry, I thought.
I leaned into the well and said, "Give Czarina a pickle."
"Give Czarina a pickle,” the well echoed.
Suddenly a pickle popped into my hand. Yes! I began to eat the pickle when a white dove landed next to me and scared me into dropping my pickle into the well. Shoot. I glare at the dove and then into the well, searching for my pickle. But while looking into the wishing well, I saw my face.
Not that I'm obsessed with my face or anything, but it somehow reminded me of my twin sister Krystina. I missed her. Back home, we would always sing together and post our song covers on YouTube. It was a lot of fun. We even sang together at the campfire, during our third night in wonderland. I leaned in toward the reflection in the well and said, “Miss you Tina."
"Miss you Tina," the well echoed back.
Suddenly I got a crazy idea to sing into the well and pretend as if the echo were Krystina singing along with me. I start to sing. And as I sang, more and more white doves landed on the side of the wishing well to listen.
"I'm dreaming," I sing.
"I’m dreaming," the well echoes back.
"Of the one I love."
"Of the one I love."
"To find me."
"To find me."
"Today." I sing.
"Today!" a man sings. That sure wasn't my echo, I quickly spin around, turning to my right to see who it was. A prince! I didn't want a cutie like him to see me in this ugly outfit. I ran inside the castle.
Now you may think I was singing that song about the love for a prince or my sister, but I actually sang that song to wish that the pickle I love, will find me today so I can eat it. My thought was interrupted when I heard the prince continue to sing.
"Now that I've found you, hear what I have to say. One song, I have but one song. One song only for you. One heart, tenderly beating, ever entreating, constant and true. One love, that has possessed me, one love, thrilling me through." The prince sang. Now if this wasn't an obvious sign that he was into me, then I didn't know what was. I remembered this song from the movie Snow White. Krystina and I had sung this once as kids. And if he was into me, even when I was dressed in rags, then why am I hiding! I stepped out onto the balcony and sang the last verse with him. "One song, my heart keeps singing, of one love only for you." We sang together. In that instance, sparks flew. I immediately fell in love. In love with a prince! We stared into each other’s eyes, for an uncomfortable amount of time, my eyes were burning! I turn away to blink for a second.
"Oh please don't be afraid!" he said.
Please don't be afraid? What? Who was afraid? I turned around to see who he was talking to.
"I have to go," he said. "I must tell the kingdom I've found my one true love. I'll be back as soon as I can!" He said with joy, as he made his way to his horse. "Sooner!" He happily exclaimed as he mounted his white horse. He waved goodbye to me and sped off into the distance. I had forgotten all about my worries. I had forgotten all about missing Krystina, my friends, my home, my pickle. I leaned over the balcony and sighed. I was completely and utterly in love.