Rapunzel awoke is a soft bed with white pillows stacked high. She did not remember how she got there or why she awoke in a strange room with no windows, she only remembered seeing black and white while dots flashed through her vision. She saw a door and thought she should try to run. She got up and opened the wooden door just a crack to see a glimpse of where she was. She walked down about ten steps when she saw the Witch sitting a rocking chair by the fire.
Rapunzel didn't flinch when she saw her. Instead she looked into the Witches emerald eyes, ran over to her, and gave her a tight hug.
*Six Years Later*
"Rapunzel let down your hair." Called Rapunzels mother Agatha.
"Coming Mother." Said Rapunzel.
In one small stride, Rapunzel threw her golden hair off the side of the tower and let her mother climbed it.
She had gotten used to people pulling on her hair, since her mother did it everyday. But today it hurt, probably because it was her birthday and her mother would not let her go outside again. She felt this way every year on her birthday. Another year alone in a tower, another year wasted on her life, another year without freedom or knowing what the grass or the trees feel like. Another year trapped. But she knew it was for the best.
"Have you been working on your sewing while I have been gone?" Said the Witch when she climbed through the window and into the tower."
"Yes mother, just as you asked I sewed the last ball of yarn into gold for you. I also cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed all the floors, painted a new picture, oh and I also-"
"Yes, yes, yes. It sounds like you had a wonderful day. Now, guess what I brought back for you."
"Oh, um. You didn't have to bring me anything, I just had a wonderful lunch from the fresh apples you gave me yesterday."
"Oh I know. Its just, I found these in my garden and I just couldn't resist grabbing one of them for us to share."
"Okay, what is it?" Said Rapunzel cheerfully.
"Its called Rampion. Its the most delicious food and I have been growing them ever since I was a young girl, I guess I was just being selfish, I should have shared some with you sooner."
"That's wonderful mother, I'm so glad you're back, I wanted to talk to you about something."
"Yes my flower." The Witch said without looking at Rapunzel.
"What's it like? Outside. I mean I know you've told me but I mean well um I was just thinking."
"Rapunzel no. You are not allowed to leave, you know this. Why would you even try to ask me such a silly question." Answered the Witch in a mean remark.
"But mother please listen to me, you go outside everyday so why can't I. I'm eighteen now and you can't keep me up here forever. I want to find someone, someone like James-"
"James took you out in that village and how do you know if you would ever return. He could have had a knife behind his back and you would never know. Wait, how do you remember James."
"Village? What village, what are you talking about? I know James because well....actually, that's all I remember, from my past. Besides you. I don't remember a village, just a fuzzy little memory of him smiling at me." Rapunzel said turning away from her mother with a small little grin in her face. She tries remembering the touch of his hand, and the way he always smelt like fresh pine from the forest.
"Oh, never mind. See this is what I'm talking about, you're too naive and gullible, you wouldn't last a day outside. That's why I keep you in here. You're a precious gem that could break if you fell into the wrong hands. I never want you to ask to leave, again. Do you understand?
Rapunzel looked up at her mother. Just for a moment, she seemed like a madwoman. She looked nothing like her mother. All the kindness had drained out of her face leaving a smug look of hatred.
Rapunzel gulped with a lump stuck in her throat, with a raspy reply she said, "Yes, Mother." With gritted teeth. She turned around, walked out of the room, and went to her bedroom quietly.
She took a small breath to calm herself down, closed the door and locked it.
"Rapunzel, please come out of your room now. The Hazelnut soup is ready, along with the Rampion." Called the Witch in a sweet but sickening tone.
"I'm not hungry right now mother."
"This is nonsense. Rapunzel, come downstairs right now before I lock you in there so you won't see the sun for a week."
"No, I am getting out of here someday. I'll do whatever it takes to get away from this tower, I can't rot here for the rest of my life. Mother....I'm...tomorrow I'll be eighteen. I need to be free from these chains and go outside, I need to touch the soft grass, I need to have at least a little sense of freedom I mean....it's been six years." Said Rapunzel pleading with tears in her eyes.
"You don't know what's out there. Thugs, traps, kidnappers, cold blooded killers, and the worst of all are the ones that have their own magic. They could turn you into a toad with a snap of there fingers"
"Yes, you especially want to stay away from the dark kind of magic that drags you in with alluring spells. But in the end you always have to pay a price."
"A price? Why? What kind of price?"
"Sometimes it's a soul, other times it's an important memory, but most of the time it's something you can never get back. That is why I keep you safe here. I'm sorry, but I keep you here for protection and for your safety. So go ahead and look at me like I'm a Witch. But I only do what's best for you."
"You're right mother, I should listen to you and I'm sorry. I just really want a sense of freedom."
"I know my flower. So is there anything else besides going outside that you want for your birthday."
"The Thimbleberries....from the Northern woods....I could mix my paint and we could make more jam."
"That's a long trip Rapunzel....But I guess, if that will keep you here, safe. I will go."
"I will leave at noon tomorrow and return in a matter of days....are you sure you're going to be alright."
"I'm here, so I know I'm safe."
"Right of course. I love you very much Rapunzel....to the stars-"
"And back. I know." Replied Rapunzel instantly."
The Witch stared at Rapunzel waiting for an apology or an 'I love you as well'. But when nothing came the Witch told Rapunzel to get ready for bed and come sing her a lullaby. So Rapunzel did as told and sung the Witch to sleep. But that night Rapunzel lay awake will her own plans to escape the tower.
"The world can't be as bad as mother says. I know it can't......" Rapunzel told herself this, as she finally drifted off to sleep.