Rapunzel ran though the path in the woods, she was barefoot. She never had use for shoes, but her feet were starting to get sore from the ground. She spun around in circles through the trees until she got dizzy. Laughing and humming old songs as birds flew by. She touched every tree by her hand feeling the texture as Picasso curled up on her shoulder. She stopped laughing when a sign caught her eye. It was a Wanted poster with a large reward. The person looked familiar like a childhood friend, or someone she was close to. His eyes struck her first. Like looking into a stranger's eyes and realizing you knew them all your life. His eyes were also staring off to the side. Rapunzel knew he was blind from the way he looked off, or he was just dazed. He had scars everywhere near his eyes. His jaw was slightly crooked which made his devilish smile look lopsided on his face. He was wearing a T-shirt that was covered in dirt. His brown hair fell sideways over his forehead in a wave that looked like it was gelled. He was handsome in his own way, that a teenage girl would be attracted to the dare devil type. She knew him in some strange way. But the only people she could remember meeting is her Mother and James and she barley remembered James. Just his eyes. Her Sailer, with his eyes as blue as the Ocean, they always sparkled whenever he looked at her.
Once, she sprained her ankle when she was with him, he stayed with her until she stopped crying and helped her limp back to the village. She had to keep the secret hidden from her mother for a long time. She tried her best not to limp. Everyday after that James would visit to check on her. Another time, she scraped her leg on a tree and it wouldn't stop bleeding. He helped her to a rock and sat hugging her until it stopped hurting. When they got to the Village, he bandaged it for her using one of his shirts from home so her mother wouldn't find out. She remembered small glimpses of him helping her. She missed him. It clicked in her mind that something was familiar about the man she was staring at. Something about that looked like James eyes. But these eyes where different. They were filled with misery, loss, and a longing for someone that he missed. Rapunzel had read many books about the world so she would know what it was like when she escaped the tower. 'Escaped', it was weird that she thought of the word only for a second. Her mother wasn't really keeping her there. Was she? Rapunzel didn't have time to worry about any of these problems so she kept going. Ignoring any other Wanted poster she saw. Only looking at the path ahead. She wanted to find the village, that she saw in her glimpses of memories. But Rapunzel didn't know where it was.
She kept walking only to stop at a small house that was on a hill in the woods. She started walking up to the house that had a Barn in the backyard. She went up the steps and knocked three times before an old man appeared at the door. His face was filled with wrinkles of squinting and frowning too much. His thick eyebrows were arched in an irritating way that made Rapunzel feel annoyed. His hair was combed over to cover a bald spot in the middle of his head and his glasses were slightly crooked over his green eyes. He stared at Rapunzel up and down until his eyes went to her golden hair which was dragging across the ground, probably covered with dirt and twigs. She didn't mind it. She was used to things getting stuck in her hair. But the old man's angry gaze turned soft and calming when he looked at her hair.
"Come inside. Quickly" He said in a scruffy voice like he had been yelling.
He grabbed her arm and ushered her inside, almost making her trip on the welcome mat. She kept her frying pan hidden behind her back as she was pushed in. She didn't know if she could trust this man. But maybe he could help.
"What's your name girl." The old man asked as he stared at her with immense interest.
She wouldn't give her real name. She didn't yet know this man. With all the things her mother said about people, she didn't know if she could trust anyone. "Emili." She said quickly hoping her voice didn't shake as she spoke.
The man seemed to harden his gaze. But he believed her. His eyes soon turned disappointed "I thought you were someone else. My son once knew a girl. Whenever he talked about her he would mention her long golden hair. He talked about her like she was an angel. Oh, you probably don't want to hear about it. I can get a little carried away talking about her. But if your names Emili, then you are probably not her."
"I'm sorry, I hope he finds her. It sounds like he must miss her." At that moment she saw James in the corner of her mind smiling at her. She didn't know why it made her think of him. But the image soon changed to the man she saw in the Wanted poster with the scars covering his eyes. But that wasn't James. James was happy with his parents in the Village which she knew she had to find.
"Excuse me, but do you know if there is a Village anywhere near here?" Rapunzel tried to ask as kindly as she could.
"Yes, I'm on the edge of it. If you walk down the hill there will be a clearing, go left and the Village will be in plain sight. Don't you at least want to stay for a cup of tea maybe. I get lonely up here, all alone." He sounded pleading in his voice. Rapunzel wanted to stay because the man seemed kind but she still wanted to see James.
"I'm sorry I just really have to go to the Village. I have someone waiting there for me." Rapunzel said staring at the man's now sad eyes.
"I understand. You go and run along. But be careful, there are bandits in these woods." His green eyes looked over his glasses to watch Rapunzel with the frying pan still hiding behind her back, go out of the room backwards. When she made it to the door she closed it quietly and headed toward the Barn down the hill. She saw the doors of the barn were open and a walking stick was on the Barn door. There was a large Pine tree near the barn. It smelled like James did. It only made her want to walk faster and not even question to stop by the Barn.
She walked a little ways further. When the Village came into sight her walk turned into a run. The only thought that was in her mind was James. His warm smile, his loving expression, the way he looked at her when he thought she wasn't looking. She stopped to stare at every shop window. She didn't have any money. She never had any use for it.
Lots of things looked familiar and she didn't know why. Looking at some faces of people. She didn't know anyone here. Why did there faces seem like she knew them. She looked to her right and saw people dancing in the street, they were happy. She ran to join them. A flash of a memory flashed across her vision. A memory she had never seen before. She was dancing, with James. She grabbed him out of the crowd and he put his hand on her waist. They clapped their hands and stomped their feet and when it started raining they kept dancing. She was pressed up against him, her head on his heart. Their smiles lasting on their faces while it poured. Everyone continued dancing with them. That was the first time she was truly happy in every way. But when the strange memory went away, her happiness went as well. She opened her eyes, looking around. Only a few people were staring at her hair, and her feet. She needed shoes, quick. The hot pavement was burning her feet.
As Rapunzel walked a little girl ran up to her. "Excuse me miss, but could I braid your hair." Said the little girl with pigtails.
"Um....I guess." Rapunzel said to the little girl.
"My names Macy by the way." She said as she braided Rapunzels hair. "What's yours?"
"That's a pretty name, you look a lot like the Queen's with your golden hair. Plus you have the kings green eyes. I suprised your not their daughter." Macy said as she finished it with flowers.
"Yeah, you didn't know we had a Queen. You must have come a long way to not know about the Queen and King. You must have come especially far if you haven't heard about their missing daughter."
"I haven't. They had a daughter?"
"Yes, you can go see the mural if you want to. It's by the chalk on the pavement." Macy said as she got up, she was no older than seven. "Thank you for letting me braid your hair, your very beautiful." Macy said as a young woman walked out of the Bakery calling Macy to come and help her with the pastries and bread.
"Bye, it was nice meeting you." Said Rapunzel as the little girl walked away.
Rapunzel looked into one of the shop windows to see her hair. It looked beautiful going down to her feet like it used to do when she was younger but this time it was in a braid. Rapunzel walked over to where the mural was where the King and Queen were holding a little girl in their arms. They looked happy and Macy was right, Rapunzel had the Queen's blond hair and the Kings green eyes. Another flash of a memory went across her vision but this one was too fast to look at. It just slipped by. Rapunzel looked around hoping it would come back again. But when it didn't she walked over to the chalk drawings to maybe spark something in her mind but again, there was nothing. She picked up a purple chalk and started drawing whatever came to her mind. She soon grabbed a white and then a green. Colors went by in a flash in her memory. When she finished drawing she had chalk covering her hands, she stood up and stared at her drawing. It was a flower, but not just any flower. The flower Rapunzel was named after. Soon people came to stop and stare at her creation of a big beautiful flower in the street.
"That's a Campanula Rapunculus." Said one woman that just walked out of her shop.
"That's the Queen's flower." Another woman said to Rapunzel as she leaned over the drawing.
Men and women of all ages came out of the shops and stared at Rapunzels work of art. "There is still hope for their daughter." Said a little girl holding onto her fathers hand. While people stared, some rain clouds moved in and it started to rain over the chalk making it wash off the pavement. But Rapunzels flower stayed there. It was like magic, but people seemed to need to go inside because it was raining. Rapunzel thought they loved to stay out in the rain. What was going on? It was like all the happiness was washed out of them and only sadness was left. Was it because of the missing daughter? Rapunzel started walking away from the flower that stayed in the middle of the street. "There is still hope for their daughter." The little girl said. Those words would stay with Rapunzel. There was still hope for a light in these dark times.
Rapunzel walked through the village looking at every house hoping to find a familiar one that might be James. But soon she reached the last street and nothing looked familiar. There were twists and turns on every street, with little huts and cottages. Soon that little spark of hope left her when she saw there was an empty place where a house used to be. She imagined James house sitting right on this spot. They owned a small house which Rapunzel had only been inside once. One floor with two bedrooms. Their Kitchen was the smallest room in the little house. She tried to picture every detail, to the bright yellow flowers, the lights that they never turned off, and a nice breeze moving the bright blue curtains. But when she opened her eyes it was all gone. The house was gone, and her Sailer was gone with it.