My Princess Free-Write :)
by Samantha Morgan
Strolling through the woods behind Disneyland, Mulan, Cinderella, and Rapunzel walked hand in hand. It had been a long day of hugging children and posing for photographs, and the fading light through the trees and softly rustling leaves calmed their tired minds. Cinderella laughed as blue birds fluttered by, singing a shrill tune. Mulan used her finger to re-curl her single lock of bang, trying hard to not poke herself in the eye with every enthusiastic jerk of Rapunzel’s arm.
“Come on!” Rapunzel said, dashing forward and pulling the other two with her. “I want to get to the rock before the sun sets!”
“What rock?” Mulan asked for what felt like the hundredth time. She stumbled along, the hem of her dress often tripping her up.
Cinderella’s skirts swished as she walked, scattering the fallen leaves that ushered in the coming winter. “You’ve never been back here? I love sitting on the rock to sing.”
“Ooh, singing!” Rapunzel pulled the group between two tall oaks. “I love singing! We should sing a few songs when we get there!”
“If we ever get there,” Mulan mumbled. Her breath was short and quick. She dodged yet another protruding, naked branch.
“It’s lovely exercise! And, we’re almost there. Don’t act so exhausted!” Cinderella smiled. She could hear snippets of the river crashing through the gorge. The freshness of surging water lightened the breeze.
Mulan winced as a small rock made an indention in her sole. These silk slippers were not the best tramping shoes. “Your dress isn’t restricting your breathing.”
But, Cinderella and Rapunzel weren’t listening. Instead they raced forward, nearly yanking Mulan off her feet. A large boulder sat on the edge of something, what, Mulan didn’t know. It was perched there, rising out of the fallen leaves and dirt, like a cozy hollow in the spacious fullness of the wood. The roar of the river was louder now, but it did not drown out any other noise.
Rapunzel was the first to scramble into the slight depression at the top of the rock, hauling her hair up with her. She gingerly picked out a few leaves and pinecones before beckoning the other two girls up.
Cinderella pushed Mulan higher, wondering at the tight, pencil-sleeve dress she wore. It barely allowed the Chinese princess room to bend her legs.
Nearly perspiring from the effort, Mulan managed to slide herself onto the crown of the boulder. Her breath caught, and she took in the wonder and beauty of the spot. Cinderella sat daintly beside her and smiled. “See! Isn’t it beautiful?”
The wood fell away into a gorge, where a foaming river twisted and turned, thrashing itself against the walls. The spray tickled at their now bare toes as the laughed and smiled.
The sun was making it final curtain call, and its rays handed roses of red, orange, and pink to all the quietly applauding trees. Its warmth slipped away with it as it beckoned the moon into the sky and left the three princesses in awe.
“This is more than beautiful,” Mulan whispered. “It’s breath-taking.”
And there they sat, long into the night, livening the wood with the melody of their voices.