And They Will Live Happily Ever After…Or Not!

by Lena Habtu, age 10
And They Will Live Happily Ever After…Or Not! An Ethiopian immigrant, Lena Habtu is an avid reader and deep writer who reads with her heart and writes with her soul. Lena is currently the editor in chief and founder of the Starlight Newspaper. She plays the violin and recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the InterSchoolOrchestras of New York. She puts her writing skills to practice by writing songs. "I like to write because I can write things I'd never do in real life," says Habtu, the literature enthusiast.

“Oh the excitement that ran through the princesses’ hearts! The first reunion in a century! The only princess that had lived that long was, again, Aurora. But she hadn’t attended. She hadn’t fulfilled her story. To be honest, the princesses weren’t excited.”

Prologue

 

I am an angel in Heaven right now. This may sound a lot like Flynn Ryder, but here is the story of how I died…

The morning dawned and each princess arose in her own way. Princess Ariel was awoken by a crowd of adorable marine life. Princess Cinderella prefered a wake up call inside of her, thanks to a wee bit of magic from her fairy godmother. Princess Snow White let the dwarves wake her up, as they did anything for her after all that time she had spent being their maid. Princess Pocahontas was still a bit of a stranger to the English culture so always awoke to Meeko, her pet raccoon licking her face. Princess Belle (Beauty) loved more than anything else to stir to dancing and singing silverware. Princess Tiana was always up with the sun, even without an alarm clock. Princess Mulan, quite the early bird as well, was up even before the sun for training. And Princess Aurora? She just slept and slept. Only the sound of breaking tiaras could wake her up.

Oh the excitement that ran through the princesses’ hearts! The first reunion in a century! The only princess that had lived that long was, again, Aurora. But she hadn’t attended. She hadn’t fulfilled her story. To be honest, the princesses weren’t excited.

“Do I have to?” Tiana asked Naveen that morning. “It’s busy season at the restaurant. Are you sure you can handle it by yourself?”

Naveen assured her that he could. Belle wasn’t any more excited.

“But Adam, I’ve got to dish sit for Miss Teacup and I’d hate to let her down, you know how sensitive she is.”

When Aurora was dragged out of bed early, she had fits! “NO! No!” she shrieked, still half asleep. “Must…sleep…innn… ” she protested.

The second Cinderella’s mice groaned, as they have aged, but Cinderella hasn’t since she is a princess. “Cinderelly! Cinderelly! You’ve got your big fancy party!”

She moaned. “Not today! I just couldn’t stand a day with those bratty princesses trying to steal my fame!” Then her fairy godmother shot her with sleep magic and hauled her into her carriage.

Meanwhile, Mulan was up super early practicing kung fu for a festival for the school children coming up next week. “Keep it up gurly you looking FINE in the kung fu suit!” Mushu, her pet dragon, exclaimed.

“Mushu, stop it, I am trying to focus,” she said, trying to hold back her giggle.

Mulan’s grandma came up to her out of the house and said, “Mulan, you have to get ready for the princess reunion, you don’t want to go there sweaty, do you?”

“Nainai, can I please have 5 more minutes?”

“No Mulan, take a shower and put on your dress and meet me in the garden in 20 minutes.”

“Okay, Nainai,” she said reluctantly.

Ariel’s excuse was her daughter, Melody. “But Eric, we’ve got Melody’s ball to plan for! I’ve got to pick out her dress, try out hairstyles, help bake and who knows what more! Plus, I’ll be missing my daddy visit!” Ariel’s father let the merpeople and humans mix now, so she was turned back into a mermaid once a week to visit. Especially now that her father wasn’t feeling well.

Eric looked at the ceiling. “Women,” he said wearily. “I’ll never get them! Ariel, it’ll be fine. Besides, Melody’s almost 16. She should be able to take care of herself.”

“Fine,” Ariel grumbled.

So, surprisingly, they all got to the reunion on time, except Cinderella, of course, who had to make a “fashionably” late appearance. Snow White clicked her tongue in disapproval. Pocahontas rolled her eyes. “What?” Cinderella asked defensively.

Tiana’s temper had reached its limit. “Oh I’ll tell you what. None of us want to be here. Agreed?” The others nodded their heads. “Exactly, so why do you have to get here half an hour late like you’re better than the rest of us?”

“That’s right,” said Mulan, “I’ve had it with you snotty upper class princesses from Far Far Away thinking that you’re better than everyone else.”

“That’s because we are,” commented Belle.

“That’s exactly her point! I mean, have you ever worked a single day in your entire life? No! Have you had to fight for your husband? No! That’s because everything’s handed to you on a platter!” Pocahontas practically screamed.

“And that’s our fault why?” Aurora couldn’t help but point out. “Yeah, like the crowds love us and we’re beautiful and kind and stuff. We can’t help that!” Ariel added.

“Oh God,” Tiana muttered. “Even Naveen was better than this. And on the fact of you being ‘beautiful,’ have you never realized that you guys look almost identical? Ever thought about how you are all skinny and white? Y’all is like clones! Like take Mulan, she’s Chinese. She’s got culture. And if you’ve seen Pocahontas’ movie, you’ll learn about the Native Americans. And me, I’m here to teach y’all about New Orleans. I actually feel bad for you guys. You’ve got nothing.” Tiana sat back down, pleased with her speech. But you can bet that Ariel wasn’t.

“Excuse you! Saying I don’t have culture! Need I point out that I am the only mermaid here!”

Belle nodded. “I bet no one else here married a Beast…” She was cut off by Cinderella.

“Who turned out to be gorgeous. Hey, Tiana! Are you forgetting how many years I worked for the Steps?”

“And now all you do is sit around doing nothing. At least you got to be the servant of people! Those dwarves are disgustingly messy! And don’t even get me started on their fashion sen-” Snow White stopped. Sneezy had just walked in with an extra bag of ‘essentials’ she had forgotten to pack. He looked hurt.

“This was just what Ti was saying- you don’t mind if I call you Ti, do you?-” Mulan asked.

“Of course not, my sister, go right ahead,” agreed Tiana.

“You go, girl!” Pocahontas added.

“Just what Ti was saying! You guys hurt people’s feelings and don’t care! It’s just one dwarf out of your admiration society, right Snow?” Mulan said.

“But-” she protested. Pocahontas shook her head.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Mulan countered heartlessly. Cinderella sighed.

“You all are so immature. Dumb, too! Everyone knows that I’m the most famous. Sorry to crush your dreams, girls.” She laughed her high, tinkly laugh.

“You know what?” Aurora snapped. “I wish I didn’t have to come! I wish I wasn’t here! I could be sleeping right now! You guys can stop arguing because I’m the oldest and the eldest is always the best, so stop your yapping!” The princesses looked at one another.

“Sheesh. What’s up with her?” asked Ariel snottily. “Plus, I’ve got a movie made about me, my daughter, and my past. Or course I’m the most loved by all.”

“Oh my gosh!” Pocahontas screamed. “For Pete’s sake! Although I agree with Ti and Mulan, we’re all princesses. We don’t have to be bickering all the time to prove that. But, if it matters so much, Ariel, I’ve gotten two educational movies made about me and so does Mulan. Your movies teach, hmm, let me think, how to brush hair, and how to sing in an impossibly high soprano. All such important life skills, of course!” All of the royalty glared at each other. If looks could kill, they would all be in a casket. Mulan pulled a dagger out of nowhere and started sharpening it. Belle ‘politely’ cleared her throat.

“Do you mind?”

Tiana clenched her fists. “I’m gonna go ahead and speak for my gal MuMu-”

“Don’t call me that!” Mulan snapped.

“Fine, ya feisty little frog! My gal Mulan! A. You cannot try being sassy. It doesn’t work for you, and B. Mulan has the right to do whatever she wants. Leave her alone!” The fuel and force in Tiana’s words had escaped her mouth, but the power in them was buzzing in the room. Not a good sign…

Miniature elephants somehow popped into view and played a fanfare on their trunks. “Oh! They’re so cute!”Aurora squeaked breathlessly and all of the princesses immediately started gushing. Then a hovering dolphin floated up to Ariel. It squeaked in dolphin, a language that no one but Ariel could interpret.

Ariel nodded. “Mmm hmm, okay, uh huh…” she said, soothing the excited dolphin. She suddenly looked shocked and her face turned pale under her makeup. “Oh,” she said, nodding again, but with noticeably less enthusiasm. She nervously turned to face the group, their eyes wide in fear (everyone but Ti, MuMu, and Poca). “I don’t know how Splash knew this – I don’t know at all – “ Her hands shook with terror. “There is a war brewing. Against us. The villains have teamed up with someone else. An unexpected group of people.” Her breath almost failed her. “The princes,” Ariel said, and fainted.
Snow White turned paler than humanly possible. Aurora collapsed and no one knew if she had fainted or simply fell asleep.

Mulan didn’t look at all surprised. “I’ve never trusted men, real men, that is.”

Belle looked like she didn’t really care. “As long as I still get my palace, why does this even matter?” Pocahontas scoffed.

“Talk about conceited! Did you think about all of the people that might die in this war?”

“Might,” Belle interjected. “Whatever! How would you feel once you realized that you don’t have any servants because they’re all dead?”

“They won’t die!” Belle cried hotly, sounding as if she was desperate for some backup. “And if they do, I’ll just find new ones. What, do you think I’d work like some dirty slave?”

“Because you don’t care what happens to anyone as long as you get what you want, right?” Pocahontas was on a roll and there was nothing stopping her once she had that fiery glint in her eye. Their argument was interrupted by the creepy hush of all the birds muting their voices.

“Is it just me, or did everything just fall silent?” Cinderella half whimpered.

“It’s not you,” Aurora stage whispered.

At that moment, the lights went off. So did the sun. Literally. The sun turned black. All you could see was a flickering candle on the far side of the room.

“C’mon guys! It’s not that bad!” Tiana said, but her tone wasn’t goading, it was encouraging.

“Yeah! Don’t worry, we’ll be okay!” Mulan chided.

“You hope,” Pocahontas replied darkly, still sulking from not finishing her argument.

The lock on the ballroom door clicked shut. They were trapped. From a distant, very faintly, the princesses heard a cackle. Mulan sat up straight.

“What’s the matter, Mulan?” Ariel taunted shakily. “Scared?” Maybe picking on others ridded her of her fear.

“No way! Hunter’s instinct. Never trust unfamiliar sounds.” The girls exchanged worried looks. For once, Tiana appeared to be uncertain of herself. Unsure of what would happen next. Because that is what fear will do to you. Pocahontas had a strange look on her face. Like she was scared spitless, but didn’t want to show it. The other princesses had no such masks. They were scared and wanted everyone to know it.

“Help!” They wailed. “Please, somebody save us! Turn on the lights! Get me a pretty dress to wear as I die!” they cried. Tiana mischieviously smiled at Pocahontas, who returned the smirk-like grin before resuming her battle mode. She tightly gripped a bow and notched an arrow instinctively. Mulan did the same with her knives, poising them so they’d be ready to attack in a moment’s notice.

“Listen to you!” Tiana teased. “The princes are in a war against us. Why would they come and save us? And I’ll bet that your minions – sorry – companions are too scared to return.” The formerly panicking princesses lowered their heads, embarrassed.

“I guess so,” Snow White finally admitted. “I mean, this is pretty freaky though. Who would think our princes would do such a thing?”

“So much for ‘true love,’” muttered Pocahontas. “I chose John Rolfe over John Smith thinking he’d bring me a better life, and look at where that got me. Trapped in a room with you guys.” She wore a disgusted look on her face. When Poca ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!

“What’s wrong with you guys!” Aurora exclaimed. “You’re flipping over something a stinkin’ fish said, for Pete’s sake! How do we know for sure that Ariel’s not pranking us?”

“Hello? Standing right here!” Ariel was mad with a capital MAD. “Do you think I’d really play this sort of trick? I mean, I do love a good prank, but I’d never do that. I’d never want Eric to betray me!”

“So let’s stop this arguing. Obviously, we’ve got to make a game plan. We all hate the idea of being double crossed, or flat out lied to, but we gotta face the truth.” Cinderella stopped talking. The others seemed awestruck.

“Maybe you’ve got a brain under all of that hairspray after all, Cindy,” said Mulan, clearly impressed.

“Not bad for a princess,” Belle agreed slyly, nodding her head. “Not bad at all.”

“So what C means is that we all have something we’re good at and that we have to make that our defense against their fancy but deadly equipment. For example – again, an example, so you don’t have to agree with what I say – I’m a cook and baker, so I’ll pelt doughnut after doughnut and cannoli after jumbo pots at them! Ariel, do you have any control over water?” Tiana asked.

“A bit,” she answered, appearing as modest and shy for the first time.

“Can you summon it?” Tiana wanted to know.

Ariel perked up at this, grinning innocently. “Yes I can!” she said triumphantly.

Tiana smiled. “That’s perfect, because your defense is going to be to create a thin water wall blocking them from us, while also completely soaking the opposition. Belle, you can talk to dishes or something, so can you get your silverware friends to find you some non-alive teapots or something to chuck at our enemies? Thanks,” Tiana said without waiting for an answer. “Poca and MuMu…” Mulan growled. “…Poca and MuMu,” Tiana continued, “Y’all have your bows and knives along with a load of practice, so my bet is that you’ll be fine on your own. Aurora, you got magic pillows filled with bricks that can be cannoned into the air? ‘Cause that’s what we need. Cindy, see if your godmama can make us a cannon and you’ll get some pumpkins to fill it up, too. Am I missing anyone?” They all shook their heads. “Then let’s get to it! Let’s go kick some royal butt!”

Mulan kicked down the door, both fearlessly and ferociously, invigorated by Tiana’s battle plan/pep talk. She wasn’t the only one. They all were feeling pumped. Feeling like they could do anything. The princesses strutted out of the ballroom with a newfound confidence, ready to take on the world.

The princesses were working hard, funneling their spirit into their work. Unsurprisingly, Mulan and Pocahontas both had competitive streaks, competing against each other on how awesome they could be with weapons in their hands. As it turned out, Ariel was a determined person who never planned on giving up. Belle had deadly aim and could hit a target with a fork from anywhere. Cinderella and Aurora were an amazing team, quick to gather supplies, pull levers, and alternate positions. They were all excited, having set their differences aside and were having fun. But deep down, they knew that the time would come where this would not be a game or training, but a fight for their lives. That time came too soon…

Aurora was first to spot them, from high in the tower filling her previously comfy pillows with bricks before flinging them down a chute into Cinderella’s waiting hands. “They’re coming!” she hollered into her bullhorn loud enough for her friends to hear, but not the princes. The female royalty scrambled into their hiding places, waiting for the princes to play right into their hands.

As expected, the princes had recruited other townspeople to rally against the soon-to-be queens, claiming that it was their fault that they weren’t living the high life. Belle rolled her eyes, waiting for it to be over. She almost fell asleep as Charming gave a speech persecuting the princesses, that is, until someone whispered. “Psssst!” Belle heard the voice but couldn’t see the source. “Over here!” The supposedly invisible person whisper-called, and quick as lightning tied her up.

“Who are you?” Belle asked, her eyes full of anger and wonder simultaneously.

“I’ll tell you who I am in due time,” replied the masked figure. “But first, we need to talk.”

Pocahontas stood ready, every inch of her alert, ready for battle.Then someone stealthily crept over and nearly pulled her braid out. “What was that for?” Pocahontas whisper-yelled.

“Follow me,” said the mysterious person.

So Pocahontas and Belle each obeyed and walked. Their captors had led them to some sort of hideout. At the sight of each other, they were filled with glee.

“Poca!!!” Belle squealed.

“Bellerina!!!” Pocahontas exclaimed, each of them using their pet name for the other.

“Who are they?” Pocahontas added with a frown, nodding her head toward their guards. Their kidnappers exchanged looks.

“I guess we’ve gotta tell them,” one said sheepishly.

“Alright, but I like the disguises,” the other pouted. The first one yanked off the ski mask covering her face and turned toward the kidnappees.

“I am Princess Jasmine, and I am ready to join your fight.”

Belle gasped, “I so did not see that coming.”

But Pocahontas wasn’t really paying attention to her. Her gaze was fixed on the other, Pouter.

“If she’s a princess, than you are too, which means you are…” and Pouter finished her sentence for her. She unraveled the turban around her head and the scarf on her face. “Princess Rapunzel.”

She stated matter of factly as miles of thick blond hair tumbled down. “But didn’t you cut your hair a few years ago?” asked Pocahontas. Rapunzel only laughed.

“It’s amazing what hair products can do,” was her only reply.

“Jasmine, take a spear and work with Mulan. I’ve figured that you’re really strong,” commanded Belle. “And Rapunzel, go to Ariel and create a force field of hair around her water wall. Any leftover hair should be lassoing up the enemy. Got it?” They all nodded, surprised to see Belle in control.

Meanwhile, the other princesses had been spotted. Mulan had carelessly tried to find Pocahontas when she was challenged in combat by Eugene Fitzgerald A.K.A. Flynn Ryder who happened to be carrying a stainless steel pot. Unfortunately, that was when Jasmine came along and smashed it to smithereens. The moments of combat occurred too quickly (and violently) to record, but it was terrible. Prince versus princess. Townsperson versus warrior. It was a madhouse out there.

The battle either lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes or 4 hours and 20 minutes. It did, eventually, come to an end, as all things do.

A sense of darkness covered the area. The opposition bowed down to a misty black shape/person that appeared to be riding on a storm cloud. “Who’s that?” had become the phrase of the day, for that was what the feminine portion of the royalty was wondering. The figure was slowly descending and its shape was becoming more definite. It was a she. She was a girl, about 18, a black hood, very punk looking, with leather boots and black jeans, also a glamour goth, with black hair with a red streak. Her body radiated power, but also a form of death, and maybe revenge. This pale, skinny teenager was a wonder. Was she an ally, or a threat? But it all came back to the same question: Who was she?

“Well, well well,” she taunted, “what do we have here?” The tone of her voice made the princesses pretty sure that she was foe, not friend. “I bet you’re worrying your perfect bratty princess heads about who I am. Well, that’s for me to know and you to find out! For years I’ve been planning this. For years I’ve stood in the shadow while you’ve gotten the glory. Now have you figured out who I am, princesses?” She practically spat out. They shook their heads. “Well, I can’t be surprised. You’re all too dumb to figure anything out.” The princesses had been scared into silence, but that ended once the stranger insulted their intelligence.

“Excuse you, Miss Mystery, but I’ve got plenty smarts,” snapped Tiana. “More than you!” She dished out sassily.

“Oh, really?” countered the stranger. “Go on, walk up to me. Come now, I won’t bite.” Taken aback, Tiana stepped forward. “Whoops, wrong step!” She jeered, pushing a button, therefore ensnaring Tiana. “Goodbye, country gal,” the stranger said softly in triumph. She raised an eyebrow at Belle. “Well? Haven’t you figured me out, book girl?” Belle had been lost in thought, but shook her head in defeat.

“I know who you are!” Cinderella blurted out victoriously. “You’re the one we all thought was good. The one we always loved. The one who we now know always secretly hated us. Don’t listen to a single word she says, guys! Don’t you get it? The streak in her hair? She’s Red Riding Hood!” Red said nothing, but chuckled. A small smile danced across her face, before settling on her lips.

“Well done, Cindy!” She congratulated her, but, as with all of her words, she had a sense of sarcasm.”You’re much brighter than you appear to be.”

“Well, I hope you’re happy, because you’re goin’ down,” was Ariel’s frail attempt at being intimidating. But she did look fierce, with her tangled mass of red hair and tattered clothes.

“Are you sure you want this, Red?” Jasmine asked. “Do you really want to destroy so many people to get what you want? I know you desperately want to rule, but what good it it to be a king without a kingdom?”

“You could always join us. We’d find a way to make you a princess. Please. We could be friends!” pleaded Aurora. Their voices were richer-sounding. Not charmspeak, but some magic. Ariel seemed to understand what they were doing, even before they knew it themselves. They were not forcing her. They were befriending her. She began to beautifully vocalize and sounded like an angel. The others followed her, harmonizing to Ariel’s melody that swiftly melted into a song. A song about friendship.

 

“To have a friend is the greatest thing ever

Cause once you come close, you will part never.”

 

“You think you can crush me? I, who have stolen all of the dark magic on the planet. I, who have the power to do ANYTHING!!!” Red cackled.

But the princesses had a plan. They kept singing, talking, and putting their souls into their words. Red tried to fight back, to summon dark magic, but it was too late. The power of love couldn’t melt a heart frozen with hatred, but it could destroy it. The princesses suddenly knew what they had to do. They each put one hand on Red’s heart and it glowed into a purple glowing ball. It was her sense of love. You see, without meaning to, each princess had taken a bit of Red’s love. She had adored them, and that led to a bit of her soul being transferred into theirs. By singing, the love had come out into the open. Like a vacuum cleaner, that love sucked out every ounce of mean in Red’s body. She was free. But she was in no state to live. She had been through so much that she couldn’t take it anymore. As her body dissolved into mist, her now clean soul went to Heaven to start a new life. Red became an angel, as I am.

That is because I am Red, and this is my story.

 

THE END

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