"Th-thank you, Your Highness," the farmer stuttered. He reminded me of a narrow old tree, with arms of twisted branches and tattered clothes hanging about him like leaves on tree. A maidservant guided him out, his worn shoes shuffling across the marble floor of the throne room. The orangy gold evening sunlight feel through the tall, slender windows, the great gem of the sun diving toward the horizon.
I rubbed my eyes. My voice echoing throughout the Hall, I called to the wide arching doors, "Is that all?"
A guard stepped inside, adorned in his uniform with a sword at his side, "Is the last of 'em, Your Majesty."
"Thank you, Gregory," I nodded, standing from my throne. My limbs were sore from the hard surface of the horrid seat, as if it was created to make the Kings pained on purpose. Slowly, I walked through the halls dashed with the beams of the sunset.
My heart lightened as I saw Rapunzel turn the corner, her golden hair a silken crown about her rosy face. No one could convince me there was a woman more beautiful then her; she was beyond beauty. "I had just come to check in on you. Supper was getting cold in the Dining Hall." She strolled up to me, her long braid swinging at her back. It was not as long as it used to be, since the wicked witch had cut it what seemed like an eternity ago. Gently, she kissed me, her eyes sparkling.
"The sunset is nearly as beautiful as you are tonight," I said quietly, running my hand over her hair. For a moment, we watched the sun sinking further and further down. "I am not very hungry and have much to do in my library. I will come to retire soon."
She pulled away slightly, "Alright. Is there anything I can help you with?"
I smiled, "No, my Sweet. Do not worry, I will come back soon."
A smile tugged at her own lips, and then she turned, sweeping down the hall and back out of sight.
Sighing, I wove my way to my offices. Many days I wished I did not have to be King, rather spending my days watching the sun rise and set with Rapunzel and our children. Though such was my duty. I yawned, stepping into the darkness of my office, a few candles flickering weakly in the shadows.
A shadow stepped from the murk of the corner, making me jump and whirl about, reaching for my sword. In shock, I realized it was not on my hip. "Who are you?" I raised my fists.
The figure stepped into the light, an old man who I did not reckonize."I repeat, identify yourself!" I clenched my jaw.
He appeared exasperated, his eyes flashing, "I am Faeritayl, you stupid bonehead!"
I shrugged, still holding my guard, "Never heard of him."
"Argh!" he cried, raising his arms. "You shall soon learn-get him!"
Before I could move, evil little ugly things leapt on me, pinning me to the ground. I wrestled with them, tossing them across the room, various things smashing as they collided. One laughed, a nasty sound, my blade in it's claws. In one swift motion, my silver sword was against my own neck.
"Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" I cried as they stood me up, pushing me after Faeritayl.
"You cowardly princes," scoffed the old man, guiding me and his minions through the halls of the palace. There was no one to be seen, no guards, no soliders, no one in sight. If anything, I hoped that Rapunzel and the children were safe.
I smiled, kissing each of the two children on their foreheads before blowing out the candles and slipping from their bedroom. "Rapunzel! Rapunzel!" came Flynn's muffled, frantic call. I frowned, shutting the door and racing dowing the hall. I almost stumbled over my pinching slippers, kicking them off and gathering my skirts in my arms.
There was nobody about, my heart racing wildly in my head. What was going on? There came the great BOOM! of the main door of the Palace, shaking the walls. Nearly slipping across the smooth marble floors, I turned to the Entrance. Grinding my teeth, I pulled open the heavy doors, just open enough so that I could slip outside.
Over the hills, a cart bumped further and further away, with Flynn tied up inside.