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Our story begins a long, long time ago in a magical land. Okay, well it wasn’t that long ago and it was in Hollywood, California. It starts about 15 years back when little Cabbage started living with her horrid Aunt Gretta. Gretta was old. We don’t know how old; she had scraggly grayish hair, and two nasty moles on her face; one on her nose and one at the tip of her pointy chin. Oh and that awful uni-brow! Gretta’s eyes were misty and always had a mean, unapproachable look to them. They seemed to changed color according to her mood. Whenever Cabbage saw them they were usually a deep, fiery red from anger. Cabbage herself was just the opposite. She was a very cheerful girl. As cheerful as one could be, having been locked up in a tower room for all your life as far as you can remember. Every day she sang beautifully and in perfect harmony with the birds outside her one small window. She had brown eyes like melting chocolate, and her face, an ivory shade, had perfect complexion. Her gorgeous hair flowed like a river of gold, shining bright underneath the morning sun. Cabbage never got the full story of how she ended up living with her aunt, or rather next to her. She was confined to one small room which was in a tower next to the house. It had no stairs or doors, and Cabbage had always wondered how she had gotten up there. Gretta always changes the story: “Your parents moved out of the country. They died. They couldn’t afford a child. They didn’t want you.” Her aunt left her there all day, everyday locked up in her attic room while she went to “Go work at the local Walmart.”
Now Cabbage is 17, still locked up in her room with her one and only possession: a hairbrush. It was quite beautiful actually with a silver handle and back, soft, white bristles, and the letters F and E inscribed into it in stunning calligraphy. Cabbage never knew where the brush had come from or what the letters stood for, but she still loved it. As she runs the brush through that silky river of gold, she gazes out her tiny window watching the day pass. A long yellow school bus passes by. Oh how she longs to go to school: or to run through a field, to have the wind blow her long, golden hair around, to just go outside and explore the world. Her fantasy halts as her aunt approaches the tower.
“I’m back! Cabbage, Cabbage, let down thy hair!”
Cabbage unpins her hair, wraps it twice around a hook nailed to the window pain, and lets the rest fall to the ground outside. Gretta grabs hold of it and hoists herself to the top. She then steps into the tower next to Cabbage. She has, strapped to her back, a basket.
“I’m going to need you to scrub all of these clothes by hand.”
“But what about your brand new washing machine you were telling me about? From Walmart?” Cabbage questions, “You got an employee discount and everything, right?”
“What? Oh yes, yes... Well, these particular items are too... uh... fragile to be put into one of those machines.”
“Okay then, well what should I-?” Cabbage is cut off by Gretta who completely ignores her.
“Well there’s that. I best be going now. I don’t want to be late for my second shift.” Reluctantly, with her question unanswered, Cabbage hooks up her hair, and her aunt slides down and walks off into the distance with her crackling laugh fading as did she. Cabbage sighs and begins unpacking the basket. She begins with the clothing. It consists of randomly selected pieces of all different colors and sizes that she has never seen her aunt wear before. In fact, all Gretta is ever seen wearing is one color: black. It just adds so much to her already so colorful personality. As Cabbage grabs the last bunch of clothing from the basket, something falls to the floor. It appears to be a letter. Cabbage carefully opens it.
Dear To Gretta,
Please do take good care of our dearest daughter Cabbage for us. Even though we had nearly no time with her, we do still love her with all of our hearts and hope to see her sometime in the future. We know that you rightfully own her and all, but please do not teach her any of that hocus pocus. We do hope for her to have a healthy, normal life and grow up learning good morals rather than evil. Everyday my husband still tells me how much he regrets ever letting Cabbage leave us, and if you ever want to get her off your hands please do let us know. We hope she’s in good care.
Emma and Frank
“Oh my goodness!” Cabbage exclaims. “My parents...” Astonished, Cabbage begins searching through the basket for anything more to do with her parents.
“Cabbage, Cabbage, let down thy hair!” Cabbage jumps. She glances at the digital clock; with all the excitement, she hasn’t realized how much time had passed. Gretta has already returned. She let her hair fall yet again. When Gretta makes it up she tosses a box at Cabbage. She seems even more frustrated than usual.
“Dinner!” Gretta barks. Cabbage turns the box over; it is a Lunchable.
“Uh, Aunt Gretta? How am I supposed to eat this? It’s frozen!”
“Ugh! Complaints, complaints, complaints, that’s all I ever get from you! Never a ‘Thanks for dinner Aunt Gretta.’ or ‘Thanks for raising and supporting me Aunt Gretta.’”
“Fine. Give it here.” Gretta takes the Lunchable and turns around, mumbling as she opens the package. Cabbage can’t make out the words, but it sounds as if she is chanting something. This is what she says:
“Powers of the world, all four.
Wind, Earth, Water and Fire.
I ask you this but no more.
Bring your flames higher,
Heat this with warmth from your core!”
Gretta swings around and Cabbage’s pizza Luchable is cooked. She can tell that the cheese is melted and everything.
“H-h-how did you do that?!” Cabbage exclaims. A look of worry comes over Gretta’s face. But then she just smiles, shoves the pizza at her, slides out the window and is gone in one swift movement. Cabbage ponders what may have happened as she finishes her pizza. She has no idea how Gretta could’ve done it.
“What did the note say? Something about teaching me something?” she mumbles to herself. Cabbage is still curious about her parents after reading that letter. While thinking all of this over, she gently drifts off to sleep.
When Cabbage wakes, the sun is shining bright, and the birds are already in song. She decides to join them. As she stands, the letter from her parents is pushed under her small bed, and she forgets about it for the rest of the day. Cabbage doesn’t notice, but as she was singing a beautiful melody, a bright, red, convertible Ferrari slows to a stop at the sound of her voice. The car waits until the end of her song and when it is over a handsome young man gets out of the car and begins to draw nearer to her tower. He searches for a door but cannot find one. He just can’t leave without seeing the face that belongs to that gorgeous voice. So he comes back, day after day, to listen to the voice and seek for a way into the tower.
On the tenth day he is headed to the tower once again, but before he can reach it, Gretta comes into sight. The young man dives behind a tree because he doesn’t want to be caught trespassing.
He overhears her call: “Cabbage, Cabbage, let down thy hair.”
“What could that mean...?” the young man whispers to himself. Then his question is answered. Cabbage appears in the window again. She hooks her hair up and tosses it out the window. The young man gasps as it flows through the air and hits the ground. Gretta grabs hold and hauls herself to the top. The man is still wide eyed with his mouth hanging open from shock, when Gretta slides back down and disappears into the trees. After a few minutes to recover from what he just witnessed, the man is still determined enough to go meet Cabbage.
As he approaches the tower he calls, “Cabbage, Cabbage, let down thy hair.” As he had hoped, the long blond hair comes billowing down to the ground. He, following Gretta, grabs hold and hoists himself up. Startled at his sight, Cabbage stumbles backward a few steps. She has never seen a man before. She catches herself staring and quickly begins questioning him nervously.
“W-who are you? What do you want? I don’t have much to give anyway!”
“I’m Jake McNight. I have heard you sing and I fell in love with your voice. Now that I have seen your face I have fallen in love with that as well. What do I want? To give you my heart and hopefully receive yours in return.”
“I-I-I don’t know what to say.”
“Will you let me come and visit again tomorrow?”
“Yes, but come after 7:30, to be sure that my aunt isn’t around. You should get going now.”
“Uh, okay. So Cabbage, Cabbage, let down your hair?” Jake gives a small smirk, trying to get a laugh.
“Ha ha very funny,” Cabbage replies with a sarcastic tone, as she hooks up her hair.
“See you tomorrow at 7:30.” Jake slides down her hair and is off to his car. After Cabbage reels her hair back in, a soft smile comes over her face. She has never met a man before and Jake seems very nice. Her smile grows and she spins around in three circles then collapses on her tiny mattress. Sweet dreams drift through her mind.
The next day couldn’t have stretched on any longer for Cabbage. She sings only one of her usually 6 or so songs and spends the rest of the day counting down waiting until 7:30. As the time is approaching, Cabbage is pacing back and forth brushing her hair with the silver brush.
“It’s 7:31. Where is he? Is he still coming?” Cabbage’s heart is racing. The minutes pass: 7:31, 7:32, 7:35, 7:40. Cabbage is on the verge of crying when the bright, red Ferrari pulls up. Jake approaches.
“Cabbage, Cabbage, let dow--” He is cut off mid-sentence by the pile of blond hair dropping on him. He scrambles up.
“I see you were ready for me.”
“I couldn't wait.”
“Sorry I was late. There was awful traffic over by McDonald’s.”
“You’ve never heard of it?” He sounds shocked. “It’s a fast food place. You know like hamburgers and french fries?”
“Your aunt really keeps you locked up here a lot doesn’t she?”
“I’ve never left.”
“Wow, I can’t even imagine…Well there is something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
“What? What is it?” Jake got down on one knee and took out a small wooden box. Cabbage doesn’t know what this means.
“Cabbage, Cabbage,” he says. “Will you please marry me?”
“Oh my goodness! Yes! But my aunt Gretta, she will never let me leave. She doesn’t even know that you have been visiting. What will we do?”
“Tomorrow I will bring a rope ladder with me, then we can both climb down and run away together.” Cabbage smiles. “I better get going for now though.”
“Okay hurry back!” Cabbage waves goodbye as her fiancé climbes into his bright, red car and drives away. Before Cabbage goes to bed, she carefully tucks her beautiful ring underneath her pillow. She doesn’t want Gretta catching her wearing that.
The next day, it is nearly the time that Gretta usually comes to visit. Cabbage is wrapping her few possessions in a big piece of cloth: the silver hairbrush, the letter about her parents, and the ring. She ties the cloth and sets it behind her bed for when Jake comes for her. She has just set the package down when she hears her aunt.
“Cabbage, Cabbage, let down thy hair.”
As Cabbage heaves Gretta up she accidentally mentions to her, “Wow! Aunt Gretta, do tell me why you are so much heavier than Jake? He pretty much flies up here.”
“What? Oh you atrocious child! Who is this Jake? I raised you and tried to protect you from this world, but you have betrayed me! I can promise you this: you shall never see him again!”
“Oh no Aunt Gretta, please!” Cabbage begs. “Don’t harm him!” Furious and completely blocking her out, Gretta clutches her niece’s gorgeous long hair with one hand and chops it off with the other. She begins to fasten the braid to the hook.
“And for you!” Gretta shouts. She grabs Cabbage by the arm, forces her out the window and they both slide down. Gretta grabs her arm once again and pulls her to the street. They start walking and make a ton of turns: too many to remember.
“Where are you taking me?” Cabbage demands.
“Oh, shut up!” They make one last turn and come out to an intersection of busy streets and a strip mall.
“But Aunt Gretta-“
“Stop calling me that! I’m not even your aunt! If we ever meet again you shall call me Dame Gretta! Or sorceress if you prefer!” Cabbage stumbles along: stunned.
“Here!” Gretta shoves Cabbage out and disappeares. Cabbage is left there all alone.
How nice it is to be free of the tower, free of Gretta, free of that long hair weighing her down. But how frightening it is to be left alone, in a strange place, not knowing what to do or where to go. And on top of that she is worried about Jake.
Gretta then hurries back to the tower and reels in all of Cabbage’s old hair. Then she waits. At 7:30 on the dot Jake comes. When he calls, she lets the hair fall down. When Jake reaches the top though, ladder in hand and a smile on his face, he does not find his love. Instead, he is greeted by Gretta’s horrid face.
“Where’s Cabbage!” Jake demands.
But Gretta only gives him one of her crackling laughs and says, “Ah! You shall never see your dearest Cabbage’s face again!”
Then she begins chanting.
“W-what are you doing?” Jake questions now with a bit of a quiver in his voice. She ignores him.
“She betrayed me
With this man that stands here
Now they shall see
This will be clear
Now they’ll feel the fright!
Take away his sight!”
A piercing pain strikes through Jake’s eyes, and he falls to the floor. When he gets to his feet he feels a push, and then he falls through the air and hits the earth with a thump. As he blindly wanders on, he hears an evil laugh fading in the distance.
Meanwhile Cabbage has been wandering around a busy city, lost and confused. She’d passes a Macy’s, a Subway, a Border’s, a Starbucks, and a McDonald’s which reminds her of Jake. She is just on the verge of crying when she sees the Walmart. Not knowing what else to do, Cabbage heads in that direction. She is hoping to find ‘Dame Gretta’ or possibly one of her friends for guidance. But when she asks management, they tell her they have never heard of her. This makes Cabbage even more confused. What was Gretta doing all that time if she was never really working here? Was everything she knew in her life a lie? Sobbing and walking aimlessly around the store, Cabbage isn’t looking where she is going. She accidentally bumps into a man. They simultaneously apologize.
“That really was my fault; I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’m sorry sir.”
“No, no. I’m blin- Wait a second. Cabbage is that you?”
“Yes, oh my gosh Jake I thought I would never see you again!”
“Your aunt put some spell on me, I’m blind. I don’t know how I found my way here.”
“She’s a witch I knew it! That horrid lady, she wasn’t even my aunt.”
“But at least now we’re here together.”
Cabbage’s eyes fill with tears of of happiness and love which find their way into Jake’s eyes and cure them. He was now able to gaze into the eyes of his true love and tell her how much he loves her.
Jake and Cabbage leave to go find his car. Once they find it, they were on their way to Jake’s parent’s house to tell them the good news. They stop to help an older couple having car trouble. The lady notices Cabbage’s brush sticking out of her pouch. She gasps and nudges her husband.
“Could it be? That looks just like the brush you gave me at our wedding,” her husband shrugs, to consumed with the car to give the subject any attention.
“Excuse me, but where did you get that hairbrush?” The lady motions toward the silver handled brush.
“It was my mother’s I think, I’ve never met her. But I think these are her and my father’s initials on the back.” The woman gasps once more and then embraced Cabbage.
“Oh Cabbage! My sweet, sweet Cabbage! Fate has brought us back together once more!” As it turns out they were Cabbage’s parents, Emma and Frank. They are delighted to hear that their daughter is engaged to this nice, young man. The four of them pile into Jake’s bright, red Ferrari and drive off into the sunset.
Two years later, after Cabbage and Jake were happily married, twins Kale and Lettuce are born. They are raised normally in a beautiful house in Hollywood: regular haircuts and no towers. And they all lived happily ever after.