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The Pink Wrapped Box
Tick tock, tick tock, was the only sound I heard as I stared at the clock on the wall. I waited for the small, slow moving hands stick nine-thirty.
I sighed as I looked away from the clock and my wondering eyes looked around the bookstore. Many books stacked the high library like shelves, racks of bookmarks, and a perfume aroma of black coffee and tea from the small café in the corner, made me want to drift off to sleep. It felt like I was in an empty coffee container in the store aa I tapped my fingers on the front counter as I waited for my shift to be over.
“Oh my god! Who in the world would want a book at this time of night?” I screamed aloud. The book store shook when I stomped my feet on the hard, red tiled floor, “Tanya? Why did you have to work at a bookstore? Why not sexy waitresses at the run down dinner down the street?”
Footsteps patted and echoed from the back of the store. It was my manager. He walked up to the counter to see me.
“I’m here to pull you out of your misery, Miss Tanya,” my manager began. “Your shift is over!”
I gave him a forced smile, gritting my teeth together. I grabbed my purse which lay on the counter near the cash register. I came around the counter and headed for the exit.
"See you, Damien!" I waved and opened the door and headed out onto the street. I heard the door behind me ring as it closed.
When I walked down the street to my apartment building, I wondered why I ever left Miami, Florida to come live in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When I left college, I still didn't know what to do for the rest of my life. I tried moving to New York, but there weren’t any good jobs available that I could make enough money to live there.
As I strolled down the street, I wondered what my friends were doing in Florida. They were most likely at the white sandy beaches and having the time of their lives because they decided to not leave the state. It was my 22th birthday, and it was my very first year celebrating it all by myself. It's really hard to live by yourself and your friends and family are on another part of the country for a spoiled, beach blonde brat!
I reached my apartment building and buzzed the buzzer to let myself in.
"Tanya Madison," I had spoken into the small intercom. The door to the building unlocked.
As I started to walk towards the elevator, I pulled my Chocolate cell phone out of my Couch purse. I pressed the round button with an arrow pointing up to call for the elevator as I speed dialed my friend Amanda. By the time the elevator doors opened, I was connected with Amanda.
"Hello?" a familiar voice spoke on the other end of the call.
"Hey, Manda Baby!" I greeted excitedly.
Amanda replied, "How are you doing' girl! Happy Birthday!"
I blushed and thanked her.
Amanda asked me if I had big plans to celebrate my birthday that night. I said no because I didn't want to enjoy a dinner at the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts with a gay guy.
My conversation with Amanda only lasted the 120 second ride up the elevator. I found my apartment but... There was a small present, wrapped in colorful "Happy Birthday" paper with a pink, shiny bow on top. The name tag read, Tanya Madison!
I immediately picked up the present with greedy hands. I pulled out my keys from my denim jean skirt's pocket and unlocked my apartment. When I opened the door, I arrived to my pink palace. Everything in my apartment was a shade of pink. The carpet was pink, the sofa was pink, the walls, kitchen dishes, the toilet, and almost every item I owned was pink. I've donated a lot of money to the "Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation!"
I hopped onto my pink leather sofa and began to rip the wrapping paper on the mystery present. I was hoping it was diamond earrings or a new Calvin Klein perfume from my mom and dad back in Florida, but then...
All do a sudden; I felt air moving against my face. I was falling and I screamed for my life. I hit the ground with a thud and my head felt like it was going to split open. I opened my eyes to find myself in a large golden hay stack with straw in my mouth. I glanced around to see where I had fallen.
There was dirt on the ground, instead of cement. The buildings were small and built out of wood, instead of the fancy whit cottages and beach houses. And there was a stench of farm animals, instead of the smell of greasy fast food hot dogs and burgers.
"Are you alright?" a polite voice asked.
I looked up to see a heavy, plumped woman, hovering over me in an old fashion dress and apron. I spit hay out of my mouth and reached for the woman's chubby hands to pull myself up from the ground. I answered, "I am not alright... I think I fell out of the sky, and... Where is the nearest day spa?"
The woman looked at me in confusion.
"Excuse me?" She asked as she took a good look at me. Her eyes budged when she scanned my clothes I was wearing. I was wearing a low cut Hollister tee, a blue denim jean mini skirt, and my favorite pink poke dot flip flops. After the women checked out my wardrobe choice as if I was one of those thin manikins in a clothing store display, she finally met my face again.
"Why are you showing so much skin?" She cried in horror.
I calmly shrugged my shoulders, "To be attacked and look hot for boys, I guess. Now where is the nearest Starbucks because I need a coffee-?"
The latest song by Madonna, 4 minutes, began to vibrate and play in my pocket. It was my cell phone's ringbone. I pulled out my cell phone out of my pocket and glanced at the tiny, lighted screen.
""Ugh! Bad reception!" I complained and switched off my phone.
I didn't realize the large woman was still watching me. She had a terrorized expression all over her face as if she had just walked out of the cinema after watching a horror film. Breathlessly, she pointed her finger at me.
As a joke, I smiled and replied, "I see dead people!"
Obviously, the woman didn't like my joke. I stopped giggling when she shouted, "Witch!"
My eyes widened. The people in the village stopped the labor they were progressing and took a great look at me. There was a long pause of silence. A second later, the villagers grabbed heavy shovels, sharp pitch forks, large sticks, and flaming torches. I began to run through the small alley was of the town. As I ran, I took a look to see where I was. I no longer in Cape Cod anymore, but a scene from a Disney's princess movie of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.
I ran for my dear life, but my heart suddenly dropped when my flip flops fell off and I trips over them. Following this, I tripped over a squirming, coral pink pig. The next thing I knew, I felt a pudding like substance in my mouth, but it wasn't chocolate pudding! I fell face first in a mud puddle in a pig pen.
I was grabbed by my luscious blonde hair by the filth hands of men and women, carrying weapons. I tried to break free, but they kept a hard grip on me. They dragged me out of the village and headed to a tall, medieval age, stone castle. There was a huge metal gate that was guarded by frowning guards in shining armor.
I then was dragged into the throne room. At the end of the room was a lady sitting in a large decorative chair. She wore a long, green diamond and pearl sequenced, puffy, gown. She wore a jeweled crown upon her head. I knew she have been then queen. Like the guards, she had a frown on her face. Her eyes were a heartless grey as she stared endlessly at me. She had dark circle around her eyes and her skin was pale as ice.
When I stood before her, every person in the room bowed to her. I was the still standing while every other person was paying respect. I felt like an idiot so to lighten up the moment, I faced the queen’s unhappy face and with giggles and joy, I smiled, "Hi!"
The queen held her hand out to hush me in silence. She slowly rose from her silver throne and walked around me. I gulped and an icy chill went up my spin. The queen finally stopped circling me and faced my innocent, pale face.
"Who in the name of Eliz are you!" the queen shouted. Her strong voice echoed through the room.
I politely answered, "Tanya Madison, who wants to know?"
"Silence!" the queen hushed. The queen again started to pace. She gave me an evil eye upon me. She pointed her finger at me and waved it as if it was a magic wand. She declared, "You'll be working for me for a long, long, long time. You'll be working in my stables in my castles during the day. At night, you'll be locked in my cold dungeon! You'll get only two meals each day, both a serving of slop and bread. You'll learn your lesson, Witch!"
"Wait!" I blurted out so I could defend myself, but I was already magically traveling into another part of the castle.
Seconds later, I was in a musty, dusty, stinky horse barn. My clothes were changed into a grey, lifeless, maid gown with a brown stained apron.
I screamed in horror, "This is so not designer! I want to go home now! Ahhhhh!"
A young man who was tall and muscular came up to me and poked me in my boney shoulder, while I was throwing my fit. He had dark dreamy eyes, pale skin, and his lips were the color of a Pink Lady apple. He reminded me of Johnny Depp when he was younger. The young man was such like a prince charming. I fixed my gaze at him and he handed me a squared shovel and a large dinner fork.
"What is this?" I asked looking at the large, rusty dinner fork.
"A pitch fork," the young man answered as he scratched his long brown hair that laid like a mop on his head.
I twitched my nose, "Why did you give me this... Dinner for or pitch fork thingy?"
The young man, who seemed like an every girl's dream prince, rolled his eyes, "Clean out the stalls? Get to work!"
I gasped. There was no way I was cleaning yucky horse stalls! I exclaimed, "I can't do that, I just got my nails done!"
I flared out my hands to show him my painted, polished, pink and white; zebra stripped designed, perfect finger nails. The man gave me a confused grin and sneered as he shook his head.
"Come to the kitchen at sun down." He said as her walked out of the barn. I watched him leave, until I couldn't see his brownie colored hair any longer.
"You are no longer Prince Charming, you stupid Beef Cake!" I muttered and headed to work.
I had to put stinky hay and pellets in the twenty-five horse stall's feeding buckets. I had to muck out a dark brown substance that flies were zipping around. I had to feed the pigs a goopy stew full of table scraps and rotten eggs. I had to hoe gardens in the fields and herd in cows.
While I was moving in the cows, I saw the young man again. He was acting extremely suspicious because I saw him climbing over the castles walls. I wondered if he was escaping from his chores form the queen. Was I doing his chores?
At the end of my hard day through hell, my nails were scraped and ruined. My feet and ankles were sore, blistered, and bleeding. My face was lathered with a mud and dirt face mask. And my eyes were red, puff, and my purple contacts hurt, and it looked like I had pink eye. I had tears rolling down my rosy cheeks because of the burning. I need to find away back home. I want to get a nice misuse!
It was nearly sunset after I stopped working and headed to the castles kitchen. I was starving to death, but I think I could die from the horrible outfit I was wearing. When I found the kitchen and dinning room, it was loaded and crowded of the starving slaves of the queen. I walked around the dinning room's wooden tables that wear being used by slaves who also gave me evil glares.
I raised my hands in the air as if I was caught red handed by the police stealing diamonds, "I am not a witch!"
Behind me, I heard a little girl who was dressed in rags tell her mother that I had the color skin of a peach. I walked away with my nose high in the air attitude, that I didn't hear that rude comment.
I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see the man who had snuck over the castles walls and gave me farmer girl instructions. He held out a round silver plate with a hunk of white bread and a big ladle scoop of... I think it was the stew I had fed the pigs! I took the bowl and stared at it with disgust.
I pushed the bowl to the man's chest, "Check please?"
He shoved the plate back to me, "Eat it!" He demanded.
"Yuck, no! And I don't eat carbs!" I shot back. "What the heck is your deal anyways? You sneak!"
He stepped back a little from me. He threw the plate of much and bread on a nearby wooden table. He heavily sighed and rolled his big brown, sparkling eyes as he searched for words for his responds.
"My name is Casper!" the young man sighed.
"And what in the world were you doing, sneaking over the castles walls?" I asked.
Casper rolled his eyes and pleads, "Don't tell the queen!"
I said, "What makes you think I would?"
Casper sighed heavily, "Look, I am a rebel against the Queen Lucinda. I work undercover as a bust boy in the kitchen, washing dishes. I go over the walls to plan with my rebellion!"
I perked up because I couldn't believe what I was hearing, "You say what?"
Casper shrugged, "Yeah!"
I shook my head, "No! You only do the dished and I'm working my butt off. Not to mention that I broke my nails too!"
I finally broke through capers hard shell because he started to laugh really hard. Then I finally asked why Queen Lucinda is such a horrible queen.
Casper said a few years ago, Lucinda took the throne of land Eliz because she killed her brother who was the rightful air to the throne. She was jealous of him. Now, Queen Lucinda uses her powers of magic and enchantment for evil. She has the villagers into slavery and takes the people's money for herself.
"That is cruel!" I replied, “The people of Eliz must die from illnesses and hunger."
Casper nodded, "So you do have a brain. Who knew?"
I put my hands on my boney hips and stared him down. Almost everyone thinks of me either as a dumb blonde or a blonde out of a "Playboy" magazine!
"Sorry," Casper apologized, "And then the queen sent her niece, her brother's daughter, to a whole other dominion twenty-five years ago when she was born."
I nodded my head so he knew I understood the information. Then I was thinking if Queen Lucinda could send her niece to a whole different dimension, can she send me back home? I asked Casper how Lucinda could send people into space and time and he said her has an enchanted magic mirror. It hangs in Lucinda’s master bedroom chamber that is in the highest tower of the castle.
"Casper?" I asked in a small shy voice. "Can you help me to the mirror to go back home?"
He gave me a mysterious grin. I had a feeling he would help me, but there was a debt that I would have to return. "Only if you help me get a new ruler for Eliz and defeat Lucinda!"
I smiled, "You got your self a deal! What did you have in mind?"
Princess Raven Etta is the rightful air to the throne and the ruler of Eliz. Casper told me that I should pretend to be Raven Etta. Obviously, I can play any role of a princess really well.
The next morning, Casper and I quietly went around the village to get other rebels to help us plan a rebellion towards Queen Lucinda. While the men and Casper held a secret meeting at an old grey, shabby house, I was getting pampered for my part.
I was sent to a seamstress so I could get fitted in a nice, fancy, princess gown. The seamstress was getting annoyed because most of her dress that were already made didn't fit me. I am a size two and she had to make a whole new dress for me. The gown she made me was absolutely beautiful! It was purple, long, flared, and slimed at my torso. The fabric was silk and it shimmered in the light. The sleeves and the bottom was soft velvet. There was diamonds around the neckline of the dress. It fit me just right too. It felt like I was going to walk on the red carpet at the Grammies, or in this case, to a grand ball!
Later that day, I had my hair and make up done. The hairdresser had cut my long blonde hair to the bottom of my chin. I wanted to cry and tape my hair back on after I looked in the mirror. Then she pulled my hair into a bun, but left some hair in the front to curve my face. The hairdresser finished my hair style with a purple daisy in my hair to match my dress.
Everything was falling into place. I was ready to go and Casper and the men were ready with their weapons to defeat the evil queen. Queen Lucinda, throughout the day, was getting suspicious because nobody was working. The rebellion was plotted to march to the castle at the rise of the moon. I just hoped our plan was going to succeed, I couldn't wait to go back home to old Cape Cod.
The blue sky slowly faded way to purple and the sun went down. The moon began to burn bright as it magically appeared in the night sky. The stars twinkled over head as the rebellion began to march to the castles gates. The angry mob held shovels, pitch forks, hoes, torches, and lanterns. The march was led by Casper and I.
We walked over the castle's guards and broke down the metal gate. When we reached the throne room, the queen wasn't there!
"Everyone split up and search the castle!" Casper demanded.
The fierce rebels split up anxiously, but Casper headed up the long, grand staircase.
"Where are you going," I asked as I started walking up the staircase and trying to keep my balanced from tripping over my dress.
Casper didn't turn, "I'm going straight to the Queen! I know where she is hiding and I cannot let her escape!"
I gulped as I followed him up the castle and up the castle's tower, until we reached Queen Lucinda’s bed chamber. There was a large dark brown, wooden door at the top of the tower. Casper pushed the doors opened. On the other side was Queen Lucinda with a surprised expression. Lucinda held a spell book in her hands. Behind her, on the stone wall was my way home, the enchanted mirror!
"It's over Lucinda! Slavery in Eliz ends now!" Casper announced. He pulled out a silver sword.
Lucinda gave us a wicked grin, "No it isn't!"
"Princess Raven Etta lives!" Casper pushes me forward, "She is the rightful air to the trine of Eliz. Not You!"
Lucinda shook her head, "That isn't my niece, Raven Etta. If she was Raven Etta, she would have a purple heart that reads Elizabeth, the goddess of Eliz, on her ankle."
I froze in shock. I did have a Purple Heart tattoo that said Elizabeth on my ankle. I had had always had the tattoo when I was little. I never knew why I had it in the first place. I was the real Princess Raven Etta and she was sent to Florida away from Eliz's demission! I lifted my dress, slipped of my shiny glass heals, and showed my tattoo.
I calmly announced, "Think again... Aunt Lucinda?"
Queen Lucinda’s eyes widen in terror, "No, no! You can not be. It's impossible!"
"Give it up! Casper demanded as he began to fight her. He swung his sword, but the queen blocked it with her spell book. She held out her hand and then let of make from her hands at Casper. The magic she used weakened Casper. His legs no longer could keep him standing. He dropped to the ground. The queen ran around her bedroom chamber. She faced her mirror and said a few magic words. On the mirror, it showed an awful place that was dark and lifeless. I screamed and ran behind her because I couldn't let her get away with hurting my friend. I pushed Queen Lucinda into the mirror. She fell into the heartless land and then the portal closed. She was trapped. The mirror was back to normal a few seconds later, I didn't see Lucinda anymore in the mirror, but my own reflection. I looked at Casper in the mirror, which was standing behind me.
"I cannot be the princess,” I argued turning around to face is handsome face. I began to pound my fist onto his chest. "I can't be the princess, I want to go home!"
Casper pushed me away and took my hand. He looked me in the eyes, he spoke, "Yes, Raven Etta, you are!"
He then bowed before me and kissed my soft hand. He was honored to be in the presents of a long lost Princess Raven Etta of Eliz.
I shook my head, I whispered, "I'm Tanya Madison from Cape Cod. I'm not from here."
Casper hushed me. He wanted me to take the throne so badly. Though, I can't take that position.
"Casper you are the rightful air to the throne!" I declared, taking his hands, "You take it."
Casper shook his head in disagreement.
"Come on, I have live in a whole different life style then this, " I admitted, "I'm a spoiled, selfish brat! Are those the kind of traits you want in your ruler.
Casper was speechless and shrugged his arms, He stupidly said, "But I love you!"
I laughed and shook my blonde head, "No you don't. You think you do because I'm the princess. If I wasn't the princess, you would say, go home through that mirror now. Your not falling madly in love with me. That's not true love, Casper.
Casper didn't respond.
"No take the crown, Casper," I demanded sweetly.
I believe that I am the rightful ruler of Eliz. I think this because I have made a shocking, but right, decision. Three day's ago, I came falling from the sky to Eliz and people thought I was a witch and an unrealistic being. They now look at me as their leader... Surprisingly.
I faced all the villagers as I sat on my throne. With the Eliz crown upon my small headed, I had total control!
"I'm Queen Raven Etta of Eliz, but you all also know me as the witch," I powerfully blared at the people. There were a few people who began to giggle in the crowd. I smiled, but I drew a serious face.
"Eliz is in my hands," I explained seriously. "I must do what is best for Eliz. Like Queen Lucinda wasn't best for Eliz... I also not best for Eliz either!"
The crowd before me gasped. Chatter and whispers echoed and traveled through the room. I held my hand out for silence. It quiet down rapidly.
"I am now a soaring eagle, but soon to land," I choked as I tried to hold back tears. "I give up the crown to a special friend and who is best for Eliz. He has known the rights and wrongs for Eliz all along."
There was a long pause. I smiled as I saw a familiar face was making his way through the villagers.
"And that is Casper!" I cried with a tone of happiness.
Casper walked proudly towards me. I stood up from my throne, and walked to him. I bowed my headed and gracefully took the crown off my head. Casper got down on kiss knees and bowed. I placed the jeweled crown on his brown hair.
"All hail, King Casper!" I announced.
The villagers jumped from their seats and clapped and cheered. A smile of pride washed over Casper's face. It was a remarkable experience.
There was a huge party and feast, but I didn't stay. I slipped away from the party. I walked through the castle to Lucinda’s old bedroom chamber. I found and face the enchanted mirror. I starred at my reflection for a while, admiring my ball gown. Then I asked the mirror to show me my home. In the mirror, there was my pink apartment in Cape Cod. That is my castle. I smiled and stepped into the mirror. I couldn't say good-bye. In seconds, I was home.
I find myself back in my apartment, everything pink and frilly. I looked down at the pink wrapped box. There was nothing in it.
I rudely said, “What kind of birthday present was that?
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