After writing the modern tale of Rapunzel in verse for last week's #fridayflash, here's how I think it would go in prose...
“Help!” She called, leaning as far out of the bedroom window as she dare, her eyes darting wildly in search of someone to assist her. “Please, heeeeeeelp! Somebody?!” Her panic was so great that she barely noticed the large, white truck pulling up at the curb below.
“Hey!” The occupant of the truck’s cab climbed out, waving his arms above his head to attract her attention as he circled the vehicle and stood on the pavement below. “Hey, you there! What’s the matter?”
“Oh! Oh, thank God!” She leaned on the window ledge with one hand, the other poised at her throat to demurely illustrate relief. She stared, wide-eyed, at the figure below, and struck her best ‘damsel-in-distress-type’ pose. “Oh sir, you’ve just got to help me!”
“Hmmm.” The man frowned, and pushed his Stetson back on his forehead, meeting her eyes with difficulty as he squinted in the midday sun. “Why don’t we start with what the problem is before I agree to anything, lady?” His voice was slightly gruff and he had a day and a half’s stubble growth, but he was actually quite attractive. Rude, she thought, but attractive... She held down her natural urge to say something cutting in reply, and smiled sweetly instead.
“ I’m locked in…” She giggled, and dipped her knees, pulling on the ends of her blonde tresses to make herself seem ditsy and young. There was a chance the act would help persuade him to offer assistance. “I’m staying here with my aunt whilst my apartment gets painted, and she’s gone to work. I think she forgot I was here! You see, I was asleep when she left…and she didn't leave me a key…”
“Well, what do you want me to do about it?” The man's tone was jovial; amused; as he shrugged his shoulders and smirked. “Climb up there and free you from your tower, Rapunzel?” His grin widened at his own joke, but quickly subsided when he realised she wasn’t smiling. “Why can’t you just call her?”
“Oh, of course!” She feigned sudden realisation, then cocked her head at him sarcastically. “Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh, that’s right…" her voice rose an octave in annoyance, "...because my aunt works on an oilrig! She won’t be back for a week!”
“And the police?” His smug grin returned, unfazed, as he hooked his thumbs in his belt and looked up at her from under the brim of his hat. He raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t think to call them? Or a locksmith maybe?” She sighed. She hadn’t thought of that, no. Just panicked and…okay, now she felt really stupid. The embarrassment flared her temper.
“There’s no money in the house for a locksmith,” she lied. “Look, are you going to help me or not?” She huffed and flicked her hair back over her shoulder in frustrated defiance.
“Well, maybe if you span those lovely locks into a rope, Rapunzel, I really could climb up there and fetch you down!” He snickered to himself, holding a fist against his mouth to control his laughter, then flashed her a cheeky smile as he reached into his pocket. She wanted to be angry - he was mocking her! - but there was something quite charming about his boyish teasing, and despite herself, she found she was rather enjoying it! “C’mon! Let your hair down, Ra-”
“Stop calling me Rapunzel!” She interrupted, as he continued exploring the inside pocket of his denim jacket. “I assure you, I’m no fairytale princess! The only thing I ever learned to spin was a bottle in high school!” The man stilled abruptly, his eyes slowly finding hers, before he raised an eyebrow, suggestively, in her direction.
“Very interesting!” He said with enthusiasm, retrieving a small, square object she couldn’t quite make out, from his pocket. “So…if not ‘Rapunzel’, what should I call you?” She sighed, somewhat exasperated.
“Emma. Emma Knowles.” She gestured at the object in his hand. “You’re going to smoke now?! Leave me stranded up here whilst you enjoy a cigarette and gloat? You’re very rude! I thought you were going to help me!”
“I’m rude?” He replied, with mock offence. “You didn’t even ask my name yet!” Emma closed her eyes in controlled irritation and pasted on an overly pleasant smile before she opened them again.
“Fine. What’s your name?”
“I’m Jacob Prince, miss.” He tipped his hat with the hand that wasn’t holding the square object. “But you can call me Jake.” Perfect! Emma could hardly believe it. She grinned inwardly, took a deep breath and tried a little quick-wit of her own.
“Well, Jake, now the polite introductions are out of the way, how about you honour that last name of yours and show a little charm and chivalry to a woman in distress?”
“Tell you what, Rapunzel,” Jake smiled, raising the square object to his ear. “I know a guy…I’ll call you a locksmith. It won’t cost you a penny…but once I get you down from there, you’re gonna owe me dinner.”
Emma’s mouth fell open in shock, but inexplicably, she found herself smiling at the thought.
“I hope you cook better than you spin, Rapunzel!” Jake continued, raising that single eyebrow at her again. “But since there’ll be a bottle emptied at dinner…I’m sure I’ll get to see those skills too!”
So...Rapunzel's manipulative & the prince is full of himself...but I still reckon they live happily ever after!