It has been way too long since I posted anything. There is no one thing I could use as an excuse. A bunch of little things just kept adding up and snowballing into something big.
But today is my birthday, which is my first full day off in a very long time. So, as a birthday present to all of you here is a new, long awaited, chapter.
As always, have a great day or night depending on when you are reading this!
May was on the phone with the police, while April was on the phone with the bank, and June was on the phone with her boss. They were all trying to come up with the money to pay the ransom. They knew that Ryan and Cindy had the money, but the sisters made a pact not to call the Charmings unless they were all out of options. However, everything stopped as soon as they saw Brandon standing at the front door. The three sisters immediately cornered him each asking a thousand questions a second.
“What happened?” May asked.
“Where is she?” April questioned.
“We have to get her back!” June shouted.
“So, you know about Stella.” Brandon hung his head in shame.
The worried aunts listened to Brandon as he explained everything. He told them about Anastasis hiring his mother to find Stella. And about Maleficent’s plan. And about Stella’s death.
“I am so sorry.” Brandon concluded his confession. “I wish there was something I could have done. I wish I could have been brave, but I am just a stupid coward! I would give anything to go back in time.”
“Maybe there is something you could do after all.” April thought for a moment. She was remembering everything that Fay had originally told her about Stella and the curse. “Stella isn’t really dead.”
“What are you talking about?” June questioned her sister.
“Don’t you remember?” April explained. “Fay altered the curse. Yes, Anastasis cursed Stella to death, but Fay changed it without Anastasis knowing. Stella isn’t dead, she is only sleeping. She is in a very deep sleep.”
Finally, there was a ray of hope. Brandon knew there was something that he could do after all.
“Where are we?” Ivy asked. “What is this place?”
Maleficent was quickly growing tired of her daughter’s questioning. Maleficent had just completed the transportation spell, and she wanted to revel in her accomplishment. Maleficent had always had her hand in dark magic, and this was the perfect opportunity to show off what she could do. With a wave of her hand Maleficent transported herself, Ivy, and Stella to a secret location, which took a lot of evil power to pull off. Why couldn’t Ivy just let her mother enjoy this moment?!
“Where are we?” Ivy repeated, this time with more whine in her voice.
“Where could she have taken Stella?” May thought out loud.
“They couldn’t have gone too far.” June added.
“I know where they are.” Brandon said. He knew his mother’s evil all too well. He knew exactly where they were, and what he had to do to get Stella back.
“There is an old castle not too far from here. It has been in my family for centuries.” Brandon began his explanation. “The reason we don’t live there is that it is riddled with traps. Once you go in, you don’t come out. Most likely my mother placed Stella in the bedroom of the tallest tower on the west end of the castle. You have to defeat every trap to get to it.”
“How did she get Stella there?” April asked skeptically. “And how did she get there so fast?”
“My mother is a witch.” Brandon said flatly. “She uses her dark magic very rarely, but she is very powerful. She is the one who gave Anastasis the original curse in the first place. Luckily, I know how to stop her.”
Maleficent grabbed Stella’s shoulders, while Ivy took the legs, and hoisted Stella onto the bed.
“We can leave her here until we get our money.” Maleficent explained. Then with another wave of her hand, Maleficent transported Ivy and herself back to their house.
In most fairy tales when the White Knight rides towards danger in order to save the princess he is usually carrying a sword and shield. He rides a noble steed and charges into battle for victory (and the love of a fair maiden). But this fairy tale is different.
Brandon stood at the front door of his family’s giant castle totally unarmed. There was no time to gather a sword and shield. They would be useless against is mother’s magic anyway. All Brandon has is his car and his wits.
He looked at the massive castle before him. He could guess that his mother and sister took Stella to the tallest tower on the west side of the castle. All he had to do was battle magical traps of fire, black holes, poisonous darts, and whatever other evils that his mother could come up with. But none of that seemed to matter. Brandon is in love with Stella, and there isn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for her. Without hesitation, Brandon walked towards the giant castle door.
Brandon took a deep breathe as he made his way towards the drawbridge. But before he stepped onto the bridge he felt the earth shake. He almost lost his balance when the earth shook again. He heard a high pitched shriek; he had to cover his ears it was so loud. From behind the side of the castle emerged a giant purple dragon.
“Where did my mother get a dragon from?” Brandon asked out loud. He could really use that sword and shield right about now.
The dragon roared again and Brandon could see the smoke coming from it’s nostrils. He looked around for a shield, a sword, a spear, even a really big rock. Anything to help him against this monster. But he found nothing. Maleficent had made sure that anyone who found this castle wouldn’t stand a chance against her dragon. The dragon roared again, but for some strange reason Brandon didn’t feel so afraid this time.
The beast tried to move closer to Brandon, but it couldn’t move very far. Brandon looked around and noticed that the dragon had a large shackle on it’s back leg. He followed the short chain to the far end of the courtyard. Brandon realized that this dragon is no real threat. In reality this dragon is just another pawn in Maleficent’s twisted game, just like Brandon was.
“It’s okay,” Brandon spoke softly and calmly to the giant dragon, “I am not going to hurt you.”
The dragon looked apprehensive but let Brandon approach. Brandon slowly walked up, being careful not to make any sudden moves. He put his hand out as an offering for the dragon to sniff him, like a dog. A very very large dog that could squash Brandon with it’s giant paw. If it didn’t incinerate him first.
“Don’t be afraid,” Brandon spoke when he was right under the beast. “I am just going to try to remove the chain.”
Brandon examined the shackle around the dragon’s ankle and found that it was held on by a giant lock that was larger than Brandon’s head. He looked around for something to pick the lock with. The yard was full of burnt bushes and trees, and not much else. He made his way back to his car, and in the trunk he found a crowbar and part of a carjack. They were in case of a flat tire, but Brandon may be able to use them to pick the lock. Once the dragon saw Brandon with the weapon it became nervous. It screeched and blew fire into the air.
“I need to approach with caution,” Brandon realized, “or I may end up as barbecue.”
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he tried calming the beast. “I want to help you.”
For whatever reason, his words seemed to soothe the animal. Brandon was able to get at the lock with no protest from the dragon. And after a few minutes, the lock finally broke off.
“You’re free!” he exclaimed.
For the first time since its capture, the dragon was able to move. It stretched it’s out wings and Brandon was able to see how massive the animal truly was. As a thank you it nuzzled it’s head up to Brandon.
“You aren’t a monster at all,” Brandon petted, “you are just a giant teddy bear.”
Brandon bravely faced each and every obstacle in the castle that his evil mother put in front of him. As soon as his right foot stepped over the threshold a giant axe flew at him. He only had a split second to jump out of the way. Next came the hallway with poisonous darts shooting from the ceiling. That was followed by a maze of mirrors, a hot lava pit, and several sets of fire traps. Finally he was at the base of the tallest tower.
“I’m almost there.” he thought to himself as he looked up to the top of the tower.
All he had left to do was climb the million steps to the top of the tower and rescue his love from the evil curse. Without a moment to lose Brandon ran up the stairs of the tower two at a time. He was almost out of breath by the time he reached Stella’s room. He cautiously opened the door expecting another one of his mother’s traps, but there was nothing. The room was windowless and empty save for some candles in the corner and a small bed made of stone which Stella was sleeping on. She looked so peaceful, so beautiful, Brandon was taken back.
“I am so sorry for everything,” Brandon knelt by her bedside. “I am sorry that I deceived you. I lied to you about my mother and my sister. But I never lied to you about how I felt about you.”
Brandon took Stella’s hand, “I am sorry for the way I acted. My feelings for you were tearing me up inside. I wanted to distance myself from you to protect you. But the coward in me was falling in love with you, and wanted you around. The coward has won and look what it cost you. And there is only one way to make it right.”
Brandon leaned in and gave Stella a soft kiss. It was their first kiss, and he knew that it would be their last.
Stella groggily opened her eyes as she woke from her deep sleep. It was a few seconds later that she realized that she was not in her own room. That the events of her birthday were not just a horrible nightmare. And that she was not sleeping in her nice warm bed. Instead she was laying on a cold stone coffin with Brandon, of all people, looking down at her.
“wha…where…what happened?” she asked him, “and where are we?”
Brandon went to stroke her hand, but Stella pulled away.
“I will explain everything,” Brandon replied trying not to show how hurt he was from the rejection. “but right now we have to get out of here.”
Stella’s legs felt like they were made of spaghetti yet she refused to let Brandon carry her. It was only after she lost her balance and fell did she let him be used as a crutch. As promised, Brandon explained everything as they slowly made their way down the steps. He told her everything from the very beginning, starting with Anastasis coming to Maleficent for the evil curse. He told her about Anastasis cursing Stella on her first birthday. Then once Anastasis realized that Stella was gone she sent out spies all over the free world to find her and make sure the curse comes to fruition.
It was not a coincidence that Maleficent was the one to find Stella. She tracked down Fay, watching and waiting for her to slip up. But Fay was too good and too careful. It wasn’t until after Fay died that Maleficent began watching other people close to Fay. She noticed April visit Cindy and Ryan a few times, so Maleficent had her followed to Twinbrook. Maleficent moved her family there, and forced Ivy and Brandon to befriend the girl living without parents. After meeting Stella at dinner, Maleficent knew that she was the one they had been looking for.
“And the rest you know.” Brandon concluded just as they made their way to the bottom of the tower. By that time Stella was able to walk on her own.
“But how are we going to get out of here?” Stella still had a million questions running through her mind, but she would have to wait to ask her aunts.
“We can fly.” Brandon replied as he opened the door to reveal his new pet dragon.
I just want to give a special thanks and shout out to a few creators. Without out these creations this chapter wouldn’t have been possible. Again, thank you so very much.
Maleficent’s castle was created by Flabaliki
Brandon’s dragon was created by Sil Fantasy