Princess Dorm 2.
I woke to the sound of Melody singing. I rolled over and saw her sitting on her bed, brushing her hair and singing. When she noticed that I was awake, she stopped and blushed.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to wake you up," apologized Melody. Her voice was low, so I knew that my other roommates were both asleep.
"Well, I guess I might as well shower, or take a bath. Big day of classes today, so," I said as I slid out of bed.
"Why get ready for class so early though?" she asked.
"What time is it?" I wondered if it was just six.
"It's seven thirty, but classes for the Disney dorm don't start until eleven."
"Then why are you up?"
"Serenading the sun. It's just a little something that Pocahontas got me used to when we were at camp."
"You went to camp?"
"Yeah, I went to camp. We all did. We go every month but the one month of winter a year that we get."
"When are you going next?"
"Next week. Oh, you get to come with us this time! Merida would like to expand her camp experience by one other friend. You seemed to be getting to know each other last night."
"I did learn a lot about her, and she learned a lot about me. Just do me a favor and explain spaghetti to her. She doesn't get the concept."
Melody giggled softly. She looked around, stood up, headed for the door and gestured for me to follow her. Naturally, I did. She led me down the front steps and out the front door. We arrived at a little building where there were already a couple of the girls from the Disney dorm, like Ariel, Tiana, Belle, Giselle, and Kida.
"Hello again, Vanessa! Care to join me for a cinnamon roll?" asked Kida, patting the bench next to her. I walked over and sat down next to her.
"So where are you from?" asked Kida excitedly.
"I'm from Canada, and you?" I replied.
"I'm from Atlantis. Tia's from New Orleans, Melody and Ariel are from… well, I don't know. Giselle is from Andalasia, and nobody is sure where Belle is from, not even Belle herself. Do you have any siblings?"
"Just two, but they are only related to me by marriage. The K Terrors are my stepsisters. Other than that, nope, none of those."
"I have none either. I personally like it better, being an only child."
"How old are you anyways? I'm fourteen. Fifteen in three days."
"I'm fourteen as well, except I only turned fourteen two days ago. Most of us are either thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen. Except for Ariel and Eric. They're both seventeen."
I was starting to like this place better and better every day, and I'd only been here two days. I could count on both my hands how many friends I'd made so far, which was more friends than at all my previous schools combined. That and I didn't have to do any work until eleven every day! We also had a nifty hangout for those early mornings where staying in bed would be impossible. By nine, all of the girls from the dorm, including the non-royals, were all there, enjoying Tiana's endless stream of various desserts. I'd never eaten dessert this early in the morning, and if being here would allow me to do that, no matter how awful things might get to be, I would stay forever.
I learned more about each princess before eleven. Ariel liked to collect things, but her dad didn't like it so much. Tiana dreamt of opening a restaurant. Belle just wanted to go out and have an adventure. Merida wanted to ride free in the wind and make her own fate. Rapunzel had been dreaming of leaving her tower and having a life for so long, and she was so happy that she'd finally been allowed to go ahead and have one. Cinderella, well, she was all fine and dandy, now that Charles had whisked her off of her feet. Aurora just wanted to find love, which she had. Giselle just wanted her prince to come whisk her away, which hadn't happened yet. Charlotte wanted nothing but to be a real princess instead of Daddy's princess. She'd had her eye on Naveen before she realized that it was pointless because Tiana and Naveen were in love. Mulan had run away and joined the army in the place of her father at the age of thirteen. Luckily she was tall for her age, or they never would have bought it.
The bell rang and we all ran for the doors. I ran faster than was necessary, because I was afraid that Mist stuff was going to come out and kill me or whatever it did. Kida laughed and said that only happened at seven. I calmed down. Kida waved and said she would see me during the next class, Magic, which we both had together. I had Animal Talking 101. Cinderella, Snow White and Giselle were all in that, and so was a whole other bunch of people from the other dorms. I hadn't ever even bothered to learn the names of the other dorms, and I also didn't care enough to bother. There was one prince who sat next to the window writing the whole time that I was intrigued by. I heard the teacher say his name. Derek. I sat staring at him for three quarters of the class and once, he looked me in the eye! Then he immediately looked back down. In that look, I saw something different. I knew he wasn't like other princes at this school. He had to be special. As I was leaving class and heading to Magic, his hand brushed up against mine and I got chills. Maybe he was an elf prince. I saw his ear. Rounded like a human's ear. Shame, elves are so interesting. Kida snuck up on me and wrapped her arm through mine as we were walking. She scared me to death. I almost fell flat on my face.
"Kida, you almost made me fall and break my neck!"
"You wouldn't have broken your neck, but you would have hit your head."
"Why would you say that? I still don't want to hit my head!"
"Well, you didn't so let's just get to class."
We sat next to each other in class and Kida was assigned to catch me up in the gazebo. We just sat out there while she taught me about her Atlantean crystal, and what they did.
"They're all pieces from a giant floating crystal which supplies our city with the power to keep on thriving, even underwater. We give them to our babies the day of their birth and we have them around our necks long after we die. Because of these necklaces though, we live hundreds, sometimes thousands of years before we die. I myself am one hundred and forty."
"But you said this morning that you were fourteen."
"Every ten years that we live, our bodies mature by one year. All of our toddlers are ten or twenty years old in human time. If I were to take this necklace off up here, I would crumble away to dust and be dead. This crystal is what started our life force, and this crystal is what keeps our life force going." The bell rang off in the distance. "And on that note, it's time for lunch. I think Tia made pizza."
"I always wanted to try pizza."
"You've never had it? Didn't you go to Italy?"
"I did, but I wasn't allowed to eat any of the pizza. Mother said it was too messy for a princess to consume. But it looked delicious."
"Oh, it is. Only there are a few of the Disney girls who are to princessey to eat it, like Belle and Snow White. Tia makes them gumbo instead."
Once we were inside the cafeteria, I saw that Mulan and Merida were already deeply engrossed in the pizza. Mulan was taking a bite out of a slice, standing at one end of the table. Merida seemed to be giving her a tutorial on how to take a slice without the cheese stretching. She was clearly on the last step.
"… And, out with a twist!" she said triumphantly as she removed the piece and took a bite. Snow White looked over at them and Belle flicked her hand.
"Ignore them, Snow." she said bitterly.
I laughed and went over to the pizza. I slid off my white gloves and handed them to Kida, who stuffed them in a pouch. I grabbed a piece and took it out, but not without the cheese stretching to unbelievable lengths.
"Och, you're doin' it wrong. Here, just cut it with a knife and it should be all well. I forgot the first step to making sure it doesn't stretch already." advised Merida.
I reached for the knife and cut each little string of cheese. Then, I cautiously took a dainty bite. Merida laughed.
"Nope, yer doin' it all wrong. Bite it like you mean it! Bite it like yer not afraid to get sauce on the corners of yer mouth!"
I bit into it and meant it and sauce got all over my mouth. I resisted the urge to reach for the napkin and finished the whole slice.
"You've done me proud lass. Yer free to wipe yer face now. I would do it fast, afore Derek sees you like that."
I lunged for the napkin and scrubbed my mouth so hard; I probably lost two layers of skin. When I threw out the napkin, Mulan and Merida were laughing the hardest I'd ever heard anyone laugh before. Mulan was leaning on the table, and Merida was rolling on the floor.
"You cleaned up fast enough when…" Mulan had to pause to keep laughing. "When she mentioned Derek!"
I blushed and looked around. Kida explained to me that there were two Derek's, the single one who most people thought were weird and the one dating Anastasia. I was never to confuse the two, because things would just be awkward if I did. I relaxed and then ate as much pizza as I could hold. Then it was back to school work. I had one class left, one that was really long, which almost all of the Disney girls were in, except Merida, Esmeralda, and Charlotte. It was Singing. Almost all of the other girls were naturals, pros and champs, top of the class. Then there was me. I'm not sure exactly how I did. They asked me to sing, gave me some lyrics, and I did my best. What I was really the best at was playing a musical accompaniment. I play violin, and when they told Rapunzel to come up and sing 'Think of Me', I played like a full orchestra all alone. By the end, the people were clapping and cheering, not completely for Rapunzel, but also for me.
Then, to supper. Basically a repeat of the previous night except for one minor detail. Derek was writing and walking at the same time, which he had told me was hard for him to do when he walked straight into the Mist. We hadn't even had the chance to get to know each other yet, so I did the radical thing. I went straight in after him.
It was the strangest feeling I'd ever experienced. I didn't die, I went somewhere. Somewhere where the trees were made of candy and the air smelled of sweet blossoms. A wise old caterpillar (yes a caterpillar) told me that I had approximately twenty minutes to find the mist in this world before I'd be stuck here forever. I found Derek and we both made our way to… somewhere. In this place, it was always somewhere, never anywhere in particular. We found a little girl in a blue dress and wearing an apron. She told us her name was Alice and she begged us to take her with us. What else could we do but say yes? She had a kitten with her and Derek was allergic, so we threw it down a well.
"Mommy's sorry, but I'm going to leave you here to die."
"What the heck is wrong with you? I thought we were going to be together until I died!" yelled the cat, which freaked me out.
"Well, we are, because I'm leaving you here to die!"
So we kept walking. Things were getting, as Alice put it 'curiouser and curiouser' as we walked. There was so much strange stuff going on that I just stopped looking. Soon, when we had found the mist and went straight into it. We emerged in the Disney dorm, actually, which was weird.
"Whoa, this is absolutely strange! Where are we anyways?" asked Alice.
"The Princess Academy, inside the Disney dorm." said Derek. "The girl's side. That means I should probably leave. I'll see you in Animal Talking 101."
My heart skipped for no real reason. I wasn't infatuated, was I? I didn't think so. But then again, what do I know about love? Nothing. Never been in love, never understood it, never wanted it as much as I had today. Or did I? I didn't know! I was so confused! Alice ran around in circles, squealing with excitement at being at the school. Snow White came out because there was someone who was excited. She got excited too, and soon we had two nutcases running around and singing. I face-palmed. They were such Carolines. I shushed them down and sent them both to Snow's room and I went into my room.
"I tell ya, she's not comin' home on her own. We have to go get her!" I heard Merida exclaim.
"Just keep your head; she'll be home so…" That was the point at which Rapunzel noticed me.
It was also at that point that I realized how good of a friend she was. She ran over to me as fast as she could and grabbed me in a hug. I was amazed when she started sobbing on my shoulder, soaking my dress. It was the most touching thing I'd ever had happen to me.
"I was so worried. Where were you?" sobbed Rapunzel.
"I got into the mist. We're fine, and we got another girl for the Disney dorm." I explained.
"Ya found Collette?" asked Merida in awe.
"No! We found a girl named Alice. She's in Snow's room, because their kind of the same. Such Carolines."
Rapunzel looked up at me with bleary eyes and tear streaks all down her cheeks. It was a look of confusion. The Caroline thing was an inside joke that I don't have time nor care to explain just now. Next time I write, I'll explain.
"Well, thank the Lord yer back. I was about to grab ma bow an' come find ya."
I smiled, and then yawned. They both laughed. I guess going around and around that Wonderland was really tiring. I smiled then made my way to the bathroom to take a bubble bath. When I was finished, I dressed; blow dried my hair, and lay down in bed.
"Don't ever go into the mist again!" said Rapunzel.
"I don't plan on doing that again; I only went in because Derek got into it."
"Oh, I see. Because Derek went in."
"I didn't…Good night Rapunzel. I'll give you details in the morning." I said coldly.
I heard her roll over and I did as well. I closed my eyes and dreamed a strange dream of Wonderland. I was running through a candy tree forest, trying to get to Rapunzel. She was calling to me for help, so that's what I was doing. When I went into a clearing, I saw her standing there. She looked at me and said coldly, "I didn't need your help."
To be continued.