THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Finally, after all these years memorizing every fairytale, writing fan fic about my favorite legends, and, of course, studying my own destiny, I get to let my hair down at Ever After High! This is my first time living outside the tower. I was hair over heels with hexcitement! I even read The Manual of Entirely Reasonable School Rules from cover-to-cover. I didn't want everyone thinking I was some kind of weirdo. I am the daughter of Rapunzel, after all.
Actually, I'm not the only daughter of Rapunzel. I have an identical twin, Poppy, who can't go to Ever After High. I was born just a hair before her
although now we're not so sure about that, making the family legacy my responsibility. Poppy was destined to be a fairytale without a story, and I know it always secretly bothered her. When you have a legacy a part of you will live forever after. Without one, people eventually forget. So I promised myself that I would make sure that she could join me at Ever After High. The night before I left for school, I looked at the stars outside the tower window and wished that both of us could have a Once Upon a Time...
Ever After High is like all my favorite storybooks coming to life to hang out together. I'll never forget my first day. Not wanting to be rude, I introduced myself to every single person, "Hi, my name is Holly, the next Rapunzel. I love reading, writing, blogging, brushing my hair, styling my hair, braiding my hair and singing."
"Nice to meet you," the fairest student of them all warmly said, "I'm Apple White. My destiny―"
I screamed, "You're the next Snow White! But why do you have blonde hair? Your story says it's supposed to be black. Either way, it's totally fairest!"
"Um... thanks?" Apple smiled, "This is my best friend forever after, Briar Beauty."
"No way!" I hexcitedly gasped, "Sleeping Beauty's daughter! Are you scared life will pass you by after sleeping for 100 years?"
Briar chuckled, "That's why I live it up now! But in the end I get a Happily Ever After so it's all good."
"Come with us, Holly!" Apple cheerfully invited, "We'll show you around!"
This... was... spelltacular! I got to ask Blondie Lockes if porridge was really worth being chased by three bears. Daring Charming was even cuter than I imagined. When I met Raven Queen, I kindly asked how she felt about becoming the most famous villain in all of fairytales. But Raven just quickly shrugged. "She's been acting funny lately," Apple nervously giggled, "But she'll be different after Legacy Day." Apple was right, but not in the way she imagined.
Legacy Day was the most important time in a fairytale's life. It's when the new generation signs the Storybook of Legends to bind themselves to their destiny. I couldn't wait to declare my destiny as the next Rapunzel!
This year, however, the script got flipped. Raven declared she wasn't going to be the next Evil Queen. She was going to rewrite her own Happily Ever After. Most people lost their crown over it. They believed that if you don't follow your destiny, your story will vanish, along with you and everyone else in it. Even I worried what would happen to my story. Did Raven's actions mean that destiny wasn't set in stone? Then suddenly I realized this might be my wish come true. If destiny's not a sure thing, maybe the O'Hair twins could be at Ever After High together! I could be the next Rapunzel, and Poppy could write her own story.
I ran up the Headmaster Grimm, who had just
cancelled postponed Legacy Day, "Excuse me, headmaster. Since Raven proved that you don't need to have a prewritten story, could my sister now come to Ever After High? She'd make a spelltacular legend."
Headmaster Grimm slowly turned. His face was redder than a riding hood. "Ms. O'Hair," he growled through clenched teeth, "Your sister can NEVER come to Ever After High! Not while I'm headmaster."
Obviously I caught him at a bad time. Still, I was positive there had to be a way to change his mind.
Ever since we were kids, Poppy always loved styling hair. In fact, she styled her hair in a new way every morning! Every night as we brushed my growing hair together, she'd share new hair care treatment ideas she created. So it came as no surprise when she chose to go to beauty school to become the most fableous stylist at the Tower Hair Salon. Now her schedule is always royally booked! But she always has time for me... and I couldn't wait to tell her the news.
"They cancelled Legacy Day?" Poppy dropped her scissors, "Holly, you've spent forever after studying to be the next Rapunzel. Milton Grimm can't take this from you!"
"Trust me, he won't," I confidently reassured her, "But that's not the point. Raven Queen declared to not follow her destiny, but didn't vanish! Maybe that means you can write your own Happily Ever After!"
Poppy sighed, "It's one thing to refuse to follow your storybook destiny. It's another to not have one at all. Besides, Grimm already said no."
She always gets like this. "Poppy, you always wanted to go to Ever After High―"
"Actually, that was you," Poppy roughly combed my hair.
"When we were young, we always talked about discovering your story together," I protested, "Look... if I can change Headmaster Grimm's mind, would you at least consider going to Ever After High?"
Poppy shook her head, "If you can change Milton Grimm's mind, not only will I go to Ever After High, but you can borrow any of my scarves for a month." Yay! I love Poppy's scarves!
Now that Poppy promised to come to Ever After High, I just had to find a way to make it happen. But what's the best way to change Headmaster Grimm's mind about destiny? I figured the best person to ask was my new fairest friend, Apple White.
"Why would anyone change their mind about destiny?" Apple asked, "Without destiny, your story goes POOF, my story goes POOF... everyone's story goes POOF! That's why Raven has to be the Evil Queen!"
Raven! Maybe she could help. I finally found her in the Muse-ic room. I told Raven all about Poppy, and how she deserves to go to Ever After High as much as anyone.
Raven looked up from the piano, "Your sister's lucky. She's free to do whatever she wants."
"That's exactly my point!" I said, "She should be free! Free to discover her story. But how do you do that around here?"
Raven softly chuckled, "Try the library." What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?
Over the next several days, I reread every story I knew, searching for new meanings about finding your own destiny. But every story seems exactly the same as the last time I read it.
Days turned into weeks. I searched deeper for older stories... ones that had not been told in a while. Although they were darker, they still had the same essence... Snow White always bites into the apple, Cinderella always loses her shoe, Pinocchio's nose always grows, and Sleeping Beauty always falls asleep.
KNOCK! KNOCK! Jumping awake, I realized I must have dozed off. Then I heard the knocking again. It wasn't coming from a door. No, the knocking was coming from the floor. I followed the sound, when it suddenly stopped. In front of my feet lay an old book. I wiped the dust from its cover... The Origin of Ever After High by M. Grimm & G. Grimm. Curiously, the book opened on its own. I read the page before me and joyfully gasped. If this wasn't going to convince Headmaster Grimm, nothing would.
You can't just march into the headmaster's office and ask to see him. Well, you can, but his assistant Mrs. Trollsworth just points to a sign that says NO STUDENT SEEN WITHOUT APPOINTMENT. Ask to make an appointment, and she points to a second sign — NO APPOINTMENTS GIVEN WITHOUT A PERMISSION SLIP. Ask for a permission slip, and she points to a third sign, PERMISSION SLIPS AVAILABLE DURING APPOINTMENTS ONLY.
Good thing I had a secret book in my backpack. "It says right here that a student can see a headmaster anytime there is a question about destiny. The headmaster signed it himself, see?" I pointed to the insignia M. Grimm. Mrs. Trollsworth had no chance but to buzz me in.
After zig-zagging through corridors of books, I entered into the main office, where Headmaster Grimm sat behind his desk, "Ms. O'Hair, I wasn't aware you had an appointment."
"I'm sorry, sir. This is important. I promise not to take up much of your time," I placed The Origin of Ever After High on his desk.
His eyes narrowed, "Where did you get that?"
"The library," I politely smiled, "It's the original rules of Ever After High, written by you and your brother."
The headmaster leaned forward, "What do you want?"
Nervous, I cleared my throat and read from the bookmarked page, "Ever After High welcomes all the children of fairytale legends to learn the fine art of fulfilling their destiny."
He absently blinked. "... I know what it says."
"All the children of fairytale legends, sir. It doesn't say only one child per legend," I placed the book on his desk and pointed at the line, "My sister should be allowed to come to Ever After High. You wrote the rule yourself, headmaster. Well, and your brother, Giles. Where is your brother, by the way? It says he used to be the school librarian. Did he leave or something?"
"Enough!" Headmaster Grimm angrily covered his ears, then breathed deep, and toothily grinned, "Very well, Ms. O'Hair. Your sister may attend Ever After High. However, I don't ever want to hear about my brother again," he swept the book into a drawer, "And I am keeping this book."
"Thank you, sir!" I ran straight to The Tower Salon to tell Poppy.
People have asked me if I ever doubted that Poppy would come to Ever After High. Of course not! It was destined to come true.