The man heard singing while riding through the dark forest. Glorious singing, as if an angel descended from heaven and he felt drawn towards the noise. Before he reached a small clearing, he heard, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.” The singing stopped. Dismounting from his horse, he crept closer until he saw a tower, with a figure disappearing into a window high above. With the disappearance of the singing, he felt sad and like he lost something, but couldn’t remember what. Getting back on his horse, he turned it back to the forest to continue trapping and hunting, but the strange singing haunted him, as did the disappearing figure into a tall tower in the middle of nowhere.
He was not familiar with this forest, as most of the townspeople called it haunted and tended to avoid it. But when food was scarce, and skins and fur going for a good price, he decided he would be luckier in this forest rather than where every other hunter went. And he had had much success the past week, so much so that he began to venture farther in. Surely that angelic voice couldn’t be responsible for the gossip of a haunting.
He didn’t get very far before he decided to turn around and go back to the small clearing, hoping to remember the way. He didn’t; normally he had a great sense of direction, but the thick forest made the middle of day seem like evening, and everything began to look the same. Somehow or another, he stumbled upon the clearing – right when the evening was beginning to set. The singing had fortunately began again, and he felt compelled to follow it, eventually riding up to the tower. He got off his horse, who meandered to the edge where the forest became thick again to eat some shrubs. Looking up, he couldn’t believe such a single tall tower existed, and housed such a beautiful voice.
He remembered hearing a chant, and felt the need to repeat it. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.” Suddenly silken threads come cascading down upon his head. The singing had stopped, and he realized he had no business being here. But now he was curious, and he had already backtracked to get here. He wasn’t sure what to do. “Hello?” he questioned up at the window, where the threads draped from.
No response, not even the forest seemed to reply with an unsettling silence. He grasped the threads with both hands, pulling, testing the strength and to see if they were attached – they were. Suddenly, they began pulling him upwards, and he found himself just below the window. He reached up tentatively and gripped the sill, feeling someone grab his hand, and then let go to grab the sill with the other hand. He used his feet against the rough rope, and the hands helped him over the sill. Tumbling in, but grateful to have made it, it took a minute for his eyes to adjust to the dimness inside.
J Scott Campbell
Greeting him was a woman, the threads were actually her hair, strawberry blonde in color, long and trailing behind her, covering her body, which upon closer inspection was naked. All he could really see was her arms, a slight curve of a hip, and calves and feet as the hair was swept over her shoulders to cover her and then parted around her knees to trail behind.
“Your hair is so long,” he blurted out, and then felt stupid for saying it. Clearly, she was aware of it – it was her hair.
Her eyebrow arched up, already having a natural arch. Her catlike eyes were the green of a sunny meadow, her nose sharp, her lips almost too full as if pouting. He was nowhere near as pretty – well, not counting the fact that he wasn’t a female. He’d seen some handsome fellows around town, and the prince was considered good looking, but his hair was too thin on top, too long on bottom (he simply tied it back with a bit of twine), too light brown – women wanted the dark hair it seemed these days. He was far from being so active, but still had a bit of a bulge around the middle. His nose was too round, his eyes too small and dark. And he had no skills in talking to the ladies, much more comfortable being a loner. So what was he doing, talking to this mysterious naked woman in a tall tower?
“Yes,” she agreed, slowly. She took a few steps closer to him, the hair parting further and revealing all but her breasts. Lord, she was pretty.
He felt nervous. “O-okay, well, I…um…I am sorry to disturb you, missus,” he went to step back, and almost fell out of the window sill. He forgot he was up so high, but before he could worry about how to get down, her hair coiled around his upper arms…
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