Saturday, January 30, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 15


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 15 – You’ll Bring Honor To Us All

    Once upon a time, in a kingdom of lofty mountains and bamboo forests, there lived a maiden named Mulan. One day, her kingdom went to war, and it was required that one male from every household join the army. Knowing her father was too old and weak to fight in the war, Mulan disguised herself in his armor and snuck away to join the army in his place.

    With the aid of a guardian dragon named Mushu, Mulan learned to fight and act like a man. She excelled in her ranks, and even helped her troop win many battles, including one climatic battle against the main enemy forces atop a snowy mountainside. Unfortunately, she was soon discovered to be a woman, and forced to leave the army in shame.

    However, upon being dishonorably discharged, she discovered that the enemy forces were still active and set to invade the Imperial City. Quickly, she raced off to warn the others, and convinced them to help her fend off the invaders. She defeated the enemy general and saved the life of the emperor. Triumphantly, she returned home, having brought honor to her family. She also won the admiration and love of the general she served under, and the two of them were betrothed.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 14


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 14 – Where A Million Diamonds Shine

    Once upon a time, there lived a princess named Snow White. She was so named because her skin was as white and fair as snow. Sadly, her stepmother, the evil queen, envied her beauty and wished to do away with the princess so that she would become the fairest of the land. She ordered a huntsman to take Snow White far into the woods to harm her; yet so overtaken was he by her beauty and kindness that he instead told the princess to flee and never return.

    Lost in the forest, Snow White came upon a small cottage. There lived seven dwarves who worked in a nearby mine. So smitten were they by her beauty and kindness that they offered her lodging in their humble abode. But the queen soon learned of the princess' whereabouts. She disguised herself as an old hag, and tricked Snow White into eating a poison apple that placed her in a deep sleep.

    The dwarves defeated the queen, but could not save their darling princess. They mourned her curse, and placed her in a glass coffin to sleep undisturbed. Fortunately, a prince with whom she had fallen in love with happened upon her sleeping form. So taken by her beauty, he kissed her, and with that kiss of true love, lifted the curse and awoke her. The prince carried off her princess to their castle.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

*****

    Deep in their mine, where a million diamonds shine, the seven dwarves merrily labored away at another day at work. Happy, Bashful, and Sneezy rhythmically struck their pickaxes against the cavern walls in search of gleaming gems. Sleepy, though his job was to transport the freshly-mined gems to the entrance, instead enjoyed a snooze, once again sleeping at the reins of the pack mule.

    Doc, as the leader, manned his inspection table, painstakingly examining every gem with precision, ensuring each one was only the finest quality. Assisting him was Grumpy, a black slate in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other. He helped Doc inspect the gems while tallying the numbers of each type.

    Setting aside his hammer, Doc stretched and yawned. He stepped away for a quick break, allowing Grumpy to continue working in his absence. Grumpy picked up a ruby, leered at it through a squinting eye, then tossed it aside before marking another tally.

    Lifting his eyes from his slate, he peered into another pair of eyes—or rather, a dozen. Dopey stared at him through two emeralds over his eyes. Its many cuts refracted his vision, multiplying his vision severalfold. Dopey smiled a toothy grin, but Grumpy, hardly amused, merely slapped his co-worker in the back of the head, forcing both emeralds to fall on the table.

    “Quit fooling around, ya idgit!” the angry dwarf growled. “Why don’t you go and make yerself useful?” He pointed to his chalkboard. “See here? We have a surplus of rubies and sapphires, but we’re way behind on emeralds.” He shoved an ax into the hands of his not-so-bright co-worker. “So go on and find us some more green ones.”

    With a salute, Dopey threw the ax over his shoulder and marched away. He strolled passed Sleepy driving the cart, passed the other dwarfs as they mined the tunnels, and further down into the darkest depths until he no longer heard the singing voices or striking axes.

    With wide eyes and even wider mouth, upon which he hung two fingers, the littlest dwarf surveyed his surroundings, eyeing each gem in search of an emerald. He saw plenty of gems that were red, blue, yellow, and white, but he had to continue marching before a green gem caught his eye.

    His mouth opened wider as his eyes fell upon the biggest, greenest emerald he’d ever seen. It was set upon a large boulder sitting before him. Happily, the small dwarf stopped in his tracks to prepare for his task. He set down his ax, spit in both hands, rubbed them together, then threw his axe over his head, ready to strike. So fixated he was on the gem that he did not notice wisps of green smoke rising around the rock. Before he could strike, his arms froze in place as two green eyes stared back at him.

    Both eyes opened below the green gem. Their sudden appearance froze Dopey like a statue, and forced him to fling his ax backward, flying out of his grip. His lips trembled as the boulder rose before him, like a reclining head rising from a pillow. What had once been an unassuming rock now sat as the head to a gargantuan body made entirely of stone. The head sat upon a larger, rounder yet rougher boulder, and attached to it were two arms and two legs, each made of smaller stones. At the end of each rocky appendage were two feet and two hands. The hands curled into fists as the fully-formed rock monster lurched back and let out a roar.

    Dopey leaped into the air. He would have certainly let out a yelp were he not mute. Upon landing on his feet, he wheeled away from the rock giant and ran scurrying in the opposite direction. The smallest dared not look back, but kept sprinting forward, running as fast as his little legs could carry him. He ran until he crashed into Doc, who was addressing the others.

    Both dwarfs fell upon their rear, the youngest having knocked over the eldest. Doc slowly stood to his feet, rubbing his rear. He glared at Dopey as he jumped up and down in place, flailing his arms, and pointing behind him.

    “Now what in the name of Jiminy Cricket has gotten into you?” Doc asked, arms akimbo, brow furrowed. “You’re acting all twitterpated, almost as if you’ve seen—”

    Doc could not finish his sentence. He quickly found himself under a dark, looming shadow. Over both him and Dopey appeared the rock giant, its stature domineering over them. It stretched out its arms and hands and unleashed another roar.

    Dopey clung to Doc, both quivering under their weight. Doc bit his fingers in sheer fright, and shouted, “Monster!”

*****

    Aurora, Cinderella, and their princes arrived to the Kingdom of Grimmoak. They passed alongside the rocky crags of tall mountains, past glades of colorful wildflowers, and through forests of sprawling trees until they reached the castle. There they were greeted by a servant and instructed to wait in the courtyard while the prince was summoned.

    The four royals lingered idly until they noticed a well standing in the far corner. Like metal to a lodestone, their curiosity drew them to it. Each of them peered down and saw their reflections looking back at them through the ripples in the water.

    “My, what a lovely well!” Aurora’s voice echoed within.

    Cinderella glanced at Aurora’s reflection. “You all want to know a secret?”

    Charming likewise glanced at his wife’s reflection. “Sure, and I promise not to tell.”

    His remark made Cinderella smirk. “I believe we’re standing by a wishing well.”

    Phillip glanced at her reflection. “Looks about right. Such a gorgeous well with such crystal clear water has to possess some magical properties.”

    Cinderella nodded. “I bet all you have to do is speak a wish into this well, and if you hear it echo back, then your wish will come true.”

    Soon, another face appeared staring back at them upon the surface.

    “I believe you might be right.”

    The other four glanced up to see Snow White’s prince standing next to them. His sudden appearance startled them, prompting Aurora and Cinderella to gasp.

    “Sorry to startle you like that.,” The prince laughed and waved both hands at them. “Please forgive me. And allow me to formally introduce myself.” He bowed and tilted his hat. “The name is Prince Florian.” He rose and placed his hat back on his head. “I believe you all have arrived to see me and my darling wife, though I can see you’re all as interested in our well.”

    Aurora nodded. “Yes, we were deliberating whether or not this was a wishing well.”

    Florian nodded back. “Indeed. I know from experience.”

    “You do?” Cinderella asked.

    “Of course,” Florian replied. “It was at this very well that my princess made a wish that her prince would come to her. And it was on that day that her wish came true, for it was the very same day that I met her. We were drawn together by a song, and we have been together since.”

    “Oh, how romantic,” Cinderella clasped her hands together. “You two were brought together by a wish.”

    Charming clasped his own hands onto hers as he gazed into her eyes. “As were we.”

    Cinderella returned his loving gaze with her own.

    Aurora blushed at the others. “To think that you and your princess met each other at such a lovely well.”

    “Speaking of princess,” Phillip interjected. “Where is she? We have important matters to discuss with her.”

     “Of course.” Florian motioned to the door. “She’s in the back working on an important task.” He motioned for them to follow him. “Come! I shall take you to her.”

*****

    Near the forest outskirts stood a cloaked figure. From under their hood, they surveyed three archery targets set several yards away. Each target was riddled with arrows, each stuck in the colored rims of the bullseye.

    The hooded figure took a deep breath. They reached to pull three arrows from the quiver strapped to their back. They cocked one arrow, pulled back the string of their bow, and aimed at a target. They released the arrow, sending it flying straight into the bulls-eye.

    They began pacing perpendicular to the other targets. Once more, they cocked their arrow, aimed, and fired it into the center of the second target. Again, they cocked, aimed, and fired the third and final arrow into the dead center of the third and final target. Studying their flawless handiwork, the cloaked figure smiled under their hood’s shadow.

    “Nice shot, Snow!” Florian arrived with the other four royals.

    Flipping away her hood, Snow greeted the others with a smile as they approached.

    “Oh, hello everyone!” She strapped her bow onto her back. “I’m so very glad to meet you.”

    “Same here!” Aurora covered her mouth as she surveyed the three targets, each with three arrows dead center. “I say, you’re quite the skilled archer.”

    The previously-hooded bow-wielder curtseyed. “Thank you.” She gasped as she returned standing, covering her mouth. “Oh, but wherever are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Snow White of Grimmoak.”

    The others introduced themselves. After Cinderella presented herself, she likewise noticed the three arrows perfectly planted into the center of three targets.

    “That’s quite the impressive archery skills you’ve exhibited here. You must have worked hard to make such perfect targets.”

    “Oh, I have,” Snow replied. “Ever since I married my prince six years ago, I’ve been looking for a hobby to occupy myself with. When you’ve worked as a scullery maid for as long as I have, you discover you have plenty of free time on your hands once your servants do all the work for you.”

    Cinderella covered her mouth, snickering. “I know how you feel.”

    “I tried everything: quilting, embroidery, gardening, but nothing seemed to work well for me. Then Florian suggested I take up archery. At first, I considered it a queer hobby for a princess like me, but as you can see, I’ve managed to improve these past five years.”

    Phillip scratched his chin as he studied the far-off targets. “I take it you put these new skills of yours to good use, then? You and your prince do a lot of hunting?”

    “Oh no no no!” Snow gasped. “I would never dream of hunting poor defenseless woodland critters. Many of my best friends are animals.”

    Aurora covered her mouth and snickered. “I know how you feel. I, too, have many animal friends.”

    “I only use my bow and arrow for sport. I’ve been considering competing in contests; but otherwise, I wouldn’t know what else to do.”

    “Well,” Charming replied, “perhaps you can use your archery skills to fight for our cause.”

    “What cause?”

    “It’s the reason we’ve arrived here,” Aurora replied. “We’re gathering princesses from ten other kingdoms to form the Princess Alliance. There’s an Ancient Evil on the rise, and we need as many of us to fight it.”

    “Fight?” Snow covered her gasping lips. “Oh, I don’t know. I abhor violence. Only bad people resort to violence, and I’m not a bad person.”

    “Neither are any of us,” Cinderella said. “Yet we’re all willing to use our skills to fight if the need arises. I have my magic. Aurora has her sword. And we could certainly use your bow.”

    Snow glanced at her bow, her lip furrowed into a frown.

    “I still don’t like the idea of violence. Our kingdom prefers to maintain peace through diplomacy. Good people prefer peace over violence.”

    “As do we,” Aurora said. “But diplomacy doesn’t always work. Sometimes you need to maintain peace through violence when other options have been exhausted. How else would you quell a violent threat to your kingdom?”

    Snow placed a finger to her lip as she thought. She then raised her finger.

    “I’ll tell you exactly what I would do.”

    She puffed out her chest. “I would walk right up to that evil bad guy.”

    Aurora nodded. “Yes?”

    Snow pointed to one open eye, the other squinted. “I would look them dead in the eye.”

    Cinderella nodded. “Uh-huh!”

    Snow raised a finger in the air with eyes closed. “And I’d say—please don’t hurt my kingdom.”

    Everyone directed a dumbfounded expression at her.

    Phillip raised an eyebrow. “And you’d think that would work?”

    Snow opened both her eyes. “Well, they would have to be evil if it didn’t.” She shrugged. “And I’m not going to lie, they very well may have a point.”

    Charming raised an eyebrow. “You think they might have a point? About destroying your kingdom?”

    Snow giggled. “Oh, it may sound silly when you put it that way, but compromise is always an option. For example, if we’d allow this evil to destroy only a small portion of our kingdom, perhaps that’ll satisfy them enough that they’d go away and leave the rest of it alone.”

    Aurora cupped a hand, asking, “And you’d think that would work?” stressing with every word how absurd she considered the proposition, hoping that Snow would pick up on it.

    Snow shrugged. “Well, why wouldn’t it? When has appeasement ever failed?”

    For several long seconds, everyone else could only stand in total silence, unable to offer a proper rebuttal—not because they couldn’t think of an answer, but because they didn’t think Snow, in all her wide-eyed naivety, would understand.

    “Snow,” Florian replied, breaking this awkward silence, “I think—”

    “Snow! Snow!”

    Bounding into the garden came Doc and Dopey. The two dwarfs scurried as fast as their two pudgy legs could carry them across the lawn toward the royalty present. Snow and Florian were surprised by the sudden appearance of the two dwarfs, as they both appeared flustered. The others were surprised to see two short men running toward them, as they never saw dwarfs before.

    “Goodness!” Cinderella gasped. “Look at these little men.”

    Aurora nodded. “I don’t believe I’ve seen men of shorter stature before in my life.”

    “Why, they’re dwarfs,” Snow replied. “And these two are friends of mine.”

    The two dwarfs neared them. Doc clasped his knees, gasping for breath, while Dopey leaped several times in the air, flailing his arms, and tugging on Snow’s dress.

    “Dopey! Doc!” Snow gasped. “Whatever is the matter?”

    Doc lifted himself, straightened his glasses, and raised a finger to address her. “Snow. The mine. Come quick. It’s an emergency.”

    “An emergency?” Snow fell upon one knee to speak to her friends at eye level. “What is it? Are the others in danger?”

    Doc nodded, and Dopey nodded furiously like a bobblehead doll.

    “Yes, yes!” Doc replied. “Grave danger. There’s a mine-ster in the mon—er, I mean a monster in the mine!”

    Everyone collectively gasped at the word “monster.”

    “Monster?” Florian fell to one knee to address the two dwarfs. “What kind?”

    “A big one!” exclaimed Doc, flashing open his fingers. “A big rock monster!”

*****

    Lumbering through the tunnels of the gem-studded mine, the rock monster scoured every inch, peering behind stalagmites, over boulders, and into mine carts, in search of the dwarfs. Unbeknownst to it, four of them cowered behind an overturned cart, which lay mere feet from the monster as it glared into another empty cart.

    Happy, shuddering in fear, glanced cautiously over the edge of their cart, then knelt back to face the others.

    “Perhaps it’ll pass by and keep moving on. That’ll give us ample time to skee-daddle.”

     “Dah! I hope so.” Bashful blushed. “Even looking at it gives me the—uh—gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

    Sneezy could barely sit still as he quaked in his boots. “Let’s just pray it doesn’t look over this ah way—ah!”

    He placed his finger under his nose. What a time for another allergy attack! He began stuttering with every inhale, each of which the other three tried to hold back by covering his mouth.

    Happy shuddered as he pressed both hands against the allergy sufferer’s mouth. “Hold it back, man! This is the worst time possible!”

    Try as they might, they could not muffle his huffing and puffing, the very sound catching the attention of the rock monster. It faced the source of the noise coming from behind the overturned cart. Slowly, the golem staggered toward it. It raised its rocky fist in the air, ready to strike when—

    “ACHOO!”

    The force of the sneeze sent the cart flying into the rock monster, crashing into it, and sending it stumbling back and sprawling upon the ground.

    Sneezy could only coyly smirk as he witnessed the damage from his sneeze. He placed a finger upon his lip, buckled his knees together, and slouched forward with his other arm behind his back with a blush across his face.

    “Heh! ‘scuse me!”

    From behind a nearby barrel leaped Grumpy. He stood atop it and brandished his pick-ax.

    “Now’s our chance, boys! Let’s strike the creature while it’s down for the count!”

    He leaped off the barrel and, with ax raised over his head, dashed toward the fallen rock monster.

    “Geronimo!” 

    Grumpy nearly plunged his pick into the monster’s chest; however, in one swift motion, the monster sat up and, with the backside of one hand, swatted the encroaching dwarf away like a mere insect.

    Screaming now in fear rather than triumph, the dwarf flew several yards away and crashed through the lumber of a boarded-up mine tunnel.

    “That. Was. Pure Luck,” was all the cantankerous dwarf could say from deep within the tunnel’s dark recesses.

    Happy raced toward the opening that Grumpy created with his body. Leaning forward, hands funneled over his mouth, he called out: “Gumpy! Are you okay in there?”

    “Yeah!” Grumpy replied, sarcasm in his voice. “I’m fan-flipping-tastic! Nothing but gumdrops and sugar plums in here!”

    Happy clapped his hands together, the widest smile on his face. “Oh, really? Can I come in, too?”

    “I’m surrounded by buffoons.”

    “I thought you were surrounded by gumdrops and sugar plums.”

    “Get me out of here, you imbecile!”

    Happy nearly responded when he noticed a large shadow envelop him. He wheeled around to see the monster looming over him. He could only shield his face as it raised its fist.

    Before it could strike, its arm became restrained. Holding it in place was a long whip strewn by metal shards. The creature craned its neck to see that it was the rose whip sword of Princess Aurora.

    She and the other royals stood guarding the other two dwarfs. She struggled with all her strength to hold back the monster’s arm. Unfortunately, the metal blades of her Rosewhip Sword barely scathed the golem’s rocky exterior.

    In a yell, the monster jerked its arm, pulling against the whip, and Aurora along with it. She tumbled across the cavern floor, her Rosewhip reverting into a blade and falling alongside her. As she picked herself up, the monster plodded toward her with a raised fist, flinging it down upon her, only to be stopped by Phillip’s shield.

    The prince struggled as the monster’s appendage weighed down upon him; nevertheless, he staved off its attack and advance. With a shove, he pushed back against the stone beast and began hacking away at it with his sword. Its metal chimed against the stony hide, barely making a scratch.

    Soon Florian and Charming rushed to his aid. Surrounding the monster, the three princes each struck it with their blades, but likewise could hardly make a dent into its hide. At best, their attacks merely served as a distraction.

    “Our metal can barely chip away at its stone.” Phillip continued his attack, despite its overall ineffectiveness.

    Cinderella rushed to their aid. “Then perhaps my magic will fare better. Bibbidi bobbidi boo!”

    She flung her wand forward. From it rushed a spray of water that soaked the golem until it was dripping, sopping wet.

    Charming glanced at her. “I don’t think giving it a bath is going to stop it.”

    “No,” Cinderella once more raised her wand, “but this will: Bibbidi bobbidi boo!”

    Upon chanting those words and waving her wand, the water froze solid. The ice that formed along its exterior froze the rock monster in place like an ice sculpture.

    “Good thinking!” Charming chuckled.

    No sooner had the royals celebrated that cracks formed in the ice. In mere seconds, the ice shattered, and the rock monster once more was free to roar and rampage about.

    Everyone retreated behind a stack of wooden boxes for safety. As everyone else remained ducking, Phillip peered over the edge.

    “Our swords didn’t work, and neither did Cindy’s magic.”

    Cinderella stood to peer over as well. “Not quite. Look!”

    She pointed at the beast as it trudged about. All along its exterior appeared cracks where the ice had formed. One crack upon its forehead revealed a bright glowing emerald.

    “The ice eroded most of its stone. It’s much weaker now. And look, on its head: a gem glowing bright. I’ll bet that’s the source of the magic animating it.”

    “I see what you’re saying.” Charming squatted next to her. “If we strike the monster there, we may completely shatter it once and for all.”

    A sudden “harrumph!” caught them by the ears. Snow White glared at them with her arms crossed disapprovingly.

    “Honestly, listen to you all, discussing how you’re going to kill an innocent creature.”

    “Innocent?” Florian raised an eyebrow. “Snow, that creature is wreaking havoc on the dwarves and their mine.”

    Snow uncrossed her arms and peered over the stack of boxes they all hid behind.

    “It probably doesn’t mean any harm. Perhaps it’s only lashing out because it’s trapped in here with no way out. We should be helping the poor thing, not hurting it.”

    Snow rushed away from their hiding space and toward the monster. Florian reached out to her as she walked away.

    “Wait, Snow!”

    As the monster gazed in one direction, Snow approached it from behind.

    “Excuse me, Mr. Monster!” she called out to it.

    Her voice caught its attention, and it turned to glare down at her.

    “I don’t mean to bother you,” she continued, “but you don’t have to be lashing out at everyone like this. I know you must be confused and afraid and perhaps even lonely. But if you stop hurting my friends, we can help you find your way out. That way you can have somewhere else to go and no one else has to get hurt.” She reached her hand out toward it. “What do you say? Can you do that for us? Pretty please?”

    The monster studied her hand, then leered at her. Slowly, it extended its hand to hers.

    Snow glanced back at the others. “See? All we had to do was talk to it.”

    She could not see the monster leering at her and raising its hand, preparing to swat her.

    Florian reached out to her. “Snow! Look out!”

    Snow saw the monster’s hand approaching her. She could only raise her own hands to her face to brace for impact.

    Before the monster could strike her, it jerked back and cried out in pain. It turned to see a pickax thrust into its hind. Far behind it stood the person who tossed the axe.

    “Go pick on someone else your size, you big palooka!” Grumpy yelled, shaking his fists.

    The monster swiveled upon its heels away from the cowering princess and towards the cantankerous dwarf. With a roar, it raced toward him with fist raised. Once near, it thrust its fist down, only for Grumpy to leap clear away.

    “Ha! Missed!”

    The impact from the attack sent tremors through the cavern, shaking loose some rock and stalactites from above. The good news is that the falling rubble missed Grumpy. The bad news is that one large rock fell upon his beard.

    He tried to pry his facial hair free, but the weight of the rubble proved greater than his strength. Try as he might, he was pinned in place with nowhere to run. As the monster neared him once more, he frantically pulled and pulled, grunting and moaning with every tug.

    “No! C’mon! Why won’t it budge?”

    Soon the dwarf was overshadowed by the looming stone brute. It lifted both fists above his head. With nowhere else to go, the dwarf could only shield himself with both hands and brace himself for his inevitable demise.

    Before the monster could strike its lethal blow, an arrow pierced the green gem on its forehead. The gem shattered into countless shards. The golem screamed in agony as the cracks upon its surface spread, inevitably splintering it into countless pieces. What was once a stone giant now collapsed a giant pile of stone rubble.

    As the arrow that delivered the fatal blow fell upon the cavern floor, Snow fell upon her knees with bow in hand. She could only stare blankly at the sight before her. She could barely comprehend that she had cocked and fired the arrow that felled the beast that nearly pummeled her friend flatter than a pancake.

    The three princes raced toward the boulder, heaving it away to pry Grumpy free. Aurora and Cinderella rushed toward Snow and knelt on either side of her. Each placed their hand upon her shoulder as she buried her face into her hands, tears streaming down her face, her breath choking down sobs.

*****

    Once the dust had settled, and everyone affected by the attack had been properly attended to, everyone gathered outside the mine entrance. Of all the seven dwarfs, Happy was the happiest with the widest grin upon his face.

    “We can’t thank you enough for rescuing us from that monster.”

    Doc nodded. “Yes, you and your new friends hid our saved—er, saved our hides!”

    Snow smiled at the comments, but frowned and shook her head.

    “You really shouldn’t thank me.” She glanced down forlornly. “What I did was awful.”

    “Awful?” Doc cocked an eyebrow, evidently confused. “Snow, what you did was great—heroic, even! If you hadn’t come to save the day, we’d all be smithered to smushereens—er, smashed to smithereens!”

    Snow looked at him, her eyes shimmering sorrowfully. “But I had to kill another creature to do that. Only bad people resort to violence, so now I’m a—a—bad person.”

    Upon uttering those two words, she averted her gaze, truly feeling she admitted something shameful.

    Florian approached her. He placed his hand upon her shoulder, and used his other hand to turn her chin toward him. He gazed lovingly into her eyes with a smile.

    “My love, you are correct: bad people do commit violence. But it is precisely because they’re violent that good people need to stop them. Peace and diplomacy are virtues, but they don’t always work; and when they don’t, sometimes the only thing that will is violence.”

    “He’s right, you know!” Grumpy, his arms crossed, his brow furrowed, approached the two. He waggled a finger at Snow. “Why, if it hadn’t been for your arrow, that monster would have crushed me flatter than a pancake.”

    He face soon turned red, and he averted his gaze in a futile attempt to hide his blush. His pride demanded he return his gaze. He placed his arms behind him and swayed to and fro.

    “By the way, I—uh—thank you for saving my bee-hind back there.” He furrowed his brow and glanced down before returning his gaze to her. “But don’t—uh—consider that a compliment or nothing.”

    Snow shook her head with eyes closed. “Oh, I still don’t know. I don’t like the idea of fighting. It makes me feel bad.”

    Cinderella placed her hand on Snow’s shoulder.

    “Many of us feel the same way.” She placed her other hand over her chest. “But sometimes you need to do things that feel bad. There are many things we need to do that don’t always feel good, but we have to do them anyway. Not doing them would only allow bad things to happen.”

    Aurora nodded, stepping next to Cinderella. “There’s a great evil coming, and we all need to band together to stop it. Neither Cindy nor I like the idea of fighting either, but the only other option would be to sit back and allow this evil to go unopposed, and that will only allow good people to get hurt. That’s why we need your help.”

    She reached her hand to Snow. “So will you join us? Will you join our good fight?”

    Snow glanced at the ground as she mulled over her thoughts. She returned her gaze once more to Aurora and reached her hand out to clasp hers.

    “I will. I’ll join your Princess Alliance.”

    Upon saying that, a magical glow appeared over her chest. The glow receded, revealing a magic mirror hanging from her neck. The prince and seven dwarfs also received their mirrors.

    Doc took hold of his and to inspect it carefully. “Jiminy Cricket! That was quite the tragic mick—er, magic trick!”

    “Careful!” Grumpy exclaimed. “It could be the work of dark magic.”

    Aurora giggled. She reassured the others that their mirrors weren’t created by dark magic, seizing the opportunity to explain how they worked. No sooner had she explained how they were used to communicate with others did her mirror start glowing and playing its ringtone.

#####

Saturday, January 16, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 13


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 13 – For The First Time In Forever

    Once upon a time, there lived two sisters: the youngest sister, Anna, and the oldest sister, Elsa. The oldest was born with magic ice powers. However, an unfortunate accident forced her to hide her powers and wipe away all traces of magic from her youngest sister's memory. Following the untimely passing of their parents, Elsa was crowned as the new queen of their kingdom. Unfortunately, she accidentally revealed her powers and fled away to the far-off mountains.

    Anna followed after her sister, and with the help of a brave woodsman named Kristoff and a talking snowman named Olaf, tracked her down to an ice palace. Anna pleaded for her sister to return home with her, yet Elsa refused, and in a fit of anger, accidentally froze her sister's heart. Only an act of true love could cure Anna's ice curse. She returned to her kingdom, hoping to receive true love's kiss from a prince she fell in love with. Sadly, the prince did not love her back, having used her to take over her kingdom.

    The prince left her to die as he took off to defeat Elsa. Anna escaped and saved Elsa from the prince, but at the cost of her own life. Her frozen heart turned her to ice. Fortunately, her love for Elsa proved to be the act of true love that unfroze her heart. The two sisters rekindled their friendship, Elsa openly practiced her magic, and they both lived out their days ruling their kingdom together.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

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Saturday, January 9, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 12


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 12 – A Whole New World

    Maria stirred from her slumber. She discovered herself surrounded in pitch blackness. So dark were her environs that she could not tell whether her eyes were open or not. Only when she blinked did she realize that she was, in fact, looking with eyes wide open. She was reclining upon what she assumed was the ground—it was so dark she could hardly tell!—when she sat up to survey the darkness around her.

    “So we meet again, niñita!” A haggard, croaking voice echoed from behind her.

    A great green flame erupted behind her. It snuffed out to reveal the glowing figure of—

    “Bruja Dama!” Maria scampered back, frightened, nearly jumping out of her skin. “You’re alive?”

    The elderly hag with ragged hair shook her head, smiled with a crooked grin, and breathed a “tsk-tsk-tsk” through her even more crooked teeth.

    “Not quite, niñita!” She waggled a bony figure. “I’m only appearing here in your dreams—or rather, your nightmare. I am quite deader than a doornail. No, you can see me now because a remnant of my dark magic still lingers in your mind from my sleeping curse. The spell may have been lifted, but a sliver of its magic remains. It will soon fade away, and I along with it; but until now, it has enough power for me to speak to you.”

    Warily, Maria kept her arm up to guard against a potential attack, yet peered curiously at her tormenter hovering before her.

    “What do you want with me?” She asked, hesitation audible in her voice. “You’re not here to—”

    “Harm you?” The witch’s apparition shook her head. “No. I do not have enough magic. If I did, I would have already done so. No, I am only here to warn you.”

    Maria lowered her arm, letting down her guard ever so slightly yet cautiously. “Of what?”

    “That warlock you encountered? Lucitor? I know that man, and I also know his master. For he was once my master.”

    “You’re talking about the Ancient Evil?”

    “Know this, niñita!” Bruja Dama pointed a bony finger at the cowering princess. “I once served this Ancient Evil you speak of. Back in ancient times, back when Elder Gods and Ancient Ones roamed the earth, back when I was a younger witch, mi hermanas and hermanos, my fellow witches and warlocks and creatures of the night, gathered once a year to honor him. In fact, it was the very hill your castle now rests where we congregated to worship our dark lord and master. It was on that bald mountain, during our Black Sabbath, where we would partake in our revelries and dance in the light of his fire and under the light of the full moon.

    “Of course, these celebrations ended once our master was sealed away into the Abyss by the Ten Kings. Once he and his loyal followers had been banished, only I remained, and thereupon that hill, I stayed for the remainder of my days upon this earth. There I lived my life, practiced my craft, and honored the old ways, honored my old master, until the fateful day when your great ancestor turned me to stone and stole my land.

    “But mark my words, niñita: my master shall return! To this mortal realm, he shall arrive most triumphantly, accompanied by his legion of demons, wraiths, and dark apparitions. He shall return once more and lay claim to this world.”

    “No. No!” Maria shook her head. “I will stop him. I will gather the princesses, and we shall cast the spell to keep him away.”

    Bruja Dama unleashed the most fearsome cackle, forcing Maria to recoil with a cold rush down her spine.

    “Try as you might, your efforts shall prove futile. My master shall return. He shall snuff out the light and claim his right to a world of darkness. And you shall know him by his name, that name that has been long lost to time. That name is—”

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

DWOA Princess Alliance: Chapter 11


Disney's World Of Adventures: Princess Alliance

Chapter 11 – In Mysterious Fathoms Below

    Once upon a time, there lived a little mermaid named Ariel. Though she lived under the sea, she dreamed of life in the world above the ocean. One evening, she traveled to the surface, where she rescued a handsome young prince from a terrible storm. Upon returning him to shore, she fell in love with him.

    Her father learned of her ventures to the surface and grew angry at her. Wanting to escape her father's wrath, she visited a sea witch who, in exchange for the mermaid's voice, gave her a potion to turn her into a human. However, to remain human, the mermaid needed to receive true love's kiss in three days, or else she would become the witch's slave.

    For three days, Ariel spent quality time with the prince. Through she could not speak with him or express her love for him, every passing day had him grow ever more in love with her. At long last, at the end of the third day, he gave her true love's kiss. The sea witch was defeated, the mermaid regained her voice, and she went on to marry her prince and live out her days as a human.

    And they all live happily ever after.

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