“Some day my prince will come…”
“Shut up Judith, what princes do you know? Been to Europe lately? This isn’t a fairy tale, princes don’t just show up on your doorstep.”
Teary eyed, Judith countered, “What about the white knight on his valiant steed?”
“When was the last time you saw someone riding a horse?”
“Margie you’re just being mean now.”
“I’m being realistic. There isn’t anyone who is going to save you, you’ve got to save yourself. If there’s someone you want go for them. You can’t wait around and complain when you’ve done literally nothing to further your cause.”
Margie looked over the moat of lava that imprisoned them in the tower, it had been there their whole lives. “Judith no one even knows we’re alive in here.”
“Well I can dream its like the stories can’t I?”
“Dream all you want, its not going to get us out of here any sooner than your mythical prince will.”
“Like your plans will work any better…”
Margie marched over to the door and flung it open, she stomped through their vegetable garden and right to the edge of the moat. She strung the bow she had crafted from part of the door frame loaded the arrow with a rope attached and took aim for a tree on the other side of the moat. Years of planning and calculating had gone into this moment. Hundreds of hours of practicing her aim.
She let the arrow fly. She watched it soar across the lava and embed itself into the tree. She tied the rest of the rope on her end around a pillar of stone and began her way across. She would get of of that God forsaken castle, and she didn’t need a prince to help her.
The heat made her sweat as she inched across. Her hands growing slippery on the rope but her legs holding firm. She continued as her body grew tired. Once she was back on the ground she collapsed exhausted but relieved to be safe again.
She walked a few feet into the forest and found a camp of young men, sitting around a fire eating mutton and laughing. She crept over not paying any attention to the holes in her clothes or the smoke and sweat stains.
She walked right up and helped herself to a chunk of meat. The men fell silent.
“Miss, what are you doing?”
“I am eating, what does it look like?”
“That’s our food.”
“You have plenty, and I just climbed across a moat of lava, I deserve a bite to eat.”
“What moat of lava?”
She gestured in the direction she had come from.
All of the men stood up and marched that way. She heard gasps. She took her hunk of meat with her.
“That’s the rope I used, and there’s the lava.”
“A little thing like you crossed that huge moat?”
“I am not that little!”
“You wouldn’t have happened to be guarded by a dragon would you?”
“The dragon left us a few years ago, not enough food.”
A strained laugh went through the group.
“How many years were you there for little girl.”
“My name is Margie,. I use to live there with my little sister Judith. A knight never ever tried to rescue us, our whole lives were spent there. Twenty years of waiting. So I rescued myself.”
There was some soft murmuring. Obvious guilt. Margie smirked.
“Now I will be on my way to town, I’ve got to get some supplies to get my sister out of there.”
“Well if there is no dragon… Maybe one of us could make the trip?”
“Try if you want…” Margie licked the grease off of her fingers and walked away. She would hit a town eventually and be able to get some supplies to get her sister over the moat of lava.
It took weeks to get the structures to be safe enough for her sister to come back over the moat. Meanwhile the men tried various measures to get over the moat themselves. Most of their attempts ended in death. There were only two men left when she finished her moat crossing system.
She looked between the two of them. With a sigh she spoke, “Would one of you be willing to cross the river of lava in this basket and retrieve my little sister. She’s always wanted to be rescued by a knight or a prince.”
“Neither one of us is a knight or a prince. We’re just squires.”
“Can’t you pretend?”
There was some shoving and muttering about which one would go and save the girl. Once that was settled the man climbed into the basket. Margie rolled him across the river of lava her plan working perfectly.
She waited with the other squire for his friend and her sister to return. The squire sent her sister over first and then Margie pulled her sister’s rescuer back across the lava.
Judith was ecstatic.
“Lets go into town.” Margie suggested after her sister had finished gushing about the very heroic rescue.
Judith insisted on marrying the man who had rescued her the whole way into town, and through dinner.
Margie couldn’t find it in her heart to spoil her sister’s excitement, that she had rescued her not this ‘valiant knight.’