It felt like forever before the long golden plait dropped down the side of the tower and appeared within hands reach. He discarded his weighty cloak and sword, gripped the end of the yellow locks and began the ascent to the small upper window.
The day was hot and it was hard work. The stonework was firm under his boots and finally he reached the window sill. Breathless and panting he heaved over the edge of the window and dropped into the room.
The tower was substantial and he had come prepared to find a small solitary room, instead he was faced with a substantial suite of well furnished rooms. Brushing the dust off his clothes, a reminder of his long ride, he stood to face the young woman. In her hands was the other end of the long plait of hair. It had been looped over a post near the window frame and she let go of the hair with a big sigh of relief.
“Finally, you’ve taken forever,” she huffed.
“It’s a long way up,” he said indignantly.
“Not the climb up here, no the whole coming to rescue me thing. I didn’t realise it would take this long,” she said stepping away from the window.
The man’s eyes were adjusting to the light and he could see her long hair, blue eyes and deep crimson dress. She was certainly beautiful.
“I am Prince Charming,” he began to say and it was then he noticed her hair. It was long, yes, but it stopped at her waist. He glanced back at the post by the window and the rest of the hair was still tied to the end. “Your hair?”
“Oh yes, I cut it off, such a damn nuisance. I use it as an extension,” she said. “Can we go now please?”
“Yes, as I say, you’ve taken you’re time,” she began to rummage in a cupboard. “I’ve my shoes here and I can pack quite quickly – clothes, diary, my favourite teddy bear,” she said poking around.
“What about your wicked step-mother?” he asked warily.
“Oh her? I shouldn’t bother about her, she has far too much on her plate to trouble with me. Probably out plotting somewhere, I’m not her only step-daughter you know.”
“I’m sorry, I’m just not getting this,” said Prince Charming with his hands on his hips. “You could have climbed down yourself surely?”
“Climbed down, don’t be silly. What a palaver that would be. I’m a lady,” she said dumping her bag on the floor. “If I go out I use the door like everyone else.”
“Door!” he cried out.
She pointed to a metal ring on the floor and he could clearly see a large trap door. “Down those stairs. Quite a number of them too!” she lifted up the ring and the trap door opened a fraction before she released it with a slam.
“I climbed up these grim walls for you and you can leave any time!”
“Naturally, good grief, you don’t suppose somebody could live up here all alone with no friends. I have to shop for food and clothes and meet my friends.”
“Friends!” he was becoming increasingly exasperated.
“Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty – well napping beauty we call her and not forgetting Snow White. It’s very tedious lying in a glass coffin waiting for you to turn up.”
“I’ve been busy. I spent a few years stuck as a beast, then a frog and finding this bloody tower for you. I can’t believe you’ve been sat about doing nothing.”
“What’s the point of a good rescue if you’re not here to be rescued. You’re not much of a Prince Charming are you. Prince ‘I can’t be bothered’ would sum you up. It’s hard work sitting around here, looking at the sky, talking to the birds and dealing with wicked step-mothers.” She started to pull on a shoe.
“Oh no, you’re not going anywhere young lady. It’s time you were taught a lesson,” said Prince charming.
“Lesson? I can read thank you. And all the good books I read say you should carry me down and then we ride off into the sunset,” she brushed her hair out of her eyes. “Can’t wait to get this hair cut again.”
“You are one bratty girl and I’m going to teach you how to behave.”
“Behave! I can cook, clean and sweep the floor as well as Cinderella. I may not have single handily looked after seven dwarfs but I’m not incapable.”
“I’m talking about your attitude. Where is your gratitude, your undying love and delight in seeing me,” he said searching around the room.
She watched him as he dragged a chair into the middle of the room. “I am pleased to see you,” she said sheepishly. “You’re quite good looking too, if I may say so.”
“You need to sort out your priorities. If you want to play damsel in distress you should be throwing yourself at my feet, tearful eyes and bestowing grand words upon me.”
Rapunzel wondered why he was undoing her long hair and pulling it up from the window. “That’s our escape route,” she pointed out.
“I’m using the stairs, like you could have years ago.”
Rapunzel crossed her arms in frustration. “You just don’t get it, I want to be rescued. It’s my dream, my destiny.” She stamped her foot.
“What you need is a good spanking,” said Prince Charming severely.
“Spanking?” she said surprised. “You’re going to spank me?”
“I think it will do you the world of good. I’ve no intention of proposing to you until you learn your place,” he said firmly.
“My place,” said Rapunzel nervously.
“Under my thumb,” he said and picked up the hairbrush from the table. It was a large wooden hairbrush with a flat side and a good handle. He patted it on the palm of his hand and she gaped.
“You intend to do this?”
“If you want to be rescued you have to change your attitude, a little decorum and manners for starters. Not one word of thanks has left those lovely red lips of yours.”
“Did you do this to the others?” she asked creeping forward.
“Most definitely. Princesses are such brats. Once they understand how things should be they’re very well behaved. Now kindly bend over the back of this chair.”
Rapunzel could not take her eyes of Prince Charming. Suddenly he had gone from a breathless gangling young man into a stern handsome hunk. He squared off his shoulders and gave her a look which was impossible to ignore.
“Will this hurt?” she asked tremulously.
“Naturally, but afterwards you’ll feel much better and contrite. I think you should broaden your emotional horizons,” he told her.
Standing by the tall backed wooden chair, Rapunzel leaned forward gradually until her hands rested on the seat. She jerked up again.
“You know what you’re doing?” she asked.
“I’m a Prince of the Realm. I’ve been trained in many arts and disciplining wayward princesses is part of my duties. Along with fighting dragons, banishing wicked step-mothers and protracted sword fights.” He nodded at the chair.
Rapunzel went back down carefully and she could feel him fiddling with the laces of her dress. “What are you doing?” she said biting on her lip.
“I can’t spank you through all these layers. You won’t feel a thing,” he remarked. “You’ll have to take this dress off.”
With his help, Rapunzel let the dress slip off her shoulders and on to the floor at her feet to reveal a chemise. Bending back down she could feel him lift it up to expose her panties.
“My word,” he exclaimed. “These barely cover anything of you! And you’ve got a suntan.”
Rapunzel went coy. “There is a sundeck up here.”
Her skin was bronze next to the tiny white panties. “You can keep these on, they don’t cover much anyway.”
She could feel him rub the cool wooden paddle on her bottom and she giggled a little. “It tickles,” she whooped.
“It won’t in a second,” he pointed out and raised his hand high.
Rapunzel jumped up, hopped about and rubbed her bottom hard. “Ow, ow!”
“You can’t move about, it will take all day. You need a good spanking.”
“I can’t keep still, not if you’re going to do that to me,” she said.
Prince Charming picked up the long hair extension and had an idea. Within a few minutes he had tied her to the chair using the hair.
“Really useful stuff this hair,” he said with satisfaction.
Rapunzel should have been impressed with his resourcefulness and ingenuity, however, now that she could not move, she was anxious.
With her bottom stuck up, he was ready to continue.
As spankings went, Prince Charming was very pleased. She howled at first and tried to wriggle out of her bindings. He asked her to say thank you for each one. She did not want to but he reminded her she was to learn about gratitude before he would rescue her.
“Thank you!” she yelped as the brush landed again on her red bottom.
“Sir, call me sir. I’m supposed to be a Prince,” he said and smacked her again. The brush made a satisfying whack and her bottom responded by going a deep red. Soon her bronze tan would be replaced by a delicious pink glow. Spanking princesses had become a feature of his life and he had considerable practise. Some required to be held down over his lap, their long skirts flapping about their heads. Others he lay across the edge of their four poster beds, swept back his arm and landed his palm with blistering swipes as they shrieked at him. His father, the king, would be pleased with his efforts to tame the virginal princesses of his realm.
“Thank you, sir!” cried out Rapunzel.
With each blow, each smack of the brush, the prince knew he had finally found his special princess. She stopped howling and meekly thanked him. He lectured her on manners, appropriate behaviour and laziness. Why had she not come to find him? What was wrong with a princess putting in a bit of effort and meeting him half way.
“I’ve hacked down thorny bushes and risked life and limb, I’m fed up with it. Now you’re going to look after me. Understand?!”
“Yes, sir,” she said. “Please let me look after you.”
“Good. You look after me, be a good princess and I’ll keep those pesky step-mothers and dragons at bay. Agreed!” he landed the brush for the last time as he heard her sniff loudly.
“Yes please. Thank you for rescuing me and giving me a chance to prove myself.”
Rubbing her flaming cheeks, Prince Charming untied his damsel in distress and drew her up into his arms. Her teary face was quite pretty and suitably contrite. He kissed the back of her hand and swiped away her tears.
“There, there,” he said kindly. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Rapunzel had to confess she felt liberated, in more ways than she had ever possibly imagined. “It was different.” Was all she could think to say.
After a long session of kissing and cuddling, he helped her get dressed, pack her bag and opened the trap door. The hair remained draped over the abandoned chair and Rapunzel gave the room one last look around before starting to descend. Prince Charming was about to follow when as an after thought he grabbed the hairbrush and stuffed it in her bag. He never knew when it might come in handy again.