CW11 – Advice for Charmont

This week’s assignment is to write a short story about meeting a literary or historical figure. I have chosen a chance meeting at the climax of Ella Enchanted where I meet Prince Charmont and convince him not to hate Ella.

 

I loved shopping in the giant antique mall on the outskirts of town. It in a massive factory building that felt as if it’s wooden floors might fall apart at any moment. Though it certainly must have had some understandable design once, the rooms now seemed like someone took ten buildings and smashed them together without thinging. The conglameration of endless junk and treasures from the pasts of thousands of people only added to the confusion. It took five minutes to just find a certain booth once you’d lost site of it. There were little stair cases at any given corner, and the occasional closet or restroom stashed in a convenient niche. I could spend ours there and never find myself bored. From every antique item to even the building itself cried out voices telling me their diverse histories.

 

            While I found myself there on a Christmas shopping trip, I wasn’t too incredibly shocked when I stepped through a doorway into a stone room. At first I thought I’d just found a new room, though taken aback by the fact that it was totally bare. I glanced out of a narrow window and saw myself looking down for over 60 feet. I poked my head back through the door way. The room looked just the same, and I could see earth through the little windows close to the ceiling telling me the room was mostly underground. It also had ancient wooden floors, while this new room was completely made of stone. Curiosity wrapped its fingers around me and cried, “Why not?” So it was through this course of events that I found myself winding down a circular stone stairway in a castle tower.

 

            As I stepped through the doorway at the stair’s end I saw a young man in elegant formal attire pacing back and forth in a distressed manner. There were tear stains on his cheeks, but his eyes were now dry. His tawny curls were messy, and I assumed he’d run his fingers through his hair many times in the last half hour. I awkwardly stood in the door way, not sure whether or not I should reascend the stair in silence as to not bother him, or speak. Before I could decide he looked up and our eyes met.

 

            We gazed at each other in silence for a moment. I took in his eyes and studied them, as I did with anyone who gave me a chance. They were blue, and crying out with a longing that searched deeply into me. He was startled, but at the same did not mind my presence, and looked at me as if we were old friends.

 

            “You look like her. If your eyes were a different color and your clothing not so odd, I might have said you were Ella.” He said quietly, addressing me with formality, but comfort. It seemed that he was used to business like conversation, but trusted me rather more than that. “Are you a fairy?”

 

            “No, I’m not a fairy, I think I just happened to run into a fairy’s trap.” I said, somehow feeling quite at home with him.

 

            “Well, I’ve never heard of a fairy’s trap leading to a palace, but Lucinda’s ‘blessings’ often turn into curses.” He frowned a little thought. “I suppose you ran into something of hers.”

 

            I scratched my head, trying to remember the name. “Um. . .probably. Who is Lucinda again? I believe I’ve heard the name, but it does immediately ring a bell.”

 

            “Oh, pardon me!” He stood up strait suddenly and bowed. “I am Prince Charmont!”

 

I curtsied as he continued to speak.

 

“Lucinda is a rogue fairy who insists upon giving people magical blessings which end up as curses.”

 

            “Oh! This is Ella Enchanted!” I started. “I walked through a magical portal into a book!”

 

            Char stared at me, his face stony. “You know Ella?”

 

            “Well, in a manner of speaking. There is a book in my world compiling the events of her early life, and her romance with you.” I smiled at him warmly, and cocked my head as I said this.

 

            “Oh, much good that is. You know it ends with her married to a rich old man.” He spoke indignantly.

 

            “Oh you think so? And yet you are still madly in love with her, to spite burning her letters and calling her every evil name you can think of in the pages of your journal.”

 

            Char looked at me indignantly. “You’ve read my journals?”

 

            “Ella has a magical book that will show here bits and pieces of the lives of those she loves. Your journal entry was in it after you received her fictitious letter.”

 

            “Fictitious?” Char frowned. “Why would Ella lie to me?”

 

            “To protect you.” I leaned on the doorway. “You should not hate her, Char. She loves you more than anything else in the world, and her heart is breaking even more than yours.”

 

            “How do you know all this!” Char demanded, his face reddening.

 

            “Because I’ve read it in a book that details everything happening in her life right now.” I stood up strait and walked toward him. “Char,” I put my hands on his shoulders. “I know I can’t just go off telling you to the future. Once the future is observed and told it will change. But believe me, Ella loves you.”

 

            Char backed from me. “Does she? Then why has she treated me in such a vile fashion?”

 

            “So that you can hate her, instead of forcing her to marry you and endanger the entire kingdom.” I said firmly, trying to be gentle, but growing a bit heated in Ella’s defence.

 

            “Why would she endanger the kingdom?”

 

            “Because she’s been cursed by Lucinda. Char, I can’t tell you more than that.” I stood there thinking for a moment. “Where are we in the story? When did she write the letter, no wait, have you planned a ball yet?”

 

            “Yes, there were two last night and there is one tonight.” Char’s face brightened a little. “There’s a girl that reminds me of Ella, whose always wearing a mask. But I’ve decided to never marry, because I will always love Ella.”

 

            “Then go after her. Tell her you don’t intend to marry in case it isn’t Ella, but go after her all the same.” I said, trying my best to give proper advice and not cause the ruccass that Lucinda’s magic would cause.

 

            “Why? Do you think it is Ella?” He asked, suddenly quivering with hope.

 

            “I. . .I can’t say. I don’t know everything, you know, and I know that messing with things too much and telling people things they shouldn’t know will cause story lines to change and. . .” I trailed off and puzzled for a while. “Ella will not be able to lift her curse unless it is for you. There is no one she loves more, and no stronger power than love will break the curse. Force her to marry you and she will be free.” I looked up and our eyes met.

 

            He smiled and suddenly hugged me. “Oh, thank you! Thank you! If this advice brings Ella to me then I will be indebted to you forever!”

 

            I gasped and then smiled happily in his crushingly strong embrace. “It is my honor. I shall come back through this magical portal if it is still open one day and find out how things went. I’ve always wanted to meet Ella. I feel like she is a sister to me.”

 

            “We will welcome you with open arms!” Char smiled fondly as he let go of me.

 

            “Good luck!” I waved and returned up the winding stair. 

 

 

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