Ch3 For Freedom And Love
Merida had been quiet since she got back and she asked her parents how many people live in each part of the village, so she could find a way to bring the boy she met to the ball. The King and Queen didn’t know why, but they were glad that their daughter was going along with their plans.
Elinor went to see her to make sure that she was okay and to find out what was wrong. A mother knows when her child is troubled.
“Merida,” as she entered, “Would you like to talk about it?”
Merida explained everything, about the boy she met, how he made her feel and the life he was living. But she begged her not to tell her father.
“Merida if you care about him then we’ll call an audience with him and your father” Elinor suggested.
“No,” Merida stopped her, “He told me that he started his quest to fix things and that he wants to be the one to end it! I want to make sure that he comes and that his ‘master’ has no choice but to let him come to the ball!”
Elinor felt pride and joy for her child and hugged her. “What’s his name?”
“The two that attacked him called him Jack, but I don’t know if that is even his real name. It might be a name he was given when his grandfather passed away.”
“We’ll do all that we can and I promise to say nothing to your father.”
Merida hugged her mother even tighter. She didn’t know how to thank her. Once Elinor spoke to her husband about knowing how many people live where, the invitations were made and then sent seven men to hand deliver them in the village.
Back at the orphanage Jack was trying to take his mind off of things as he scrubbed the floor. He still couldn’t get over it; he met the princess, asked her not to help him and even has feelings for her. Pitch would flip if he found out, but at least his sons hadn’t rat him out for making money behind his back; they’re probably saving it for future blackmail.
Jamie and some of the other kids watched from afar so they wouldn’t get caught. Jack hadn’t been himself and they were starting to worry. He stopped playing with them and even got rowed at for dropping one of the breakfast trays. If only they could help.
It took awhile for Jack to notice that he was only scrubbing the same spot over and over again. Times like these reminded him how much he missed his grandfather especially now knowing that Pitch had poisoned him. He felt like throwing the piece of cloth in his hands into Pitch’s face.
But then a knock on the door brought him out of his thoughts. He was the only one who was nearest, so he went to answer it. There stood a man in a fancy coat with a bag slumped over his shoulders and a list in his hands.
“How many men live here?” he asked.
“I’m sorry?” Jack was more confused than ever.
“How many young men above or near your age are there?”
“Not many. The older kids left when they could, the others are too young and the other men here are just volunteers. So the only ones living here are the owner, his two sons and me!”
The man wrote it all down before reaching into his bag and handed him four royal invitations to the royal ball. “We’ll be delighted to see you four there. We’ll ask you who you are and where you live when you arrive. The Queen wants every young man at the ball.”
Jack looked at the invitations, opened one of them and then read it out loud as the man left.
‘You are cordially invited to the royal ball so the Princess can choose one of you fine men to be her groom and the kingdom’s future king. Those from any high or low class many come, the King and Queen wish for their child to find true love. Dress your best and finest and then be ready on the fifth night for the ball. We’ll be asking you how many of you there are to make sure you all arrive. Signed King Fergus and Queen Elinor.’
Jack felt like he would pass out. The princess must have made that rule so Pitch would have no choice but to take him with him to the ball. There he will see her again and get to tell the King himself what he has been doing.
Jack hid his invite before rushing to Pitch’s office to hand him his. The Stabbington Brothers were with him so they got theirs too. Knowing Pitch it would be another way to fill his pockets with even more and to get his sons a bride in the process. But the part about them expecting everyone who received an invitation made Pitch furious, Jack had them down as a group of four.
“You can’t avoid it!” Jack reminded him, “They asked how many live here and I told them ‘four’! So if you arrive with only three invitations, you’ll be in trouble with the King himself.”
“But you have nothing to wear except for what your wearing now” Pitch hoped that he can get Jack to not come and ruin his sons chances to win the princess’s heart.
“I do!” This left Pitch shocked. “I still have some of my father’s old clothes, even some of the ones he had when he was my age.”
“But how do you think that you’ll win the princess’s heart?”
“I don’t!” Jack can’t let Pitch know that he had met her already, “But it would be nice to meet new people, get cleaned up and to see what she’ll look like. But if she does choose me, I’ll be out of your hair for good!”
Pitch knew this boy all too well and he wasn’t taking any chances, but then he remembered that Jack had said that he’ll be in trouble with three ‘invitations’, not three people.
“You’re right Jack! There’s no getting out of it with the three of us, so I’ll have to take you with us!” The brothers couldn’t believe what their father was saying, even Jack. “I’ll have to make sure you don’t have too much to do so you can get ready. We’ll all leave when we’re ‘all’ ready for the night!”
“Thanks, you won’t regret it!” Then with that Jack headed out the door.
“Father?” one of the brothers demanded to know, “Do you have any idea what you just said?”
“I do, but Jack would have no means of coming if his invitation ends up missing!”
The brothers knew what their father was planning and would have the pleasure of helping him do it. They’ll probably get mixed up with a crowd of other guests, but once they see the invites, no one will be the wiser.
Jack opened the trunk in his room and started to look for the right thing to wear. His friends including their injured guest, watched him at work. They haven’t seen him this happy in years.
As the days past by Jack, Pitch and everyone else that were invited were getting ready for the ball. Jack might have had the clothes, but he doesn’t have the shoes, so Pitch let him have time off to get some. When he was actually getting him out of the way!
Merida helped Rapunzel to look nice for the ball to say thank you for being a friend and a sister to her. Merida thought that she’d never say or think like this, but she feels like it’s going to be the best night ever.
Finally the fifth night came and carriages and wagons were passing through the castle gates. Rapunzel looked in the mirror one last time; she wanted to make a good impression for Eugene.
Merida wasn’t happy about it at first, but she still put on the blue dress her mother had asked one of the village’s seamstresses to made for her; and put her hair up with her tiara. This is it, a chance to see Jack again and to be with the one she believes she’s in love with.
“Please come” she prayed, “This might be our only chance to see each other again; and to gain your freedom.”
Jack was looking for his invitation before he got changed for the ball, but he couldn’t find it. His friends gave him a hand to find it, but it was still nowhere to be seen. Then all of a sudden a knock came at the door; which normally doesn’t happen. His friends scattered and went into hiding as Pitch came in.
“Not ready yet Jack?” Pitch sounded like he knew this already, “We’re all waiting for you.”
“I’ll be down in a minute. Right after I find my ticket to freedom” he whispered the last part.
“I’m sure you will, but do you really have the heart to leave the children defenceless?”
“Defenceless?” Jack was starting to get suspicious.
“Yes, they’ll be on their own without anybody to be there for them if something should happen while we’re ‘all’ gone for the night.” That was when Jack saw his invitation in Pitch’s coat.
“You planned this from the beginning! You stole my invitation so no one would suspect!”
“Did you really think that I’ll let you rat me out to the King!! You’re just like your grandfather-”
“Who you poisoned!!!” Jack interrupted him.
Pitch was shocked that Jack somehow learned the truth and that led him to want to make Jack stay even more. “Even if you tell anyone, who’s going to believe a worthless, ungrateful orphan like you? They probably think that you’re making it up for a joke or to take over this building for yourself!”
“You can’t stop me!”
“Oh yes I can! If you cross the line too far, you won’t be just locked in this room! You’ll also be joining your grandfather unless you stay here and stay quiet!”
Then with that Pitch locked the door as he left the room. Jack watched from his window as he saw them leave without him. There was no way out and from the look Pitch had in his eyes, he would have definitely killed him.
There was nothing to do but to lie on his bed in his locked room and hope that the princess would forgive him.
“It’s not so bad,” he tried to cheer himself up, “Balls are boring, loud, crowded and...... Are the only chance for someone like me to see her again.”
He did his best to hide his tears as his friends tried to comfort him. He only stopped when he saw that his winged patient was feeling better.
“I’m glad to see that you’re okay,” he wiped away the last of his tears, “You’ll be able to leave without anyone stopping or locking you up. This place isn’t a place for you or for anyone, anymore!”
Then all of a sudden the attic door opened itself like it wasn’t even locked in the first place. But what good would it do now; Pitch took his invitation with him. The healed white bird flew through it and chirped at him to follow.
Seeing no point in arguing and having the door freely opened, he and his friends followed their new friend to the garden. It all seemed like a mystery, how did the door open and unlock itself and why would a bird lead them all the way to the garden?
Before Jack could ask or say anything a bright light appeared around the snowflake bird, blinding both him and his friends. When the light faded away the bird was gone and a woman stood in its place. Everyone’s jaws dropped, not able to believe what they are seeing and wondered if the bird they took in was in-fact a bird?
“It’s alright” the woman spoke, “I’m here to help you like you helped me!”
“W- wh- Who are you?” Jack uttered.
“You may call me Elsa. I’ve been watching since your fate was written.”
“My what?” Jack still couldn’t believe this.
“Your fate, to be with the one you love, who loves you back.”
“She does? But-”
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, Jack. I’ve watched you while my sister watches over her; and let me tell you, she waiting for you at the ball.”
“But if I go, Pitch would recognise me and how can I get there and back before he does?”
“I thought you’d never ask?”
Elsa made a wand appear out of thin air in her hand before she waved it at one of the largest pumpkins in the vegetable patch. It sprung to life and then came up to them as it became a carriage.
Jack was amazed and grateful, but....
“How is it going to move?”
“Tell your friends to hold still!”
Another wave of her wand and the mice and hummingbirds that came down with them turned into horses. While Drac became the driver and his little Mavis became Jack’s footwoman.
“Wow! Okay we got a pumpkin turned into a carriage to get me to the castle. Turned some of my friends into horses and two into people. But I no longer have an invitation and Pitch will recognise me if he see me there!”
“You mean this invitation?” Elsa made one appear in her hand. “Let Pitch have his fun with the guards; it will save you from suspicion! This one is new and I just added your prince name on the list.”
“Prince name? But I’m not-”
Before Jack could finish Elsa waved her wand again and magic ice crystal sparkles started to spin around him in a bright light. Jack had to block out the light so he wouldn’t go blind.
The moment the light started to fade away Jack started to open his eyes; and he saw that he now wore dark blue diamond gloves that sparkled in the light. His clothes have changed as well as he saw his sleeves.
Elsa made an ice mirror appear so Jack could see himself. His hair was now white and his eyes were blue? He no longer looked like an orphaned servant boy, he looks like a prince!
“But why?” Jack asked Elsa.
“You helped me because you care and someone like you doesn’t deserve to live like this. You care for the children and the princess wants to help you, because you made her feel like she always wanted to; to feel free. Love and kindness can free you in many ways!”
“Thank you, Elsa. You’ve done so much for me.”
“You’re welcome, but I afraid that this won’t last. My magic is still weak from the arrow those brothers shot at me and I only have enough magic to bring you back into that locked room, so you must be back before midnight!”
“But if you use all for your magic-?”
“Don’t worry; it will come back the day after tomorrow, where there is goodness, there is kindness and where there is kindness, there is also magic. But things will never change if you keep her waiting young man!”
Elsa was right, he doesn’t have all night. So without any second thought he climbed into the carriage and started to head to the ball. Jack was confident that Pitch won’t know who he is, but will she still recognise him? But he can’t let that stop him now; this might be the only chance for him to see her again!