The Princess Who Locked Herself in a Castle

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

There it was, down to the last detail, perfection. A marquise cut, 50 carats on a gold band, simple, elegant, classy, royal ring. Sized to perfection in spite of the awkward size of my dainty fingers, bringing forth the visions of white gowns, oversized feasts, and my ecstatic mother. I knew the kingdom would rejoice to hear the happy news, but this, this was my worst nightmare.

I couldn’t take it, I had to do it, I had to say it, “Are you kidding me?” I blurted out, my mouth racing before my mind could formulate any kind words, “You are at least the eighth person to propose to me this week, why would I say yes to you? How are you any different?” I could see the poor man’s face begin to contort uncomfortably as he realized that the trajectory of my speech was not in favor of his plan. “I cannot, no I must not get married.. trust me, it’s not you, it’s me..” I stuttered as I hurried out of the throne room. I was so sick of it, being wooed and brought gifts like that was somehow going to convince me that I should give up the joys of the single life and run off with some prince — please, I knew better than that.

So I stomped to my room, grabbed anything I could carry (which isn’t very much considering my complete lack of strength), ran to the stables, got on my trusty steed, Spinner, and went off to find my freedom. (You may be wondering what happened with my parents, the kingdom, and all of that stuff but I honestly don’t care and given that this is my story, I will tell it how I please.) I went through the forest to the far away summer castle that we used for vacations and decided it would be the place of my liberty! Only upon my arrival did I realize I hadn’t really thought this plan through. I then returned to the palace to get more provisions and round up a servant or two to help me out, told my parents I needed time away, and asked the dragon trainers for one of their finest creatures. That was the day I met Skipper, the best guard dragon anyone could ever know.

It was also the day my life changed forever because I decided to be the master of my own destiny. I would decide if and when suitors could come see me, and Skipper would make sure that they were worth my attention. Together, he and I made the greatest of teams making it nearly impossible for men to fall in love with me. In my sanctuary of singleness, my abode of solitude, I could make the rules and I could spend all my time studying or reading or sitting in an unladylike fashion without anyone telling me it was wrong. I cried out for freedom and my cry sounded like a dragon’s roar, laced with fire and feminist ideals. I would not submit to the patriarchy but the patriarchy would submit to me!

I cherished this newfound isolation the entire four days I was alone, until day five brought along the unimaginable — a knight in shining armor. I was horrified, even petrified, and Skipper knew this was the day his dragon bootcamp would be edified. The man approached the tower on his stereotypically white steed, and removed his helmet. Luscious golden locks, a smile as bright as my future, he was beautiful, and everything I would never ask for in a man. That is, until he was engulfed in the flames of Skipper’s fiery wrath. He never stood a chance, poor guy.

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