Castle of Dreams
Terra and Kiera landed in and old stone courtyard, in the dead of night, with large, billowing willow trees, and rows of flowers and bushes. It didn’t take long to hear a cry of distress, but it was softer, quieter, and just as full of anguish. Kiera spotted a young woman, knelt down at a bench, her arms covering her face. Kiera suddenly shook Terra’s arm when she saw that the woman’s dress had been torn to shreds and her hair ruined. Fearing the worst, Kiera ran to her side and knelt down beside the woman.
“Ma’am, are you alright?” Kiera exclaimed, worry in her voice.
“It’s just that…my friends made me the most beautiful dress! But my stepmother and stepsisters ruined it! And I was so looking forward to the ball.”
Kiera’s heart ached watching this woman.
“How awful!” She exclaimed.
She gently put her hand on the woman’s back in assurance. The woman sniffed and glanced up at her. She tried to smile at Kiera, but unfortunately failed.
“Darkness always finds a way into a wounded heart” said Terra, “You have to be strong. Strength of heart will carry you through the hardest of trials.”
“But…But I…” Cinderella started.
Suddenly, Unversed appeared. Terra instantly summoned his keyblade.
“Bad timing, Unversed!” Kiera hissed.
“Protect her, Kiera! I’ve got you back!” Terra exclaimed.
Kiera hesitated, but slowly stood up and summoned her keyblade.
When they were finished, Kiera turned to see the woman still crying.
“I…can’t believe…Not anymore…!”
Kiera was about to approach her, but she paused when she saw something peculiar: There were multiple, tiny twinkles of light floating about them, like fireflies, rather it was pure white light in contrast to green or yellow. Kiera and Terra watched in awe as the light congregated towards the woman, forming a human shape. Suddenly, a kindly old woman in a light blue gown with a pink bow and hood over her hair appeared, gently stroking the woman’s hair.
“Strength of heart is important, but that’s not all you need” said the old woman in a soft, gentle tone.
“There’s nothing left to believe in…nothing.”
“Nothing, my dear? Oh, now, you don’t really mean that.”
“Oh…but I do. It’s just no use.”
“Nonsense! If you’d lost all your faith, I couldn’t be here, and here I am!”
The woman finally looked up and registered who exactly she was talking to. Her eyes widened with surprise and took a step back.
“Who? Who’re you?” She asked.
“Oh my dear Cinderella, I am your fairy godmother. Oh, come now, dry those tears. You can’t go to the ball looking like that!
“Oh, but how can you help me? My dress is ruined, and I can’t possibly walk there-“ Cinderella argued.
“Oh nonsense! We’ll have you fixed up right away!”
The Fairy Godmother pulled out a magic wand from her pocket.
“Now, what were those magic words? Oh yes… Bibbidi-Bobbidi-boo!”
Sparks flew. A pumpkin in a nearby garden patch suddenly shook and changed into a glimmering carriage. With a flicker of her wand, Cinderella’s dress turned from pink rags to a gorgeous blue gown. Her hair had been elegantly fixed, with shimmering earrings and crystal glass slippers. Kiera beamed.
“Oh wow! You look beautiful!”
Cinderella looked down and examined her beautiful gown, then glanced over at Kiera and grinned.
“It’s…! It’s like a dream! A wonderful dream come true!” Cinderella exclaimed, spinning around, letting her dress flow around her.
“Yes. But like all dreams, I’m afraid, this one cannot last forever,” The Fairy Godmother informed, a bit more firmly, “You’ll have only till midnight, and then, on the stroke of twelve, the
spell will be broken, and everything will be as it was before.”
“I understand. Thank you so much!”
Cinderella embraced her Fairy Godmother. Then, she climbed into the carriage, and took off into the peaceful night.
“Her heart was full of light. Why didn’t I see it?” Terra spoke aloud.
“Do you think Cinderella could be another Princess of Heart?” Kiera asked.
“Mmm…” was all Terra said.
He seemed lost in thought.
The Fairy Godmother turned to Kiera and Terra.
“What are your names, dears?” She asked.
Terra and Kiera were a bit caught off guard, as they were so taken away by the spectacle, they forgot they were standing there, practically with their mouths hanging open.
“Uh-! Er-! I’m Terra, this is Kiera” Terra introduced.
“Well, Kiera, Terra, I thank you for protecting my Cinderella from those monsters. But I wonder…if I can ask one more favor of you.”
Terra hesitated for a moment, but before he could say anything, Kiera butt in.
“Sure! What is it you need?” Kiera asked.
“This is Cinderella’s possible one night of freedom she has before everyone returns to the way it was before,” said the Fairy Godmother, “With those monsters about, I’m concerned about her safety. Would you escort her to the castle, and make sure she arrives?”
“Of course! I would be happy to help her!” She exclaimed, “We’ll make sure she has the greatest night of her life!”
The Fairy Godmother smiled.
“Thank you dears.”
And with that, the Fairy Godmother disappeared into the night.
“Kiera, I don’t mean to be rude but-“
Kiera turned around.
“-Why did you just volunteer to help Cinderella?” Terra asked.
Kiera seemed a bit confused.
“Well, because she needs it!” Kiera replied, “You’ve seen the state she was in before, and look at her now! She doesn’t even look like the same person! And if she’s another Princess of Heart like you said, then we’ve got to make sure she stays out of harm’s way! And even if she wasn’t, as wielders of the keyblade, we are honor-bound to help those in need. It’s our job!”
Terra started at her for a moment, then laughed quietly.
“Hey! What’s so funny?” Kiera exclaimed.
“You sound like a mixture of Master Eraques and Ven” Terra replied coolly, but with a mischievous glint in his eye.
Kiera was surprised, then her cheeks went red with flattery.
“You really think so?” She asked.
“I’m telling you Kiera, you have the makings of a great Keyblade Master!” Terra emphasized.
Those two words made Kiera’s heart sink. Guilt came rolling back in, guilt about her causing Terra to fail the exam. She frowned, remembering what happened, causing her heart to ache and hurt.
“Terra, about that…”
Terra interrupted. “Come on! Let’s head to the castle!”
Kiera was quiet for a moment, then shook the thoughts away and smiled.
“Yeah! Let’s go!”