Rapunzel’s Cost

Rapunzel's Cost

“You know you don’t have to do this, right?” Rapunzel’s husband came to stand at the window with her. “Another conference will come. Next year we might have the barons cleared out entirely and be free to save the money.”

hair Jan2013Rapunzel brushed her hair out of her face and smiled. “That’s what we said before. I’ve been planning this for more than a year now. I can’t just keep putting it off.”

“Well then, I’ll let her in.” He left for the door.

A cool wind blew through the window, stirring Rapunzel’s hair. She closed her eyes and leaned into it. The soft brush of hair swayed against her arms.

Her Husband returned with a woman carrying a large black bag. The woman smiled and patted Rapunzel’s hand. “Don’t worry deary, it’ll grow back. After all, it is just hair.”

Rapunzel managed a shaky smile. “Sure. I know.” She ran her hands through her hair and pulled it in front of her shoulder. “It’s just that long hair has been me for so long. I never could decide on a style. I have several drawings of ones liked, but none of them look like me.”

“But you do still want to sell it, no?”


“Let’s start there. How much are you cutting off?”

“Thirty-four inches.”

They carefully measured out the length and bound the hair tight.


photo(13)photo(12)Rapunzel cringed as her hair tugged for the last time. The scissor blades clipped together and the tension sprang free. Her fingers slid down to cover the fresh edges.

It was done.

photo(11)She rubbed her arms and backed away as the woman held the locks high like a trophy fish fresh caught. A quick braid and the locks were set aside. The woman then guided Rapunzel to a chair and finished the job.

More locks were sheared off, but these fell to the floor only to be swept into the trash. Rapunzel toyed with a bit of the gold willing herself to trust.

The final product was nothing like the drawings she had created. The woman opted for something she deemed simple and “easy to style”.

“So what do you think?” the woman asked.photo(10)

Rapunzel stared at the stranger in the looking glass. The face was familiar, yet… She ran a hand across her hair to assure herself of reality, or perhaps merely to remind.

“Well I think it’s cute,” her husband said.

Rapunzel simply nodded.

The next day she stood at her window again. She dipped a turkey quill into ink then wrote “Requesting admission to your Conference – money en route.”

She rolled the tiny message around the leg of a pigeon and released him. As she watched the bird fly away into the setting sun, she fingered her shorn locks and smiled.


About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

6 comments on “Rapunzel’s Cost

  1. It’s a cute hairdo, Ren! I hope you grow to like it! And 34 inches? Wow–not bad! 🙂

  2. I like it. What a sacrifice! Hope to see you when you come to the conference.

  3. I like it! A very creative post as well. 🙂

  4. (Hugs) I’d be sobbing in your shoes. (Waist-long here, since high school.) I hope it proves worth it.

  5. Now THAT is sacrificing for your art!

    Like Andrea, I have waist-long hair. I’d like to grow it longer, but it won’t.

    I’m sure the conference will be worth it, Ren. 🙂

    • Thanks you guys. My hair was to my knees, the longest it’s ever been. Now it doesn’t reach my shoulders. I used to always wear it back (because of kids etc), but now it’s like… poofy…

      …yep… still adjusting… but busy planning the conference trip and listing all the things I want to finish before then. I want to make the most of it.

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