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Those bows really bring out the puffiness of your sleeves!
“Esme?” Meg shook her. “Esme, wake up!”
“What?” she groaned, turning over and opening her eyes.
“Eric’s going to the beach soon,” she frowned. “You have to get up.”
“But the sun’s barely risen!”
“Looks like he’s an early bird,” Meg laughed.
“Fine,” she sat up in bed. “Though, what the hell are you wearing?” She raised an eyebrow as she looked over the grotesque green dress Meg was wearing, complete with a huge bow in her hair.
“This is the most muted thing they have in 1989,” she sighed.
“Maybe so, but is that awful bow really necessary?”
“Carlotta insisted upon it,” she rolled her eyes. “Now, get up and I’ll see if I can salvage something decent from your wardrobe.”
Esmeralda clambered out of bed yawning and stumbled into the bathroom. Meg flicked through the hangers in her wardrobe frowning. Eventually, she chose a light blue dress and knocked on the bathroom door.
“Are you ok with blue?” she asked.
“Yes, fine,” Esme sighed. “Pass it through.”
Meg opened the door slightly and passed the outfit to Esmeralda.
“Ugh!” she cried. “What is this
“It’s either that or marshmallow chic,” Meg laughed.
As Esme was getting changed, she walked over to the wardrobe and picked out some matching blue shoes from the bottom. When Esmeralda was finished, Meg stopped her in her path and held them out.
“I don’t wear shoes,” she laughed. “No matter what that blasphemous sequel thinks.”
“You do now,” she thrust them on her and walked off. Esmeralda rolled her eyes and forced on the shoes before following her.
“Are you girls all ready?” Carlotta asked, seemingly jumping up from nowhere.
“Yes, thank you,” Jane smiled, twirling in her ugly puffy dress.
“Then follow me,” the elderly woman bustled past towards the stairs. “Prince Eric does not like to be kept waiting.”
As they were walking down the stairs, Esmeralda took the time to examine the atrocities the other heroines were wearing. Eilonwy was sulking, as per usual, although her dress was by far the best there. Alice was in a huge purple dress with a large bow attached to her headband and Jane was dressed in an aqua coloured dress with green detailing. It was revolting, but she still did not look as out of place as Kida. She was in a bright pink dress with huge puffed-out sleeves and a flowing skirt. Carlotta had attempted to cover her facial tattoos with powder but they still showed through and her rebellious hair was haphazardly held in place with a large matching bow. Esmeralda nudged Meg and they both had to stifle their giggles at the sight.
“So ladies,” Eric smiled. “Nice to see you’re in clothes suitable for the beach.” He started to chuckle as he walked off to the door and strolled outside. The heroines followed him eagerly.
They walked through the grounds to a side exit. It lead down some steps that went straight onto the beach and before long they were not far from the rock at the end of the sand.
“So what happens now?” Kida hissed at Jane.
“Well,” she thought slowly. “Eric sees Ariel and finds out she’s mute. He takes pity on her and they go to the palace. She’s cleaned up for the whole day before they eat dinner together. Then tomorrow they have a tour of the city culminating in a row across a blue lagoon where they almost kiss. Then on the third day, Eric is under Ursula’s spell and it’s the whole wedding thing.”
“My thoughts are brewing already,” Meg smiled. “You sure you can get Eric to do as we say?”
“We have a deal,” Esme shrugged. “He’ll do anything that comes from our lips.”
“Anything?” Meg smirked.
“Well, maybe not that,” she giggled.
“What are you girls talking about?” Eric asked.
“Nothing!” they all said in unison.
“Whatever you say,” he chuckled. “We’re almost at the end of the beach now. Then we can turn back and… Hey Max, wait up!” His dog ran off barking and he chased after him.
“Ariel?” Esme asked.
“You bet!” Jane smiled and they ran after him.
They ran around the corner and saw Eric staring at Ariel, sat on the rock dressed in a sail. As Eric walked towards her, Esmeralda grabbed his shoulder and whispered in his ear.
“Remember our little deal?” she asked. “Don’t let this girl get close to you. If she falls, don’t grab her. It’s only sand - let her fall to the ground and then help her up. You can have your payment later.” He nodded and she let him walk on. Ariel stared curiously at the five heroines before reverting her gaze back to Eric.
“Are you ok?” he asked Ariel, wary of Esmeralda’s threat from the night before. Ariel made weird gestures in return and he raised an eyebrow. “What’s wrong?” She fluttered her hands around her neck and the heroines had to stop themselves from giggling. “You can’t speak?” Ariel nodded. “Oh. Then you can’t be… Well, what happened to you?” She flung her arms again and Eric stared at her, as confused as ever. He tried to guess like a game of charades and Meg had to turn away to hide the laughter. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” She carried on flinging her arms around even more ferociously and fell forwards. Esmeralda glared at Eric and he moved his hands away, letting her drop onto the soft sand. “Oh, are you alright?” He helped her up. “Here, let’s get you cleaned up in the castle.”
Ariel gleamed at him as she was lead away, flashing a quick look towards a fish and a crab nearby. The heroines all turned to look at Flounder and Sebastian, causing them to flee.
“What are you lot waiting for?” Eric called back to them and they ran to catch up. They all walked back up to the palace where Ariel was dragged off by Carlotta.
“Y’know,” Meg whispered. “Compared to what we’re dressed in, Ariel gets off lightly.” Bar Jane, the heroines burst out laughing.
“I find the outfits to be splendid,” she glared.
“You win some, you lose some,” Meg shrugged and they all giggled again.
“Nice to see you girls are having fun,” he chuckled. “Go on through to the parlour - it’s just through there. Me and Esmeralda need to talk.” The other heroines nodded and walked away.
“What?” Esme asked.
“My payment,” he smiled. She moved in to peck him and he stopped her. “It’s not a nice thing, to watch a girl fall to the ground and be forbidden to help her.”
“Oh, you stubborn man,” she rolled her eyes before grabbing him by the shirt and practically forcing him onto herself. The kiss was brief but fiery and left Eric quite breathless.
“Well, I…” he stammered. “Wow. Remind me to do things for you more often.”
“Get in there,” she half-pushed him through the door and they went and sat on the sofas with the other heroines.
“So, what shall we do now?” Eric asked, reclining and resting his feet on the coffee table.
“I know,” Esme reached inside her top and pulled out a pack of cards. “Let’s play poker!”
“What else are you keeping in there?” Meg asked.
“I take a pack of cards everywhere,” she laughed. “You never know when you might get bored on a long journey.”
She dealt them out and they all leant forwards to play. They carried on playing poker for most of the day, finding the stupidest things to be bet with. They even took the game to the lunch table, where they betted their peas away. They hadn’t had so much fun in a long time and it wasn’t until Grimsby made the girls go upstairs to change for dinner that the game finally ended. Esmeralda was the clear winner, carrying her winnings of three candlesticks, two peas and five cushions up to her room with her.
“I’ve put the best ball gowns on your beds for you,” Carlotta smiled, once again jumping up from nowhere. “I’m going to get you all dolled up for the large feast my little Louis is preparing.”
Jane gleamed and ran past into her room, eager to see her dress. The other heroines sighed and walked into their own rooms reluctantly. Esmeralda put her winnings on the dresser and looked at the dress that had been left for her. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. That didn’t mean it was good, but it certainly wasn’t bad. The dress was cream with mint green details and there wasn’t any puffiness or clashing to be seen. She changed quickly, reluctantly putting on some green heels that she could barely stand in. As soon as she’d finished, Carlotta appeared as if almost on queue.
“Oh, don’t you look a picture?” she giggled. “Sit down, sit down. We must get you looking beautiful beyond belief. Not that you need much help, you lucky thing.”
She sat down at the dressing table nervously, unsure what to expect. Carlotta kept on talking and talking, stopping only to take a breath. Esme wasn’t listening as she was much more interested in seeing what Carlotta was doing. She took out her pink headband and brushed her rebellious hair down before clipping it all up on top of her head. Her face was practically caked in powder by the time she’d finished and tons of different types of make-up that Esme had never even seen before were being plastered all over her. Carlotta fastened her fringe up with a clip and stepped back.
“Don’t you look a darling?” she smiled.
Esmeralda was in shock. Not only did she look good, but there wasn’t a large bow or hideous 80s concoction anywhere in sight. She turned around and Carlotta was gone, so she walked out into the corridor. The other heroines were also stood outside, each of them looking relatively normal. They all walked slowly downstairs and into the dining hall. Eric was looking at Ariel, who had evidently entered before them, with a look on his face that the others couldn’t deny. He was falling in love. No matter how much Esmeralda glared at him during the dinner, his flirty laughter and stumbling crush wouldn’t falter and he was still looking love struck as Ariel left.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Esme hissed.
“What do you mean?” he raised an eyebrow.
“I told you not to get close to her!” she glared. “Now what are you doing?”
“You said that earlier,” he shrugged. “You didn’t specify that I had to do it more than once.”
“Could you be any more irritating?” she grumbled. “Now tomorrow, I want you to-”
“No,” he stood up. “Anyone else would have threw you out of the palace by now. You’re permitted to stay here, but not if you try and interfere with my life again. The deal‘s off.”
“But Eric,” she called after him as he walked away. “This is important!” He ignored her and carried on, leaving the heroines at the table. “Fine. If Eric wants to play hard to get, then we’ll just have to hit this one at the source. Girls, we’re catching ourselves a mermaid.”