One

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Mother Gothel slammed the door behind her, putting the lock on to keep me down here. She was angry with me again, realizing I was not going to give up on my dreams.

I wiped a tear from my cheek, closing my eyes.

I was approaching the adult age in a few days. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to see what this place was like and why it was so bad.

For eighteen years, she kept me in this basement. She had been waiting for me to gain my powers so she could use them to her will.

I never told her I already had them.

I placed my palm face up, my eyes lighting up as a ball of light hovered above my hand. I moved my hand around, moving the ball with it. I controlled this light and I still found it so mesmerizing despite how long I had this gift.

I used the movements of my hand to push the light wherever I wanted it to go. My eye caught on something unusual that I hadn't noticed before. Crawling towards the area where my light lingered, I took a peek in a hole. It was small, small enough to fit my hand inside.

I sat back, tilting my head. It was tiny but I could work with it. I was going to work at this hole until it was big enough for me to fit through.

I heard a door, causing me to jump from the sudden noise. I looked back at the woman who called herself my mother. "Mother Gothel, did I do something wrong?" I asked in a quiet voice.

She walked around, shaking her head. "I want to apologize for my behavior. It was not supposed to go the way it had. Can you forgive me?"

Could I forgive her? "Are you finally going to let me go outside?" I smiled, getting too hyped for my own good.

She turned to me. "Rapunzel, I cannot let you go out there. The world is cruel to people like you. You may not have them now but you will soon. When they know, they will use you. I predict they'll come for your birthday and when they do, I want to see them."

"But Mother-"

"No!" she snapped. "I told you no and it stays that way. Do you hear me?"

"I want to see the world..." I looked down at the ground.

I cried when a stinging filled my left cheek. She looked at her hand, putting it back at her side. "No more of that talk. Be grateful, you little brat. You understand?"

I nodded a bit, trying to keep the frown from forming. What a fail that was. "I understand."

She pushed my hair back, looking at my face. "Good. There are bad people in this world. I'm protecting them from you." She left with the last word.

I looked at my fingers, watching them shake. "You can't protect me from yourself."

She had spent all these years warning me about the bad people in this world and she was the worst of them all. She took me from my real parents. She locked me down here and crushed my dreams. Was that normal for a mother to do?

I looked back at the hole, wiping my running nose on my little nightgown.

I was going to get out of here. I wanted to see everything she warned me to be afraid of. I had to see if her words rung true.

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