Bring Me Home

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The wind whips at his face as Maximus weaves through the trees, knowing the fastest way to their destination. Eugene isn't sure if his eyes were watering from the speed or because he let his mind wander to dark places during the ride. It was the initial trigger of these dark thoughts that helped push his way through his escape of the Corona prison block, but now they crept up his spine like a cancer.

He knew the Stabbington Brothers had no idea who they made a deal with; right now his anger was directed towards that someone rather than the twins. The twins he would deal with at a later date.

White-knuckled, Max breaks through the vines concealing the clearing in which Eugene stumbled through only a handful of days ago, even though what he experienced since that day were the most life changing events of his existence.

A vision that once filled him with so much awe, now only brought dread. The tower. Dark clouds hung low, changing the previously light, and magical meadow into one of gloom.

Eugene throws himself off Max, closing the distance between the tower and himself in a few strides.

"Rapunzel?" He calls desperately up to the singular window atop the tower. "Rapunzel let down your hair!" He adds when no response comes. He feels his heart thudding in his ears, 'No no no no no-' his thoughts chant. He throws himself at the tower, forcing his fingers to find purchase on the cobblestone exterior.

He tries to support his weight with any foothold he can make. He digs his fingers into the vines covering the tower's surface, testing their strength and finding it workable. Quickly and methodically he ascends the sheer surface, ignoring the protest of his muscles.

With a final grunt, he slams his forearms on the wooden frame of the window, pulling himself up. Without a chance to catch his breath, he kicks open the shutters, breaking the latch. He jumps inside, his ragged breaths shaking his frame. "Ra-Rapunzel?" He pants, his eyes darting around the dark room. The tower is still, eerily devoid of life.

Once the stinging in his lungs lessens, he takes a few cautious steps forward. His eyes start to adjust and he notices a broken mirror. It had obviously been tipped and its shards lay scattered in an outward arch from where it rests. A struggle had occurred.

Before he can head up the stairs, a familiar croak, although weakened, sounds from behind him. He turns on his heel, pinpointing the small reptile up against the exterior wall. "Pascal?" He crosses back towards the window and kneels down, occasionally checking behind him.

Pascal seems injured, or at least disoriented. Eugene scoops him up, "What happened here?" He asks, hope actively draining from his eyes.

Pascal shakes his head.

"Is Rapunzel here?"

Pascal shakes his head.

Eugene feels like a fist has clenched down on his heart. "D-did she take her? Her mother?"

He nods glumly.

Eugene's knees buckle from under him. He sits with his back against the wall, his shoulders hunched forward over Pascal. "I'm too late. I'm sorry." He whispers.

He feels Pascal nudge against his hand before leaping to the floor. He watches Pascal walk into a dark corner of the room and retrieve a scrap of fabric. Pascal places it in Eugene's lap. "The pennant?" He picks up the torn piece of purple fabric, the one he bought for Rapunzel at the festival. It's been torn off center, through the edge of the sun insignia.

For a split second he fears that she attempted to rip it herself, out of anger towards him, betrayal. "She still thinks I sold her out to the Stabbingtons" he bemoans, leaning his head back against the wall.

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