By Tara Aquino
“You never take into consideration what I want!” Taylor said, huffing her blonde hair out of her face.
“God! Don’t be so dramatical. Everyone thought it was hilarious,” Eric retorted, as he twirled his plastic crown around his index finger.
The pair stood atop the Whimsy Bridge, Taylor’s favorite place in the world. She'd unofficially named it when she was only 7. To any passerby, the bridge was a decrepit eyesore that the town’s citizens considered a disgrace to the beautiful park surrounding it. But to Taylor, the bridge was her castle, her fortress of solitude. This was the spot where she'd spent countless hours reading fairy tales and playing princess, where she had her first kiss and, now, where she and Eric would celebrate their ascension to prom king and queen.
“The first dance between a king and a queen is not supposed to be hilarious, Eric!” Taylor cried back. “You were so busy screaming at the DJ to play ‘Teach Me How to Dougie’!”
She delivered a searing look, only to discover Eric had checked out of the conversation and was now balancing his crown on his hard-on.
“What are you doing?!”
“Bow to your king!” Eric exclaimed before keeling over with laughter.
“That’s it! Go to the party without me!” Taylor crossed her arms. “We’re over.”
“Whatever," Eric said, quickly zipping up his fly. “Why would I even want to be with someone who doesn’t know how to Dougie?” And with that, he turned around and left her.
Taylor buried her head in her hands and started to sob. She began to walk away, until her feet got caught in a crack on the bridge. Despite trying to regain her footing, Taylor teetered uncontrollably. She reached for the rail when her heel snapped. Missing it by inches, she flew over the edge, her crown slipping from her head.
As she fell, she screamed. In her head, she looked back on her life. Well I shouldn’t have spent all that time studying for the SATs if I’m just gonna die.
Just as she had accepted her fate, strong arms embraced her, breaking her fall. For the first time, she became aware of the minuscule 10-foot drop. I would’ve only sprained an ankle, she thought.
Realizing she was still being cradled, she looked into the eyes of her savior. “Oh, holy shit!”
Piercing blue orbs, hidden beneath a tangled wad of dirty eyebrow hair, stared back at her. Startled, the creature dropped her and ran back into the darkness under the bridge.
“Wait!” she cried. “Who are you?”
From the shadows, she noticed her crown slowly rolling back toward her. Taylor picked it up, dusted it off, and perched it atop her golden locks.
A song began to echo from the tunnel. Upon hearing the first note of Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Taylor perked up. It was her favorite.
Out of the darkness, a four-foot-nothing troll with green warty skin covered in dirt and foliage emerged. Over his ripped shorts and stump-like legs, the creature wore what looked like a First Communion blazer pulled from the dumpster behind Goodwill.
Despite his disheveled, unnatural appearance, Taylor couldn’t help but smile. She was fixated on the most enchanting set of eyes she had ever seen, just like the kind the princes had in her books.
With Dion crooning in the background, the troll held out his hand to her, grunting for her to take it.
Taylor accepted. She didn't care what he was. She didn't care that he only came up to her breasts. They were from two different worlds, but she felt something for him she couldn’t explain. As they began to dance beneath the starlit sky, her foot crushed a goat bone.
Her hero opened his mouth and began to sing, “When me touch you like dis...”
Taylor matched his voice, “When I hold you like that...”
The prom queen finally got the dance she deserved. "If I kiss you," she blushed, "Will you turn into a handsome prince?"
"Oh. Um, I think it's past my curfew?"