10. The Key Thing Is…
Rosella balled her tiny fists marching furiously back and forth in her lush bedroom quarters, temporarily
acting as a prison.  Realizing the futility, she took hold of the large doorknob and turned it aggressively,
sighing when it gave not at all.  It would appear she was locked within her room for the time being.
Crouching down, Rosella closed one beautiful blue eye and peered through the intricate keyhole with the
other.  Strange, she could see no light on the other side.  Backing her face away from the door, she blinked
her eyes a few times, giving them a rest, then held her breath; listening.  Yes, she did hear the crackle of a
torch flame in the hall outside her door.  Again she lined up her eye with the keyhole and saw no light.  It
didn’t make any sense… unless.  Unless her brother Alexander in all his foolishness left the key in the lock!
Rosella scrambled to her feet and rushed over to her vanity, combing through her drawer with able slender
fingers for a hairpin.  With a squeak of excitement, she returned to the locked door hairpin in hand.  
Concentrating carefully, she slid the pin into the lock, and waited to feel the resistance of the key on the
other side.  She gently forced the key back out of the lock and listened to it clatter to the floor.  Rosella
pressed her porcelain cheek to the floor, gasping at the sudden chill from the stone slabs, and peered under
the door with excited blue eyes.  The dull brown metal key was lying just outside the door, staring back at
her temptingly.  Sliding the hook end of the hairpin under the door, Rosella fished around for a grasp on the
precious key for many moments.  When she finally felt sufficient resistance, she gingerly pulled back
watching victoriously as the key slid under the door and into her waiting fingers.
Savoring a small moment of victory holding the large dull key in her proportionately tiny hand, Rosella slid
it into the lock and turned it, listening for a click signaling freedom.  The door swung open just wide enough
for the slender princess to slip out, legs slipping embarrassingly through the slit in her skirt in the process.  
Two steps and Rosella stopped in her tracks with a wince.  Her heels clicked and clacked on the stone
floor, echoing down the hall.  With a one and two, she kicked her feet back, slipping off the noisy shoes and
holding them in her hands.  The floor was chilly on her white stocking feet she noticed with a shiver of each
padded step.
She moved in short quick strides, sneaking quietly down the stairs to where she knew the magic mirror
awaited.  The heavy tarp that covered the mirror came off with a determined tug, and Rosella stood staring
at the still open portal.  She sighed in relief that she had not missed her chance, dropping her heels to the
floor.  In an unconscious action, she righted one shoe that had landed on its side with her toe, and then
gingerly slipped her delicate feet snugly back into her favorite black heels.