As Violet's hypnosis wore off, Rose gradually became aware that she was blindfolded.

"Are you kidnapping me?!"

"That blindfold is for your safety."

Rose took a few deep breaths to calm down, and in doing so, inhaled the scent of pine trees. "Are we in Fairy Forest?"

"Yes."

"But if I'm blindfolded, how am I supposed to stay on the path? I can't see where it is!" Rose whimpered. "I might take a wrong step and be done for!"

"If I remember correctly, Daffodil the Yellow Fairy gave you optimism," Violet said dryly.

"Well, maybe I don't have to be a certain way simply because a fairy said so," Rose retorted. "That's why I've been trying to break this curse."

"Don't worry, Princess, I'll guide you."


When Marigold finally arrived at the castle, having guessed that was where her cousin would be, she was horrified at what she discovered.

Everyone, from the king and queen on their thrones to the scullery maids in the kitchen, was asleep, and so still that they might have been mistaken for corpses by some dullard failing to observe the steady rising and falling of their chests.

Has the princess pricked her finger? Marigold wondered fearfully. She searched all of the rooms in the castle for a second time, but there was no trace of Princess Briar Rose...until Marigold searched the library and found two strands of hair: a long red one, and a long mauve one.

"Oh no!" Marigold screamed. "Violet must have taken Briar Rose to Fairy Forest! I need to stop her before-"

"-I stop you!" Hellebora boomed as she materialized before her.

Marigold pulled out her wand, but moments later, she was lying on her back, paralyzed with pain.

"I will have my revenge on Margot," Hellebora declared as she towered over Marigold, "even if it costs me my life!"

Margold pulled herself into a sitting position. "The princess...will break...your curse...with her gifts."

Hellebora laughed. "Even if young Briar Rose does break her curse, she will never get back into the castle, for I am surrounding it with a hedge of thorns!"

"She might," the orange fairy whispered before fainting.


"You're doing well so far," said Violet as she guided the blindfolded princess with her voice. "We're at another fork in the path. Turn left."

As Rose did so, she bumped into a tree.

"Oh no!" Rose whispered as she realized what she'd done. "OH NO!"

Bright light shone through the cloth on her eyes, and nasty, high-pitched giggles filled her ears...