Tangled The Next Generation @kelseyalicia
The Wind and the Willow

Life for the royal household of Corona wasn't ever straightforward. Once again, Rapunzel's parents (more precisely her mother) had to babysit the twins for a week. Rapunzel and Eugene were excellent parents who cherished their children. However, there were periods throughout the year where royals or guards were more occupied then ever.

Currently, Rapunzel had gone to attempt to get a peace treaty signed. Also, Eugene had taken the guards away for the week-long survival training regiment. So typically, Arianna wouldn't have been by herself. Except her husband had required a mini vacation so badly. So he and a few other former royals were at a retreat for the week.

Arianna honestly didn't mind watching over the three-year-old twins today. When they got back, their parents had sworn to have their own mini-vacation at the same retreat. So, for now, Dawn and Flynn were under her supervision. Presently the twins were having a nice warm bubble bath. Usually, the twins didn't take bubble baths, except when they were left with their grandparents.

So it was always a treat for them. Arianna didn't even mind they were having a small splash fight. She only giggled and joined in. If only Arianna knew what was coming, she wouldn't even be laughing. "Okay, you two. It's time to get out of the tub," their grandmother informed them, which both moaned.

"But we like having bubble baths!" complained her granddaughter.

"Yeah, Grandma! Mommy and Daddy don't let us have one!" added her grandson.

"I know, my precious. However, we've tons to do today. So, we can't look like prunes." The children nodded in agreement before letting their grandmother dry them off. Then, they quickly dressed so their grandmother could help them with their long hair.

Dawn looked precisely like Rapunzel if she hadn't ever had blond hair? Dawn's hair had grown already to her waist. Luckily it hadn't proven magical yet—the little princess dressed in her favorite colors of lavender and magenta.

Her outfit consisted of a magenta bodice with long lavender sleeves and pants. Or accessories, she wore a decorative barrette with the Sundrop on it. Her belt buckle was the Corona insignia.

Her brother favored royal purple and midnight blue. He wore a long-sleeved royal purple shirt under a midnight blue vest. His vest was pinned closed by a Dark Kingdom amethyst with his belt buckle holding up his black pants was the Dark Kingdom emblem.

Both children inherited their mother's quirk of going barefoot. Like their mother, they only wore shoes if the weather required them. No one made a fuss about it. The only thing the entire family nitpicked was the attribute the twins inherited from Eugene. That is to say, his thieving skills, which had been unmistakable by the time they could walk.

Eugene was already attempting to break them of this habit. However, like most toddlers, they're stubborn and want things their way. One could only hope with time; they'd finally break the habit.

Arianna had suggested they play hide-and-seek with her being it. Delighted, the children hurried away to hide—all three unaware who'd ended up finding them. Dawn and Flynn sprinted to the lounge hiding behind the settee and the grandfather clock, respectively. Both giggled for a few minutes before falling silent.

Arianna playfully pretended not to know where there were. Even if the twins were incredibly predictable with their hiding spots, she purposely passed the lounge to make the game more fun.

"She'll never find us, Flynn!" whispered Dawn to her brother. Yes! We'll fine beat Grandma!"

"Hush! She's coming back," as footsteps approached. They hunkered down only for someone to step into the room. Just then, both twins felt yanked out of their hiding spots. Hiya, kiddos! Whatcha doing?" an unfamiliar woman asked in an over-exuberant voice.

The twins bolted, screaming that a stranger was in the castle! Arianna came rushing out of the art gallery. Her grandkids slammed into her, whimpering with fear. She couldn't understand what they were crying or babbling about. Then she got her answer, "Hey Dare-Anne! How are you doing, sis?"

"WILLOW?!" Arianna cried out in shock. She hadn't seen her sister since the time she'd wrecked her birthday and bonding moment with Rapunzel. Willow, who didn't notice she'd startle two three-year-olds, gave everyone a big hug. Which only terrified the children more.

"Grandma! Who is the freaky lady?!" demanded Dawn hiding behind her grandmother.

"What? You never told them about their fun-loving Aunt Willow, Dare-Anne? Shame on you! mean, how am I supposed to be a good aunt if they don't even know me?" Arianna did her best to remain calm. Her grandson looked between them, baffled. Aunt Willow? he only aunt we've got is Aunt Cass!"

"Yes, Aunt Cass is Mommy's sister! We've never heard of anyone named Aunt Willow before!"

Arianna took a deep breath before clarifying. Children, this is my sister Wilhelmina. he's your great aunt," then added quietly under her breath, "but she's not a great aunt."

"Please, Arianna! Great Aunt makes me sound so old!" flipping her pigtails over her shoulder. So you going to tell me about my new nephew and niece or not?"

"These are my grandchildren. Dawn and Flynn," glancing at a nearby clock. Seeing how its lunchtime, we should eat. We can get to know each other over lunch."

The children still weren't sure what to make of the outlandish hippy lady. They could pick up that their Aunt Willow drove their grandmother through the roof. Arianna brought in everyone's lunch. Which Willow looked revolted by. Really, Dare-Anne? Are you honestly serving the children broccoli? Their kids! mean, where are cookies and cake? Some good greasy food? That's what kids want to eat. Not ugh vegetables!"

"Willow! Please don't start acting like your three-years-old! any good parent knows that children need to eat their vegetables, whether they like them or not."

The children kept glancing between their grandmother and aunt. Finally, Dawn decided to speak up, "Mommy told us unless we've one vegetable a day, we can't have dessert." "It's true, Aunt Willow. We can't have do-it-yourself ice cream unless we eat some vegetables. Seeing how Dawn loves chocolate? e both make sure to eat them."

Willow looked unimpressed by the fact Arianna enforced such a ridiculous rule. Kids should be allowed to be kids. So why force them to eat yucky food? Arianna tried to keep her temper in check. She hadn't wanted her sister to ever come in contact with her grandchildren. But if her unreliable and immature sister was going to be here?

Arianna had to keep a sharper eye on her to guarantee her grandchildren's safety. o they kept the conversation light over lunch. Willow gave her sister a bizarre look before gazing at her niece and nephew. Shortly after lunch, it was nap time. Again, Willow behaved like the child, saying that the kids didn't need to nap. They should do something fun instead. Again Arianna put her foot down.

Young children needed naps. Naptime for the twins was from one to two. She got the children settled in for their naps before leaving them alone. Once she was far enough away, she again tried to talk to her sister. Willow, I know you'd enjoy a relationship with the children. However, you need to understand why we've set the rules and boundaries. Now, if you don't mind, I need to lie down myself. Please don't wake the children or me up," yawning as she headed to her chamber to nap.

"Geez, Dare-Anne, you've become such a killjoy since become a granny. 've got to give those kids some overdue fun," she thought aloud. Then snapped her fingers. Yes, that's an excellent idea! It'll be tons of fun, plus a great bonding experience! Better make sure Ms. Killjoy doesn't ruin it," as Willow quickly locked her sister's bedroom door from the outside.

Then she hurried to get her niece and nephew. The twins were a bit upset to be woken up from their nap. Nevertheless, they believed her when she said Grandma wanted them to have some 'fun' together. So, being the naive children they were? They obediently followed their aunt for some 'fun." The children couldn't help but ask questions as their aunt led them deep into the woods.

"Should we tell her we want to go home?" whispered Flynn to his sister. They both noticed that it looked like a thunderstorm was approaching. I agree we shouldn't be out here. However, Aunt Willow is a grown-up. he won't let us get hurt." The toddlers had no idea how mistaken they're were. They'd finally reached a vast and deep lake.

"Well, we're here!" Willow exclaimed brightly. The toddlers looked perplexed. Why are we here, Aunt Willow?" Flynn asked, glancing around nervously. Something wasn't right about this place.

"Surely you've heard the legend of Cora? he legendary lake monster of Corona! Legend says she's as old as the kingdom itself. She's as big as a ship with starlight-colored skin! She sings in a haunting melody said to lead people to their doom. How can you kiddos not of heard of her?" Willow looked disappointed by their confused expressions. Shrugging it off, she took the children to a nearby cave to watch for the monster.

Dawn started to hyperventilate when Willow forced her into the cave. Dawn's three greatest fears were all inside that cave. It was dark, small, and indeed infested with spiders!

Flynn didn't like seeing his sister so afraid. After all, his greatest fears were storms and losing any of his loved ones. Flynn took a deep breath as he tried to mimic his father's air of confidence. Um, Aunt Willow?" he pipped up, straining to put courage into his voice.

"Hmm? Yes, Flynn?" Willow remarked without even looking at him.

"Um, I think we should go home. t's going to storm soon, and we're both getting a bit frightened."

"Oh, you silly kids! How can anything be fun unless you're a little spooked? It's just drizzling! We'll be fine! Don't you want to see a true-to-life lake monster?"

"Please, Aunt Willow! We're begging you to take us home! Grandma gotta be so worried about us!" pleaded Dawn with tears in her eyes.

"Fine, if you two are going to be wet blankets like Dare-Anna! I'll take you home," only they're now trapped because of the raging thunderstorm, making leaving impossible. Oh, I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer before going back home. Well, that just leaves us more time to find Cora!" she clapped cheerfully.

Meanwhile, Arianna had ultimately gotten out of her room. Thanks to Eugene for familiarizing them with how to pick locks. I swear I'll never regret him teaching everyone this trick."

Heart racing Arianna quickly flew through the castle, trying to unearth her grandchildren or Willow to wring her neck. Quickly concluding, none of them were in the palace. Oh, Willow, where did you take my grandbabies?!" then finally caught sight of her sister's diary, with notes about the supposed lake monster. WILLOW! WHEN I FIND YOU, YOU'RE GOING TO BE DINNER FOR THAT LAKE MONSTER!" she screamed before going to get help to save her grandchildren.

Willow ultimately realized that maybe this hadn't been a good idea. Given the cave was starting to flood from the quantity of rainfall. With children screaming in terror and the threat getting closer? For the first time in her entire life, Willow realized she was an adult. And as the adult? The children's safety fell upon her! However, given the flower child never had to be the responsible one before? She hadn't a clue what to do! Oh god! What do I do?! What do I do?!" she cried out frantically.

Finally, she figured they'd get to higher ground. So they started to scale the slippery wall. She desperately hoped there was a higher ledge. But, unfortunately, the children were too panicked to do anything. Oh, what would Dare-Anne do? How am I supposed to handle scared children?" she pulled on braids tightly. She tried to calm them down, but it wasn't working.

"Look! I need you two to listen to me! If we don't start climbing, we won't get out of this death trap. So let's start wall-crawling!" Dawn shook her head. I can't! It's too dark! I can't see anything!"

"Okay, I'll carry both of you on my back. Hurry, climb on!" as they held her back tightly. Ignoring nearly being choked, she started to scale the cavern wall. Willow tried to block out all the suffocating fear. However, it was next to impossible to disregard the peril around them. She managed to get them higher up. Despite the threat being far from over. If they didn't somehow make it out of this cave? They'd never be safe. Oh, God. If you're listening, I'm begging you to get us out of this death trap!" she appealed to the heavens.

As if to answer her prayer? Something massive but streamlined paddled into the cave. They were singing a song similar to a humpback whale when a beautiful creature raised her head out of the water. "Cora?!" they cried in shock. The captivating animal nodded then gestured for them to get on her back. Without hesitation, they climbed aboard. Cora then swam them to safety, where Arianna and the Pub Thugs were waiting for them.

"Thank you, Cora," Arianna hugged the creature's head. She nodded before diving back down into the lake. Dawn and Flynn fell crying into Arianna's warm embrace. Arianna glared daggers at her sister, who had enough decency to hang her head in shame. I'll deal with you later," she hissed before handing the children to the Pub Thugs to take them home.

Hours later, after another hot bath, dinner, and being put to bed, did Arianna dare confront her sister. Instead, she uncovered her sister hiding in the lounge, staring aimlessly at the floor. She didn't even react at all as her sister tore into her, yelling how her childish and devil-may-care actions nearly got her grandchildren killed.

She also ranted how her sister's infantile conduct and refusal to be an adult repeatedly put the family in danger. Finally, since she'd confirmed herself a threat to the twins, she'd not be permitted to see them ever again.

Eventually, Willow raised her head. Guilt and shame were written over her face. I deserved that and a whole lot more, Arianna. Today? I discovered just how haphazard I've been. How two toddlers nearly paid for my need for an adventure with their lives. You've got every right to ban me from their lives. I accept I'm no longer a member of this family.

It's time I stopped being so freewheeling and started acting my age. I only hope if one day, Arianna? I can demonstrate to you that I'm an actual adult. I hope you'll reconsider allowing me back into the family then.

See you later, Arianna," as she exited the room, leaving her sister floored. Arianna wondered if she'd overreacted but shook it off. Her sister had been in the wrong, and she'd have to face the consequences of those actions. Arianna knew she'd have to explain what happened to the rest of the family. But for now? he just wanted to sleep next to her grandchildren.

Dawn- Ivy George- Rapunzel as a child in the series

Flynn- Zach Callison- Prince James Sofia the First

The Wisdom of Impermanence

Every experience that you have is simply one moment in time. Every moment you struggle, sit, or dance through will eventually pass.

This truth applies to all things-the good, evil, darkness, light, just, and unjust. It's all momentary.

There is both grace and wisdom in knowing that moment will eventually pass too.

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