The still night was filled with the sound of creepy violins and a tingling triangle. Voices chanted in the background. The witch stepped forward like she was about to perform for an audience.
Oh! But my revenge is sweet–
Look at the little dears,
Puzzled and distressed to meet
The ending of their years!
“Wha . . . you don’t understand,” Elizabeth said. “That–” She pointed to Amelia. “Isn’t our dress. It’s a mistake my sister made. It’s not our fault we’re in this mess.”
The witch ignored them, continuing to sing.
No one walking in the halls,
No one is near to tell
When justice all the sudden falls–
A silent, ringing bell.
“Amelia!” Elizabeth shouted. “You lied about your choice.
We’re in a Disney movie! Just listen to her voice!”
Amelia’s eyes were big.
“Well?” Elizabeth asked. “What do you have to say?
Is it your fault we’re both stuck here this way?
Wait . . . did I just rhyme that?”
Elizabeth looked desperately at the witch. “We don’t know what you’re getting at,” she said.
No one ever thinks of me,
Alone and cold and sad.
“Leave her alone, just let her be,
she’s the girl who’s bad.”
As the witch sang, little, oddly animated yellow ghosts appeared and began zipping back and forth to the tune of the song.
“When the kingdom’s parceled out
She won’t receive (don’t tell).”
Well, now I’m back! Hear justice shout–
The ringing of a bell.
“A bell!” Amelia said, finally breaking her silence. “We need one!”
The witch rolled her eyes. Without breaking rhythm she said, “Shut up and let me kill you!” and went back to her song.
You can plead and you can ask
For me to end the strife,
But, dears, I’ve come for one simple task–
The ending of your life.
“Where?” Elizabeth yelled back. And then, as loud as she could, “Help!” But her voice came out like a croak. The witch smiled sweetly and lowered her wand. The oddly animated ghosts began chanting: “Urah, Uoah, Urah, Uoah!” The violins began to build menacingly.
“A bell!” Amelia was shouting. A bell!”
“I don’t know where I can find one!” Elizabeth shouted back again.
Amelia louder, now frantic, “FIND A BELL!”
And Elizabeth, “There IS NO BELL!”
And the witch, impatiently pointing.
Oh! You dummy, over by the bed!
I shouldn’t have to tell
(No matter ‘cause you’ll soon be dead).
Wait . . . don’t ring that bell!
Elizabeth reached out and rang the little golden bell. Like shattering glass, the whole mood changed. The violins shredded to a stop. A loud trumpet sounded some vaguely royal theme and a long line of guards rushed into the room.
“Fools!” The witch shrieked. She looked directly at Elizabeth. “Mergonovitch the Great will have her revenge.” And then she vanished with a flash and a bang and a puff of green smoke—leaving one unfortunate little ghost who missed the ride. A guard squashed it.
“Your highnesses,” said a guard. “Are you all right?”
“I th…think so,” Elizabeth said. “You couldn’t have come any sooner, huh?”
“Most royal majesty, we arrived as soon as we heard the bell,” said a tall, thin guard. We heard nothing before.”
“You fool, Mortimer,” said a shorter, fat guard. “I told you I heard something.”
“But . . .” Amelia started, but Elizabeth held up her hand.
“Very well,” she said. “Guard outside our door. We wish to be alone.” The guards bowed low and left the room, arguing with each other as they left.
The moment the door was closed princessly dignity disintegrated, and Elizabeth rounded on her sister.
“What did you get us into?!” she demanded. “This is just great. A fairy tale is one thing, but this . . . a musical fairy tale with a wicked witch?”
“I’m sorry!” Amelia said. “How was I to kn. . .”
“Actually,” Elizabeth said. “I think you did. How did you know there was a bell in the room?”
“Lizzie,” Amelia said. “Does none of this look familiar?
She had never noticed it before, but now Lizzie felt like everything was deja vu. The guards, two fat and one thin, the animated ghosts, the picture perfect, twinkling little town, even Amelia’s ridiculous, sparkling dress.
“It’s from the movie we watched last night,” Amelia said. “I’m sorry. It was on my mind.”
“At least we have one advantage then,” Elizabeth muttered. “I have a sister who stayed up for the whole movie and knows what will happen.”
“Yeah . . .”
“What is it?”
“It’s probably okay.”
“Well, it’s just that . . . the witch wasn’t supposed to show up this soon. We don’t use the bell till the end of the movie. You don’t even know there is a bell till the end of the movie.”
“Tell me there’s a bright side somewhere,” Elizabeth wailed.
Amelia thought for a minute. “If anyone in our world is re-watching this . . . they’ve been surprised.”