…“See, that’s the thing…” he said. “No one gets there. Passage into the castle is costly.”
“Why costly?” she asked. “What could possibly be more valuable than the ability to heal the people we love?”
Peter looked down at the street sheepishly…”Well, again, that is the thing. It costs something more than money. What it costs is freedom. Entrance into the sleeping castle requires willingness and ability to submit to the whim of the princess. There is a plaque at the entrance of the castle that reads, ‘If ye enter here with heart open and selfish concerns laid bare, a princess And, well, you don’t see people lining up to give up everything for everyone else. It kinda costs everything…”
“So you’re saying no one has even tried?”
Ashling gave him a half turned smile. “Come on Pete…let’s play!” The two danced and ate well into the night, and under the blackness of the night sky, she crept out the window of the room where she and Peter had retired for the night. She leapt over the wall and climbed down a trellis of flowers that glowed as they lightly scented the night air. As her feet touched the ground, she felt something scamper across her toes. She jumped as she looked down and saw that same little mouse tail glowing in the moonlight, like a line directing her to toward the castle. “You again,” she thought as she scurried down the path after it. As she reached the castle gate, it suddenly occurred to her that she had not brought the money she would need to pay the entrance fee necessary to raise the castle’s drawbridge. She dug deep into her pockets and pulled out two coins; one silver and one gold. She tossed them into the moat of the gargoyle at the gate, and much to her surprise, it opened.
She walked slowly, silently down the castle hall. Darkness enveloped her like stifling, stale air in a sickroom. She trudged further into the castle, noting pictures on the wall…