Princess Rachel Goes to Summer Camp (Chapter 4 — Goodbyes)

By the next day, Rachel felt she was ready, so much so that she became anxious to get there and start doing whatever Princesses were supposed to be doing. The door thumped several times after daybreak, and Rachel opened it. Carlene and a short, dumpy-looking woman in a long black frock were there.

Rachel’s face lit up. “Drek! It’s nice to see you.”

The witch smiled broadly, a gold tooth glowing in the morning light. “Thank you, dearie.” With wide-open arms, she scooped up Rachel and squeezed her.

Tim appeared as well. “Oh, hello, Drek,” he said.

Drek’s face reddened, although as green as her skin was, Rachel couldn’t be sure if she was blushing or molting. The witch lurched forward. “Hello, handsome!” She picked up the white-haired wizard with tree trunk-like arms and squeezed him. He let out an anguished gurgle and a few bones popped.

“Uh, Drek, you’d better let go,” Rachel said.

The witch looked at her, blinked, and let go. Tim sank to his knees, gasping for breath.

Drek jerked a thumb to her right, “Say, I found this lady here when I arrived.” Carlene ducked just in time to avoid her eye gouging out by Drek’s long wavy thumbnail. She then slid off to one side, trying to keep some distance from the witch.

“Yes, this is Carlene from the Princess Summer Camp. She will take me shopping on our way to the Camp.”

Drek turned to Carlene and fired off a big smile. “How lovely!”

The woman cringed, but Drek didn’t seem to notice. Instead, Carlene turned to Rachel.

“Come along, dearie, it is time to leave. Ask for a servant to bring your things.”

“Oh, we don’t have any servants. Dad doesn’t believe we should be waited on because we are Royals.”

Carlene smirked. “How quaint, but do you honestly expect your things to transport themselves?”

“No, not exactly,” Rachel said and glanced at Tim.

He glanced behind himself and, seeing no one there, turned back and shrugged.

Hands on hips, Rachel scowled at him, “Seriously!”

“Oh — right,” Tim said. I’ll take this.” He grabbed hold of the clothing trunk handle and lifted several inches. With a thud, it landed on the ground. “Good Lord, are you taking bricks to Camp?”

Drek shook her head. “Let me handle that.” She hefted the trunk up and balanced it on one shoulder.

Tim frowned. “I could have done that … with magic … maybe.”

Drek suddenly turned. The trunk on her shoulder nearly decapitated Carlene, except the woman shrieked and ran for the carriage.

“Goodness, she moves fast,” Drek rejoined.

Rachel wrapped her arms around Tim. “Goodbye Tim, take care of Oscar for me. I’ll see you during a break, which will be in a few weeks.”

Tim smiled down at her. “Take care of yourself, missy. Remember what I said about friends.”

“I will,” she replied, walking toward the carriage. With a grunt, Drek tossed the trunk onto the carriage’s roof. It rocked dangerously, but the witched gripped it with her meaty paws and stabilized. She climbed inside, and with a grimace, Carlene followed.

Rachel stepped up the carriage and turned around. Tim and Oscar stood in the doorway. She waved, and they waved back – Tim with his hand, Oscar with his snout. Then she turned and climbed into the carriage to begin her trip to the Camp via the mall.

* * *

Tim turned and looked down at Oscar. “Well, big guy. Just you and me. Sadly, we won’t be able to stay at the castle.” He sighed. “Too bad. I could have gotten used to sleeping inside solid walls.”

Oscar squealed and ran inside. Tim nodded. “Yes, quite right. It is time for us to go as well. Let me get my things, and we can lock up.”

 He grabbed his laundry bag filled with apples, cheese curls, and stolen candy bars. No liquor, however. The cabinet defied his lock-picking skills. “Come on, Oscar,” he shouted. “We have to go.”

Around the corner, the porcine prince appeared with his “things” – a food bowl securely fastened between his jaws.

“I see you have your priorities in order.”

Together they walked out the castle door; Tim pulled it shut and locked it. After a glance around, he slipped the key into a potted plant next to the door. He navigated the walkway over the moat, thumbed his nose at the crocodiles therein, and began traipsing down the Waxy Yellow Buildup Road (WYBR) to his tree house by the river.

As they approached, Tim looked down at his diminutive companion. “Oscar, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Oscar raised his tail and farted.

Tim frowned. “Or maybe not.”

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