I was sitting at my desk, jotting notes down. Folders were in a messy pile on my desk, as well as others notes. A picture of Grandma and me when I was a little girl was also on my desk. I remembered being obsessed with a red cape that Grandma had made, me, and how I wore it every single day. I was too deep into my memories that I jumped when I heard a knock at the door.
“Detective Red?” Mr. Pig, asked, opening the door. He was an architect, but after the unfortunate event that killed his two brothers, he decided to become my assistant, hoping it would get him closer to finding the murderer.
“I’m here.” I replied, looking up at him. “Do you need anything?”
“King Charming called, something terrible has happened!” Mr. Pig oinked, adjusting the tie on his suit.
“What?” I asked, standing up. “Did somebody else break into the Three Bears’ house? Did another egg fall off a wall?”
“Worse!” Mr. Pig cried. “P-Prince Charming, he’s disappeared!”
“What? How?” I asked, overwhelmed. Prince Charming was the most protected person in Grimmstian history, no one could get to him without facing thousands of guards.
“I don’t know!” Mr. Pig exclaimed, panicked. “One night he just-just disappeared!”
I frowned a little, then grabbed my red cloak and leather bag. “Call the Fairy Godmother Carriages, we’re going to the Leporem Castle.”
“Detective Red! Mr. Pig! Finally you’ve arrived!” An old, small man cried. He was bald, but he had a long, white beard and mustache. His eyes were red from crying too much.
“Sorry we’re late, King Charming.” I replied, bowing. From the corner of my eye I could see Mr. Pig doing the same.
“Took you guys long enough!” King Charming huffed, jumping off his throne. He looked kind of pathetic, with the crown and royal cape too big for him.
“We’re so sorry, Your Majesty! It won’t happen again!” Mr. Pig cried, going on his knees and kissing King Charming’s feet. I rolled my eyes, not even bothering to pull Mr. Pig up.
“That’s more like it!” King Charming said, pleased. “Now get up, swine!”
“So sorry.” Mr. Pig repeated, standing up. Once again I rolled my eyes.
“We have a few questions.” I said, grabbing my notepad and pencil out of my leather bag.
“Ask away.” King Charming said, hopping back onto his throne.
“First, who was with Prince Charming with during the past week?” I asked.
“He talks with a lot of people, he’s quite popular.” King Charming said proudly. “Especially this week, since he hosted a ball to find himself a girlfriend.”
“When was the last time you saw him?” I asked, jotting down notes.
“Yesterday morning.” King Charming said, frowning a little. “Apparently he fell in love with some girl who lost her glass slipper last night, so he went to find her.”
“Maybe that girl kidnapped him!” Mr. Pig said.
“Possibly.” I replied, looking at Mr. Pig. I turned back to King Charming. “Do you have the slipper?”
“No, he took it with him, saying he was going to make every girl in the Leporem Kingdom try it on.” King Charming replied. “He said if the shoe fits, that’s who’ll he marry.”
“That’s stupid.” Mr. Pig blurted. “What if somebody different has the same size as the girl he danced with? He could end up marrying a psychopath!”
King Charming shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t care. I just want that brat to marry someone so he can become King. I’m ready for my retirement!”
Mr. Pig opened and closed his mouth, not sure what to say.
“I guess we’ll have to interrogate every girl in the Kingdom, then.” I said sarcastically, rubbing my temples in frustration.
“That’s a great idea! You really are a detective!” King Charming. “Guards! Escort this lovely girl and pig out of here!”
“Wait, what?” I cried as five guards started to push us out the door. “I was kid-”
“Goodbye!” We heard as the guards slammed the door.
“Red! Wake up!” A voice shouted, shaking me awake. I opened my eyes and found myself on the rented carriage, with Mr. Pig next to me.
“Did I fall asleep?” I asked, groaning.
“Yeah.” Mr. Pig replied. “Sorry that I woke you, but we’ve arrived at the last house.”
“Oh, good.” I said, relaxing a little. After hours of interrogating annoying, spoiled brats about Prince Charming, we’ve arrived at the last house, near the forest. Mr. Pig and I got off the carriage, then walked over to knock on the house’s door.
Two ugly-looking girls answered the door. One of them was short and, well, the mildest word I could think of is plump; the other one was twig-like. Both of them had a large wart under their long noses and a very annoyed-looking expression on their face.
“What do you want?” Twiggy asked, glaring at me.
“Woah, I’m just here to talk.” I said, glaring back at her. I guess Plumpy didn’t expect me to stare her down, because she took a step away from me, looking intimidated.
“About what?” Plumpy asked, crossing her arms. “Why’d you bring a stinky pig? Can we eat it?”
“It better be organic.” Twiggy spoke up, giving Mr. Pig a hungry look. Mr. Pig yelped and hid behind me.
“He’s my assistant.” I said, glaring at both of the girls. I grabbed my ID from my pocket. “My name is Detective Red, and this is Mr. Pig. We’re investigating the disappearance of Prince Charming.”
“Prince Charming’s gone?” Plumpy cried, her face turning pale. “He was, like, my boyfriend!”
“Oh.” I said, putting my ID back in my pocket. She was the one that danced with her? No offense to her or anything, but it seemed...unlikely that Prince Charming would be interested in her.
“No, you idiot. He’s my boyfriend!” Twiggy shouted, slapping her sister.
“Okay, seriously, stop!” I shouted, getting in between the girls before things got uglier than their faces. “Be honest here, did either of you two really dance with Prince Charming?”
The girls exchanged glances, and, in unison, “No…”
“Okay, do any other girls live here?” I asked, getting ready to get any information I needed out of them.
“The only girl that lives here is our mother, who went to the marketplace.” Plumpy replied.
“Wait, we do have our stepsister, although she barely counts as a girl.” Twiggy snorted. “She talks to mice and is so, so ugly.”
“Alright, where is she?” I asked, stepping into the house. Mr. Pig quickly followed behind me.
“Um, probably in the attic.” Plumpy replied, looking startled as I barged in.
“Show me the way.” I ordered, and the girls led Mr. Pig and me up a staircase, through a hall, up more stairs, and finally stopping at a door with a lock on it. Plumpy grabbed a key from her pocket and unlocked the door, which took longer than it should have, since she was fumbling to open it with her fat fingers. Finally, when the door opened, I saw the most beautiful girl I ever laid eyes on. She had dirty blonde hair that went down her shoulders, fair skin, and pink lips. She was slender, with bright blue eyes that seemed tired. She was sitting on the cold, attic floor, which didn’t seem right to me.
“Who are you?”, the girl asked, looking up at me. Her expression was both sad and hopeful.
“I’m Detective Red.” Red said, deciding not to show her my ID. I was tired of showing it to everybody, and I was pretty sure she’d believe me. “This is my assistant, Mr. Pig.”
“Oh, hello.”, the girl said, standing up. “My name is Cinderella.”
“Has Prince Charming come by, Cinderella?” I asked as the two sisters left the attic. Mr. Pig stayed beside me, frowning at the dirty attic.
“N-No.” Cinderella said, now looking worried. “Is he looking for someone?”
“King Charming told me he went looking for a girl he danced with last night, at the ball.” I replied, grabbing my notepad and pencil. “So far, he’s been to every girl’s house in the kingdom. Has he been to yours?”
“No.” Cinderella said, frowning now.
I jotted down some notes. “So he hasn’t been here yet, interesting.”
Suddenly, the two sisters barged in, panting. “We know where he went!” they exclaimed.
I turned my head toward them. “You do?”
“Yes!” the skinny girl said. “We saw him riding on his white horse, toward our house. Just as he was arriving, we think he spotted something in the forest, because he turned his horse around and rode into it.”
“Why didn’t you say this sooner?” I groaned, face-palming.
“We thought you already knew this.” Plumpy shrugged. “We thought you came over to gawk at our beauty.”
Cinderella, Mr. Pig, and I stared at the two sisters, amazed at how stupid they were.
“See, you’re staring at us right now!” the skinny sister exclaimed.
“Just show me which way he went.” I sighed, rubbing my temples.
“Alright.” the skinny girl said. We all walked out of the attic.
“Why did you want to come with us again?” I asked Cinderella as we walked through the woods.
“If Prince Charming is in trouble, then I’ll do anything to save him.” Cinderella announced. I rolled my eyes, not liking her sudden burst of optimism.
The sisters had shown us which direction Prince Charming went, and thanks to the hoofprints, we were able to figure out which way he went. Walking deeper into the forest, I could see Mr. Pig was anxious, especially when he heard a howl.
“Y-You know, m-maybe the p-prince is a-alright.” Mr. Pig stuttered, fiddling with his hooves.
“He’s a spoiled brat who hasn’t worked a day in his life, I don’t think he’s alright.” I snorted. Cinderella flinched.
Suddenly, I spotted a movement from the bushes. I froze, petrified.
“Wh-Whoever you are, come out!” I ordered, cringing when I heard the fear in my voice. The bushes rustled some more, then a small man with a large beard stepped out. He looked tired, panicked, and depressed.
“Help us, please!” the small man cried. “Everyone’s in panic! Snow White is crying! Not to mention there’s a random prince who’s unconscious!”
“Random prince?” I asked. That had to be Prince Charming.
“Unconscious?” Cinderella asked, looking worried.
“Follow me!” the small man squeaked. He ran off, and we followed. He led us deeper into the forest, the thick trees blocking the sun. Finally, he led us into a clearing with a crying girl, six other small men, and…
“Prince Charming!” Cinderella, cried, running up to the unconscious prince. She sat down beside him and started to shake him. “Come on, wake up!”
The pale girl looked over at Cinderella, frowning. She had the palest skin I’d ever seen, hair as black as coal, and eyes as green as the forest. “Who’re you?”
“I’m Cinderella, the girl Prince Charming danced with at the ball last night.” Cinderella announced, frowning at the pale girl.
Now the pale girl looked angry. “Well, I’m Snow White. I was unconscious, but because of Prince Charming’s true-love’s kiss, he awoke me.”
“Yeah, but then the prince became unconscious, so maybe not true-love’s kiss.” a small man piped up.
“Please, like dwarves knows what true love is.” Snow grumbled, crossing her arms. The dwarf looked at his feet, clearly trying not to cry.
“Let me see Prince Charming.” I demanded. The dwarves stepped out of the way as I walked to the unconscious prince. I bent down on my knees, inspecting him. There seemed to be something stuck in his mouth, so I got out my tweezers and gloves from my leather bag. I put on my gloves and opened the prince’s mouth. Inside was a piece of a red apple. I took the piece out with the tweezers, and the prince groggily opened his eyes. I immediately stood up, dropping the tweezers and the apple.
“Prince Charming!” Snow and Cinderella cried in unison, running to him.
“Where...am I?” Prince Charming groaned, sitting up. Cinderella was at his left side and Snow White at his right.
“Charming, it’s me! Your dance partner!” Cinderella cried, tears of joy streaming down her cheeks.
“Well, I’m the girl you kissed, which saved my life.” Snow butted in.
“Woah, ladies, calm down.” Prince Charming said, standing up. “I know I’m handsome, but I just woke up. Give me some space.”
Cinderella and Snow exchanged glances, frowning. “Well, who’re you going to marry?” Cinderella asked.
“Hm, well because I kissed her, I went unconscious.” Prince Charming said, pointing at Snow. “However, you’re just a servant girl. Probably only good for doing laundry or something.”
Snow and Cinderella’s jaws dropped opened, both looking shocked and disgusted.
“Hm...you seem pretty.” Prince Charming said, looking over at me. “So, are you taken?”
I have never been so disgusted in my life. If I’d known this was how Prince Charming acted, I wouldn't have wasted my time looking for him. Infuriated, I walked up to Prince Charming and punched him, knocking him back down. “Are you an idiot? These girls love you, for some stupid reason, and you just brush them off? You’re lucky you’re a prince, or I would be doing way more damage to you.”
The prince looked terrified. He quickly got up and ran away, screaming. I rolled my eyes, not wanting to see him again.
“Um, should we go after him?” Mr. Pig asked, looking up at me.
“No, I don’t ever want to see his stupid face again. He probably went to go find some more damsels in distress.” I said sarcastically. I looked over at the two girls. “So, what are you guys going to do?”
“Probably go back to my stepmother and stepsisters.” Cinderella sighed. “Thanks though.”
“For what?” I asked, confused.
“For helping me realize I never want to get married.” Cinderella said. “A husband would probably make me do more work than what my stepmother usually gives me.”
“And thanks for helping me realize that the only men I need are my friends.” Snow White said, looking over at the dwarves.
“So, you’re staying?” one of the dwarves asked.
“Yes, I am.” Snow White said. “Now that my stepmother thinks I’m dead, I’ll be safe once and for all.”
“What is up with evil stepmothers?” I murmured to myself. I guess this was it, another mystery solved, although solved strangely. I always thought these types of situations would end in happily ever afters, for some strange reason…
Oh, what the heck? This is real life, not some story in books. Besides, as long as the girls are happy and Prince Charming doesn’t get himself killed, then everything will be fine.
So then I can definitely say the disappearance of Prince Charming was officially solved, sort of.