Not a Princess
The limo drove off into the afternoon as Princess sat in the limo with her nose up in the air. A normal, less-disillusioned person would be noticing what a nice, sunny September afternoon it was or the cute little kids running up and down the sidewalks buying ice cream with whatever pocket money they had from the jovial ice cream man. Princess didn’t care. She had a freezer at home stocked with every flavor of ice cream known to man. After all, Daddy Morbucks installed it for her over the summer.
The limo pulled into the driveway of the Morbucks mansion, the most expensive house in Townsville. Princess merely sneered as the chauffeur parked and stepped out to help the little girl out of the limo.
Princess walked through the huge double-doors of her mansion as Jeeves, the head butler, greeted her.
“Miss Princess, good to see you home,” he greeted warmly.
“Shut up!” Princess shrieked. “It’s been a long day. I need you to get started on my homework for me.”
“Of course Miss Princess, but your father told me I was not supposed to help you,” Jeeves reminded her.
“I’ll pay you if you do it and keep your mouth shut!” Princess snapped. “Geez, what was Daddy thinking? It’s not right for a princess to have to do homework!” Princess grumbled to herself as she walked through the parlor. She was about to head up to her bedroom.
“Oh, by the way,” Jeeves said. Princess stopped in her tracks. “Your cousin Angela is coming to visit from Cityville. She will be staying with us for several months while her parents are in Paris.”
“WHAT?” Princess asked incredulously. “When is she gonna be here? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things anymore?!”
The doorbell rang. Jeeves opened the doors to reveal a girl about fourteen years old. She was about five foot four and very muscular for a girl. Brown corkscrew curls extended from her crown and rolled down to her waist. Her eyes were wide and brown, and an eager smile seemed permanently painted on her face. The girl wore a black and white dress that looked like something from out of an old Audrey Hepburn movie. Princess trudged down the stairs and to the front door to get a better look at the girl.
“Princess!” The girl cried as she bent down and gave Princess the tightest hug she had ever gotten in her life.
“Angela! Get off of me!” Princess mumbled furiously. “You’re crushing me!”
“It’s so good to see you!” Angela declared. “I haven’t seen you in forever!”
“It’s only been six months!” Princess shrieked. Aunt Penelope and Uncle Sam came to visit over spring break and they brought Angela with them.
“May I take your things up to your room?” Jeeves asked. Daddy Morbucks had a special room set up for Angela whenever she came to visit.
“Jeeves, no, I got it. Don’t bother,” Angela protested as Jeeves tried to take the two heavy, black suitcases that Angela brought with her.
“Angela, let Jeeves do it! What does Daddy pay him for?” Princess squealed.
“Maybe Jeeves is overworked,” Angela said as she took her suitcases and struggled to carry them up the many flights of spiraling stairs into her room.
Princess sighed. Oh yes, this was her cousin Angela, all right.
“WAIT!” Princess screamed at the top of her lungs as she raced up the stairs after Angela. “No one asked me if this was okay!”
Princess huffed up the staircase and barged into Angela’s room as Angela began unpacking her things.
“Geez!” Angela said sarcastically with a laugh. “I guess no one in this family knocks anymore!”
“What are you doing here?” Princess whined. “Go home!”
“I’d love to, but my parents didn’t want me staying home by myself while they went on their second honeymoon in Paris,” Angela grinned. “Besides, I think this is one of Mom’s crazy ideas to turn me into a proper lady.”
“So she sent you here?” Princess asked in disbelief. “That makes no sense! Hasn’t Aunt Penelope heard of charm school?”
“She already tried that,” Angela laughed as she hung up a purple argyle sweater in her closet. She began folding a pair of dress pants. “But I never paid attention and on the last day during the debutant ball, I failed because I wanted to lead during the waltz and I couldn’t remember which fork you’re supposed to eat with first.”
“Well duh!” Princess said as she rolled her eyes. “Everyone knows you start from the outside and work your way in!”
“You do?” Angela asked as her curiosity heightened.
“Yes!” Princess shrieked in annoyance.
“Anyway, Mom also tried sending me to boarding school, but I was expelled. I forgot what I did wrong though,” Angela continued. “My roommate was nasty, so I glued prunes to her uniform while she was asleep. Don’t ask me why I picked prunes, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I also put a whoopee cushion in the headmistress’s chair in the mess hall. And then there was that time I ran up and down the halls singing ‘The Song that Never Ends’. That was funny! I also reset all the clocks in the school to run ahead three hours so we’d get let out of class early. Oh, and I left my tuna sandwich in my desk for a week…”
“Eww!” Princess screamed. “You disgust me!”
“I think though it was the cherry bomb I put in the toilet in the upstairs bathroom, though,” Angela said as she laughed at the expression on Princess’s face. “Anyway, I'm done unpacking. Let’s go say hello to Uncle. And don’t worry. I promise you’ll never know I'm here!”
“Ugh, whatever,” Princess snorted. “By the way, the 1960’s called. They want their dress back.”
“You haven’t changed a bit!” Angela laughed.
Princess knew that wouldn’t be the case. When they went into one of the many living rooms in the Morbucks mansion to go find Daddy Morbucks, he offered Angela a welcome gift of several thousand dollars. Of course, Angela wouldn’t accept any of it. Princess was shocked. Although Angela’s family was equally as wealthy as hers, there still was no reason for her to say no when Daddy Morbucks offered money. Daddy Morbucks (whose face we never saw in the cartoons and we still won’t see in this story) sat in his huge leather chair in front of the fireplace with the money in his outreached hand.
“It’s really nice of you,” Angela smiled as she rejected the money. “But you don’t have to do that. I'm happy just to be here in your home while my parents are away.”
At dinner, the small family sat at the long dining room table. There was an abundance of food, but Angela refused to eat any of it.
“Is something wrong, Miss Angela?” Mrs. Dumond, one of the housekeepers who was typically in charge of setting and clearing the table, asked. “You haven’t touched your supper at all1”
“No, I'm just not hungry,” Angela said. She yawned and added, “I’ve had such a long trip. I think I'm just gonna skip dinner and go straight to bed.” Princess glared at Angela as she floated innocently out of the dining room and up the stairs to her room.
Later that night…
Angela looked over at her alarm clock. It was nearly midnight. It would’ve been an hour since Daddy Morbucks had his evening pipe and his glass of fine French wine before going to bed. Princess had already been in bed since nine. Angela threw her frilly purple comforter off her bed and drew back the sheer violet canopy.
She tiptoed as quietly as a mouse out of her room and down the staircase to the basement. Most of the servants had either gone to bed or gone home for the night. She quietly turned the knob on the pantry door. To her delight, it was unlocked. She quickly dashed inside the cold room and flicked on the light. At home, she played this game all the time. She would refuse to eat her supper and then sneak into the pantry or the kitchen and eat to her heart’s content. Why? Simple. It was just more fun that way. What was the fun in doing what you were supposed to do?
Angela ripped open a bag of potato chips and began snacking. Now this was dinner fit for a queen.
The next day…
It was a lazy Saturday morning, Princess’s favorite day to just lie in bed and watch cartoons until noon. Normally she would have one of the servants bring her chocolate chip pancakes in bed, but this morning Princess was in an especially foul mood because her father insisted on having a sit-down breakfast with the whole family in the dining room.
As Princess grumbled her way down the hall, she noticed the door leading down the corridor to the vault where her father kept his gold was wide open. That door was always locked. Who could’ve figured out how to open it? She grunted irately and quickly walked down to the vault, which was wide open. Inside, someone had carefully constructed an elaborate fort out of gold bricks.
“ANGELA!” Princess shrieked at the top of her lungs. But Angela was nowhere to be seen.
“What’s the password?” whispered a voice from inside the gold fort.
“I'm feeling nice this morning, so you’d better get out of there or I'm gonna tell Daddy you’re in his vault! He’s gonna kill you!” Princess shrieked.
“No password?” Came the voice from inside the vault. “Very well. You leave me no choice!”
Angela sprang out from inside the fort and leapt on top of Princess, tackling her to the ground. She began tickling the spoiled little girl as she laughed hysterically. Tears dripped from her eyes from laughing so hard as she begged for mercy.
“Get off!” Princess begged through her laughter.
Angela finally ceased. Princess’s laughter turned into a furious rage.
“So much for not noticing you’re even here,” Princess grunted.
“Oh come on! You used to love that when you were little!” Angela grinned. “Now come on, let’s go get some breakfast.”
Angela’s antics didn’t end with the gold fort. She put a bowl of baked beans in the chair where Princess was supposed to sit. As a result, Princess was forced to walk around with a brown stain on the back of her dress until she could change her clothes. Angela also would hide behind the corner in the hallway with a squirt gun and would squirt anyone who walked by in the crotch. While Princess was using the shower, Angela snuck into her room and folded all the bed sheets on Princess’s bed into origami shapes. Angela darted away when Princess emerged from her shower, steamy and rosy in her yellow terry bathrobe. Upon seeing her bed sheets, Princess shrieked, as she clearly could not take a joke.
Meanwhile,in a shabby wooden shack lived five green-skinned rogues whom we know as The Gangrene Gang. They were plugging in various (stolen) instruments into a (also stolen) amplifier.
“We’re gonna sound sssssooo good!” Hissed Snake as Ace clocked him in the chin. There was only so much of his annoying right-hand man he could take. Snake quickly apologized and picked up a bass guitar.
“All right, Grubber, you ready?” Ace asked his Quasimodo-esque comrade. Grubber merely blew a raspberry in response. The raspberry echoed off the microphone loudly so that everyone within a ten mile radius of the dump could hear.
“Which song are we playing tonight?” Arturo asked in his short, snappy Hispanic accent as he sat behind the keyboard.
“Billy wanna drum!” Said the slow, green behemoth eagerly.
Ace picked up his electric guitar. “We’re gonna play some Led Zeppelin,” he said in his nasally Italian-New Yorker accent. He grinned as Arturo began playing the first few chords to “All of My Love”. Ace followed on guitar, which wasn’t tuned very well. In fact, everyone was horribly out of tune or off key, except for Grubber who managed to perfectly emulate Robert Plant.
Twenty seconds later, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup burst through the ceiling of the shack.
“Drop the instruments and no one gets hurt!” Blossom demanded.
“Oh girls! You’re just in time for the concert!” Ace said in his charming, manipulative way.
“We’re going to have you locked up for disturbing the peace!” Bubbles announced in her overly-squeaky voice.
“All right, who ratted us out?!” Ace, losing his patience, wanted to know.
“You did! You forgot we have super-sonic hearing and we can hear you all the way from our house!” Buttercup retorted. “We’re trying to sleep!”
“Now that’sssss just not fair!” Snake hissed.
Our heroes were about to strike as they do in the manner we all know and love when Ace said in his attempt to charm the girls, “We just got out of the joint after ya sent us there last week! If we stop playing, will ya leave us alone? I promise we won’t do it again.”
“He does have a point,” Bubbles, whose overly sensitive tendencies often got the better of her, pointed out. “We already did throw them in jail a week ago.”
“Bubbles! Quit being so sensitive!” Buttercup groaned. She was still furious with Ace for playing around with her heart back when she had a crush on him and she would give anything and everything to watch him and his friends suffer.
“Bubbles is right,” Blossom agreed, much to Buttercup’s dismay. “Besides, it’s not like anyone called the hotline. We overheard them, so it wouldn’t be fair if we just decided to beat them up right here, right now.”
“Your guys’ music sucks,” Buttercup protested. “I say we just beat the heck out of you right here, right now!”
“Don’t like Big Billy’s drums?” Billy asked as his lower lip dropped and his eyes welled up. He burst into tears emitting a horrible, horrible cry that knocked the girls off their feet.
“Oh no, please don’t cry! She didn’t mean it!” Bubbles protested as she and everyone else had their hands over their ears.
“Fine!” Buttercup groaned. “We’ll kick your butts tomorrow. Just quit playing that noise!”
The Powerpuff Girls flew as far away from the dump as they could get from the noise, leaving their signature pastel trail in the night sky.
“Nice touch, Billy,” Ace said as he high-fived Billy, who finally stopped wailing.
“So what do we do now?” Arturo asked. “We gotta keep it down.”
“We can always go behind the electronics store. No one will hear us while we’re jacking stuff when the truck comes by to restock the store.”
The five of them laughed wickedly as they left the shack.
Meanwhile, back at the Morbucks residence, Angela sat in her room as boredom set in. Earlier that afternoon, she chopped her curly brown locks up to her chest and straightened them before streaking her hair with sections of gold dye.
Sure, the pranks she played on Princess and the various servants who worked in the house were lots of fun. But now she was bored. She’d grow just as bored here as she did at charm school and boarding school. Surely there was some other way to find the thrills she was seeking. That’s when she got the idea right after the bed sheet origami showdown.
She would change her hair and wear a disguise. She would go by a different name. She wouldn’t be Angela Morbucks anymore. Instead, she would just be Angie. Maybe she could be Queen of Thieves or something else exciting like that, just like in the movies she watched.
Angela put away her black and white dress. Instead, she wore a gold tube-top, a pink mini skirt, and sparkly blue tights. On her feet were the black ballet flats she wore whenever she took dance lessons. She looked absolutely ridiculous, but somehow that didn’t bother her. She needed to blend in with the ordinary crowd at least a little. This was what normal teenage girls wore, right?
The digital numbers on Angela’s alarm clock changed to 12:00 AM. She took a deep breath and crossed her fingers. Angela stared at herself in the mirror, staring at her exciting, dangerous alter-ego as opposed to the very privileged, very bored girl she was used to seeing. The only reminder of her old identity was a heart-shaped birthmark at the nape of her neck.
Of course she didn’t want to run away forever. But she needed to make the most of her time before returning back to the humdrum existence of her refined world.
Angela tied her knotted bed sheets to her bed post. She opened her bedroom window and tossed it out, climbing down it like a rope.
“They never mentioned how hard this was in the movies,” Angela said quietly to herself.
As her feet touched bottom, Angela sprinted as fast as she could. Luckily, she was very strong, so she was able to climb the huge cottonwood tree in the front yard to get over the fence without any problems. Finally, she was free from the Morbucks Mansion, nothing to hold her back.
She sprinted so fast down the streets in the wealthy community, her feet carrying her so fast it was almost as if she could fly....