Trapped in a Tower

Trapped in a Tower, a short story by Tod Leben cover image.

[Amazon US]

Pre order for May 1st!

Belongs in the collection: [Troubled Royals II]

(Check out [Troubled Royals] as well)

Normally Tod Leben means triggers, but this only has a few light content warnings. It will belong within Troubled Royals II when the collection is finished.


Ableism is present to an extent within the book. There is abuse and bullying spoken about without being truly “on screen”. I don’t think it would classify as triggers for anyone, but better to be aware my disabled princess and prince do not have perfect lives. Besides a minor kiss toward the end, all sexual action is off screen without fully suggesting it happens. Nothing at all is lacking in consent.

Disabled princess finding her path to facing the world as proud and confident. Everyone needs tools, why should her tools be seen as less than?

This is a nice sized short story. It surpasses 10k words as is. It would make for a nice one shot comic or chap book or middle grade or even picture book (with a few things cut out/changed). I’m open to letting it expand to reach more audience.

There is a fairy godmother character: Master Engineer Williams.

There is a prince character: Prince Adam who is also disabled.

There is a love of parents as well as high expectation.

And a little sister that is never met. There is a level of suggestion that the little sister is quite younger.


Princess Elizabeth is a late teen who cannot walk. The stairs that confine her to her tower, trap her there. As much as she loves the view and deserves the room being the eldest princess, the dragon mural feels as if the guard denying her access as she wishes she has.

Until a savior shows with a tool unconventional to most: a wheelchair.

The Queen pauses looking down at me. It feels as if she is looking down on me. “A queen is not expected to move about quickly. A regal walk…”

“Is as slow as the sun set.” I sigh. “But I go slower than that. And it never looks regal. There is pain to movement, Mother. Walking takes too much even if I can manage sometimes.”

I really enjoy the story. It is a reminder for me as it would be for many others.

Everyone deserves access to the world. I can give that to my characters. I hope you offer the same kindness to those in your real world.