Posts Tagged With: fairy tale

Cave Draconis


“That’s horribly species-ist of you,” said the dragon.

Princess Louisa Verdantia Primavera Pastellori de la Rosa blinked. Then, as if to rectify her committing such a common action, she blushed. Coquettishly. Although she wasn’t quite sure what coquetting was, she was relatively certain it was something princesses did. “I beg your pardon?”

“Your assumption that I would kidnap you simply because I am a dragon and you are a princess, and that is simply what dragons do with princesses. I find it horribly species-ist. Perhaps I should assume that because you are a princess, you will squeal and carry on and faint at the very mention of blood?”

Louisa blinked again, trying to quell the nausea. “Of course not. I do not squeal, nor carry on, nor faint. I am a princess. At the most, I might swoon at the sight of– of blood.”

The dragon cleaned his teeth with one of his claws. “Well, that’s good to know. If I plan on killing anyone gruesomely in front of you, I will kindly ask you to shut your eyes, then.”

“Well, th-thank you, I think.” Louisa replied faintly.

“May I ask why, exactly, you thought it was a good idea to try to get kidnapped by a dragon?”

“Oh, that. Well, since my father went bankrupt fighting his brother for the crown, it’s been impossible to get any suitors. Mother suggested creating some sort of situation from which I needed to be rescued, and hoping that he didn’t ask too many questions until after the wedding. That’s how she landed father, after all. And a dragon seemed like the most economical answer, given our lack of funds and conveniently high towers.”

The dragon blinked, this time. “Wait, I’m just a path to a good marriage?”

“Yes.”

“You decided that a fifteen ton killing machine without morals and with a reputed taste for human flesh and a well-known greedy streak was the best way to land a good husband?”

Louisa almost second-guessed herself, but she was a princess, and princesses do not back down. “Yes.”

“And you weren’t,” the dragon whispered, “For one second, worried that it might have detrimental consequences to yourself?”

“N-no.” she whispered, desperately trying not to gibber insanely because princesses don’t gibber…

The dragon snorted. Then he laughed. Then he collapsed on the floor, heaving with uncontrollable laughter.

For the third (and final, if she had anything to say about it) time, Louisa blinked. “What’s so funny?”

“Oh… oh,” the dragon wiped the tears from his eyes, “I was just thinking… you really would make a better dragon than a princess.”

“Oh!” Louisa gasped. “I would not!”

“You’re probably right.” the dragon said. “A dragon would have been smarter than to walk unarmed into an enemy’s home.  But then… dragons are never unarmed.”

Louisa took a few steps back.  “Yes, well, if you’re not going to kidnap me or anything I guess I had better be going…”

The dragon raised a scaly brow. “Who said I’m not going to kidnap you?”

“But… you said…”

“Just because you are species-ist doesn’t make you useless… or inedible, in fact.”

Louisa whimpered.

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From Tower to Garden


From the Tower–1

There is a man who works in the garden. I can see him from my window. He is obviously good at gardening; the roses have been flourishing this year.

I wonder if he’s happy.

From the Garden–1

There is a girl who sits in the window of the tower. She’s pretty; she looks peaceful. Sometimes she reads a book.

I wonder what her life is like, up there. I wonder what she does. Whatever it is, she looks happy.

I’m glad.

From the Tower–2

He sings to the flowers sometimes. I don’t think he knows I can hear him. I catch bits of the songs–about the rain, about coming home, about life. About women.

I wonder, is he in love? I should like to be in love. He seems very happy.

I wonder if he even knows I exist. It seems wrong, at times, for me to just watch him without his permission, to listen to his songs.

I can’t help but wonder, though: what is life like for him, outside the tower? Is he free? Does he have a family? Does he have his own garden at home?

So many questions. I wish I could ask him.

From the Garden–2

She was watching me. She was definitely watching me.

It’s odd–for some reason, I had thought I was invisible. Maybe I have been singing too loud. I should quiet down.

From the Tower–3

He stopped singing.

The world seems a little bit greyer.

From the Garden–3

She’s stopped sitting in the window. Is she okay? Did something happen?

The roses seem to have lost some of their color. Maybe I should sing to them again.

I hope she’s okay.

From the Tower–4

He started singing again!!!!!!

From the Garden–4

She came back! I am glad. The roses are doing better, too.

This was a good day.

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Without Words


The blank page stares back at me.

For the first time, I am wordless.

Before, when I could not write, it was not from lack of words; whether because of my own stubborn rebellion or because of my fear of the words I had, I refused to write. I was not incapable.

But without words, you cannot write.

So I sit and I stare, and the blank page stares back.

I put down my pen.

Maybe words aren’t always necessary. Maybe there is a place for quiet. Maybe there is a time for action. Maybe we should be still more often, and simply be.

Maybe we can find joy in existing, and not need to speak of it.

The simple joy of nearness. The joy of beholding beauty. Of glances and motions, unspoken thoughts and dreams. Maybe it would be better for there to be fewer words altogether. Or better words.

Maybe my words are no longer necessary.

Maybe I should not write.

But no, there is also a time for words, words given and words received, for listening and writing and reading and talking

And suddenly the right words burst into my mind, fully-formed–

And I pick up my pen, and set it to the paper, and write–

Once upon a time, there lived a girl whose name was Sorrow.

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Hope, 1


Drip. Drip. Drip.

As he sat in the cold monotony of his cell, he counted the steady drops from the gray ceiling.

seventeen, eighteen, nineteen…

It was quiet there. It was not the quiet of peace, however. It was the still, slow, sickening quiet of the dead.

Once a day, the guard walked by his cell with measured step, the red trim on his uniform momentarily reflecting off the walls and brightening the hall.

Tread, tread, tread.

And then he was gone.

three hundred fifty three, three hundred fifty four, three hundred fifty five…

He wasn’t sure how long he had been there. It was a while before he started keeping count of the days. At first, he had thought that his stay would be short. A week. A month, at most.

But the days wore on, and he realized that no one left this place. Not alive.

Two thousand… two thousand… oh.

Softly cursing, he started over.

………….

On the two hundred and fifteenth day, according to his tally, he was roused from his mechanical counting by footsteps. Three. Three sets of steps.

Interest piqued, he watched through the bars of his cell as a woman dressed in the drab grey of the prisoner was unceremoniously placed in the cell across from him. Door locked, the two guards trod back to whatever hole they resided in when they were not making rounds. She glanced about, as if taking the measure of the room, then knelt.

And began praying.

Ah. One of those.

And he returned to his counting.

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Hazel Tree, Pt. 4–The Spider


The letter stared at her.

Mocking her.

Empty hope.

Her time had come and gone. If only it had come twenty years earlier. Maybe things would have been different. But it hadn’t.

Now it was her daughters’ chance.

Her daughters.

Margolette. Lovely, changeful, vengeful Margolette–seachild, like the pearl for which she was named. Golden hair and ivory skin–her mother’s child, through and through. Youngest. Fairest. Would she catch a noble eye? Certainly; if she could control her temper long enough. Yes, Margolette was beautiful; but could she stay that way? Perhaps it would be best not to pin her hopes on Margolette.

Isabelle. Cold, haughty, Isabelle–beautiful, but deadly. Ice fae. Dark and alluring, inheritor of her father’s grace and poise, calculating and shrewd. Isabelle would go far.

Yes, Isabelle would go far.

So she plots, and she waits, and she spins her plans, and the letter is opened.

And the letter is for Hazel.

———————-

Isabelle sits at her window. Cold, cold, hard as stone she sits. Plans and plots and hopes and dreams swirl around her, and she waits for a knight to come and carry her off to a place where she can be free.

But she never tells.

And she grows cold, and hard, and lonely.

And the mousy pale servant who should be her sister recevies her scorn, and the sister who should be her friend receives indifference, and the mother who should have been a mother plots and plans and spins her futures.

And Isabelle grows cold.

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Hazel Tree, Pt. 4– Hazel


It was beautiful.

Written on cream-colored parchment, with elegant swirled letters looped around like birds’ wings and flowers and cats’ eyes and every lovely thing. The letter sat in her hands, mocking her with its beauty and mystery.

If only she could read it.
………
Ascending the stair to the Spider’s lair, she studied the letter, drawing out every bit of beauty she could before she handed it to her stepmother. As she shuffled down the bare hallway towards her stepmother, her steps dragged, delaying the moment when she would have to hand it over. Finally, she could delay no longer. She raised her hand and knocked.

“Enter.”

The door opened, almost of its own will; she entered. This room, like the hall, was bone-bare; a drab canvas over which the blood-red smile of the Spider held sway. Once in, the letter swiftly flew from her hand, alighting on her stepmother’s with a grace almost mocking. The black eyes flitted over the letter with apparent disinterest, widening one moment before a command.

“Bring Margolette and Isabelle.”

Intentionally, she dragged her steps, hiding her joy at the command. It would not do to give any signs of happiness; it would be taken away if the Spider knew. Once she had left, she danced her way down the hall to her stepsisters’ room. Two beauties in one day!

It was almost too much to bear.

………

Margolette and Isabelle; even their names were beautiful. Thus, it was no great surprise that their quarters reflected their beauty. From an early age, their mother had surrounded them with beautiful things, teaching them the various graces and how to sway the hearts of men. They were cold; cold and beautiful, and their smiles were cruel. If they had wished, they could have crushed Hazel at an early age; but she amused them. they played with her as a cat, stomach filled, would play with a mouse.

Her innocence remained, however.

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Hazel Tree, Pt. 3– Spider


The Spider.

A fitting name for her, now. Her former beauty was gone–she could admit that to herself, at least. What she refused to admit was weakness. Thus, she spun her webs, fragile but strong, always walking the tightrope over the darkening abyss of loneliness. She might not have been beautiful anymore, but she was important! A calculating wit and careful cultivation of her two lovely daughters served her well. Her oldest, now, she was turning out beautifully. There were already several offers of betrothal contracts–she only had to chose who would be most useful to her.

Her stepdaughter had presented a problem. Vivacious and endearing, she reminded her of herself at that age. The child’s innocence and charm mocked her.

She would not stand for it.

The girl was a competitor, a rival. She had to be supressed. An ever-growing workload, and calculated deprivation, served to exhaust the girl and make her evermore subservient.

Though she named her ‘Spider” and grumbled against her, she remained, meek and submissive in appearance.

Her plan could not fail.

She had sworn an oath to her daughters, and she would not be forsworn.

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Hazel Tree, Pt. 3– Hazel


Her back hurt.

It was a constant ache, aggravated by the cot she slept on and the loads she bore. Four people could generate a surprising amount of laundry, especially when three of them were socialites who regularly attended parties. Carrying those loads back and forth for fourteen years had bent her back, slowly but steadily, until she could no longer walk upright.

It had all begun so well. Her father, recognizing his own shortcomings, had gone in search of a mother for his child. The widow had seemed to be perfect, having two children of her own that were both well-behaved and sweet. Believing that all was well, he married her that fall, bringing the spider and her children into his home with not a hint of trouble.

He died on the anniversary of his wife’s death.

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Hazel Tree, Pt. 2–The Woman


Once, she had it all.

Fortune–

A wealthy heiress, spoiled and coddled, never lacking anything that caught her eye.

Fame–

Adoring nobles, fawning sycophants, doting parents, all at her beck and call.

Freedom–

She had thought that she could do anything, go anywhere, see anyone.

It was all an illusion.

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Hazel Tree, The Father continued


Fog had covered the ground the day she told him. It had crept over the grounds, giving a haze of comforting obscurity to familiar features; but he remembered it with the clarity of crystal.

“I am with child again.”

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