Sunday, December 11, 2011 | By: Brianna

Fairy Tale

Let's just start off by saying I love fairy tales.  So when Sunday Scribblings provided me with the prompt: Fairy Tale it was really easy to take things I had already written.  The first piece (the poem) is a little something I wrote for my Poem-a-Day project.  So it's really recent.  The second piece (the prose) is from my freshman year of college.  It's from a longer short story (that sounds weird...) so it's really just an excerpt, but you'll get an idea of what the rest of it's about.  I really love fairy tales.  A lot.  Enjoy!


October 3, 2011

Once upon a time
Snow White was allergic
to apples and
Sleeping Beauty had
Cinderella prefers flats
to heels.
Rapunzel’s afraid of heights
so she stays away
from the window.
This irritates the witch.

None of them ever met
          Prince Charming
for some reason.

Snow White fell
for her allergist
and Sleeping Beauty spent
the night with
the beast.
Cinderella…she didn’t go
She became a hermit
and bashed men with
her godmother.
Until they fell in love.
Then they moved out.
Rapunzel couldn’t take it.
She jumped and tried
to fly.
Her little heart stopped
before her body did.
Happily ever after.


“It’s rude to gape, you know.”
            Will spun around, the trees blurring together as he searched for the source of the voice.
            “You’re not very observant, are you?” noted the voice dryly.  It was then that Will looked down and saw what could be simply described as a frog sitting calmly in the grass, looking casually up at him.  Will felt as if his thoughts had been instantly wiped clean like deleting a file off a computer.  He took a couple moments to gather his wits about him until he regained the ability to at least stutter.
            “I…” the frog prompted.
            “You’re a frog!” Will spat out.
            “I’m a frog,” the frog said, clearly unimpressed by this conclusion.  “Why yes I am.  Thank you for stating the painfully obvious.”
            Will’s frown deepened as his frustration with the situation increased.  It was improbable enough that a frog was speaking to him at all, never mind mocking him.
            “But you can speak,” Will clarified, forcing himself to remain calm by biting the inside of his cheek.  “Frogs don’t have the right vocal chords to speak.  It’s impossible.”
            “Nothing’s impossible,” the frog said wearily, massaging his temples.  “Things aren’t always exactly the way you assume they’ll be. 
A frog’s giving me advice?  Will thought, raising his eyebrows skeptically.
            “Thanks for the advice, but I just want to get out of here,” he said aloud.  “Wherever ‘here’ is.”
            “That may be true, but you can’t.”
             “I can’t?” Will repeated.  He was reluctant to believe anything the little fly-eater said, but seeing no immediate solution to his problem, it looked like the frog was right.
            “No.  You can’t.  Not unless you stop irritating me,” the frog said, crossing his little arms over his little chest.
            Will pursed his lips and nodded once before setting off into the forest to find his own way out of this delusion.  The frog’s reaction was late, giving Will a ten step head start before he called after him, “Where are you going?  You can’t just waltz off, you don’t belong here!”
            “I’ll say,” Will muttered.
            Ignoring the frog’s jabbering complaints following him through the trees, Will continued on through the brush.  With his eyes glued to the ground, he would have smacked headlong into the tower had he not heard the chattering voice above.
            “Belle, he’s been completely beastly to you.  Rose or no, I say you have to get out of there.”
            Will raised his eyebrows and tilted his head back to get a better view of the tower-dweller.  She was a young lady with auburn hair, sitting at the window seat of a circular tower with no visible doors.  She was holding a handheld mirror before her face and speaking (it seemed) to her own reflection.  But the girl in the mirror was a brunette.
            “Hold on a sec, I think my pizza’s here,” the tower-dweller told the face in the mirror.  She then set it aside and hung out the window, squinting directly at Will.  “Hello?  Are you here to deliver a pizza?”
            “A pizza?”
            “Yes, I’m starved!”
            “Um.  Actually, no.”
            “Did you see a guy with a pizza anywhere?  It’s Hawaiian.”  The tower-dweller craned her neck and squinted her eyes, hanging so far out the tower’s window, it looked as if she would tumble to the ground.
            “Uh, no, I didn’t see anyone,” Will said, almost apologetically.  “I’m just trying to get out of here.”
            “You and me both,” the tower-dweller rolled her eyes and retreated to a safer position on her window seat.
            The frog, having finally caught up with Will, hopped to a halt at the teenager’s feet, positively fuming.  He sat silent, glaring up at Will.
            “But could you tell me where I am?” Will called up to the tower-dweller.  She was reaching for her mirror again, but let her hand drop when she heard Will’s question.
            “Regnum Nymphae est umbra terra peregrina, jacens prorsus ultra agrum intelligerimus,” she replied, as if quoting the words from memory.   The strange words sent a shock of recognition through Will.  His sister’s book.
            “What?  What does that mean?” he asked her, but she had already returned to her mirror.  Instead, Will turned to the frog.  “What does she mean?”
            The frog scowled bitterly at being reduced to a translator for Will’s convenience.  If he had had it his way, he would have let Will get eaten by a dragon, and then everyone’s problems would be over. 
The Realm of Fairy is a strange shadow land, lying just beyond the fields we know.”
The Realm of Fairy?  Will thought.  Now that the mysterious words had been given a meaning he understood, he felt somewhat cheated.  “That’s it?  I’m in fairy land?”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you,” the frog said, his obvious lack of sincerity showing in his wicked smile.  “But if you want—“ The frog cut himself off and looked past Will into the trees.  Whatever he saw caused his little amphibian eyes to widen.  Will’s face contorted with confusion.
“What wrong with you?” he asked.  But he received no response.  Instead, the frog turned around hopped off, each hop accompanied by a low croak.  Will smirked before another voice detained him.
            “You there, grim fellow!” called a voice that sounded like shards of glass being ground together.
            “Who, me?” Will asked, turning around and pointing at himself.
            An old crone (crone being a term that is used interchangeably with the word “hag” to describe ridiculously old women) was taking great pains to pick her way out of the brush that bordered the clearing.  She looked like she would shatter into a million pieces if she fell.
            “Yes, you, mud pie!” the crone replied, leaning heavily on her cane as she hobbled nearer.
            Mud pie?  Will thought, then decided it would be wise to remain silent.  Her yellowed and cracked talons looked as if they could tear anyone’s vocal cords to shreds and he didn’t want his to be next.
            “I have a task for you, flap-dragon.”
            Adding “flap-dragon,” to the list of terms to ignore, Will asked, “What’s in it for me?”
            The crone seemed to consider this for a moment, and then a wicked smile distorted her features.  “I won’t kill you where you stand.”
            If anything convinced Will of the sincerity of the crone’s threat, it was that smile.  The few teeth she had were jagged and looked as if they had never seen a glass of milk, much less a toothbrush.  And factoring in the bloodthirsty glint in her beady eyes, Will came to the conclusion that she was quite serious.
            “You’ve got a deal!” Will rushed to say, laughing nervously.  “What kind of task?”
            “I need you to deliver this to a girl with skin as white as snow, hair as black as ebony, and lips as red as blood.  She answers to the name Snow White,” the crone explained, pulling an apple from beneath her cloak.
            “Why aren’t you doing this yourself?” Will asked, narrowing his eyes.
            “I have an Antagonists Anonymous meeting, and this can’t wait until tomorrow.”
            “Can’t argue with that,” Will shrugged.  He took the apple from the crone’s skeletal fingers without really looking at it.  Now, 99% of people in the world would have been able to make the connection between an apple and a girl named Snow White.  And 100% of that 99% could name all seven of the seven dwarves and even hum the Disney tune that was widely associated with the little men.  But Will Grimm was a member of that 1% of people who were drawn to cult classics rather than pop culture and avoided Disney like the plague.  And fairy tales?  Those were his sister’s thing.  “Where can I find her?”
            “Just north of this clearing, follow the bluebells.” The crone nodded toward an opening in the trees and Will followed her gaze, noting the snatches of blue.  As he left the clearing, he could hear the crone bidding the girl in the tower to let down her hair or something.  Shaking his head, Will set off to follow the bluebells.

            He wandered for what felt like forever but was probably only fifteen minutes in reality.  Sweat poured off his brow.  His breath came quick and labored.  All the trees looked exactly the same, moss creeping up their trunks and green leaves.  And there were bluebells everywhere.
            Will scowled, looking every which way for a path, or (more importantly) for something to eat.
            “’Follow the bluebells,’ she says,” Will muttered under his breath.  “I’ll end up starving here surrounded by bluebells.”
Unbidden, Will’s eyes found the apple clutched in his right hand, and it looked absolutely tantalizing.  It seemed to be speaking his name in a pitifully tiny voice.  He brought it to eye level and stared at it.  What light there was glanced off its surface, giving it a surreal sheen.  It was absolutely irresistible and his hunger prevailed.  So Will took a bite of the apple and fell down dead.

"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
- G.K. Chesterton


Gwen said...

Your poem is so amusing and what a refreshing take on 'the fairy tale' it!

keith hillman said...

Simply brilliant Loved every word.

Anonymous said...

An all-star cast fairytale! :)

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