Once Upon A Time...
Author's note: Inspired by my beautiful imagination ;) and the brothers grimm collection or fairytales
Hope you people enjoy it!
Hope you people enjoy it!
Chapter 5Chapter 5
“For the last time, there was no trick involved,” Selena said for the thousandth time, rubbing her temples.
Queen Clara narrowed her eyes at the genie, not believing a word she said.
It was obvious that Selena was not from around here. She had mocha colored skin with brown, wavy hair to match, puled back with a thick golden band. She wore a tight, dark magenta top if you could call it that. It only wrapped around her chest, outlined in gold to match her harem
“You are a genie. Aladdin warned me that you would try to pull some sort of trick every time I make a wish. So tell me, what’s the catch?” the Queen demanded and Selena threw her hands in the air in frustration.
“I didn’t pull any trick! You wished for a magic mirror that will answer any question and show you anyplace or anyone. The mirror can’t and won’t turn on you, it only activates on your command and it also looks very nice in your room,” she added, glancing around in approval before turing back. “And you know I’m telling the truth because everyone knows genies can’t lie.”
“Yes but they can avoid the complete truth,” Clara pointed out and Selena gave her a nasty glare.
“I’m going back in my lamp. You know the jingle to activate the mirror. Rub when you want your next wish.”
She vanished in a puff of pink smoke and her lamp clattered on the ground. Queen Clara picked it up, blowing a bit of dust off it and placed it back in the safe, located in the corner of her room. She turned and looked at the newest piece of furniture added to her grand bedroom.
A golden mirror hung on her wall between two candles and above a marble self. She looked in it a smiled, wondering if the genie didn’t add some sick twist in the wish. Only one way to find out.
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall,” she began with ease.
She lifted her hand and suddenly smacked the side of the mirror hard.
“WAKE UP!” she yelled and the whole thing rattled.
The mirror turned black in dark swirls and the whole thing seemed to collapse in itself, the only thing staying in place is the golden casing. Suddenly, a dark figure jumped out of the swirling darkness that quickly returned to normal.
It turned out to be an elf of some sort. He was only a few inches tall with a sharp head, crooked nose, and pointy ears too big for his head. He had beady eyes and wore an official looking gold suit. He looked at the Queen with a scowl.
“Look, just ‘cause I’m bound to you, does not mean you have to be rude when waking me up. A simple ‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall.’ would do just fine! People these days are so inconsiderate! I swear! You know I have a life too! I have-”
“Silence!” The Queen shouted and just the like, the elf’s mouth snapped shut but he didn’t look happy about it. “Now, you can answer any question, correct?”
The elf just gave her a smug smile, not saying anything at all. She frowned at him, knowing that this was the twist the genie use. A difficult mirror.
“Alright, fine. Ground rules: You will treat me with respect and answer any and every question I have, not matter what it is. You will do exactly as I say, no funny-business. At all. You will come as soon as I summon you. And you will not show yourself to anyone other then me. Are we clear?”
“Yes,” he growled and sat down on the marble shelf, leaning against the wall. “Kenton Gilmore, at your service. What can I do for you?”
“Show me Phineas Hart.”
Kenton nodded and placed his tiny hand on the mirror. It rippled like water when disturbed and cleared into a vivid image of Phineas crouching in the forest with another man next to him. They were both silent, looking at something outside of the mirror’s vision. Both had bows taunt and ready to go. Suddenly, the other man moved, whipping out and arrow and firing it with frightening speed. The sudden movement made the Queen jump. She’s never seen an archer move that quickly. Kenton removed his hand from the mirror and it returned to normal, showing the Queen looking back at herself with a thoughtful look.
So Phineas is indeed in the Demented Forest only, he didn’t seem forced to stay there. Could he have ran away? Was he hiding in the forest because he didn’t want to marry anyone?
The Queen wasn’t sure what to make of it but she was certain that the Demented Forest sounded and looked like a familiar place.
“Kenton, you can answer any question, right? Correctly?”
“Well, not me me specifically. I simple guide the mirror and it shows you the answer.”
“Good. Then tell me this: Why does the Demented Forest seem so familiar to me?”
Kenton cracked a grin and placed a hand on the mirror. It once again rippled and showed a small cottage where seven little men outside of, welding axes the Queen herself stood next to them, smiling as she kissed each one on the cheek.
“Be careful in the tunnels!”
“We know, Snow! Heh. I rhymed,” one of the little men cackled.
The Queen frowned as the mirror rippled again, showing her body dead in a glass casket. The seven little men were tear streaked as the held their hats to their chests, looking at the dead queen in remorse. The King suddenly appeared in the picture, sending waves of pain in the Queen’s heart as she watched the scene unfold. The King bent down and placed a simple kiss on her lips, waking her from her deadly sleep. The dwarves rejoiced while the King and Queen danced.
The scene shifted again, showing the seven dwarves frowning as the Queen shouted something.
“Come on, guys! I’m Queen now! I can give you guys a real home. You don’t have to live off small rations in the forest anymore! You can live in the palace with me!”
“Snow White, you don’t seem to understand. No one will accept us. To everyone else in the world, we are simply fairytales. We don’t belong in your world. Besides, you can always visit us in the forest!”
“No! If you won’t stay with me, then why should I go through the trouble of seeing you!”
“Snow!” The dwarves cried and the Queen stomped away from the cottage in anger.
The setting disappeared, replaced by the throne room that was filled with people, chatting and questioning about why they were here. The Queen stood up and the room went quiet, a silence so thick you could cut it with a knife.
“People of Lynivar! I bring you here today with news! For this day forth, a new breed of people shall be living among you! The breed of fairytale creatures!”
The Queen smiled as she waited for a response but the crowd seemed frozen, none of them moving a muscle, not even breathing. The doors flew open and a tall women with ruby red hair glided in, followed by the seven dwarves.
“Candace! What did you do to them!”
“I froze them in time. They cannot hear, see, or feel anything.”
“Why would you do that!”
“Because Snow, I think it’s time you forget.”
“Forget? No. No, no, no! You can’t do this to me! I don’t want to forget you guys!”
“We have no choice, Snow. You want to expose us. We can’t let that happen. It’ll be better for all of us if you just forgot.”
Before the Queen could say anything, Candace flashed a stick and the Queen passed out, falling unconscious into her arms.
“Quickly. Get the stew.”
One of the dwarves brought a small vile filled with a murky liquid. Candace opened it with a pop and dribbled the liquid into the Queens mouth. Once it was all down her throat, Candace laid her carefully onto the floor and nodded to the sad-looking dwarves. They exited, the people unfroze and the mirror rippled back to normal.
The Queen stared at her reflection in shock. She had trouble wrapping her mind around it. Without thinking she hastily grabbed the lamp and nearly dropped it as she rubbed the sides.
“Guess thats all? Good. You know where to find me,” Kenton said and disappeared back in the mirror.
Smoke emitted from the lamp spout and Selena appeared again, a scowl on you face.
“There was no trick! I won’t tell you aga-”
“I wish I remembered everything that was erased from my mind.”
The Queen cut her off and Selena raised a brow. She nodded and snapped her fingers, sparks flying from them. The sparks drifted towards the Queen and exploded around her.
It was like a bomb went off inside the Queen’s head. She screamed as thoughts and memories shoved their way in her brain. She grabbed bunches of her hair and fell to the ground with tears streaming down her face as vivid images, names, conversations ran into her mind. It felt like hours until the pain became less frequent and they reduced with a serious migraine.
But it was all worth it.
She remember everything.
I woke up much later then I expected, around 9 instead of 5 like I usually do. Everyone else was up and about and no one bothered to wake me. I didn’t say anything. I guess I did need the rest.
Pig had cooked up a nice breakfast, saving some for me and I didn’t mind to much that it went cold. Finn had already left with Robin to the woods and I planned to join them as I grabbed by bow, dressing into dark brown pants, a gray shirt, and a brown leather jacket with some boots.
A path opened up and I made my way through the tangle of trees, whistling as I walked. I even tried singing a few words from a old song I heard playing back in town when a growl pulled me to a complete stop, whipping out and arrow and knocking it with record speed. I left my sword at home and I prayed that it wouldn’t be a mistake.
A laugh reached my ears, cold and menacing. I watched with sharp eyes as a man, about Robin’s age, stepped out of the shadows and into a shred of light that worked through the tree tops. He was very handsome, dirty blond hair that shook in his piercing, golden/yellow eyes. He wore no shirt, showing off his muscular body and some torn up pants hung low on his hips. He was also very tall, something I absolutely hated. I recognized him right away and my hand shook for a moment from holding the bow string back too long.
“Savan,” I hissed. “What do you want?”
“Now, now, Gwen. That’s no way to treat you boyfriend.”
“Ex!” I shouted, hating the way he always brought it up. He clicked his tongue and shook his head in mock pity.
“Shame I was exiled. Now I wonder who’s fault was that.” He let loose a growl and his eyes flashed red.
I took a cautious step back, bitting my tongue to hold back the slew of insults I had prepared just for him. I don’t want him to get angry, for I feared he might shift and that would be bad for everyone. Savan is your classic werewolf or as he is more famously known as, the Big Bad Wolf. He is probably the most famous villain in most fairytales. He’s popped up in the 3 Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, Peter and the Wolf, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and many more. He was never really a bad guy, until, the day he was.
It’s the cliché tale of the boy next door. I was 16 and had fallen head over heels for Savan, who at the time, was a great guy. Little did I know that he liked me too. We dated for a while too, 4 months, and even better he was my first kiss. Great right?
Wrong. At some point, I just stopped liking him. As time went on, my feelings for him disappeared while his only grew. Then came the day I ended it and he did not take it well. He was beyond furious, grabbing and bruising my arms and demanded why. Robin fought his off but Savan only lashed out on the people around him and eventually, he shifted into his wolf. He killed 2 people that day. He should have been killed as his punishment but because of the great things he’s done for this camp, he was only exiled.
Savan hated me ever since. I’ve seen him around the forest a few times but we never exchange words. Subtle glares seemed to speak what words couldn’t.
“Savan, you need to get over that. It is not my fault you went on a wild rampage.”
“I’ll kill you, Gwen,” he darkly said.
By now, his eyes were a blood red and his was clenching and unclenching his fists. Never before has he threatened me like this. Sure he said a few profanities and hated me for life when I broke up with him, but he never directly threatened me. And from the look in his eyes he seemed to mean it too. It all screamed danger and right now, I’m not in the best position to fight a blood-thirsty werewolf.
The fear I began to feel must have shown. He gave me a nasty grin, stepping forward and I stepped back to keep the same amount of distance we had in the first place. I saw fur sprout on his hands as he took another step. By now, I was poised to shoot and run. I rose the bow, feeling as the taunt bowstring touched the corner of my mouth.
“Take another step and I’ll shoot you.”
“Oh I don’t doubt that. Don’t worry Gwen,” His hand snapped out and I jerked in surprise. He yanked on my hair (I knew I should have pulled it up) and some stands came loose. “I only wanted this.”
He dangled a hair strand and cackled, stuffing it in his pocket. His back cracked and he jumped high in the air, shifting into the wolf. His paws hit the ground with a soft thud and a giant black wolf with yellow eyes looked back at me.
“You’re gonna die, Gwen. Just you wait,” he growled at me, his voice husky.
And like that, he bounded into the forest, howling a cry that seemed to strike fear in my heart.
He took a piece of my hair. The only things that require hair strands are wands for witches, love spells, and...death curses.
The thought hit me with a force and I cried out, feeling panic and fear grip me. I turned in ran in any direction.
He’s going to kill me. He’s really going to kill me.
I hit something really hard, rebounding and falling flat on my back. I didn’t bother getting up, instead I just curled up and bit my tongue, refusing to cry.
“Gwen? What are you- Gwen are you ok?”
I looked up and saw Robin, looking at me with a confused expression until he saw the fear in my eyes.
“What happened! Did Finn do something? I swear if he laid one finger on you I’ll-”
“No, Robin. It’s not Finn. It’s Savan.” My voice broke, saying his name.
“H-He said he’s going to kill me.”
Robin knelt down next to me, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me into his chest. I felt a single tear roll down my cheek. I wanted to cry at the thought of crying.
“Gwen, that is nothing to cry about. I’m right here. No one’s going to get to you.”
“You don’t get it! He took my hair, Robin! My hair! He’s going to place a death curse on me!”
I think that was all the fight I had left in me. More tears broke free, streaming down my face and I looked up at Robin with helpless eyes. He turned noticeably pale and sucked in sharply.
“Come on, Gwen. We have to get out of here.”
He stood and motioned for me to get on his back. I jumped on, wrapping his legs around his waist and gripped his shirt tightly as he ran quickly back to the camp. Somewhere along the way, my tears ran dry and I felt like an empty rag doll, bumping along until we entered the camp. I felt everyone stare at me, but I didn’t care. Let them stare. I’ll only be here for a few more days anyway.
The thought brought a fresh wave of tears to my eyes and I could feel my face heating up. I coughed violently, hurting the back of my throat and deep in my chest.
Was this part of the curse? Could he have possibly placed it on my already? Am I dying of a fatal disease?
“Gwen! What happened?”
“Finn, get Fairy Candace here, quick.”
I looked up in time to see Finn turn and run away, quickly returning in a panic with Candace close behind. She placed a cool hand on my forehead and frowned.
“Bring her to the infirmary and tell me everything that happened,” she said to Robin but her voice seemed distant, like she was farther away then she really was.
Robin pulled me higher on his back and started jogging, rattling me around. I couldn’t focus on anything. My head began to hurt and my entire body felt like it was on fire. My eyes burned, producing scorching tears and I hurt all over. I felt myself being placed on a bed and felt my eyes fall shut. I fainted.
I paced the floor in front of the bed Gwen laid in, biting my fingers as Ms. Sano watched with with an amused look. My gaze was darting from Gwen to the floor to the clock until it stared all over again, only interrupted when I heard a cough and jerked in Gwen’s direction, thinking she was awake when it was only another patient in the clinic.
By the 30 minute line, I was on the verge to ripping my hair out until Ms. Sano got tired of my antics and pulled me to a stop. I was practically digging a trench the way I was pacing back and forth.
“Finn. Calm down will you? She’ll be fine.”
“She’s going to die! How can I be calm about that!”
“You heard Fairy Candace. There’s no curse on Gwen. She simple thought she did and thus, forced a fever on herself. A placebo.”
I forced myself to breath as I listened to her word.
She’s right. Gwen’s not dying today. She’ll be fine.
Repeating those words in my head didn’t seem to sooth the worry that gripped my heart. What was going on with me? Why was I freaking out like this?
“Go home, Finn. Go to bed and sleep. I’ll make sure someone gets you as soon as she wakes up.”
“No. I’m not leaving her.”
“No! I’m staying!”
She sighed and pressed her lips together in a thin line and bent her head. She peered up at me in thought through the strains of hair that shook into her eyes.
“Alright, fine. But if you cause me any trouble-”
“I promise I’ll be good.”
She nodded and wandered off to attend the other patients. I sighed and ran my hand through my hair, wondering what to do now. I wondering if I should start pacing again but decided against it, knowing it would only make me worry even more. It’s bad for my health.
I looked at Gwen again and pulled up a chair, sitting down and leaning on the side of her bed with my elbows. For a while, I just watched her breath. Every once and a while, I felt fear wash over me as the time between her inhale and exhale seemed too long, like at some point, she might breath out and never breath in again.
I was only making this harder on myself. I looked at her face, memorizing ever feature. She seemed so much softer when she slept, more open then when she’s awake. Her hair fell perfectly around her face and without thinking, I grabbed her hand, sighing a content as just to feel of her hand in mine, fitting perfectly like two pieces of a puzzle. I could even feel her heartbeat from her wrist and felt my eyes close as I focused on that feeling, a reminder that she was still here.
She’s right here.
My eyes snapped open and I jerked up in bed.
Where am I? What’s going on? How did I get here?
The world spun for a second before I could recognize this place as the infirmary.
Something shifted next to me and I saw a bleary eyed Finn rub his eyes that widened upon seeing me. My gaze shifted downwards and I spotted my hand in his, interlaced. Finn saw what I was looking at and pulled his hand away quickly, turing red as he rubbed the back of neck and sheepishly laughed. I opened my mouth to question when a loud voice boomed across the infirmary, loud enough to wake anyone in a coma or even dead.
“GWEN! WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” And I was tackled by seven little short men.
“Jeez, thanks guys,” I rolled my eyes but smiled at them. “What’s going on? I thought the curse...”
“Idiot, there is no curse!” Dour slapped my in the back of my head and I growled at him. “You let it get to your head and you got sick!”
“Whoa wait. I’m not cursed?”
“Not yet anyways,” Dour muttered and everyone glared at him. “What? It’s the truth.”
“Shut up, Dour. This is a time of joy and your sour mood is just tainting it.”
“So, in other words, party?” Snig asked hopefully and Al just rolled his eyes.
“You people just love twisting my words around. No, we should just be happy that Gwen isn’t dead.”
They bickered back and forth and I was feeling better already. Finn stayed quiet the whole time and since we were making such a ruckus, Ms. Sano gave me a quick check up and kicked us out as soon as she diagnosed that I was as healthy as a unicorn. I walked home in silent, listening with a smile and the dwarves started brawling and fighting over trivial matters.
“Hey! I thought you were dead!” I threw my hands up in the air as I turned on Robin.
“Why does everyone just assume that!”
“Hey, you did too! You’re such a worry-wart, freaking out at the thought of death.”
“I panicked, ok? Sorry for thinking my life was about to end.”
“Actually, I would still think that.”
I turned and saw a very upset looking Candace. She had her arms crossed and her blood shot eyes were framed with head eyelids and worry lines. The shock of seeing her like this literally made me take a step back. What happened to her?
“Come with me, Gwen. Finn, Robin, dwarves, you might want to come too. This isn’t good.”
We all shared a worried look when Candace turned to lead the way to the forest and followed her silently. A path opened and we made our way to her magic workshop. It was a decent place as far as forest shacks went. It was very small looking from the outside, only the size of an outhouse but like the rest of Fairy Candace’s things, this was enchanted. The inside was as close to infinite as it comes. She only used two or three rooms but if she wanted, she could have as much as millions of room, depending on her need. She was, after all, the greatest fairy in this millennia. Oh, didn’t I tell you? She’s 74,289 years old and she doesn’t look a day over 20.
She opened the door for us and lead us into her main room. This was nice and tidy, unlike her home, and shelved lined the walls, filled with powders of all colors I recognized as fairy dust. Mushrooms and other plants were placed in jars that were scattered everywhere and antique wands we lined up neatly on the walls.
Candace brought us to the table that was placed in the center made entirely of glass that was shining colors of the rainbow, shifting and mixing colors every second. Candace protruded a stick and tapped on the table top. The rainbow colors shifted and changed until it transformed into what looked like a map of Lynivar. I eyed Candace from the corner of my eye, wondering what she was up too since I had never seen this table before. This kind of magic, I was unaware of.
“Gwen, you’re in danger,” she began and I began to worry.
When Candace says danger, it’s not just danger like you will run into a tree and get knocked out, no, it’s danger as in a swarm of evil pixies riding hungry troll are coming to bring you to their black dragon queen where she will torture you in her dungeons with flaming phoenix feathers until you are nothing but bones and skin until she fattens you up to the point where you explode and feed you to her hungry baby dragons only after you are forced into the desert where crows wait for you to die and when they figure out you won’t choose to poke out your eyes instead. Nice image huh?
“Yesterday, after Robin told me about Savan, I did some diagnostics on you, which is how I figured out there was no curse, and decided to put a spell on you.”
She pulled out a necklace from her pocket and dangled in in front on me. It was a crystal, made of the same material the table was and seemed to change color every second, encased in silver and tied with a simple string.
“This represents your life.” That had me looking at it in a completely different way. “I have one just like it. Right now, it is clear so you are completely healthy and curse free. It changes colors depending on what’s happening. Yellow means your dying, black means your dead, red means your cursed, blue means your sick, green means your hurt, and clear means everything if fine. I want you too keep it. Now come see.”
I took the necklace and hung it around my neck, walking with her to the table map.
“I contacted up an old friend of mine, a Seer I met back a few centuries ago and had her find Savan. She did and helped me cast a Tracking spell on him. This here, is him.”
I looked at where she pointed and saw a red dot, moving slightly around on a random spot on the page. Turns out, that location isn’t as random as I thought.
“That’s where the palace is,” Finn chirped up.
“You don’t think...” Al began and the dwarves all shared a look.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“Finn,” I started out slowly, “do you know who your step-mom is? Who she really is?”
“The Queen of Lynivar also known as Queen Clara Hart.”
“No, I mean who was before she was Clara. Do you know where she came from, or how she and your father even met?”
“Well, no. I never really asked about that.”
“Finn, your step-mom is Snow White. From the fairytale.”
His face was blank, shifting from looks of confusion, betrayal, wonder, and bafflement. He didn’t know what to think and I wondered if tell him was the right choice.
I shook my head. Doesn’t matter, he’ll be forgetting all of this in a few months.
“Snow White? Clara is Snow White? How come she never told me? How come dad never told me?”
“We erased their memories. Now, Clara thinks she grew up on a simple farm in Karmintin and when the King was passing through one day, he spotted her and they instantly fell in love.”
“Well then if her memory is erased, then what’s the problem?”
“We erased her memory because she wanted to expose fairytale creatures to the world.”
A look of comprehension passed over his face as he pieced the puzzle together.
“You think she remembered and is trying to expose you guys again with Savan?”
“I believe so,” Candace replied, adding in a nod.
“Well then what about the strand of hair he stole from Gwen? How does that fit into the picture?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. And if she did plan to expose us, she would have done it by now and there would be mobs of people stomping into our forest with pitchforks and torches. There’s something we’re missing.”
Candace furrowed her eye brows and stared long and hard at the map, as if it would suddenly give her the answer she needs. Everyone was thinking the same thing. What was happening inside the castle?
“Guys. New mission,” I finally decided after a moment of thoughtful silence. “Recon.”
The dwarves cracked a grin and nodded. Robin shook his head but smiled while Finn was expressionless. I think he was still digesting the Snow White bit.
I stretched my hand out to Candace and she gave me a soft smile, placing the wand in my hand. I tapped the table top with the stick and it changed again, zooming in to an out lay of the palace.
“Alright guys. We need a plan. There are 4 corners of the palace wall where Dour, Bash, Grog, and Al will keep an eye out. Pig, you’ll be waiting a walk away in the carriage so we make a quick get away. Snig, Slug, you’ll be coming with me while we stake out Clara. Questions?” Pig raised his hand. “Yes, Pig?”
“Are you putting me on carriage duty just because you’re afraid I’ll sneeze and give us away? “Cause I promise it won’t happen again! I mean I’ll-”
“No Pig. Now shush. Anymore questions?” They shook their heads and I smiled at my brave team. “Good. We leave at dusk.”