Mother Hulda (Part One)

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Humming.

It was in the walls, in the blankets.
In her ears, anywhere and everywhere.

Hum, hum, hum.

Spin, spin, spin.

Faster, faster, faster.

Number 457 was kept within thick walls. She had only seen the sun once in her life and it had burned her eyes. Her cheeks were ashen and her eyes were set placidly on her hands.

Her hands that brushed the wheel.

A wheel that was turned by the pushing of her feet. Harder, harder, harder.

Press, touch, press.

The humming that the spinning wheel made did not bother 457. That was all she knew, after all: the words of workmen, and the humming of a spinning wheel.

All the thread that she spun from the white wool, she piled on the floor near her wheel.

Her chair was swimming in the thread.
The thread was growing fat in the room, for it was collected every morning.
457 was spinning all the time.

Why was she spinning? She was only thirteen years old, and she had worked for twelve years.

There was no escaping for her.

1-1000 were slaves in the castle of Agnes Queensbury. Queen Agnes Queensbury. 457 didn’t know who she worked for exactly, but she knew that she had to, or else, she would not eat, for starters.

Queen Queensbury was not exactly the kindest queen in the world. Despite the queen’s lack of kindness, however, she was still very nice. Very nice! For she wore the finest gowns in the land, and the finest jewels, and the finest wigs. She loved things that required lots of fabric, thus lots more of thread, and as she never wore the same outfit twice, the slaves were kept working.
457 was only number 457 out of the many workers whose fingers bled and callused for the queen.

But one day things did not go so well for 457. Out of the many slaves she housed with, she stuck out like a sore thumb after a rather small event.

457 was a girl with strong fingers, but delicate skin; tender and creamy skin like the skin women should always have .

Well, after about approximately 12 straight hours of spinning, her hands were bleeding so, that she had to wash her raw fingers in the well, along with the stained thread.

There was a well in every working chamber so that the workers would not have to leave the room for ridiculous, insignificant things like drinking or washing.

457 plunged her hands into the cold water, trying her best to avoid the consequential sting in her skin.

Next, she picked up a spool of freshly spun, and freshly bloodied thread and dipped it ever so gently in the water of the well.

Ah.

Never take anything for granted when things are going smoothly.

A terrible pain bit at her naked fingers as she soaked them in the unfriendly water.

And she dropped the spool of thread down, down, down into the darkness of the well.

Suddenly, the door to the room opened, and 457 was no longer alone.

“Why aren’t you spinning, 457?”

The question came from a very small, wiry man who hunched over like a sloth, an animal 457 had no idea even existed.

“Wash,” said 457, extending her hands hesitantly. Raw grooves oozed with blood in her snowy fingers, and the taskmaster, being a somewhat educated man, wondered how many cells were in her blood.

“Get back to work, then,” he said drily.

Despite the fact that her fair face seemed it could not grow any whiter,

it certainly did.  Blood drained from her cheeks, and she sat down at the wheel.

Her foot touched the pedal, the wheel began to spin, and 457 began to cry.

“What’s wrong?” The sloth man snapped. If evolution was not such a fairy tale, he very well have been the missing link.

As blood continued to ooze from her tender hands, she pointed to the well.

“What?”

She struggled between sobs.

“Answer me!”

“The thread’s in the well!”

His face grew hot with realization, and he glanced at the wheel.

“Why, you naughty wretch!” he exclaimed, and pondered what to do.

“Well,” he said finally, “you will have to take a swim.” As clearly had no idea what a swim was, he rephrased: “Go get it.”

Seeing as there was no escape, and that she had done something terribly rash, the poor girl meekly walked up to the well and slowly entered its mouth. However, both the taskmaster knew and 457 knew that she did not know how to stay afloat in the water, and with tears in her eyes, the girl went sinking down.

End of Part One

(Note that the picture above is from http://www.mamalisa.com)

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And here I am again.

Don’t worry, you won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon.

You see, I, the author, do not consider myself a control freak. But  everything else does. For example, my computer. I tell it what to do, and it does it. That’s always the way we’ve always handled things. Spell-check thinks that it’s my boss, but I have some unexpected hum-dingers for it  (see the hyphenated word underlined in red above). The actresses (Sleeping Beauty Doll and Cinderella Doll) never deny that they are plopped in front of screen everyday and shot at, with a camera. Photo shoots are very common here. But the most rebellious of all my subjects, that I tyrannize and who I am tyrannized by, is this story.

Let me explain, and I’ll you’ll soon understand.

Part 1 of Ashenpuddle begins very well. Cinderella Doll explains in perfect past tense how her life as a princess began, and what terribly frightening things happened after that.

As things seem to be swimming along, Cinderella Doll suddenly decides to take an exotic vacation somewhere, just as we are approaching Part 2 of the story. “Alright,” I tell her, “We don’t need you, we’ll use the Sleeping Beauty Doll. And don’t think of coming back any time soon, because we don’t need you anyway. Hmmp!” That was taken care of. But as I was working on bending Part 2 to do my will, it twisted back to its own shape, and slapped me in the face.

“I want to be in present tense!” It said. What can I do when my story demands a change of tense? I must change it properly, isn’t that so? So that’s what I did, or what  I thought I did, and then, not even at Part 3 yet, the story rebels again.

“We can’t stay in present tense forever?” it whines.

I don’t listen to it anymore. “Alrighty!’ I say, “I’ll take over from here!”

Weren’t you warned that the author of this blog is a control freak? Maybe so, but this story needs to learn some manners.

So, without further ado, here is a tamed version of

Ashenpuddle: Escape from the Wicked Knight, Part 13

I don’t suppose anyone of us here can imagine being stuck in a cold blue box with a murderous witch-queen running about. For Daisy, however, imagination was currently unnecessary. It was real, the witch-queen-running-about sort of rot, and she was scared and crying. She was in such an emotional state that she didn’t even finish the last sentence in Ashenpuddle Part 12.

In the vast blue distance, Daisy heard the pattering of heels, and the intakes of breath. Surely the horrible woman was coming nearer, and she herself was stuck, trying to get a grip on her sensitive emotions.

“I can hear you, little girl,” a whisper bounced in the nothingness.

“No you can’t!” Ashenpuddle whimpered, “go away!”

“the more you talk the faster I can find you!”

“Then I won’t say anything!”

“Here I am!”

The white, icy woman now stood behind her, looking as if she was out of breath.

“I was, uh, just leaving,” Daisy stammered, getting up.

“Where will you go?” Snow White laughed,  “over there?” She gestured to the right of the empty blue space that was everywhere.

“Yes, actually.” Daisy started walking.

“You know that you can’t hide from me in this box, don’t you? There’s nowhere to hide, there aren’t even any hills.”

Once again, Daisy burst into sobs. “Whatever do you want with me?” she asked, “you used to be so nice to Charming and myself!’

“Tut, tut, you’re so unobservant!” Snow White exclaimed impatiently, “you know what I want, I want your heart!’

“But you can’t have it! You can’t, you can’t!” Daisy squeaked.

‘Well, you know what I was thinking? I was thinking that if I had your heart, I wouldn’t know what to do with it, so I thought that maybe I could banish you to a forest that nobody likes, and then my problems will be solved.”

“Why would you want to banish me? I’ve always been kind to you!” More tears.

“You’re pretty. The only woman I’ve seen that’s prettier than me, so I must be rid of you.”

“What…what about Grimhilde?!”

“I’ve never thought that crow was particularly attractive, but then everyone has their own opinions, of course.”

“No! She used to be evil, then she is locked up in the cage,and…”

“Grimmy used to be a very pretty girl. But after locking her up in a cage for a few years, that soon wore off. Besides, why did people think she was pretty when she did that crow thing? Honestly, bird hybrids give me the shudders.”

“But where am I?”

“In a box.”

“No, I mean, where am I? Have you seen the sky recently? Fish swimming about everywhere!”

“Really, how things have changed! I haven’t ventured out of doors for a few decades. My complexion can’t handle it, you realize.”

Daisy suddenly noticed that Snow White was so fair, even sunblock couldn’t keep her from crisping in window light. After thinking that, Daisy then proceeded to tell Snow White her whole life story, hoping that the selfish woman would give help. Snow White wasn’t a very good listener–as she spoke, the devious woman began to sing soprano scales and fly her hands everywhere so daintily.

When Daisy had finally finished, Snow White shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, you know that I am notorious for being a very wicked person, so I couldn’t care a prick about whatever you just said, even if I wanted to. I stopped listening somewhere after you burst into tears. Stop it now, no need for reenactments. Now I shall have to banish you, so I’ll call up to that terrible woodsman, and he’ll dump us out of here. Don’t cry anymore, I shan’t give you a Kleenex.”

As it happens, the owner, producer, photographer, etc., and I think that this an excellent way to end Part 13. There are a lot more exciting things about to happen in part 14 than Daisy robbing Snow White of Kleenex, or the woodsman dropping the two ladies out of the box onto the floor, so be sure to subscribe by email to stay tuned.

And there you have it.

Finis until later.

Ashenpuddle: Escape from the Wicked Knight ~Part 13~

Ashenpuddle ~Part 10~

ashenpuddle 10

 

And that’s up to the point where I am now.

I haven’t got much time to write at the moment, as I am about to be killed…

I am back.

Tears are streaming down my face, onto this little notebook that I have been keeping.

I should be thankful that I am alive (and I am thankful!).

Who knows how long I will be alive, though?

You see, this is what happened: After Grimhilde begged me to leave, and I refused, the lights flickered in the dark prison, and then a voice screamed out, and I knew whose voice it was.

And it couldn’t be. But it was! Let me tell you what happened:

“Kill her!” Snow White screamed.

I ran, but it was no use. In a moment I was caught up by a guard.

“NO, Snow White!” I shouted, “It is I, Daisy!”

Snow White stopped the guard from killing me, and now I am here, in this cold, wet, dungeon, across from Grimhilde, I think.

I have called out to her once, and she did not answer.

Maybe I will call to her again once I stop crying.

If I ever do.

What is happening?

Snow White is supposed to be such  a lovely maiden!

After all, she is Charming’s cousin by marriage.

~Ashenpuddle: Part 6~

ashenpuddle part 6

Once I had made my appearance known, I didn’t know what to say. There was so much I could say, and so much I didn’t know how to say.

He looked at me in a little confusion and a little bit of snide.

“Can,” I said, coughing from the hot smoke, “Can you stop for a moment?”

“No,” he replied, not blinking or changing his stare.

Then it all came. That’s what happens when you’re a woman, I think. Woman can travail under heavy burdens with quiet hearts, but we must cry sometimes, to ease the pain of it. Even if nobody listens, we must cry every now in then. And so the gush of tears came like a tornado. I couldn’t stop the tears. I was so young, so naive, so childlike. And with the gush of tears came tangled words as I tried to tell him all, hoping he could help me somehow.

His face was as blank as it was before, once I had finished.

He began to get back to his work, as if he had never heard me.

“Won’t you help me?” I pleaded, the tears beginning again, “Please, please.”

No answer.

“Can’t you see the sky up there, and realize it’s not a sky at all! It’s water, and fishes and ponds and weeds. Can’t you see it?”

He finally looked over at me again, and then peered out of the window, into the above. He glanced at me oddly, and then went back to his work.

“What’s WRONG with you?” I scolded in desperation, and then felt very ashamed of my crossness.

“Nothing’s wrong with me,” he said finally. “Look, I tell you what. I feel sorry for you. Go up that path,” he gestured, “and keep on going. Before nightfall, you’ll find somewhere to sleep, someone to take care of you. You’ll feel better after food and sleep, I think.”

“But don’t you understand–”

But he didn’t understand. Back to his work again in a world I didn’t know.

Who did he work for? He said there were more people. Someone somewhere could help me, I was sure.

He wouldn’t listen to me anymore. Never had I met a man so obstinate. Finally, with sadness, I left the cabin. A bird flew to me, and sat on my shoulder. With it my journey might not seem so lonesome, I thought, but immediately after thinking it, the bird flew away.

Ashenpuddle Part 4 ~a fairy tale~

creekyo

Cold water pushed me down, and I could not get away. The harder I struggled, the tighter the creature grasped me, pulling me down into the wet abyss.

Then everything rushed at me. In my fight for life,  fish ran into my face, slipped down my dress, and nested in my hair. Weeds and dirt whirled around me and bound me so that my struggle was over. I would sink helplessly into the seemingly endless stream, and die and be eaten; which ever would come first.

And then, I was sure I was dying, for the crushing grip relaxed. Light shone on my face, and I opened my eyes. To my astonishment, I was in a forest with butterflies and rabbits. It was not like the dark forest that I was lost in, but it was a very happy place.  I could breathe too, and the water had vanished, but when I looked above at the sky I saw fish swimming between the clouds.

“Where am I?” I uttered when I had caught my breath. The place was so beautiful, it was like a picture book. It smelled like lilies and roses, and birds landed in my hair.

I wandered further into a seemingly magical forest. I saw a brook  similar to the one I had fallen into, twinkling beside me.The birds flew off my head and dipped into the shining water, all the while chirping a song.

“I’m dreaming, I think,” I whispered. Does and yearlings walked up next to me and nestled their noses in my hands. And then I heard it again. A faint tinkling, like a glass hammer, so soft in the distance. I walked towards the sound, and the animals followed me. I continued walking until I saw a  small, discrete cabin far in the woods. Smoke puffed out of the cottage, and I heard it again…the hammering.

Ashenpuddle The Sequel: Escape From The Wicked Knight: Part 2

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                 I had fallen asleep when it happened, so I do not know how it began. But, when I awoke there was screaming, and I realized there were bandits attacking the carriage.  Within moments of my realizing this, the horses shrieked, and the coach tipped. All the doors burst opens, and the robbers were everywhere like little ants in their bed.

“Listen!” Charming whispered in my ear so quickly. He grasped my hand, and continued. But before he could finish, the arrows were facing in the coach door, and a gruff voice said, “Take the passengers out!”

I stared at Charming’s distraught face with worry, and as a robber began pulling us out, and our hands released from each other’s grip.

Horses galloped away, and when I stood outside the carriage, Charming was gone. Only a few robbers remained.

Our trunks were on the forest floor, opened and gone through. A robber came and ripped the pearl necklace from my neck, and then, after they had taken all they wanted, I was left alone with the broken carriage, in the dark forest.

It had all happened so suddenly, I did not know what to do. I collapsed on the earthen floor, not caring about the mud that soiled my dress, and started to cry.

The sun had gone down by the time my eyes had dried. I walked to the carriage, and slept inside.