Mother Hulda (Part Three)

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I’m afraid that you won’t believe me, but I shall have to tell you anyway.

You’d probably find it easier to believe that 457 was a mermaid, or that the well was a giant jug of liquor, or that the moon is made of cheese before you believe that 457 didn’t die.

Because she didn’t.

Naturally, the ugly task master found that she was drowning and saved her, but I’m afraid that when he came back and saw her pale form sinking in the abyss, that he didn’t care at all.

So, 457 learned how to swim, then? I’m afraid not.

What happened is so unusual, that I thought about changing the story a little bit. Twisting reality with the lie of Queen Queensbury’s attractive son who decided to tour the dress factory and found the poor 457 could have been more appealing. But I’m afraid that the true story is much more…riveting. Well, I don’t know how to…well, enough of this prattle! 457 turned into a frog!

There’s no way around it! 457 was looking at herself in the water, wondering how it was that she could breathe under water and feel the sun and so forth, when it started raining! Imagine that! Raining 1000 feet into a well! But it was, and the unfortunate girl caught a glimpse of herself in a raindrop…what a fright she had! She had always been a little slimy and dirty, but she had NEVER been green! That was certainly a first. And her pale little nose now that once stuck up like a bent wire was just two holes now. And my! How bumpy she was. I’m afraid 457 spoiled it for you…but she wasn’t a frog, exactly…she was a toad!

Now, it wasn’t such a bad thing to be a toad, for 457. Firstly, because she didn’t know what a toad was, and secondly, because she could move around easier than when she had been all stiff and skinny.

Just as 457 was admiring her new appearance (and forgetting all about her mission of finding the thread), she heard a voice:

    Shake me, toad of the world above,

    Shake me of this heavy load.

    I know you’ve got many things to do,

  but my burden’s so heavy, I need a

    helper or two!

  TO BE CONTINUED…

Mother Hulda (Part Two)

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Sinking, kicking, dying. A young girl had jumped into the mouth of a deep well that seemed to have no bottom. For a spool of thread, the girl was hanging onto life by a thread, and if not for her bleeding fingers, nothing would have ever gone awry.

And there was another problem.

Drowning beneath gallons of water, slave 457 in the ownership of Queen Queensbury could breathe. Which makes thing quite technical, for if she could breathe whilst drowning,

was she even drowning at all?

To make things even more complicated, to be drowning there must be water. But no water surrounded 457, and she was at the bottom of a very full well.

She must be dead!

In fact, that seemed most probable, for a sun, a sun shined on her and forced her eyes shut. Something that felt quite eerie to 457, called the wind, tickled her all over.

And then there was a voice, and 457 quickly realized that she was still a slave.

(Note that the featured image is from http://topillustrations.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/household-stories-by-grimms-illustrated-by-walter-crane/ Stay tuned for part 3 next Thursday!)

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)

Ashenpuddle: Escape from the Wicked Knight {the last chapter}

The author of this blog has decided to end Ashenpuddle: Escape From The Wicked Knight right here and now in this post. That’s the power or writing literature: sometimes you have the {rare} opportunity to do what you want with the story.

As of now, Ashenpuddle is:

1. Motion sick. Someone has been moving the box around.

2.Well, we won’t go there.

And the woodsman is carrying the little box to:

3. A knight. Be prepared to be swept off your feet.

Keen readers will soon realize that we’ve seen this knight before. In fact, does blacksmith come to mind?

The woodsman tosses the box in front of the knight’s feet. “Mwaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” the knight exclaims.

“How much?” asks the woodsman.

The knight smirks and shakes the box upside down. Ashenpuddle and Snow White fall out. The knight undoes the diamond necklace from Snow White’s snowy neck, and hands it to the woodsman.

“I could have done that meself,” says the woodsman.

“Be thankful you’re leaving with your head,” retorts the knight.

The woodsman scowls.

“Why!” shouts Daisy with a start, “YOU’RE the, you’re the–”

“The dirty blacksmith? Why yes.”

“But you’re not dirty.”

“‘No, I shouldn’t think so.”

“You rather look like royalty.”

“Yes, I am. Aren’t I, Snowy?” he pointed to Snow White.

“Well, I never–”

“Tsst. I suppose that everyone–besides the woodsman, that is, is wondering what is going on?”

Nods.

“Alright then. Where shall I begin? Oh yes. I am terribly evil. Quite. And you’re in a different sort of universe…right?”

“Right.”

“Wrong.”

“Wrong?” Ashenpuddle burst into tears, “Why, why what do you mean, ‘wrong’?!”

“You are in, as we know it, planet earth.”

“No…no, but I fell into the water.”

“Yeah, and Grimhilde can turn into a bird,” Snow White added.

“And I was put inside a little box that was bigger on the inside!” (We won’t go there, either.)

“Yeah, and it seems to me that a long time ago, I was a lot more tender-hearted,” added the woodsman.

“You’re all right, but you’re not proving anything, really. Let me just explain and don’t interrupt. Where was I? Oh yes. I’m terribly wicked. My scheme is to destroy the kingdom. I’m actually an inventor…I mean, I tinker with things in my spare time, you know, after battles and all, and, well…I came up with this little experiment that turns the world upside down. It worked, actually. That’s a first.”

“But what about Charming? And I FELL into the water when everything changed.”

“To answer your two questions, one of them really being a rhetorical statement, Charming is fine. When I captured him, it was before my experiment. You being left out of the holdup was not intentional. I just thought if I got rid of the royal heir to the throne, my chances of capturing the kingdom were higher. You had better be thankful my experiment started working when you fell into the water, otherwise you would have drowned.”

“But what about Snow White? Why has she turned wicked, and Grimhilde good?”

“I wouldn’t say Grimhilde’s good,” someone muttered.

“Not everything is like the fairy tales, darling,” the knight smiled, “what if good turned bad, and bad turned good? What then? Then I could capture the kingdom, and everyone would would think me smashing.”

“I haven’t felt any change!”

“Yes, ma’am, you see that was the problem. The drug was affecting everyone but you. WELL, enough of this small talk! Let me kill your husband.”

“NOOOOOO!! PLEASE STOP!!!!!!!”

Suddenly, everything went light.

“Oh, oh,  where am–”

“Good morning, deary!” someone exclaimed.

“What, wha–?”
“Rise and shine. You’re almost late for school.”

“School?”

“Well don’t lie their yawning. Hop out of bed. Unless you’re Cinderella, and plan to marry a prince, there will be no sleeping in for you, young lady. Come on, you’ve almost out slept the clock!”

“Grandma?”

“Your breakfast is ready.”

“Grandma. If I was to marry a prince, for our honeymoon, I would want him to tell me exactly where we were going, and we shouldn’t go on the back roads.”

“Well if you marry a prince, you just do that. Well, alright, let’s go and eat.”

“Alright.”

And so little Daisy went with her Grandmother to the kitchen, and they both ate happily ever after. And if I am not mistaken, Ashenpuddle is one of her favorite fairy tales to this day.

 

 

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 12 ~escape from the wicked knight~

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Seeing as I am probably going to be locked up in this prison forever, until I die, of course; and that I may die probably the Wednesday of next week, or maybe even Thursday of next week if I have enough water, or maybe I won’t get any water and will die on Monday–I would like to say something.
I just wanted to say how utterly foolish yesterday’s entry was, about the Charming husband plus wife ordeal–honestly, it doesn’t make any sense now that I think re-think it–naturally, I cannot re-read it in the dark. Oh, how naturally unnatural this whole world is!

Anyway, now, let me tell you about my childhood.

WHERE AM I NOW? I don’t know, I don’t know, I’m crying all over the paper again, getting everything wet as usual–I’m an old dunce–well, a young one–so clumsy, but I don’t know what just happened and I am terribly frightened!

I can read what I’m writing now because it’s not dark anymore. Blue lights are swirling everywhere, spinning my heart into a

I’m
Not
Well.

it’s cold in here.
This is what happened, I tell you in truth:
I was about to tell you all about my childhood, when suddenly there was a shutter–or a flutter–like the sound a chicken makes after preening itself. Chickens aren’t half dirty creatures, and I do love birds so, but, I’ve never seen a crow so large. You see Grimhilde across the hall from me in her cell, seemed to have turned herself into a dreadfully large crow! I didn’t know it then, and her voice sounded like a crow’s anyway, but I didn’t realize that she was a crow until my cell door began to be unlocked, and then wings started getting in my face, and the crow said, “Hold on, dearie, I’ll get you out,” or something. And then, seeing it was a crow, I must have fainted, and last I knew was I was looking into Snow White’s terrible white eyes, and she clapped for a woodsman, and said, “give me her heart!”
Then the woodsman opened the lid to a beautiful box, and told me to get in, and I told him that I wouldn’t fit, and then he and Snow White got very angry, and so being she ran at me, but tripped over the box for my heart to go in that the woodsman dropped on the floor, and she disappeared!
And you know how very fond I used to be of Snow White, but now I am a little glad to be rid of her. Right after she disappeared, however, I thought that I had best leave before I disappeared, and then I double thought and decided that maybe if I jumped in the box, then I would get back home! It seemed such a novel idea, so I ran back, jumped over the box just as the woodsman, unfortunately, was picking it up, and I fell rather heavily upon the floor. Now everything is blue around me, and I am writing, wondering if I shall ever find my husband. Now I am about to cry again, and

Ashenpuddle ~Part 11~

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Oh no.

Someone is coming.

I had better put these things away…

Never mind.

I guess I’ll be stuck in this prison for ever.

Now, I suppose, it is time to reflect upon my life.

***

***

I really couldn’t think of anything to write. I am constantly thinking of Charming, perhaps I should draw a picture of him…

ash113No, no, this won’t do. It doesn’t look a thing like him. His crown I’ve drawn like a spider atop his head!

My penmanship is not exactly perfect, but my art is much worse.

I was not exactly the favorite in our home, let’s say, so I was not taught the beautiful things that young ladies learn such as painting and singing. However, I do darn socks, sew frocks, and brush locks.

I am not worthy to be my husband’s wife. Oh poor Charming, what has happened to him?

ash112

Oh dear! What have I done? I have feebly attempted to draw myself into my notebook, and have added “plus wife.” That makes “Charming husband plus wife,” which sounds terribly dreadful, for it makes me sound charming! Oh dear! I am so ashamed! I am crying now.

What if Charming was to find this? Perhaps he is free and is coming here to rescue me! But no, how could he rescue me? How could he ever find me here? But just suppose that he did. What if he saw my journal that I hold, and saw these drawings, and thought (well, he is such a dear, he will understand) that I was presumptuously arrogant–

Someone has been watching me.