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!)

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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 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.

Ashenpuddle ~Part 9~

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I heard it again.
The scream of complete terror and agony.
I love birds.
And gardens.
Once, however, I heard the shrill, forced scream of a bird behind me. I think it was the scream of a large, black crow. When I had turned to look into its eyes, I had seen nothing but blackness.
Crows do disturb me.
The scream I heard in the castle was like the bird’s. It sounded like a crow being hurt, cawing or shrieking in misery.
I whirled around in the pitch blackness.
Just as I turned around, I felt something cold and bare grasp at my ankle. Unearthly, it was. The hand. It belonged to the surreal world I was prisoner in.
The grasp was like the cold, slimy thing that had pulled me down into this wonderland.

I did the shrieking this time.

“Don’t, don’t do that!” a voice gasped.
I stopped. The hand still held me, but its grip had relaxed.
“Who are you, where are you?”
“Please, please come closer.”
I didn’t know where “closer” was.
“Right…over…here.” The hand tugged me north.
I felt my body brush against iron bars.
“I’m in a prison,” I breathed.
The crow wailed.
“Who are you?”
There was a sniffling sound, much like the sniveling of a child. The voice belonged to a woman.
“I am Grimhilde,” the voice said.
I stepped back, resisting the struggle of the hand. Queen Grimhilde! She was a wicked queen! Why was she was in this feverish world? Queen Grimhilde the stepmother of Snow White, the practicer of dead magic, and the mixer of poisons!
It should have been obvious to me that the castle was hers. It was that way above ground, but what was I to expect underwater? To see her? Impossible.
“What have you done? Get me out of this place! Get me out! You’ve sent me to this underground abyss! What have you done with Charming?! Get me out!”
“Shhh!” hissed the woman, “keep your voice down or they’ll find you and kill you!”
“What do you mean?” my eyes puddled and tears ran down my cheeks; finally they were free!
“Snow White!”
“What?”
The woman gasped after saying her name, like she had just wished a curse.
“What?”
“Do you not know of that–” her voice lowered until it crawled on the floor, “have you not heard of the queen of this castle?”
I did not answer.
“She will kill you like she is killing me,” the voice pleaded after I did not answer, “You must go! Go now! Quickly!”
“What are you speaking of?” I exclaimed, “Snow White is a dear friend of–”
Suddenly, the room lit up.
My eyes blinked with the shock of it.
My body reeled at the voice: “Kill her!” it screamed.
I knew that voice far too well.

Ashenpuddle ~Part 7~

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I am not going to tarry. I tarry with words, I have found. They all fall out of my mind onto the paper, mingled with my troubled thoughts. They stumble into array, and stray from the point.
I will get to the point.
The point is that I walked for a while, all alone of course. Alone with my thoughts. That is beautiful and that is terrifying.
My thoughts scare me. They take advantage of me when I am alone. They wish to frighten me. And so they did then, but after walking in the dark (for there were no stars) I came to a high hill. There was no way around it, and if there was I would not have gone, for the path led straight up.
I walked straight up it, of course.
Suddenly, I felt so cold.
I walked more.
Then I saw it; it was dark and beautiful. A castle! In the distance it stretched itself out on the hill like a lioness, its stone walls conforming to the curves of the hill.
There was no other place around save the castle, and who knows how long I would have walked until I found other civilization! So, the castle was my choice, my only choice, and I walked tiredly to its doors.
My hands hesitated before I fingered the iron knocker on the gate, and sounded one great bang throughout the land. It was a difficult thing for me to lift the heavy knocker, so it slipped out of my hand the moment I lifted it an inch. That’s what created the incredible bang.
The doors did not open.