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 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)

A Brief Interlude ~The Author Strikes Again~ Ashenpuddle

Hehe.

You weren’t expecting me, were you?

Well, here I am. Those of you who have been keeping up with the story, and especially those of you who haven’t, are probably baffled over Ashenpuddle Part 12. 

Yes, it was confusing, and all that I want to do now is to clear things up a bit.

Let’s start then:

1) If you recall, Ashenpuddle had been thrown in jail by Snow White, he seems to be very evil. The wicked Grimhilde who is also in jail, seems not to be so evil after all

2)Ashenpuddle had been writing in past tense for some time until part 10  , when she suddenly changed the story to present tense.

3) Ashenpuddle still is very coy about the fact that she is married to a prince (Prince Charming). She thinks that she is very unworthy, and she gives a rather embarrassing entry in her journal in part 11, afraid that by doodling her husband’s name, and adding “plus wife” (e.g. Charming Wife) she over-stepped her bounds as a simple and humble wife by accidentally calling herself charming.

4) Ash. does very well at confusing us all, especially when the story twists, and she claims that her comrade prisoner turns into a massive crow, and opens the lock with her beak. This raises a lot of questions, all of which I will not address now. The most interesting thing to note, however, is that Grimhilde is usually portrayed with a crow, not as a crow/human transformer.

5)Ash. is caught by Snow White.

6) Snow White wants Ash.’s heart.

7) A woodsman comes with a box to carry her heart in (note that the woodsman is not hesitant with his box as many fairy tale fans may have supposed.)

8) The woodsman tells Ash. to get in the box, to which Ash. replies she would not fit.

9) THE WOODSMAN DROPS THE BOX as Snow White rushes at Ash.

10)Snow White trips over the box and disappears.

11) Ash. has an original idea and decides that if SHE jumped in the box too, she might be able to get home.

12)And things didn’t happen so well.

Thank you for bearing with me through all this…

if you’re a brave reader, you won’t desert me now.

 

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 9~

ashenpuddle 9

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 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.

Raunzel part 4

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Oh, and, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” If the fall was not painful enough, it was Rapunzel’s extremely loud screaming, that sounded like this–

*”AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“What’s the matter,” she finally called out in a normal voice, “ARE YOU HURT?”

“NO,” replied Bob a little peevishly, “I do this ALL the time.”

“You live in a tower too?” Rapunzel asked.

Undercover, undercover. He was undercover, must not blow cover.

“Errr, no, no, not REALLY.”

rupunzel 039

Rapunzel’s voice was quite strong. She managed to carry very well from the top of the tower.

“I often think it would be wonderful to live like the little people that pass by–they really ARE as little as ants, you know! Anyway, I always have wondered what it would be like to be…free! Is it wonderful?’

“Umm, ummhmmm,” was the plumber’s response. He was rather in a bit of pain, as his fall had not gone quite according to plan. It was dark now, and the clouds were rolling by, preparing a storm. He had to finish tomorrow, perhaps at ten o’clock!

“Will you come back and see me again? Perhaps tomorrow?” Rapunzel called.

Brilliant woman, he thought, she knew just what I was thinking!

Yes,” he answered, “tomorrow at ten o’clock!”

“Oh, you are so kind!” she called back to him. When he left, he whistled to himself, “Just doin’ my job, ma’am, just fixin’ the pipes, fixin’ the pipes!”

_______

*scream this aloud for desired affect