Yay a blogfest! Emily White is hosting a fairy tale blogfest today, which is awesome. Of course this one is also a contest, but the blogfest theme was so awesome this time I couldn't pass it up regardless of the awesome prizes.
Awesome. (I felt like I needed one more...)
Write in no more than 1000 words a story based on a fairy tale in a genre OTHER than fantasy. You can do horror, suspense, sci-fi, thriller, etc. (romance is okay, but you need to add another genre with it, otherwise you'll just end up with a fantasy romance), and the plot has to be closely related to the original tale.
All entries must be posted on August 30th. Emily will then pick her favorite five, post the links and everyone will have a week to vote.
So here we go with my entry, currently untitled. As usual, this is a rough draft.
I hunt her like a wolf: catch her scent, trail after her. It’s not hard if you know what signs to look for: murders, deaths, disappearances.
Years I’ve tracked and now I’ve found her family. Her nest. Each one like her. Each one as much of a monster, though none appear as innocent.
“Greetings sir,” she says to the shopkeeper. She removes her hood before she closes the door behind her, nothing more than a child on an errand.
I watch from the shadows of the alley. She won’t hurt the shopkeeper. Not now, anyway. She has to keep up her disguise and play the human.
I sink further into the shadows. If I hurry, I’ll have enough time to make it to her nest before she returns.
The forest is peaceful, soothing. In the distance is the thunk thunk thunk of someone cutting wood.
This is another trick of her and her kind. No one would suspect that such peace could lead to such horror.
They make their home in a cottage in the woods. More a shack really, nothing like the ruined castles of the old days.
I must be stealthy. If one were to find me, I could not escape. You cannot outrun them, even with their iron shod shoes. This I know firsthand. Like grief, and sorrow. And guilt.
I peek through the windows but it’s quiet inside. Empty.
The door squeals as I enter and the sound raises the hair on my neck. The house is decorated as a normal habitat: a kitchen table holds a bowl of red apples, the dining room shares space with a bookshelf. There’s a single bedroom with the bed neatly made. I run my hand across the bedspread and the cloying scent of blood settles across me like lace drapes in a breeze.
My only warning is the creak of a floorboard behind me. I leap over the bed and tumble to the ground as an iron spike stabs through the space I had just inhabited.
It’s an old woman. She could be serving cookies to grandchildren if it weren’t for the iron spike in her hand and the cap on her head that drips with blood. The blood trails down her cheeks, following her wrinkles down to her lips where she licks it before she grins at me, her teeth sharp and rotten.
She shrieks and leaps at me over the bed, her iron spike held high. But I have a spike of my own and I lunge at her, my knife catching her throat. Her blood pours down over me in a hot rain and I yank my knife free. She stumbles, her hand to her throat, before she falls onto the bed. Her blood soaks into the cover and sheets.
My breath comes fast and echoes in the still room. I stand over her. I should feel something, excitement or relief that my vengeance has finally come to pass, but all I feel is empty. No matter how many monsters I kill, Clara will never return. Death doesn’t beget life, it only begets more death.
A sharp pain bursts in my side and I look down to find an iron spike erupting from my skin. There’s a jerk and the spike slides out. I stumble to sit on the bed and turn to find her, the young one, the child, with the red hood pulled over her blonde hair.
She has triumph in her eyes until her gaze is drawn to the body of the old woman, dead on the bed beside me.
“Grandmother!” she shrieks. Rage and shock spread across her features. Her teeth grow and sharpen like the old woman’s.
I spit out blood.
“My,” I cough. “What big teeth you have.”
“The better to eat you with!” she screams and jumps at me, the iron spike held before her. She’s faster than the old one, and though I raise my knife I’m not fast enough to reach her throat. Instead it sinks into her stomach and she howls. I release the knife and grab onto her throat, my fingers catching the back of the red hood. Where my fingers squeeze, the hood seeps blood until it runs down my hands in red rivers.
She struggles like a wildcat and drops the spike to pull at my hands, but the blood makes her fingers slip and she can’t get a firm grip. With my knees I push against her stomach and manage to twist us around until I am atop, squeezing her throat, wringing the life from her.
Behind us the door slams open. I look over my shoulder and see a man with an axe and a rifle pointed at us. He takes in the scene and disgust crosses his features.
“Wait,” I say and release my grip from the monster to hold my hands before me. They are covered in blood and the child-monster takes a deep breath. “This isn’t what it looks like.”
“He’s killed my grandma!” the monster shouts below me.
I turn and pull the knife from her gut and lunge for her throat but there’s a loud crack and something slides into my back. A burning slips through me and the knife falls from my grip, though I try to make my fingers tighten.
There is a hole in my chest. My blood flows down my body onto the child monster and she smiles, her teeth sharp, as her red cape and hood drink up my blood.
She pushes me and I fall to the floor. I can’t seem to catch my breath.
The man rushes to the girl and she hugs him, the perfect image of a terrified child. He comforts her but does not see her reach for her iron spike, does not see her tears are false and her teeth are long.
“Monster!” I manage to utter but the word emerges as a whisper. I try to pull in more air but there is none. Instead my vision goes black and there is a gasp from the man who had saved her.
I hear a wet squelching noise. Everything around me fades and she begins to sing a song.
“So much blood, my cap shall never be dry.”
So there you have it! I will be making my rounds to as many of the other entries as I can hit today. I'm excited to see what everyone wrote.