Fragments of a Fairytale

* * * * *

Neverland beckons as she dreams of weightlessness and days forever young. Light as a feather she drifts out of her window in the wake of her sky-high soul, an invisible ribbon anchoring her towards bright stars winking in the indigo deep.

Yet, the higher she levitates, the more she realizes that the ocean has climbed into the sky tonight; silver fish imitate a full-bellied moon and starfish cling to the vaulted ceilings, calling for her to join the lost boys and the games they play.

Embraced by a veil of mist and salted sea-spray that paint trails of crystal on her cheeks, she’s mesmerized when all around her waves begin to crash like a monstrous thing and a mighty ship bereft of all control is pushed towards her on infinite natural force.

Upon the decks, sailors scurry back and forth in an effort to tame the wide, white sails, and she can’t help but gasp when she suddenly sees a broad-shouldered young man lose his footing — to be swept overboard.

He’s falling, falling, falling, until the unforgiving waves claim him with their siren-call, and somehow she can see the fear in his eyes as he fights —and fails— to draw his next breath of life…

Without second thought she is going to him, her body subtle, agile, made for the sea; her fins and tail swift, her scales shimmering with a myriad of hues. She’s a rush of water and air, overcome by an almost primal need to rescue him, to guide him to a place of safety.

Effortlessly, she dives into the quiet of the ocean, her eyes searching, seeking — finding. Slowly drifting down, the young man appears almost suspended in time, shadows swelling behind him as if death is already approaching to claim his fading life.

Hurrying to his side, she loops her arms around his lean frame; breathing a sigh of relief when she feels his heart hammer a steady rhythm beneath her fingertips.

Not wasting another second, she instantly angles their linked bodies towards the surface, breaking both of them free from the shadows that try to close in like a cage of hunting hands.

Calling forth an ancient magic in her being, she commands the currents to flow where she wishes to go, and upon rippling white-capped hands, they shipwreck on the shores in a tangle of tail, fins and shivering limbs.

Consciousness lost, he rests in her arms while she watches over him till daybreak dawns. Only when she can linger no longer, and starts to sing a goodbye song, do his eyelids flutter in time to catch a glimpse of her sunkissed features — before she is whisked away to where she’s expected to be…


* * * * *

Dwelling in her deep sea lair, a witch curls her scarlet lips with devilish delight. Word has reached her of a sweet, blossoming love, thrilling her heart with bad intentions. Singing her incantations, she’s ink and envy, malice and vengeance, unleashing her demons to the blowing winds above…

“How will you fare against adversity, my lovely?”


* * * * *

Savouring the sun’s warm touch, she’s still singing when her stepsisters find her, carrying chores and cut-and-bleed remarks on their tongues; as ever trying to get her down.

There’s to be a ball tonight, one exclaims. For the prince was saved, the other adds. And all unwed girls must attend, they chatter in unison, but mother will never allow you to go.

Her heart filled to the brim with his handsome, sleeping face, she almost shows the fingers of despair that tug at her heartstrings when their words ring true, oh so true, but manages to wear her indifferent mask with pride as the minutes and hours slip away till nightfall.

Watching them flaunt their pretty dresses, and enduring her stepmother’s taunting smile, its only when she’s seen their carriage drive away that she collapses onto her knees — the first of many tears sliding down her cheeks.

Overcome by sadness, she weeps quietly in the growing dark, not noticing the ribbons of light dancing all around her, until it is followed by the caring touch of a hand.

Don’t cry, dear, a sweet voice says. When have I ever let you down?

Looking up, she finds a woman dressed in glittering robes of blue. Extending her hand, her fairy-godmother makes her stand and cups her face in the most loving way.

For we know this night isn’t for all the girls. Tonight is for you, the woman smiles, and with careless flourish, twirls a long, thin wand round and round — dressing her in a beautiful gown crafted of wonders and magic.

Love is waiting, my dear child. Go to him…


* * * * *

Residing in her castle high, a queen sneers at her reflection in the mirror. You lie, she cries, when it tells her she no longer is the fairest of them all. Enraged by the impossibility, she’s vain and ruthless, obsession and jealousy, unleashing a conjuring of sinister witchcraft across the lands…

How will you fare when your time runs out, my dear?


* * * * *

Upon the guidance of candlelight, she follows the whisper of a song, the breath of a melody. The soft caress of gossamer and silk dancing across her skin, as she moves towards the music.

Tall, tall trees stretch to star-struck skies; like pale, marble pillars holding the roof to a mansion, from which ghostly couples drift in from every side, swaying to the tantalizing score. Holding each other tight, they turn across the forest floor in a spellbinding fashion; skirts flowing in every shade and smart suits belonging beside them perfectly.

Changing partners, many a dashing gentleman asks her for the next dance, but upon entering the ballroom, she’s only had eyes for a broad-shouldered young man waiting, watching from the dais.

The young man she saved; a prince so charming.

Gazes locked, they meet in the centre of the sprawling floor, and though she feels the eyes of dozens of spectators on their pair, it all seems to fade into whispers and murmurings as he says, I thought you’d never come, his eyes shining.

Gently, his warm fingers wrap around her waist and hand as he pulls her into his world, holding her against him just right, and as if they’ve never done anything else before, they move to the music together as one.

Enchanted by romance, they softly speak, and carefully exchange a touch or two; a lock of hair behind her ear, a hand against his chest. Yet, like a fiend, time counts even the supernatural away, and the feeling she can’t stay in his arms for very much longer pushes in upon her with a frenzied haste.

I have to leave, she says, making his grip upon her only stronger.

Promise me that I will see you again.

Yes, a thousand times, yes, she wishes to reply, but the clock strikes midnight and all she can do is run — run away.

Leaving only a glass slipper in her wake…


* * * * *

Haunting the dim corners of her mansion, a stepmother raises her eyebrow in irony at the cards dealt by the hands of faith. Cradling a feline devil in her arms, her heart is filled with cruelty and determination, ice and spite, unleashing her cold, vicious thoughts into the night…

How will you fare when nothing is as it seems, my child?


* * * * *

Shadows crowd in from all angles, and upon their pitch-black heels, a wolves’ cry echoes into the night. Beneath her feet, the ground turns icy cold, and the once majestic trees now become gnarled creatures, tearing viciously at her hair and gown.

Searching for a way out, her hands frantically claw her fingertips bloody, even though she knows she’s trapped when ravenous howls amplify and multiply, and the towering timbers close in on her like prison-bars.

Her back against damp bark, she whimpers when yellow eyes and canine teeth glisten ominously in wavering shafts of starlight, and a hot, hungry breath rolls across her exposed skin.

Driven by pure instinct, she blindly feels for rocks and twigs, throwing them at random — prolonging the inevitable as an agile hunter crouches… and leaps for the kill.

Eyes shut tight, she waits for the pain, the dying, the nothingness, but then tumbles backwards when hands roughly pull her out of harm’s way. Lying on her side she looks up to find a silhouette standing tall before her.

A handsome young man; a prince so daring.

Run, he shouts to her over his shoulder, as from all sides the wolves pounce with bone-shattering cries. Yet, instead of meeting the man, they suddenly encounter a beast; a monster to fight monsters.

Clearing her a path to escape, her prince becomes a tangle of fang and fur, yet still she doesn’t dare move. She doesn’t dare leave him.

Hesitating at the fringe, his gaze finds hers. Run, he growls, again. Run! Get to safety. I will find you again!

Finally, with a cry of heartache, she turns around and flees, pulled towards a menacing castle pooling in silver moonshine…


* * * * *

Ruling her kingdom from the forbidden mountain, the mistress of all evil regards the mortal displays before her. Such pain, such desperation, she purrs with relish. How wonderful..!

Cloaked in midnight, she is devious and powerful, deceit and manipulation, unleashing a slumbering curse of unchallenged might, trailing its impending shadow across the fields, valleys and streams…

How will you resist the lure of my spell, dear fool?


* * * * *

A court of thorns and roses seems to whisper and sigh as she slips through the castle’s iron gates. Intertwining, the branching vines twist into one sole direction, weaving like a pointing finger towards the weathered walls.

Pressing a hand against her aching, beating heart, she forces herself not to look behind, not to listen, wishing with every ounce of her being that there was something she could do to help.

All of a sudden, a warm sensation breaks free from her chest and shining bright in the palms of her hands is an orb of blue light; could it be an answer to her plea?

Gently bobbing up and down, the will-o’-the-wisp drifts away from her, towards the set of crumbling, stone steps, where the grand doors swing open inwards on invisible hands.

Patiently, it waits for her first cautious step, and her second, and as she comes closer, it is as if she can hear it calling out to her; follow me, follow me, follow me.

Heart pounding in her ears, she enters the forlorn corridors of a place frozen in time; her soul tethered to a purpose, a single goal. A love, calling her on.

Following the directions of her guiding light, she winds back and forth, ignoring the paintings torn to shreds on the labyrinthine walls, or the utter stillness that seems to have a voice all of its own, until her feet bring her to the place she’s been looking for.

A place of enchantments and spells; a place of broken dreams and fading hopes; all held by a ruby-red rose protected by a crystal dome.

Almost playful, the will-o’-the-wisp circles the dome, its blue-fire core sending out another message, filling her with promise; almost there, almost there, almost there.

Tentatively, she steps closer as behind the window storm-clouds gather on winds of thunder and lightning, while the thicket outside grows even more dense, embracing the castle with a web of brambling spikes.

The glass cold against her fingertips, she carefully removes the dome, leaving the rose impossibly suspended in the air. It beckons for her to touch it, sings an almost seductive hymn, and propelled by a force greater than her own, she extends her hand to it; wraps her fingers round its delicate stem — and cuts herself on its only thorn.

The world grows deadly quiet.

Then, a ringing laughter follows; wild, wicked and cruel.

Shattering into a million pieces, the dome breaks apart, raining down with murderous intent, when at the last moment the shards transform into a black-winged raven rushing past on an icy breath.

Helpless, she watches as a single drop of blood falls down, down, down, like sands in the hourglass, swiftly pulling her along with it into an ageless, velvet sleep…


* * * * *

Transcending boundaries, she’s falling, flying, floating; lost to the mists of forever. She is time and space, beyond yet ever near; a moment held eternal.

Eternal, until consciousness nips at her senses when a kiss is placed upon her lips, lingering pleasantly, and with a smile she wakes from her dreaming, embraced by the arms of a gentle young man.

“I promised I would find you again,” he whispers, her prince so charming, so daring — a love ever hers.

Total Word Count: ± 2146
Genre(s): Fiction/Fantasy/Romance

error: Content is copy protected.