A Broken Fairy Tale

Submitted into Contest #88 in response to: Write a fairy tale about an outsider trying to fit in.... view prompt

20 comments

Fantasy Fiction

The dark sky screams with swooshes, falling stardust, and an intruding aurora. Regret rags my soul in pieces as I writhe to escape time’s choking hold. I fall on my face on the cobbled ground, look up to the starlit castle uphill, and realize that the kingdom is torn between realms. 

Time’s invisible rope binds my hands. I feel I’m going still with the world as some wicked force presses upon me. I’m left tied by my own mistakes, my own foolishness, my outrageous compassion… 

I shouldn’t have trusted anyone because trusting is giving up your own will.  

Damn them whose fault it is that we’re here damned. Fabian was supposed to come to the rescue as they all do, and I had allowed myself to be a fool again and trust him the fate of this wretched, fantastical world. But they never come. They charm you once in the naiveness of the first sight. But they leave you there to rot yourself down in your own inflicted patience. 

Fabian wasn’t supposed to leave me stranded again. Christopher wasn’t supposed to try to murder me.

No one in either realm knows how to go along with what’s supposed to be.

I wasn’t supposed to be a witch. 

The skies had silenced their anger and ceased their tears, turning a clear cerulean tone. I had calmed my doubts and turned a cruel shade of pink. I had been ready with my white dress. I had walked down the aisle. A peach-lip smile had hung from my childish joy. We had spoken our oaths, mere assurances of promises already made years ago. At least, I had made those promises. I had stood by my word; I had waited. I gave him love, time, space…I had given him everything he took from me that first day we met, but he never returned it. But at last, we kissed, wedded. The usual celebrations followed, bursting with giggles and champagne. The night was drawing in, whispering stars to the sky. He then took my hand and led me away from the outdoor party, down the hill. 

 The river played there like a small child, strong in its current but never harming. Oh, but that’s what I thought when I saw it. A bridge passed over it, and on the other side of the river, a dark forest ran for miles and miles on end until it vanished from your sight. 

 “My love,” he said as he kissed my hand.

 “Yes?” I asked. My heart, as the runaway it was, beat faster every second, trying to break free from my chest.

 “You make a perfect little wife. I wonder, though...” The tone had changed. My heartbeat had stopped. My eyes had widened in terror.

I had known he had crimes embedded in his past. I had known he had deceived others. I had known that the source of his wealth came from frauds. I had known all of this. I should’ve known that asking him to stop would be too late once married.

Even the first time I saw him was too late when I saw him playing the arts of trickery.

He was supposed to go straight. 

He was supposed to tell me he’d stop when I posed the question as gracefully as I could. 

He pulled me by the hair, didn’t even look at my pleading stare, and pushed me down to the river’s strong current. I kicked and gasped and almost drowned. He crushed my heart. And when I had gone under the bridge, I had already disappeared from his world. 

 A force pulled me downward. I was lost; my soul was bleeding. All I had ever wanted was someone who would love me and save me …from my own desire of feeling helpless. A perfect good girl I was…legs crossed at the right time; chin up at the right height; strength hiding the entire day; a quiet storm roaring in whispers all night. I should’ve known it would drag me to my doom. Pleasing all around me should’ve never been my person’s work. No one ever allowed me to go astray from the definition of a good girl in a good world. But there’s no such thing as a good world. I had tried to squeeze my way into crowds gracefully, but I was always stepped on. I had tried to be like all those other girls even though I had once had a free heart. But it was pierced through by reproach, and so it turned to another of those unambitious hearts that men played with like puppeteers.  

 All I had ever wanted was…nothing. So I faded in the hoax I had thrown myself into. 

 I faded from that world and came crashing to this one, for I was no longer in water as I sank. I was falling in blackness—I almost lost myself in that fall—when I crashed to the ground, cursed the nearest thing, and stood. I thought no part of me was alive when I saw the cherry blossom trees, the pink sky, and the fairy tale castle on the horizon. 

“Are you lost, dear?” something sang. I turned to see who it was but saw no one. My tangled thoughts could not bear the vortex of another aching truth, and while I bit my mouth to stop myself from screaming, I saw it. 

A bird was talking to me.

It wouldn’t require the wittiest of minds to catch the thread and understand what was happening.

My breathing trembled in the wake of this discovery of another ugly truth.

I was crashed into a fairy tale.

The bird, a golden robin, stood looking at me in awe. 

“I’m Eleanor,” I said, caution haunting my voice.

“Nice to meet you, Eleanor. Let me just say you look like a princess. We already live in the happily-after-ever, but you could go and greet Prince Stephen and Princess Felicia.”

“Umm, thank you. I’ll find my way. It’s not too far.” The golden robin opened its peak in surprise—as if offended. 

And I didn’t want to be what I had been back at…home. I didn’t want to be a princess anymore. 

Disappointment with myself devoured me as I walked along the sunlit grove toward the castle. I knew I had to hide from the person I had become. I would have to forget everything I had lived, but the truth is everything still burns in my eyes. In the curtains of my sorrows—the ghosts that would always haunt me—, I saw him. 

Love at first sight only brings ruin upon you.

So I decided to hate him, but I had never been taught how to hate.  

Something familiar about the way he walked toward me made my spine shiver. He seemed like another plebeian. I was almost sure I already knew him as he drew closer. He had big brown eyes and tan skin. His grayish-brown hair flew with the wind. My pale skin must have blushed, but I was trying to escape from the inconveniences of being taught nothing but to be happy when your prince arrived. I had been taught nothing but that.

“Are you from the surrounding kingdoms?” he asked in an unexpected kindness.

“No,” I said.

“I feel like I know you from somewhere,” he said, eyeing me with suspicion.

I kept on walking leaving parts of myself scattered behind, but still, sadness consumed me. I wouldn’t let it show, though. I would never let anything show again. 

I stared at him, my memories almost exploding in realization. Beside me, I found a missing boy. My companion in every scheme; my laugh in every joke; my best friend. He had gone missing near a river. 

The exact same damn river. 

This wasn't the first time.

“What did you do?” he said.

“What did I do? I did nothing. Are you…Fabian?” But I soon realized what I had done. 

The trees on my side lay dead on the ground as if someone had uprooted them. 

“I didn’t mean that—I…” But I hushed with the wind and greeted my best friend with my eyes. I allowed them to scream everything at him, and his eyes just were a supernova of thoughts. 

He smiled at me.

“How’d you do that?”

“No idea. I was heading toward the castle. Maybe they’ll figure it out.”

We were now standing before the stairs that led to the stone castle at the very top. Ivy climbed around it, and I soon knew what would become of me if I were to go. My white dress had disappeared and I was wearing a black robe. I couldn’t help thinking this happened to me because of my reluctance to be a princess again. I had bled already from the stabbing truth of what I had been, and now I had sworn to become the truth. Become my own truth. 

I would never fit in the fairy tale. 

I didn’t want to be a princess, but I didn’t want to be the witch. I was made a witch. All I had wanted was to keep from falling into another crime like loving Christopher. 

The rest of what came thundered the kingdom like an explosion from the sky—

An enchantment was done from the top of the stairs. A scepter was held to the sky under Orion’s invisible constellation in daylight. Princess Felicia rolled down the stairs and laid dead some feet before us, and Prince Stephen came rushing down. 

The sky exploded.

Felicia must have had cast the enchantment against…me.

Her hands still held the scepter, but she laid feet from us, and Stephen would arrive first. 

Oh, how they fitted now in the happily-ever-after couple.

We were all panting now though every breath burned our lungs. Every movement hurt. Every feeling pierced more. 

“It was the last witch’s scepter,” Fabian whispered to me, taking my hands in his. “It’s got the shape of the Orion constellation because it must be used under it. Felicia shouldn’t have ever used it. But you can still save her and us.” I could see talking was killing him, his face haggard with exhaustion. “It was used wrongly, so it will send the kingdom to its doom. Time will devour it. It will send the kingdom to our world, Eleanor, and once it makes the leap between realms, it’s going to destroy itself. This is it.” I couldn’t say anything. I thought nothing I ever said would set things right. “I’ll bring it to you.”

Those words still echo in my mind as broken promises echo in my heart…

I shed a tear after time takes hold of me, taking me to relive everything that has happened. I wasn’t supposed to be a witch. I fear for Fabian, but he never should have trusted me with the kingdom's fate, and I never should have trusted him. I keep writhing under the explosion of the sky—half of the castle is already in a blinding dark. I can’t see Fabian anywhere, but as I see Stephen mourning over his love, I descry his silhouette on the castle’s stairs.

He can’t move.

I start screaming, start writhing harder. I start wrestling with the ground, never knowing that pushing myself to gravity’s opposite could be so hard. I dragged myself toward where Fabian was. I dragged myself, and my fears, and my past self, and my mistakes, and my foolishness.

He was almost dead on the floor.

I kissed his cheek, grabbed the scepter, and continued dragging myself toward the blinding darkness…home. None of them would be able to go there without being killed.

I wasn’t even sure it would work, and Orion’s constellation was almost on the dark side.

I hold the scepter toward it, think about nothing but reversing time, and as a blinding light spills over the kingdom, I realize I was already on the dark side.

Gosh, I do hope I return to the other side of the river.

Gosh, I—


April 10, 2021 00:43

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20 comments

Claudia Morgan
14:31 Apr 17, 2021

Creative and magical. Love it!

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Nadya Garza
14:33 Apr 17, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Claudia Morgan
14:34 Apr 17, 2021

No problem!

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Lucy Villanueva
17:24 Apr 14, 2021

I love your story, very creative!

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Nadya Garza
22:25 Apr 14, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Liliana Garza
14:52 Apr 14, 2021

Most amazing story ever, this should win!!

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Nadya Garza
22:26 Apr 14, 2021

Aww, thank you!

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Nicole Estrada
14:49 Apr 14, 2021

I love your story!!

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Nadya Garza
22:26 Apr 14, 2021

Thanks!

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12:07 Apr 14, 2021

I like how you pack so much vivid imagery into such a compact space. What's left out forces you to imagine the rest. Treachery is always with us...even in fairy land.

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Nadya Garza
22:26 Apr 14, 2021

Yes! Treachery certainly always is with us. Thank you so much!

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Ed .
00:38 Apr 26, 2021

You are such an amazing writer! Such a good story. Keep it up!

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Nadya Garza
01:00 Apr 26, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Ed .
01:08 Apr 26, 2021

your welcome!

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Angel {Readsy}
03:07 Apr 28, 2021

I am nightingale I read and sing your stories in the flowering garden and all birds, firefly, fairy and flowers are smiling and very thankful to you for writing such an excellent story.

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Nadya Garza
11:15 Apr 28, 2021

Thank you for reading!

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Arwen Dove
20:28 Apr 25, 2021

This is such an amazing story! You had me hooked from the very first one all the way to the end. I love the creativity in this story, this would be something I'd like to read as a novel. Well Done!

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Arwen Dove
21:45 Apr 25, 2021

I also loved your description of 'Time’s invisible rope binds my hands.' Very creative!

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Nadya Garza
23:24 Apr 25, 2021

I’m so happy you liked it! Thank you so much for reading and for commenting!!

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Arwen Dove
00:21 Apr 26, 2021

No problem! I enjoyed it a lot!

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