He paid the witch handsomely. A staggering sum of money, almost unheard of at the time. But he was royalty, and his distant parents would barely even notice the dent in their finances. At 14 he was already the de facto ruler of the kingdom, and when he heard that the neighboring kingdom was going to have a new princess, he saw an opportunity for an alliance. And when he learned that this girl was fated to be the most beautiful in all the lands, his desire only grew. So he began searching down dark paths, pathways lined with thorns and houses built with crumbling bricks, curtains on houses sewn with the skin of monstrous creatures. And he found her, the witch known only as Maleficent. Rumor had it she was an abused fae gone wrong, a twisted nature spirit who, spurred on by vengeance, wanted nothing more than chaos and destruction.
She was, of course, hesitant to help the fresh faced boy who came for her help. She was used to visitors, young men craving unattainable love, women craving an escape from that same love, and of course, the universal lust for power, money, fame. She was growing tired of their requests, had begun to contemplate cursing them instead, watching them writhe with the bitter fruits of their own greed.
But this boy, Phillip, he was different. His ambition was dark, clever, almost admirable. She saw his dedication, saw his cold, ruthless heart, and knew that, deep down, her and him were the same.
So on a beautiful spring day, as all the kingdom gathered for the ceremony, Maleficent prepared her spell. She entered in a dramatic plume of green and black smoke, delighted in the horrified gasps of the audience, reveled in the fear of the new parents. She leaned over the cradle, saw tiny white hands and crystal blue eyes, a perfect image of attraction and beauty.
And with a few words, she doomed her to a life of misery. Aloud, she only spoke "on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger... and die."
But written into the words was a deeper spell. For the third sister, a good fae untainted by the cruelty of man, going by the name of Merriweather, had not yet cast her blessing. And Maleficent knew this, and into her spell she wrote the conditions that would allow Prince Phillip to achieve his goal. So when she left, and Merriweather cast her "blessing" that softened the cruel blow of Maleficent's spell, she was not acting out of kindness. She was, in fact, just another victim of the vile fae's curse, playing right into Prince Phillip's hands.
16 years later, everything came together. The prince, now thirty and waiting impatiently for his ailing parents to die, had been planting the seeds of affection ever since he "stumbled" across Aurora's hiding place. Waiting with eager anticipation for the day that she would fall into her slumber and he, through Maleficent's curse, would trick the world into believing that he, all along, was the hero.
But of course, Aurora's father, as all the fathers of that time period, doubted Prince Phillip's kindness. He did not want to see his daughter married off, would be content even for her to become a wandering spinster. His feud with Prince Phillip's country ran deep in his blood, a quarrel that had lasted for generations. And despite his daughter's protests, he swore that he wouldn't allow Prince Phillip to marry his pure, innocent daughter.
Finally, he struck a bargain with Phillip, a feat that in his mind was impossible: he would allow Phillip to marry his daughter, but only if he could kill the immortal witch Maleficent.
Phillip, of course, agreed.
And so he followed the path of thorns, which he'd later tell everyone was a great, insurmountable wall that he cut through with only his sword, piece by piece. He told stories of how the evil Maleficent transformed into a great dragon, with breath of green fire and claws of the sharpest, coldest steel.
The truth was far less glamorous. Maleficent, see, had made great use of Phillip's money. In this time, fae like her were sold of as slaves, or exotic pets, toys for the rich. Maleficent used her money to buy them back, to free as many of her people as she could. And she'd been housing them in her little cottage, dozens of young faces and buzzing wings. She'd achieved something resembling peace, happiness. She thought her days of curses and cruel princes were behind her.
Then Prince Phillip arrived at her door, blade sharp and glinting with a vile light. And one by one he butchered everyone in the house, all of Maleficent's wards. Cut them into pieces and buried them under the floorboards, blood red flowers sprouting from the cracks as if to memorialize them. Maleficent tried to fight, tried every curse, but nothing worked, for Prince Phillip had done his own research and knew how to block her dark magic. He severed her head from her body and, using her long hair, tied it around the neck of his horse. As he galloped towards the kingdom he left a flood of black blood in his wake, felt the head thump against the horse, let it swing like the blade of an axe.
He came into the palace yelling of victory, fae blood staining his face and clothes. He tracked it into the gold-plated floors, let the black stain every marble surface and gold ornament. He looked insane.
But a deal was a deal. He married Aurora that very afternoon, hair still matted with innocent blood.
And he lived happily every after.
The Big, the Bad... Wolf?
There was once a wolf who lived in the woods, no one knew him by his real name, they just called him Wolf.
He was really a rather friendly guy.
He had noticed a girl in a red cloak who walked through the woods with a basket of treats. She always took the same path.
He often fought off other wolves who tried to sneak up on her. He made sure she was safe.
One day he went to his friends house. She always gave him a little bit of bacon for protecting her granddaughter with the red cloak.
One day, she was gone, and her whole house smelled of blood.
He resolved to ask the girl when she entered to woods the next day.
When the day arrived, he went to ask, and never left the path.
And the girl retired her red cloak for one of wolf skin, and she was known for the tale of the big bad wolf, who killed her grandma, and who she killed in return.
The little mermaid
The little mermaid, youngest of king Tridents daughters. With bright red hair and beautiful skin, and a wondrous voice. When she was of age she was allowed to go to the surface with her sisters.
It was there, on a horrible stormy night at sea, that she met her first love. She sang her beautiful song, filled with delicate notes and alluring whispers to the wind. Her song lead him to her, being him down down down into the abyss.
She has her first love now, in her cave full of wonders. Soon she’ll have another, and eventually she’ll have a large collection of them like her sisters.
The little mermaid, singing songs to drown the sailors she loves. Bringing them down down down into her cave, where her hoard of lovers lay in their watery graves.
The Frog Prince
Feeling the warm breeze and the vibrant humming of the tiny animals around her filled her with pure bliss. The pond was surrounded by a dark green wonder, leaving most feeling at peace. Sitting on the edge, she'd tip her bare toes into the water to feel its anonymous gifts. She'd been coming to the pond since infancy. It was her mother and father's favorite reprieve. Times have changed, though, with her father lost to war and her recent proposal dictating a swift move away from her home. A quite far moved, so far that the pond would no longer exist to her.
In frustration, the young girl picked up a stone, chucking it harshly into the crystal blue water, creating a significant disturbance. Huffing a forced sigh, she crossed her arms as a toddler would, questioning her mother's demand for a wedding and how she could ever leave this pond so effortlessly. She didn't feel twenty. Her mother had insisted the final visit to the pond would've been yesterday, but there was no way she'd give up the fragrant energy of this place on her birthday, especially knowing her next birthday would be very different.
She scooted further to the edge, sliding her feet deeper into the water, as she daydreamed of her new life that would start tomorrow shortly after walking down that aisle. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath of piney pond air and smiled.
"Hi there," she heard loudly from behind her. She squeezed her eyes tighter, hoping it wasn't one of her soon-to-be husband's guardsmen coming to collect her. Gritting her teeth into a smile, she turned to see a young man around her age. His immediate beauty had stolen her words. Silently she watched as his blonde hair caught the breeze and his shirt clasped against his chiseled bust. She felt a curiosity in his dark green eyes. His smirk widened as he reached his hand to her, "Xenopus," he said, waiting on her acknowledgment.
Shaking to life, she muttered, "what?"
"My name," he said, "Xenopus. Are you from around here? I haven't noticed you before."
Smitten, she rambled, "oh yes, I've been coming here since a small child, but I'll be moving soon. Today is my twentieth birthday. Oh," she said, reaching for his hand, "sorry, nice to meet you Zeen-OH-pus," she sounded out.
He beamed, "that's right. Twenty, huh? That's quite a special year around here."
"Really?" She chirped. He nodded, "take a walk with me?"
"Of course," she said, popping up to meet his stance, brushing off the bits of grass from the back of her dress. One last adventure, she thought.
They spent the whole afternoon together. They laughed and frolicked throughout the surrounding forest. He had a way with the plants and animals that fascinated her. Every time his fingers touched her, she felt magic. They ended back at the pond edge, sitting between a set of sizeable purple fern flowers she hadn't noticed before. The smell was intoxicating. She held his hands as he stared deeply into her soul.
"I don't want to go," she whispered, "but I must." She lowered her head and began to stand, knowing that her mother would be furious if she arrived home after dusk.
"I understand," he said, gripping her hands, "but could I ask you for something?"
"Anything," she said, attempting to prolong the moment.
"One parting kiss?" He said, leaning in so closely that she felt his warm breath heat her lips. She hesitated, questioning her morality. She was to marry another man tomorrow and was prepared to do that. He was handsome and thoughtful of her, although she did not choose the marriage. She looked at Xenopus. His presence was comfortable, making her feel at ease. She held his hand tightly in her lap and suddenly pushed into him, falling freely to his lips in pure passion.
Swiftly she pulled away with remorse, feeling a weakness in her belly. An ache she'd never felt before. Locking eyes with the beautiful man in front of her sent a raw sting through her spine. She knew she had made a colossal mistake. His pupils altered to an almond shape with a yellow undertone, and a noticeable foul odor permeated the atmosphere. As his grin widened, the black sludge between his teeth became apparent. Her breath felt stolen as a sharp needle pain consumed her body like poison. She knew her existence was obsolete as a gradual burn encased her eyes, and the world around her went black.
The young girl never showed up for her morning nuptials, which led to a month-long search. Many speculated that she had gotten cold feet, but her mother knew better. Racing to the pond the morning of her daughter's disappearance, she noticed the dying purple fern on the water's edge. It had been the same fern she'd seen the day after her sister had gone missing on what happened to be her twentieth birthday. Tears filled her eyes as she stared into the now dark, black water. She was delusional in thinking her daughter would've grown bored of this pond from all the visits and ignored it. Ripping the dead fern from its home, she pleaded, "please, frog prince, return her to me. I'll do whatever you ask!"
When the response was nothing but silence, she knew it was too late, and he had already taken her to the world of misery below the muck.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Cinderella. She had two stepsisters, both very evil. They'd force her to sweep the house and wash the dishes all day. One day, the two stepsisters received an invitation to Prince Charming's ball. Cinderella also received one, but the stepsisters told her not to go.
Refusing, Cinderella went anyways. Her fairy godmother granted her a beautiful carriage, a brand-new dress, and last of all, a pair of glass slippers. The fairy godmother warned her not to stay after midnight.
Cinderella went to the ball and met the prince. She danced and danced until the clock struck midnight. She tried to leave, but her feet would not stop dancing.
Her feet started to bleed, and she wailed in despair. Her glass slippers shone brightly, refusing to stop. To this day, her ghost has not stopped dancing.
In a big wooden house by the river lived an old woman with her two daughters and a stepdaughter. The step daughter's name was Cinderella. She had been a victim of abuse by her stepmother and sisters for all her childhood. They made her a servant, forcing her to do all the chores for them, she had a tough life, but she kept on learning to deal with that crap as she grew up. Now, she was 18, an adult. She knew how to handle her so called family. She would cook awful, salty food for her "beloved" family, too spicy for them to eat. She would damage their clothes while washing, hid their stuff while cleaning, threw bugs in their rooms which she collects from the garden. She would even hide some flowers in her stepsister's room who had severe pollen allergy. The poor sister kept on sneezing all day without even knowing what made her sneeze as she didn't know her room had flowers. And the stepmother and sisters were too lazy to do the chores themselves. They would eat that inedible food, bear the damage to their clothes and spend the whole day looking for their hidden stuff, but still would prefer to depend on Cinderella to do the chores. Cinderella would do all these in a very safe way, very secretively and she had become an "expert" at those shabby things. Of course, she got caught at times and received beating but, who's afraid of beating and torture when she's been facing this since childhood. It didn't matter to her anymore. She was not an easy victim.
The party at the palace was the talk of the town. All the rich and high profile people were invited. Cinderella wanted to go to that party to work on her sinister plan. She has been plotting to lure the prince who had just returned from abroad and made him marry her as she wanted a rich, carefree lifestyle.
When that night came, she locked up her stepmother and sisters in their rooms. They were just sleeping and Cinderella locked their doors from outside to keep them from disturbing her. She wore a pretty black gown with red heels which she stole from her sister days ago, got onto her other sister's pet horse who was familiar with Cinderella as, of course, she was the one looking after him. When she reached the party, she saw the prince. Not handsome at all. A short, fat man in his forties. But he had money. Seeing a very pretty girl, he asked for dance. Cinderella agreed. They danced together. Now, Cinderella was confused. She came with a plan to win the Prince's heart to have a rich, comfortable life and her plan seemed to be succeeded, but one glance at Prince made her think again. He was not the way she imagined him to be, a handsome prince. She had to made a choice.
Cinderella was getting bore. She had no motive to stay in that boring party anymore. So, when the clingy prince went to get a drink, she left. Descending down the stairs in hurry, her sandal slipped out of her foot. "My sandal..." she tried to go back but stopped " Leave it. Not mine anyway. Just get out of here before that stupid prince comes."
When she got back home, her lazy family was still asleep, she also went to sleep. Next day, the news spread that the prince got his love last night but the girl disappeared, he got her sandal and he was going to look for her by putting on that sandal on every girl in the town. " He's gonna find his love by a sandal. The idiot says he loves me, he can't even remember my face, and use this idiotic method to find me. What a classic idiot!!" Cinderella thought. " No way Cinderella! Marrying such a fool for money will cost you a lot." her heart told her.
The prince came to their house. Both her sisters wanted to be his bride, so, they locked Cinderella up in her room to keep her from meeting the prince. Cinderella wasn't interested either. She was enjoying the scene from the window. The sandal perfectly fitted the elder sister (obviously!! It was hers afterall). And they got married.
As for Cinderella, she enjoyed being with her toxic family, messing with them everyday. She was happy in the end.
Hansel and Gretel
One day, Hansel and Gretel found themselves abandoned in the woods on a cold winter day. It was dark, and they could barely see past the trees.
The trail of breadcrumbs Gretel threw down before was gone, lost within the dirt.
"You idiot!" Hansel had yelled at her. "You've gotten us lost and wasted the last of our food!"
"Don't blame me!" Gretel yelled back. "At least I had a plan!"
The two continued to bicker and walk until a branch snapped in front of them. They stopped moving, and a woman came out from behind a tree.
"I couldn't help but hear you, children. Why are you out here in the cold?"
Gretel shuddered, suddenly realizing how cold and hungry she was. "Our father left us out here with only the clothes on our backs."
"Oh my! Please, children, come and stay with me for the night. I think you'll find my house to be pleasant."
Seeing no other choice, the two agreed and followed her, weaving in and out of the trees.
They got to her cabin and the kids gasped.
"Goodness! Is this house-?"
"Yes," The woman smiled. "Everything is edible and made of sweets." She twisted the gumdrop door handle open. "Please, would you come in?"
_ _ _
They slept in the woman's cabin for three nights before anything happened.
The children were picking at the gingerbread wall as the woman rolled out dough.
"What are you making?" Hansel asked. You could basically see the drool coming out.
"Careful Hansel," His sister snickered. "That candy is quite sharp, and it'd be a shame you eat yourself to death."
"A pie. Although I'm not sure what type."
"Have you ever had mincemeat pie?" Gretel piped up. "We've only ever had it once, but it was oh so delectable."
The woman pondered it for a moment. "Is it alright if you two go out and get the meat? I'm afraid I'm not much of a hunter, even with the deer in this forest."
"That's perfectly fine," Gretel answered. "Our father taught us how to hunt and even prepare meat, so we should have no trouble catching prey."
_ _ _
A few hours later, the two came back and an already-skinned chunk of meat.
"However did you two get so much meat out of a deer? As far as I'm aware, they're the only creatures out here."
Gretel smiled. "We found a plump and lazy one. Barely even ran."
She hesitantly took the meat from Hansel's wet hands and started to cut it up.
_ _ _
"This pie is just great! Right Hansel?"
The boy just nodded, as he was too busy shoveling the meat into his mouth. His sister kicked under the table and he slowed down to a normal eating pace.
"What do you think ma'am."
The woman hadn't done more than stab her fork into the crust. "Apologizes. I'm not hungry right now."
The kids looked at each other for a moment then nodded, before turning back to her.
"I need to use the restroom, please excuse me." Gretel stood up and pushed her chair in.
Hansel swallowed the last bite on his plate. "Are you going to finish your slice?"
She slid her plate across the table. He smiled but didn't start eating yet.
"Thank you very much for all of this ma'am." Hansel took a piece into his mouth. "My sister and I appreciate all of this, but I'm afraid it won't work out."
From behind her chair, the woman felt immense pain in her back and looked down to see the end of a sharp candy prodding out of her chest.
"My sister and I just prefer meat. I'm sure you'll taste as sweet as father did."
"C'mon Hansel," Gretel said from the kitchen. "I know there's some pie crust left."