The Snow Queen

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Earlier today I said I was going to find a prompt for my fiction piece today. A couple of weeks back I bought a book called ‘1200 Creative Writing Prompts by Melissa Donovan’. I decided to use it for the first time today. I opened it to a random page and this is the prompt I chose from that page:

Turn you favourite fairy tale, myth or legend into a horror story. Mae sure there’s plenty of blood ad gore.

Well, my favourite fairy tale is The Snow Queen and you can read the original version here. Now I don’t like to go overboard on blood and gore, but this is definitely going to be a more adult version of the tale than the one I love so much, so be warned if you decide to read it and feel free to skip any bits you don’t like *wink*

Snow_queen_large
(Image taken from here)

Are you sitting comfortably, dear followership? Then let us begin. Once upon a time…

First Story – Of Fire and Hate
Under a mountain, where the oldest stones still boiled in fire, the demon howled its wicked pleasure. Birthed into flame, its skin ripped and burst before the heat of its demonic worktop. A stone fallen from distant stars, black as coal lay upon it, cold and silent but it emanated a depth of evil the demon found delicious. What unknown beings had hurled the stone into the void, throwing its evil where fate willed, he could not know, but he had discovered.

Yes, deep under his mountain the demon had poked and prodded, chipped and smashed, wanting to reveal something terrible in that dead black stone which had slithered into his home on the back of a rock slide one thunderstruck night. Finally, screaming and tearing at his skin in frustration, the demon had run obsidian claws over the surface of the indolent stone that refused to give in to his need, to his greed. Only then had he revealed the wonder. Polished, the stone could be mounted in purest gold and formed into a looking glass.
The demon cackled, its red eyes darting, avarice clutching the beautiful object to his suppurating flesh.

Looking into the glass produced miracles of vision. He could see the deepest, darkest depraved thoughts of any he turned his attention to. He spent an entire year revelling in the horrifying and twisted thoughts of mankind. One night, he captured the thoughts of a dreadful man, creeping through the dark with knife extended, gutting, slicing, ripping through every person that crossed his path, man, woman or child. The demon fell into transports of delight as the hate-filled predator tore through an orphanage. He clutched the wondrous mirror, holding it triumphantly over his head and spiralling higher and higher into the velvet night sky.

Alas for the world, the demon was so delirious he forgot the pure, silver brilliance of the full moon. After so long amongst roots and foulness the demon could not bear the illumination. He threw up his hands to shield his scorched eyes and the mirror fell. Down and down it plummeted until it smashed against the unyielding spire of a church. Shattered, the shards dispersed. Now the stone revealed it’s finally terrors. It held within every dissolute act, every debauched moment, and each instance of depravity, hate, jealousy and lust. When a shard touched the skin of a person it dissolved and the wickedness it carried fed on their blood, pumping its way to their heart and turning that soul to hate for all mankind.

Second Story – Of Friendship and Sorrow
Deep in a quiet valley between aged mountains and beside an icy stream lay a village. It was simple, a place of wood and stone and hard work, but it was also a place of joy and contentment. Children ran in the streets, skipping, chasing, laughing, and first among them were Kai and Gerda.If there was innocent mischief to be had, it would be those firmest of friends who led the others. If teams were to be picked for games of chase, all wished to be picked for the team of Kai and Gerda. Equally, when there was food to share or help to be given it would be that happy pair first in line.

Although the village was simple, it was known for its abundant flowers. All the land about was given to feeding cattle and growing root vegetables and left no room for garden plots. It became tradition to adorn every window with a flower box, and for the eldest child of every house to be responsible for those boxes. Kai and Gerda, being only children, had little choice, but their gentle hearts and loving natures saw them happy at the task. They especially liked to tend the boxes outside their bedroom windows. Living across the narrow, cobbled street from each other they used their tending time to talk and make plans for new adventures. Sometimes, Kai, who was given to occasional bouts of melancholy, would simply lean his elbows on the box and ask Gerda to read to him. Her voice was soothing, soft and melodic and it eased his mind.

And so life went along, without event, until the morning after the mirror was smashed. Kai and Gerda were tending their bedroom window boxes when the final shard arrowed out of the clear morning sky and pierced Kai through his right eye. He gave a little shriek of discomfort and began to rub, thinking he had flicked earth whilst weeding. Gerda urged him to wash his eye with water, but the shard had already begun its work. For the first time in their lives Kai snapped at Gerda.
“Leave me be. Don’t fuss at me like my mother!”
Hurt and confused, Gerda retreated, holding her silence, but worried by the violence with which Kai continued to maul his eye. When she noted a single drop of blood course down the slope of his nose she began to cry in fear, but Kai was almost given over to the shard and only laughed.
“Stupid girl, crying like a baby. Go away. I don’t want to play with you any more, baby!”

Gerda fled indoors, seeking the comfort and wisdom of her grandmother and Kai felt his eye clear, but his heart was now completely clouded. He looked at the window box, so long his pride, and with a contemptuous sneer he tore it loose from the wall and tossed it to the ground. He ran through the house, ignoring the startled, angry cry of his mother as he upturned her clean washing into the coal scuttle and hurtled out into the street, the door slamming behind him in a cloud of dust. For a month Kai drove his mother and the village to the edge of reason. Where once he had been helpful, now he favoured destruction, where once he was kind, now he was wicked, and it was Gerda who suffered the most.

She could not bear to see her childhood friend turn into a heartless monster and she followed after him, meekly repairing his damage if she could, comforting those who he tormented, from the smallest children to the old and weak, and always crying after him to stop, to be her Kai once more. He only glared at her, and when she would not stop he pelted her with stones. Finally he scored a hit. Gerda went down, bleeding from her temple and unconscious in the middle of the street. As people ran to her aid, Kai heard the protests against him, saw the local officials moving to corral him, and he fled.

The snow had been falling for several hours and Kai had been hauling his sled toward the lowest slopes. Now he ran with it and climbed, vanishing under the trees at the base of the mountain. When the voices fell far behind, the accusations were silenced and the figures lost in the oncoming snow storm, Kai slowed. He worked his way up the mountain pass, over the top of the rise and contemplated the sheer slope on the other side. He threw down his sled, landed face down on it and pushed off. At first the speed was exhilarating, but then he began to hit stones hidden beneath the snowy blanket. He was tossed and jolted all ways and then he hit an ice patch. The sledge shot off at an angle, hurling Kai against a huge black rock and vanishing into the distance.

Kai screamed in pain and shock, and it took him several minutes before the spots before his eyes cleared and he felt able to sit up. The sight of his left leg made him violently sick; a white knob of bone stuck out through the rough hemp of his britches, and ruby blood dripped, dripped, dripped onto the pristine white snow. He felt faint again, almost passed out when he tried to move, and then realised he was too far from the village for anyone to come and rescue him. The mean villagers would blame him for that stupid girl getting hurt and they wouldn’t care what happened to him, would even let him die of blood loss and frostbite out on the bare mountainside. Kai began to snivel and sob, allowing himself to feel hard done by, so sorry for himself he didn’t notice the arrival of a huge silver and gold sledge at the crest of the pass.

“Why is a brave boy like you crying?”
Kai looked up and was instantly dazzled by the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He struggled to swipe tears from his eyes, snot from his nose and appear brave before her icy blue eyes. She stepped lightly from the sledge, approaching him and he noted her feet appeared to be encased in slippers of twinkling crystal. She smiled and offered him her hand, he took it, wondering at how smooth and cool her skin was, how she did not appear to feel the cold despite only the filmiest, most revealing of gowns which seemed to be sewn from stardust and frost. He shook his head, indicating his leg.
“Forgive me beautiful lady, but I cannot rise.”
“Would you like to visit with me in my castle over yonder?” the vision asked, waving a hand encrusted with shimmering diamonds at the horizon, “I have all things which might delight a brave young squire such as you, Master Kai.”

Kai fleetingly wondered how this woman knew his name but the idea of castles and delights overwhelmed him with greed and he nodded eagerly. So eager was he for her treats that he managed to get his good leg underneath him and rise to perform an unsteady bow.
“Such manners” she smiled, her teeth seeming to glitter in the light of the rising moon, “Let me show you a little of the wonders you might see if you agree to be my squire, Kai.”
She drew her hand slowly over Kai’s leg. Despite the bolt of icy pain that coursed through his injured flesh, Kai felt the first stirrings of desire in his core. He blushed furiously, but the woman merely caressed his cheek, not yet ready for his first shave, and kissed his lips lightly, her touch numbing and glorious.
“Come.”
She swept away to the carriage and Kai followed without thinking. Only after a few steps, as he bent his leg to climb into the carriage did he realise her touch had healed his leg completely. It was numb, true, and he assumed pain would return when the numbing touch departed, but he was stunned at her power. He clambered in beside her, she tucking him to her side, wrapping them both under a pure white fur and sent the sledge hurtling into the night.

In the village Gerda tossed and turned in her sickbed, dreaming of Kai being buried deeper and deeper beneath sheets of ice.

(To be continued as it is far too long for one post!)

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