You may have seen my last post where I showed you a fairytale I wrote and I thought I should probably give you the rest of the story. This is part two and there’s only one more after this! If you want to see the first one then click here.
The wife did not tell her husband of the witch and her deal. She tried to ignore the excitement she received whenever she saw a maiden with green eyes. But none were as the witch had requested. None were as green as emerald. But she never stopped looking. When the baby was born she was just as the witch had described her. She grew silky butterscotch coloured hair in big bouncing curls. Her eyes were as blue as the sky and glistened in the sun. She had rosy cheeks that held dimples when she smiled. And she was most definitely as sweet as pie. They named her Arabelle.
As Arabelle grew older, the wife grew more desperate to find the maiden the witch had spoken of. One day when she was lounging in the garden, Arabelle balanced on her knee, a gust of wind had enveloped them in dust. When the dust cleared, there stood the witch, the sun glistening in her white eyes. She had reached out and touched one of Arabelle’s curls, twisting it around her finger then letting it fall.
‘Remember your deal,’ she had whispered threateningly.
Another gust of wind overcame them and when the wife looked up she was gone. She scooped up Arabelle and hurried into the house, cuddling her close to her chest while she chanted the spell the witch had cast years before.
On Arabelle’s eighth birthday she began to worry. On her tenth birthday she was becoming frantic. On her twelfth birthday she was growing to be desperate. On her thirteenth birthday she began to make a plan. In January the wife visited the village every day. She searched the bakers, the florist, the blacksmiths, the bookstore, even her husband’s shop. There was no green eyed maiden to be found. In February she began travelling to the neighboring village. She sat in pubs and gardens watching for a pair of sparkling eyes but she saw none. March, another town further down the road. April, the kingdom far up in the hills. May, the dry desert lands. June, the forests of the north. July, back down into the valleys. August, a seaside village laden with fishy old men. September, a ghost town hidden in the jungle. October, the dirty roads leading back to her home. November, the woods surrounding the kingdom. December, the castle which she had over passed.
All the searching, all the looking, all the wandering but there was no emerald eyed maiden to be seen. It was to be Arabelle’s fourteenth birthday in March and the wife did not have much time left. But on one stormy afternoon nearing the girl’s birthday, she was struck with an opportunity. She was delivering her washing to the castle, tiptoeing through the garden and knocking gently on the servants’ door. The usual ruby-haired girl came to collect the washing, smiling at her.
‘Wait here, ma’am. I will be back with your payment.’
As the maiden walked away the wife recited the spell yet again.
‘Now they must give me what I’ve lost,
And pay the cost.
I want eyes of emerald from a maiden,
And you better trade in,
By the fourteenth year of the girls birth,
Or I’ll take what’s worth.
Maybe yours instead,
Then five days later you’ll be dead.’
The girl arrived back at the door just as the last words left her lips.
‘Here you are, ma’am. Have a good day now.’
But as she turned to go, a glint caught in her eye. The wife quickly grabbed the girl’s wrist and pulled her back. There, behind long dark lashes, sat the greenest pair of eyes she had ever seen. They did indeed sparkle like emeralds. And they were exactly what she needed.
‘Why, w-what beautiful eyes you have, dear. So green. Just like emeralds, in fact.’
‘Oh, thank you, ma’am. Are you alright? You’ve gone a bit pale. Would you like to come in and sit down?’
‘Yes I do feel a bit faint. That would be wonderful, my dear.’
The girl led the wife into the servants’ hall. She pulled a chair up by the fireplace and beckoned for her to sit down.
‘I’ll go and fetch you a cup of tea, shall I?’
Once she had left the room the wife bounced up and began searching for a weapon. She yanked open the draws of a cabinet by the dining table. Inside was a cutlery draw with knives galore. A long and sharp one caught her eye so she grabbed it and stuffed it into her pocket, leaping back for the chair. Just as she sat down, the girl came back in and sat a cup filled with steaming tea next to her.
‘Are you feeling better?’ she asked.
‘Yes, a little bit. Thank you. What’s your name, dear?’
‘What a pretty name. You’re a very pretty girl. Come here. I want to see your eyes a bit closer.’
Olive stood uncertainly and approached the wife.
‘My, my, they are very beautiful. I just wish I had eyes like yours.’
‘Thank you, ma’am.’
‘Where is everyone today?’
‘They’ve all gone out to the garden. The king is hosting a lunch. I was not needed so I stayed behind to do some extra work.’
‘Oh. Is it safe for a young girl like yourself to be all alone down here?’
‘Yes, ma’am. I’m inside the castle after all.’
There was a silence and Olive looked around. She spotted the open draw that the wife had retrieved the knife from and shook her head in annoyance.
‘Thomas is always leaving the draws open,’ she muttered as she stood to go and close it.
With Olive’s back to her, the carpenter’s wife seized the opportunity and stood slowly, approaching the young girl from behind. She grasped the knife from her pocket and brandished it in front of her. All of a sudden the room burst into action. The wife thrust her weight on top of the girl, sending her crashing into the cabinet. A sickening thud sounded throughout the room as her head hit the solid wood. With blood gushing from her nose, the wife flipped Olive over and leaned over her from the side, holding her down with her free arm. Slowly and carefully, she began extracting the girl’s eyes from her head, lifting back her eyelids and scooping the eyes out with the knife. Olive’s blood curdling screams filled the room as more and more blood pooled from her now empty eye sockets. The wife looked down in pity at the girl as she slipped the eyes into her pocket.
‘I’m sorry, my dear, but it had to be done. And now I must assure that you will not speak of this incident.’
And with that she pried open the ginger haired girls mouth and sliced out her tongue, slipping that into her pocket as well for good measure.
‘Thank you for your sacrifices,’ the wife thanked the girl, bowing politely then hurrying out the door.
She galloped through the forest, heading in the direction of the river. When she reached the bubbling brook, a familiar house stood in front of her. The witch’s house. She knocked on the door, the rough wood scratching at her knuckles.
‘Come in,’ a deep voice told her from the other side.
The wife pushed open the door and there sat in the witch, in the same position she had been in when they first met.
‘I’ve brought my payment,’ said the wife, ‘Two emerald green eyes and a tongue for good measure.’
The hag stood and pointed to a hole dug into the floor of the house.
‘Drop them in there,’ she ordered.
The wife did so, digging the gooey eyes and dried tongue out of her pocket, letting them fall into the deep dark hole. A small crackle pierced her ears then a roaring fire exploded from the pit. She look up at the witch who was stood in front of her. Slowly, the witch’s milky eyes began to gain colour. First, a hint of green. Next, the pupil began protruding. Then, the colour enhancing and glittering until it resembled the great jewels themselves.
‘You’ve done well,’ said the witch as she grinned horribly. ‘Now get out!’
She cackled and screamed, and as she did so the wife noticed a small pink tongue resting in her mouth. Olive’s tongue. Yet again, the wife was thrown to the ground and the house disappeared around her.
And that’s part two! A little gruesome but I always love a bit of gore.
If you have any ideas for names then let me know because I’ve still got no idea!