And finally, the last part to the fairytale. What will happen…who knows? I guess you’ll know when you read it…
The months passing after the incident were some of the happiest of the family’s life. Arabelle was making friends in the village and her mother was teaching her how to read and write. The carpenter’s furniture business became very successful and the family now had sufficient money to do everything they ever wished. They bought a new house, one in the hills of the kingdom where Arabelle was free to roam around in the fields and the wife could tend to a beautiful garden filled with roses and dandelions. Olive, the girl whom the emerald eyes had been stolen from, drowned herself in a well when she was told she was never to see or speak again. Although a great search was conducted to find her assaulter, the wife was only ever questioned once. It was by a little old lady who saw her enter the house with Olive that day. But she had quickly pushed that aside by assuring her she was delivering the washing to the castle.
There was one complication in the story though, one that the wife had not predicted. The witch was still present. And she had been visited by another mother. Olive’s mother.
One morning when she had been strolling gloomily in the forest she had come across the witch’s house and knocked on the door. She had been greeted with the same procedure as the carpenters wife had been, except for one detail. When asked what it was she was seeking, she answered, ‘The assaulter of my child.’
The witch gave her the answer she desired then sent her on her way. Olive’s mother did not go to the carpenter’s wife immediately, though, as she knew this would do no good to her cause. So she went to the castle to inform the king of the crime that had been committed. The king believed her, despite the lack of proof, as he was a drunken reckless leader. He sent out a handful of his men to seize the wife. They stormed up into the hills, approaching the house where the carpenter was chopping wood for the stove outside in the garden.
‘Where may we find your wife?’ they questioned the carpenter.
‘Why, inside with my child. Whatever do you need her for?’
Without answering, the men barged into the house and seized the wife from the kitchen. They pulled her outside, Arabelle and the carpenter trailing behind them, and took her down to the village where there was an executioning block. They called for the executioner to come forward and, with much struggle, they laid the wife’s head down onto the block.
‘This woman has committed a crime of assault. She cut out the victim’s eyes and tongue then fled before she could be caught in the act. Do you plead guilty?’ asked one of the men.
The wife looked up for the first time at her husband and child. He was looking at her in suspense, fear and anger in his eyes. Arabelle was clutching at her father’s side, staring up at the headsman. She knew what she had to do.
‘Yes,’ the wife whispered.
And with that, the executioner raised his axe and swung it down onto the wife’s exposed neck. The carpenter turned and looked away, covering Arabelle’s eyes. He heard his loved ones decapitated head flop to the ground and a shuffle and grunt as they carried the body to the morgue. The carpenter led them both away from the scene, finally looking up when he reached his shop. Arabelle looked at him.
‘Is mother dead?’ she asked.
The carpenter nodded. But when he looked down at her he was alarmed to see that Arabelle’s skin was tinged with a sickly grey.
‘My darling, what is wrong with you?’
He drew back and crouched down next to her, examining her pale chalky face. Her eyes were bloodshot and red and her usually full blonde hair was now droopy and dull. The carpenter stood and beckoned for the girl to follow him to the doctors. When they arrived, the doctor sat Arabelle down on a bed and examined her. He was utterly puzzled by her strange symptoms. After much testing, listening and touching the doctor took the carpenter aside.
‘I have never seen anything like it,’ he told him, ‘It seems to be that she’s…dead.’
‘What?’ exclaimed the carpenter, ‘How can that be?’
‘I do not know but she shows the characteristics of a dead woman. The cold lifeless skin, thinning of hair. I cannot describe it any other way. I am terribly sorry.’
‘How long does she have to live?’
The doctor shook his head and looked down at the floor.
‘I do not know for certain but I would say only a matter of hours.’
He thanked the doctor and the carpenter swept Arabelle off the bed and carried her in his arms back to their home in the hills. When she was sitting in her favourite chair by the fire he looked down at her again and saw her usual lively eyes drooping and staring up at him in pain. The little girl’s cheeks were now hollow and her figure was that of a skeleton. Nearing the hour of her death, her skin began to peel off her face and come away in flaky shards. Then finally, when she was coughing up blood and dribbling mucus, she looked up at her sorrowful father and asked him a question.
‘Daddy, am I dying?’
The carpenter shook his head with tears falling from his eyes and took her hand.
‘No, my dear. You are simply going to go and join mummy. You’ll be happy there. I promise.’
And at that Arabelle smiled and closed her eyes, the warm life seeping away to leave a cold and lifeless body.
The carpenter left the child there in that rocking chair for many days until he could not bear the smell anymore. Then he lifted her up and took her to the garden. There he buried her under her favourite tree where the parakeets sat and sang by her bedroom window.
This is the part where I wish I could tell you that the carpenter found another woman and that woman birthed four children for him. They named them Lucy, Peter, Joseph and Marianne. He and his wife lived to the ripe old age of sixty before the plague hit England and killed them off along with their children. But alas, that is not how the story ends.
The years after the death of his family, the carpenter spent every day sitting by his daughter and wife’s graves. He would talk to them and daydream with them until the sun disappeared from the sky. Olive’s mother had been watching him for all those years in anger. She had wanted him to be killed along with his wife but her wishes had not been fulfilled. So one dark gloomy evening she took the matters into her own hands. When the carpenter was sleeping alone in the house, she broke in with a knife in her hands. She crept along to the bedroom where he was sleeping and using the knife she slit his throat. With a burst of blood, the life was taken out of him and Olive’s mother received justice.
Of course, the body was found rotting in the bed when the milk man came a few days later and, when questioned, Olive’s mother was so overcome with guilt that she confessed her crime and was beheaded for murder.
And that is that story of the carpenter and his wife.
THE END! If you want me to write another fairytale or just a random story then I definitely will! I’ll probably do one anyway but let me know if you want to see it her on my blog 🙂