I’m going to post some of my darker (yet fun) short stories for Halloween. This is the first one (It has gone through a couple of title changes). Can you guess which fairy tale it was inspired by before you get to the last line?
There’s No Cure for Dead
By Dorlana Vann
She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, loosening her jaw, before she spoke. “You can’t be serious. Marriage is no longer something we can consider.”
He stood far away, at the other end of the long, formal dining room table. She couldn’t believe how handsome he looked now: tall, regal. She had fallen in love with him when he’d thought he was so hideous he had to hide. But his compassion and heart were so big it had swept her away. So she wasn’t surprised by his proposal even if it was a bit insane.
“I love you,” he said. “I want you to be my wife.”
“I know you love me. I love you, too. But we have to face facts. You have to accept this. You shouldn’t even be feeding me. Look at me. What kind of bride would I be?”
“A beautiful one. When I was beastly, you saw something inside me and loved me for me. I love you for you. I know who you are on the inside.”
The rancid taste in her mouth distracted her for a second. Was it from the meal she’d just had or her own tongue? What did he say? He was comparing them. “But I’m not like you. You were cursed by a witch. I’m–”
“Doesn’t matter.” He slammed his fist down on the table, making everything on it jolt. “I’ll use every last cent I have to find a cure.”
“You’re not listening to me.” She tried to stand up but the chains around waist stopped her. It took a second to remember why she was chained to a chair. Oh yeah, that’s right; dinner had taken a little too long last night. When hunger hit, nothing else fit in her head. If it hadn’t been for the butler with the Taser, they wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. “Sweetheart,” she said sweetly, trying to calm him, “There’s no cure for dead.”
“Maybe one of my tears, or a potion of some sort … or maybe a kiss.”
“Right,” she said with a roll of her eyes. They stuck like that for a second until she shook her head to get them straight again. “You’re going to kiss me? Do I even have lips, anymore?” Just as she pushed out her tongue to feel for lips, a twinge in her head stopped her. What was she doing?
“There’s got to be something. But first, we will get married.” He walked beside the table toward her, stopping halfway, a hint of fear in his eyes.
The fact that he was obviously scared of her didn’t upset her, didn’t really faze her because her mind was on something more important. The hunger didn’t feel the way it had when she’d been alive. This
appetite was in her head. It rumbled, it stirred, it wanted, it hurt …
But she’d just ate an entire plate of … Who? Where was the maid? Had he …? The sudden spasm in her head caused her to let out a moan.
He was saying, “I mean, we can’t really have a honeymoon right now. We’ll postpone it until later. When you’re better. But please let me prove my love and devotion to you.”
It had been a delicate, light meal tonight. She tried to remember how many more maids were in the house. A series of intense, sharp pain ricocheted inside her head. She held onto it with both hands for a second.
Her brain pulsed and rumbled. Wait? What was this house? Who lived here anyway? Who was this stranger walking closer to her? He was so close – she sniffed the air – and luscious. Her mouth watered, and all she wanted was one little taste, one little nibble.
“Right after the ceremony, I will hire the best researchers on the planet …”
She tried to get up, but for some reason she couldn’t move. She tried again, and again, and again. The hunger pains moved down to behind her eyes, making her have to squint to see the delicious meal that was igniting her senses.
“So? What do you say? Will you marry me?”
The food was right there in front of her now. Maybe if she stretched out her arms as far as she could, she’d be able to reach it. All she needed was a one bite to make this unbearable torture end.
“Oh, Beauty. I don’t know. But you did just eat, so I guess one hug, to seal the deal, would be okay …”
My romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen Trouble with Men Book 1) is Free on Amazon today through Oct 13, 2016. It’s all about heart-breakers (snowmen), fun shenanigans, fashion, séances, downtown Houston, urban cowgirls, and some of that kissy-kissy stuff.
Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend Maximilian convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.
Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.
After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.
The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?
Even though the Brothers Grimm (published 1812), Hans Christian Andersen (published 1835), and Disney are probably the most recognizable names in fairy tales, Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was the first to modernize the popular folk tales of his time and use them for his own agenda and beliefs.
French born Perrault was the youngest of four children. He was a poet and a writer who believed that literature needed to be modernized. According to The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales, “Perrault took the side of modernism and believed that France and Christianity could move forward only if they incorporated pagan beliefs and folklore and developed a culture of enlightenment.”
Using humor, adding morals and keeping the original superstitions attached to popular folk tales, Perrault wrote Histoires ou contes du temps passe’ (Stories or Tales of Time Past) in 1697. This collection included Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Fairies. He is said to be responsible for the most recognizable factors of these stories like the red hood, the pumpkin and Cinderella’s glass slippers.
He died in May of 1703 in Paris.
I hope everyone had a fabulous summer. I have a few things going on with my writing projects and some fun promo stuff coming up, too.
The Trouble with Snowmen: I’m super excited because I just received news that The Trouble with Snowmen eBook will be FREE from October 9, 2016 – October 13, 2016 on Amazon. This is the first time it has been offered for free. If you haven’t had the opportunity to grab a copy, now is your chance to check out the first book in this quirky romantic comedy series. It is still a few weeks away, so don’t worry, of course I will remind you – lol.
Young Adult Fairy Tale Inspired Magical Realism/Urban fantasy: More good news (for me at least – ha ha). I’ve decided to keep the title to myself right now (superstitious much?) but my YA novel is complete at 51,000 words. This book started out as a NaNoWriMo Project in 2011 (my best guess) and I have worked on it in between other books. So it has been stewing for a while.
It has been nice getting back to writing a story inspired by a fairy tale. Fairy tales have a special place in my heart and in the creative writing areas of my brain.
So the next thing is trying to find it the perfect home. Wish me luck J
Love and Laughter,