Fairy Tale Inspired Short Story: There’s no Cure for Dead
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 …”