|The Grimm Reaper
Author: Nicholas de Vilance PM
Stories are stories, until they are real? Are you prepared for the it? Truth is much more terrible than fiction... this story kind of died...I'll bring it back sooner or later on hiatusRated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Adventure - Words: 2,429 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Published: 04-29-07 - id: 3514096
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I had been having those days for about a half a year now. Those days when I wouldn't do anything but sit and read. I had taken to reading Grimm's fairy tales lately, my favorite being Little Red Riding Hood because I liked to read about little girls being devoured by wolves. People at school thought I was weird. Teachers thought my growing obsession with magic and make believe was unhealthy. My music teacher, on the other hand, thought that any seventeen-year-old with parents like mine would wish for a more interesting world.
"Watch it, dork!" I heard as I bumped into some one. The impact knocked my glasses off my face. I was about to reach out to catch them, but I didn't want to sacrifice my book. It was open and I couldn't carry it one-handed so I let my glasses fall and closed the book. "Get your nose out of that stupid book!" I recognized this guy as the quarterback of the football team. He grabbed my book and tossed it on the ground. Thank God the cover closed itself.
I didn't say anything to him as he shoved past me. I never did say anything in my own defense. It always seemed futile to attempt it. I bent down to pick up my glasses and placed them back on my nose, then I went to rescue my fallen companion and only friend, Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales.
Is it really so strange to be acquainted with a book? I know this book just as I would know a friend. I know exactly what it will say to me once we meet for the day (once I start reading it). It always agrees with me. If I don't wish to speak with it anymore it is much obliged to leave me alone (for it can't very well follow me). I sat down in the hall, as I'd done many times, and opened the old, green cover. The spine creaked a little, but it was a warm welcome to me. I ignored to bell as it rang overhead and started reading the first story, "The Frog Prince." A security guard passed me with a shake of the head, but I barely noticed. They'd given up on trying to get me to move once I'd started reading.
"Sofie!" My mother called from the kitchen as I slammed the front after walking the two miles between school and my home. "You're late I was worried!"
"I bet you were!" I shot back. Now I may seem harsh, but imagine her concern to the most extreme level possible and you will soon understand my annoyance. I have almost nothing to do other than homework because she doesn't allow anything "dangerous." I've never been sick a day in my life, but my mother insists on going to the doctor for the slightest headache. I'm not allowed to have a boyfriend, so I guess I can blame my antisocial behavior on my mother. My father went away when I was four…for all intents and purposes, he's dead to me.
I climbed the stairs—believe you me, we're lucky to even have stairs. If I didn't talk her out of it Mother would have bought another house without them. My door was right next to the top step. As I threw my stuff under my desk and dropped down on my bed I tried to remember a time when Mother wasn't so crazy. It must have been years ago. Back before my sister died, but I'll not go into detail on that.
My bed was covered in notebooks, loose papers, pamphlets, manuscripts, and books by known and anonymous authors. I'm an aspiring writer, but I'm not really serious about it. Writing just seems to trivial a career to be dead set on making a living from it. I stood unsteadily and cleared the things away to reveal my worn, pink comforter. I dug around in the blanket and sheets beneath until I found a pair of pajamas. Fridays were days for rest without worry of homework.
As I changed I felt a cool breeze on my skin. I looked at my window, but it was closed. The breeze did not come again so I shrugged and pulled my sleeveless PJ shirt on. I sat on the floor to change my pants and I noticed a small dark spot on the white carpet. I poked it and noticed it was mud. I pulled my pajama pants all the way up and stood with a puzzle in my head. 'How did I track mud in if it hasn't rained in nine weeks (going on ten)?' I thought.
I tried to simply shrug off the question, being that I was very tired, so I distracted myself with my own image caught in my mirror. The pale skin that appeared from the places left uncovered by the green tank top and short pants that I wore for PJs was taught on a frame of long, gangly bones. Two blue eyes peeked through short bangs of dark, red-dyed hair. I never liked my face. My face was very masculine sometimes, when I wanted it to be (and sometimes when I didn't want it to be). I just decided one day to cut my hair off and spike it to see how many people thought I was male. 376 out of 592 was my final count. As my hair grew a little longer I decided to dye it red and so it has remained. Mother often complained I was too skinny and that my breasts were too big for me, but I never worried about these things. I ate enough to get fat, but didn't. My bra size is a D and I don't care if people notice.
I had much forgotten the mud and the breeze and lay down on my bed. I put my glasses on my windowsill that was level with my mattress. As I was drifting off into sleep and the light from behind the blinds on my window was dimming I became conscious of a shadow hanging over me. At first I thought it was my mother, but then I realized it was too bulky to be the old woman. My eyes opened all the way to take in as much light as possible and I saw the shape of a huge man dressed in animal furs. I think I screamed before I lost consciousness.
Nothing seems simpler than saying it was a nightmare. I could say it was a dream and ignore it and be happy, but I didn't. I'm glad I didn't, in fact. I think that dwelling on it prepared me. The next day I woke up in my bed and looked to the floor. Accompanying the mud spot from the evening before were a few very light spots. I got out of bed and bent down to examine them. There wasn't a doubt in my mind after that. They were footprints. I didn't go down to breakfast. I stayed in my room with the door locked, puzzling over the footprints and the man in my room the night before. I could still smell the air that came from him. It was fresh and natural as opposed to the air we breathe in this city.
I heard Mother knock on my door. The sound pounded in my head like a hammer on a nail. "Sofie," she said, "Are you all right? It's Saturday. Are you going to stay inside all day?"
"Do I have any friends to go out with?" I shot back. That usually shut her up. She knew it was her fault I didn't have friends and to some extent I think she was glad of it. Still, there was that guilt that made her respect my dislike of the subject of other people and going out. I sat at my desk in my creaky chair and opened my book. I read "Maid Maleen" over and wished I was Maleen. I wanted to be locked in a tower with no human contact for seven years. No…Forever! Just give me a lifetime supply of candles and matches and a library of books and I'll live just fine.
I heard things, but tried to ignore them. There was a bird singing somewhere, but my window was closed, so I assured myself it was in my head. I felt a bug on my foot but I tried not to notice it. I tried to lose myself in the story I was reading as I'd done a thousand times before, but there was something wrong with the world around me. There was something I couldn't ignore as I usually did. I closed my eyes for a moment and tried to block it out. I knew there was something there to be afraid of. There was some monster or evil thing that would do me harm. My heart skipped a beat when I opened my eyes.
As soon as I looked up there was no chair below me so I fell over into a muddy puddle. There was a harsh rain pouring down upon me. I felt the cold bite down to my bones and knew this couldn't possibly be a dream. I stared with incredulity at the trees around me and then to the road before me. It wasn't paved like back home, but dirt and it was beaten down with many different kinds of prints. The water pooled in tracks that were deeper—fresher, I believe—than the others. I stood and walked out on to the road. I couldn't help shivering as I walked along, mud seeping between my bare toes. I rather wished I had a coat.
I thought that maybe I could find my way home if I just followed the road. I thought that I could go home and get my coat and shoes and then start out this expedition more prepared. This was not the case. I was forced to trudge through rain and mud in naught but my pajamas. I hugged my shoulders and chest. My teeth were soon clacking together loudly and my skin was freezing in its place on the very tip of my nose. I could hear something interesting over the rain. It sounded like a bunch of mallets hitting something hard. I turned and saw, at a distance, two horses headed my way. These horses had riders. I felt a deep humiliation as I tried to hurry down the road.
The horses were soon near me and the one that seemed to be the slower of the two slowed near to a stop beside me. The rider had a coat that was buttoned up to his nose and a hat to keep the rain out of his eyes. I noticed that these eyes were brown and covered by a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. I didn't look at the rider for too long being that my own glasses were clouding and my face was more vulnerable upturned. I looked down to save my eyes.
"Excuse me," the rider said. It was a male voice in that it was deep, but it sustained an almost maternal quality that made me very much wish I had a mother that wasn't so horrible. I realized he was speaking German and was suddenly glad I was almost fluent. Mother was from Germany and kept speaking to me in the language to help with my class. "Are you all right?"
I took a deep breath and held my shoulders tighter. "No," I admitted, "I'm cold. I'm tired. I don't have any shoes or proper clothes. I'm covered in mud and I can't see through my glasses. Can you tell me where this road leads?" I managed another glance up at him through the rain.
"My brother and I are headed to Karlstadt," he said, "That's one of the places this road leads. If that is where you're going my horse can carry another. You'll get there much faster on a horse than you will on foot." The other rider had come back, apparently just noticing his companion had stopped.
"Jacob," the other man called, "What are you doing?"
I tried to push water off my face, but that was impossible to do with wet hands. I looked up at Jacob, the rider nearest me and blinked through the rain. "I wouldn't want to impose, but a ride to a walk is much preferred."
Jacob nodded and dismounted. He unbuckled the pack on his horse and took out a blanket that seemed to have taken up the entire pack and put it over my shoulders. I thanked him graciously and adjusted it to cover my head. He helped me onto his horse and then mounted and we were off towards Karlstadt.
"You didn't introduce yourself," Jacob said in my ear. I found it quite strange riding a horse, especially sharing a seat with a stranger.
"Sorry," I replied from under the makeshift hood that was the blanket. The fabric it was made of kind of itched, but I didn't mind it completely. "My name is Sofie Solis. And you are?"
"Jacob Grimm," he stated. I was quite shocked. Try meeting an actor you admire out on a public street. You never expect to because the image we have of people is somehow clouded by what they really are: people. I suppose I didn't expect the younger of the Grimm brothers because I didn't know where I was. Then again, I didn't know what time I was in.
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Why must you assume?
Rating: PG...right now
Nicholas de Vilance: This is the beginning of what I hope will be a series of stories much like this one. After I finish this one, I plan to do one of Sleepy Hollow (based on the movie with Johnny Depp).