Disclaimer Of Doooooom!: I do not own Brothers Grimm. I am not a brother, nor do I like grims. They are awful things, really. Honestly. Hate the lot of them. Pah! Great word though, and even better stories...
Chloris was a fair girl. She was loving and compassionate and cared for many. She was divine and many men of her small town wanted to wed her. She was polite and courteous and virtuous and never spoke foul or anything. Chloris, affectionately known as Rissy, though, was a very sickly child when she was young. Her parents always told her how much they loved her and taught her to do everything right and with precision, so she would not be cursed or tainted. Every day Chloris lived, her beauty grew more and more men came to see her and court her and many tried to marry her. There was one fateful day, however, that changed her destiny.
"Chloris, go fetch some water. We are running out," her father barked at her. Her father had always spoken in harsh, demanding tones, though he had never spoken ill around her.
"Yes, Papa," was her immediate reply, before walking out towards the communal well. As always the gaggle was situated around the well in the middle of the town, gossiping about the ever-so-handsome baker's son. Chloris rolled her eyes and walked straight up to the well, ignoring the unabashed whispers.
"Oh that poor child..."
"Must feel ever so guilty..."
"She's certainly beautiful..."
"Only that beautiful because of a curse..."
"In reality she was to blame for the misfortune which has befallen her seven brothers..."
Chloris had never heard of brothers before. Her Mama would of certainly told her, of course...Wouldn't've she?
"Oh yes, turned into ravens, all of them..."
"All? All seven?"
"That's what I just said, wasn't it?" The gaggle continued. Chloris finished off quickly and ran off home.
Dinner that night, like every other night for the past week every year, was a silent affair. Only the noise of food being obtained echoed around the silent house.
"Mama?" Rissy asked hesitantly.
"Yes, daughter?" Mama smiled lovingly back.
"Mama...when I was fetching the water today...well, there—there were these ladies—"
"Chloris, what have I told you about women? They are severely jealous of you. Now, leave it to rest, and enjoy your meal." That was her Papa. He believed complications could not be solved unless they were confronted head on.
"Yes, Papa; I always take your words in esteem. But, Papa, it wasn't about I; I would have never brought it up otherwise..."
"Very well. What plagues my daughter's thoughts?"
"They-they...the women at the well mentioned brothers." Chloris's head was bent while she took a sip of wine. She did look up through her eyelashes to catch her look her parents shared, however.
"I'm sure it is just folly—" He mother started, but was cut off with a glare from her father.
"Go on," he said in a patronizing tone. It was warm and level and calm. It was also the epitome of disbelief. Chloris when better than to betray her father's consideration and yell at him, no matter how badly she yearned to do it. That voice angered her. She was no longer a child and she would take this in her stride, like a normal adult. Oh, how embarrassing if this was "folly"... she thought, grimacing inwardly, but continued anyway.
"They whispered I had brothers; seven of them. I marched away before I could hear what became of them; I did, nevertheless, eavesdrop on when they conversed about a curse. Is this true, or is it how Mama claims it is: folly?" Her mother and father sighted, swapping a look. It was time for their daughter to know.
"Their claims are not folly. I am the one who cursed them. You were being christened and your brothers claimed that they wanted to be there. However, they couldn't fetch the water or complete any other simple, mundane task. I do not know how; but they never returned to us. One of our friends, Destriere—"
"But Papa—" Chloris has heard of this Destriere man before. He was French and a wonderful friend to her father before they just stopped talking. No one knew why, and no one wanted to ask. Ever since the disappearance of his sons, Chloris's father had turned into a scary, cold-hearted man who cared only for business and his family. Friends were not to be trusted, neither was anyone else, for that fact. Many times he had thought his wife ill and was certain of the foul sins she did commit (Chloris's mother had done no such thing, but couldn't speak to her husband because she never wanted to start a fight or a disagreement. She wanted the entire world to get along, not that it would, any time soon).
"Do not interrupt, girl! He told us that they had been cursed to forever be ravens, as dark as the night's cover. Then I stopped speaking to him, as I shall stop speaking to you on this matter. It is enough. Now sleep, and do not dwell, fair child of mine. For it was God's grace that punished them and banished them for we could be happy with you." Rissy couldn't argue with that, and she made her leave and went to bed.
Of course, she couldn't sleep. Rissy was a very dependent and naive girl. She had to do something about her brothers, though. She had to do something. She vowed to herself that night that she would take any chance; and opportunity to save her brothers from their awful fate. It was unfair, as she was the one who needed the water in the first place. She should of been punished. Her last thoughts on this subject before she needed to rise for the sun were 'I wonder what they are like' and 'Will they like me?'.
The town was very busy the following week. The happiness and excitement were rolling off of loud, happy couples and children were running around squealing and laughing and causing a mixture of trouble. The first day it was simply delightful, and brought Chloris back to her normal self. She surely would have been brooding over what magic would have been used to bind her brothers terribly, and if she could break it, and if she could, how, and furthermore, what if she couldn't? What if it wasn't even fixable? What if it wasn't even magic...? She went to bed that night and brooded over all those thoughts. She did not sleep and she felt positively horrible by morning. She cried to herself silently before reaching the marketplace.
The second day, walking around her blossoming town running her Papa's errands, she caught waft of the excitement again. Children were acting out small, imaginative plays that held no interest with the adult who continually rolled their eyes and denied to be a part of them. The younger women her age were tumbling and stumbling around, off in their own little words, squealing to their friends while brooding men looked onwards. Chloris thought that something must be happening. Once again, she did not sleep. She cried and tossed and turned but still the thoughts of her brothers would not exit her mind. Not even for a second. Nobody noticed her grief and Chloris kept it that way.
The third day entering the marketplace, Chloris felt annoyed. How could they be so happy when she was not? She was being selfish, but could not help it with the lack of sleep. She saw the children carelessly acting again and envied their naivety and innocence. The women were gossiping and whispering and being in general bothersome. Many looked at each other with hopeful, happy smiles as if they wished something to happen. She did not complete her chores and business that day, for she wasn't feeling herself. She walked home and rested, telling her Mama she was feeling ill, and had a horrible, horrible nightmare about the black night engulfing her.
The fourth day, her mother did not want her to go, in fear of her only human child getting sick again, but Chloris persisted and went straight to it and did her chores quickly so she could get back home and show her Mama that she was fine. Chloris rushed out of the courtyard and her basket was snagged out of her hand by a little boy getting his head caught in it as he was rushing by.
"Oh my, dear boy, my basket is changed!" She cried, seeing her basket with a head-sized dent in the side of it.
"Oh, forgive me, fair stranger. For my brother is clumsy and rude," another boy ran up to her, helping the smaller one up. They looked to be twelve and barely seven and both had fair hair and dark eyes, pointed features and matching hats.
"Not at all, young boys. May I ask why you run?" Chloris asked, curiously.
"For the mean Witch-Queen is after us!" The younger one exclaimed, the older one nodding his head valiantly.
"Witch-Queen? Since when did our town have a Witch-Queen?" An older girl then came racing from the market to stand either side of her brothers. She had the same hair and eyes.
"I believe this is not the Witch-Queen you are racing from?" Rissy arched an eyebrow, curiously.
"Nay, she is not. Will and Jacob would have fought her off easily—"
"And who is Will and Jacob?" Chloris's question received shocked stares.
"They are charming, good-looking, smart, funny..." The girl pitched with a soprano voice.
"Yeah, yeah!" The older brother murmured.
"They are fighters!" The youngest brother jumped onto an empty cart, falling off when the donkey pulling it started.
"Fierce warriors!" The other brother took his brother's former spot.
"Lovers!" The girl sighed, clinging onto Chloris's arm. The boys made faces while Rissy simple muffled her giggles.
"They fought of the horrible Witch-Queen who stole pretty girls for her own beauty!" The older brother exclaimed.
"Like you!" The youngest rushed over and grabbed her other arm. The siblings then all pushed her onto a stool sitting outside a person's house before re-enacting the nowadays popular children's play. It was about two brothers who were brave soldiers who fought against evil witches and magic and saved innocent people harmed by magic. Their names were Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. More commonly known as the Brothers Grimm.