AN: Hi everyone! I really hope you enjoy my new piece of fiction. I am currently performing Into the Woods, so I thought it would be fun to write fiction for it. This picks up right where the musical ends. Please read and review to let me know that I have readers! I love reviews (even constructive criticism and disagreements with plots).
And Home Before….
Cinderella, Red, Jack, and the Baker all started to make their way back through the woods in an attempt to go back to the village. It was already starting to get dark, and the Baker, as you know, was fearful of the woods at night.
"I'm tired," whined Red, crossing her arms and sticking out her bottom lip.
"We'll be there before you know it," the Baker assured her, sighing. And sure enough, they were there before they even realized it. They actually almost passed the house because nothing was left standing.
"Isn't that?" Red stopped, cocking her head. "…your house?"
"My father's house…" he said sadly, "and it won't get to be my son's…"
"Perhaps my house is still standing!" Jack suggested. It was of course foolish to think so because the Giant had been looking for Jack, after all, but upon arriving his house had, except for fallen objects scattered all about, been seemingly untouched.
"We can help you rebuild," Cinderella assured the baker. "Your son can live in your father's house…only more sturdy." Her warm smile comforted him slightly.
"Here!" Jack called dragging a crib out of the closet. "My mother could never bear to part with anything of mine…it can be your son's."
"Thank you…" he laid the sleeping child down in it.
"And I will go milk Milky White to get your son some milk to drink. It won't be as good as his mother's but it'll have to do. Milky!" he called, and the cow came jingling up to the door, mooing to be let inside.
"What will we do for beds? There are only two…" Cinderella asked, eyeing Jack's room and his mother's.
"I can sleep on the floor. You should take the bed. Red, you will have to ask Jack whether or not he wants you to take his bed. It would be the gentlemanly thing to do, but it is his to decide."
"We can share!" she insisted, even though it was a single bed and neither were tiny. Jack stood almost six feet. To be a "boy" he sure didn't look like much of one. He was actually sixteen, but his mother had refused to let him grow up, treating him as if he were a mere child. Red, in turn, was thirteen, just past being a child herself, but still young enough to do as she pleased. However, since the turn of events no one could quite do as they pleased anymore.
The baker began to lay blankets down on the floor and put a pillow beneath his bald head, one hand on the crib as if protecting his son from all the world had to offer. His weary green eyes closed shut, hardly believing all that had befallen them that day.
Jack returned inside with a bottle full of fresh, warm milk and handed it to the child. He suckled it then fell asleep, the milky nipple still slightly in his mouth. Jack smiled feeling as though he'd done something worthwhile.
"Perhaps I can be a man," he thought to himself. His mother had never given him the chance, and though he was terribly sad she was gone it was finally his chance to prove he was worth more.
He peeked his head into his mother's room where the brunette ringleted Cinderella lay sleeping, patched skirts strewn across the bed and shirt just gaping open slightly at the top. She clutched the pillow as though it were her dearest love. For a moment, he wondered if she would miss the prince.
Then he walked into his room where Red lay sprawled across the bed as well, red gingham skirts splayed this way and that, hiked so he could see where her white stockings ended and skin began. As her chest rose and fell he could see she had the faintest sign of breasts, true breasts, which he had never before noticed. Her blonde ringlets which had been held back by a bow now were sprawled every which-a-way. He climbed into the bed next to her, putting an arm around her middle as if she were a teddy bear. She did not move or object, merely continued to breathe evenly. He put his nose in the crook of her neck and smiled, not thinking of all that had happened that day, merely drifting off to sleep.
When light strayed through the windows of Jack's house the baby began to cry, hungry and longing to be held in loving arms. The baker turned, reaching out for his wife, only to find her not there. He started sitting straight up as if she had magically disappeared in the night, but then the truth settled in on him. She was dead, gone forever. He hung his head, then stood and cradled the baby.
"Shh…don't cry…Daddy's here…" he tried to rock him, but it only made the child more agitated. "Shhh….Jerry don't cry….please don't cry…" The baby was named Jerry, after his father. He had thought it a fitting homage since his father had been the one to eventually set all right again in his life.
"Jim…" Cinderella came from her room. Jim was the baker's name, though few called him by it. "I can take him. You can bake some bread for us to eat."
He nodded, handing the baby of to Cinderella and going to see what supplies Jack's mother kept inside her house. She did thankfully have flour, and Milky was outside for milk. He wondered if the hen's golden eggs were solid gold or were only the shells gold and the insides edible? It was a perplexing thought. So he went to Marcella, so Jack had named his prized hen, and took from underneath her a golden egg. He tapped. It seemed normal enough. So he cracked the egg upon the counter top emptying the contents into a small pan. Indeed the insides were egg! But when he broke the yolk small golden flecks floated throughout the mixture. He shrugged, continuing to beat it anyhow.
He put the shell to the side because it was, of course, made of gold. It could be used for currency if need be. He was quite sure.
He could hear Cinderella humming a soft lullaby to the baby boy, bouncing him in her arms. She wasn't his mother, but she was a good motherly-type nonetheless.
A large yawn echoed in the house and Jack stepped out of his room rubbing his eyes. He stretched and eyed the scene playing out in his living room. The rag tag group had a strange adaptability. It had been less than twenty-four hours since all the killing had occurred yet here they were, together, going through the motions of a day. Perhaps it was that they could not bear to not go through them. Had it hit any of them yet that their lives would never be the same?