Title: "The Sisters in the Wood"
Which fairytale inspired you: "Snow-White & Rose-Red" by The Brothers Grimm
Rating & Any Needed Warning: Appropriate for all ages
Word Count: 3,023
Pairing: Rosalie & Emmett, Isabella & Edward
Summary: Deep in the woods of Forks a small cottage holds two beautiful sisters who are as different as night and day. When a stranger comes to their door, they are confronted with a secret and set on a path to free their future from its bonds.
Disclaimer: All copyrights, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners; no copyright infringement is intended. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without express written authorization from the author.
There once was a poor widow named Esme who lived deep in the forest with her two teen daughters, Rosalie and Isabella. While both held equal favor in their mothers' heart, the two were as different as night and day. Rosalie was forthright and jovial whereas Isabella was tranquil and reserved. One could often find Rosalie chasing small animals through the wood and her sister quietly reading in a meadow.
Each sister loved the other with their whole heart and always walked hand-in-hand when they went to the market or for a walk. They continually agreed that even if they were to grow up and marry, their homes would be next to each other and whatever one had, so it would be in the ownership of the other.
Even though the young ladies were constantly roaming about the forest gathering berries or picking wild flowers, no beasts or man every bothered them. For deer would come near for their touch, rabbits would eat from their palms, and birds flocked to the trees around them. Many a man had been stunned to silence by their beauty and kind words as well.
The forest seemed to embrace them as its children for, if they stayed out late in to the night and were too far from their cottage, they'd simply lay themselves upon some moss or soft earth to sleep till morning. Esme never worried about them for she knew them to be safe at all times, no matter what.
Esme also never had to punish the girls; they kept the cottage so clean that everyone delighted in entering it. They were pleased to do laundry and dishes and other daily chores quite early in the morning. Isabella and Rosalie spent their afternoons amongst the trees laughing, playing, and doing the things they loved. The pair held their evenings at home in high regard, for Esme would gather the girls about the fire and open the great book of stories from which she would read great adventures.
One evening, when the little family was enjoying a tale, a great knock came from the door. "Hurry, Rosalie," Esme called out, "open the door! Someone might need shelter from this terrible cold." Rosalie pushed herself off the floor and quickly unbolted the door. Expecting to see some poor traveler waiting, the three were greatly surprised by the great wolf head that poked in. Becoming quite fearful, Rosalie yelped and fell backwards. Isabella, feeling the same terror, hid herself behind the table.
However, the wolf began to speak… "Please do not be afraid. I will not harm you. I am quite frozen and wish to warm myself by your fire. It looks very inviting."
Seeing his distress, Esme cried, "You poor wolf! Come in and lie down by the fireplace. Come here, Isabella and Rosalie… This meager wolf will not hurt you. He is quite honest; look at his poor paws, they're simply blue!" So both girls came back out and welcomed their brutal looking visitor.
"You girls," cried the wolf, "before you retire for the night, would you mind brushing the snow off my back? I can't reach it and I have nothing to rub myself against in order to rid of it. Thinking quickly, Isabella grabbed for their brooms and both began to sweep the wolf clean. Soon, the great wolf stretched himself out along the fireside and lowly barked in contentment.
When the girls went off to bed, Esme gently pat the wolf and said, "You may sleep here if you like. Then you'll be quite protected from the cold and any rough weather we will be sure to get."
Unable to help herself, Isabella snuck out of bed and lay next to the wolf on the rug. Gently stroking his fur, she hummed quietly to herself and felt quite happy and content.
Not wanting to wake the wolf or be caught by her mother, Isabella lay for only a short time before heading back to bed.
As soon as the first rays of sun were shining in the window, the two girls let the wolf outside where he ran away over the fresh fallen snow. Feeling something like disappointment, Rosalie and Isabella stayed inside cleaning twice as much as they needed to. Neither of them felt much like playing or rolling about in the crisp, white snow.
The girls were quite overjoyed when nightfall came and a pair of bright-green eyes were seen trotting toward the cottage.
"You've come back!" exclaimed Isabella, for, though she hadn't spoken it aloud, she was much more heartbroken at the prospect of never seeing the wolf again than Rosalie seemed to be.
The wolf seemed to smile at her fondly. "Yes, pretty one. I have returned."
And so, every night, the wolf came at the same hour to lie near the fire and allow the girls to talk with him and tell stories, till they became so accustomed to having him there that the door was left unbolted until he was safely inside with them each night.
One night, the girls found themselves staying up quite late asking the Wolf to tell them stories and answer questions.
"Sweet Wolf, why are your eyes so beautifully green?" yawned Isabella, for she was quite tired but did not want to leave his side.
Rosalie looked up at him, "Yes, Wolf. They are so bright and unusual for an animal."
The Wolf was quiet for a time, and the sisters were fearful that they had upset him. Just when they were about to walk away from shame, the Wolf took a deep breath and said, "When the time comes, you shall know the truth about my eyes and much more."
"No, off to bed, my beautiful treasures. I shall see you in the morning."
The sisters hugged the wolf and kissed his forehead in turn, before going upstairs and falling asleep.
When the first thaw of spring returned and everything was quite green again, the Wolf told Isabella that he must leave her and would not come again until the end of summer. Quite distraught, Isabella questioned, "Where are you to go, then, dear Wolf?"
"I am obligated to go deep into the forest and guard my dearest treasures from the evil Dwarfs. You see, in the winter, it is much too cold and the ground too hard for them to leave their holes. But, now the sun is warming the earth and they are working very hard to break free and go after my precious things. Once they've touched something it gets hidden in their caves and cannot easily be brought back to the light."
Isabella's heart was growing heavier by the minute. She was so hesitant to allow the Wolf to leave that when he did manage to squeeze himself out the front door, a piece of his furry coat was caught on the door, leaving a small hole. The Wolf began to walk in to the trees when Isabella thought she saw a sparkle of light glitter in the hole she had accidentally created. A small gasp had escaped her mouth, causing the Wolf to run faster into the wood. Not really certain of what she saw, Isabella said not a word to anyone.
Some weeks later, Esme sent the girls into the forest to gather firewood. While doing so, they came to a tree that lay across their path. On its trunk, they noticed something bobbing up and down, which they could not name. Upon closer inspection, Rosalie saw a Dwarf, with a taut, wrinkled old face and a gray-white beard which was quite long. The specific length was not easily determined for the end was stuck in a split part of the fallen tree. The Dwarf resembled a small pup that had been chained to a post. Feeling quite aggravated and annoyed, the Dwarf glared at the girls menacingly. "Well don't just stand there and stare! You're not going to just walk away and not help me."
Trying to control her laughter, Rosalie giggled, "What on earth have you done to yourself here, little man?"
"You stupid, spiteful, brat!" exclaimed the Dwarf. "I wanted to chop this tree to pieces for my fire. I was doing well until the wedge fell out and this great thick tree ate my beard. It's quite stuck and I cannot get out. Do stop laughing and help me! Are you too dim-witted to see when someone needs your assistance?"
The girls took all the brainpower they had to plan and attempt to get the Dwarf's beard out but none bet with success. Rosalie huffed, quite irritated, "I will run and get some help."
"Don't leave me here, you stupid, stupid girl. There are many beasts in this forest that would eat me up for lunch!"
"Oh, do stop, please," begged Isabella. "I have thought of something I know will work." Then she drew a small pair of scissors from her skirt pocket and quickly snipped the end of the beard off.
As soon as the Dwarf found himself at liberty, he grabbed up his gold filled rucksack and marched off; all the while crying and groaning, "Stupid, stupid girls! To cut off a piece of my beautiful, magnificent beard! I hope the Plague takes you or a large animal with lots of teeth eats you!"
"Well, that's gratitude!" screamed Rosalie after him.
Some time afterwards, Isabella and Rosalie set off to go fishing. Nearing the pond they saw something jumping around the edge as if it were trying to hop in the water. After quickly running over, they were able to easily identify the Dwarf.
Rosalie, feeling quite pleased with his obvious dis-pleasure, smirked, "What'd you do now? You'll fall in to the water, and as you're so small, I feel certain you'll drown."
"I'm not quite as simple as that, girl," replied the Dwarf. "If I stand too still, this fish will pull me in!" Upon closer inspection, the two noticed that the little man had tangled his lengthy beard in the fishing line. The fish, seeming quite smart and aware of the predicament, began swimming towards the middle of the pond; pulling the Dwarf in head first. Isabella, remembering how effective it had been before, wrenched out her scissors and, again, cut off a portion of the mans beard.
Only sensing that he was free, the Dwarf jumped quickly out of the water and began walking towards the shore. "Thank you, thank you…" he said, as he padded himself off with a piece of cloth. When his hands reached his face, the 'thank you's' quickly turned into screams of anger. "You stupid little monsters! Was it not enough for you to defile my beard once? No, you had to disfigure me a second time? I cannot even dare show my face to my own people after this! I wish you nothing but bad luck for the rest of your lives!" Still muttering to himself, he took up a small bag of pearls and speed off into the woods.
Rosalie, being herself, yelled after him, "Save yourself the trouble and shave the thing off completely, you vial little thing!"
A few days after their fishing expedition, the girls were sent by their mother to the nearest town to by sewing supplies in order to ready their fall and winter clothing. While traveling along the road, the girls noticed a large hawk flying around in circles over a nearby meadow. Every now and then the bird would drop lower and lower until, finally, it came down behind a large rock. Seconds later, Rosalie and Isabella heard a great shriek and saw the hawk fly out from behind the rock with the Dwarf clutched in its beak.
Being the kindhearted ladies that they were, Isabella and Rosalie grabbed hold of the little man and swung him round until the bird gave up and flew off.
After righting himself and brushing off his pants, the Dwarf bellowed, "Couldn't you have held me a bit softer? With all that swinging and grabbing you've put holes on my fine green coat! I'm sick of your meddling and interfering. You're just stupid, stupid, stupid!" The girls, even Rosalie, were now quite accustomed to the Dwarfs ingratitude, ignored his ramblings and set off again for town.
On the return journey, they came upon a clean spot of earth where the Dwarf had dumped out his pouch of jewels, thinking that no one was around. As the sun was shining quite brightly, the girls were able to see beautiful beams of color from the stones that they stopped to look at them more closely.
The Dwarf, who finally noticed the young ladies, became quite red in his face. "What are you gawking at now, you stupid girls?" On and on he griped and groaned, until a great howl came out of the trees.
Suddenly, the Wolf came running out of the forest. Terrified for his life, the Dwarf jumped up and began to stumble away with his treasures. But, he didn't make it far before the Wolf overtook him. Upon which he then cried out, "Spare my inconsequential life, dear Lord Wolf. Please! I will give you all that I have; my dearest treasures. See these beautiful stones, my Lord? Only spare my life and they shall be yours. I am such a small, weak, fellow anyway. Why not go for those two wicked girls? Take them, my Lord, for they would be oh so tasty, like fat little pigs. Eat them, for heavens sake!"
However, not making any trouble with speaking, the Wolf took a great swipe at the Dwarf with his paw, causing him to fall to the ground and never awake again.
Startled with fear, the girls began to run away, but the Wolf called to them… "Isabella and Rosalie, do not fear! It is I, your friend. Please wait and let me accompany you home."
Recognizing his voice, the sisters stopped and turned around. When the Wolf came nearer, he stood and his furry coat fell off. For, he was a tall man dressed in an outfit made entirely of gold.
"I am, Edward, the son of the King. That wicked Dwarf condemned me to be in the form of a wolf after he stole all my treasures. I was to wander about this forest forever, until his death or mine released me. Now… he has finally got the punishment he rightly deserved."
The three went home to the little cottage where Esme cried with joy at the site of a handsome man with her daughters.
"My lady," spoke Edward, "I'm sure Rosalie and Isabella will tell you of how they came to free me from my bond, but for now, I must go."
"No!" cried Isabella. "You can't leave after all this. You must stay here; we can't bear to be without you."
Smiling wide at her, Edward replied, "My beautiful friend… I must return to the castle and speak to my father, the King." Edward cupped her face in his hands. "He must be terribly worried, for I have been away for many years." He gently tucked Isabella's hair behind her ear as he leaned down and whispered, "Fear not, fair one. I will be back soon." Edward placed a light kiss on her forehead, just as she had done so many times when he was a wolf, before he hugged each lady goodbye.
And so, Edward set off for the castle at Forks, where he was reunited with his family and told them of his epic and terrible escapade.
Many weeks later, Edward returned to the cottage in the woods, but he was not alone.
"Isabella, my beloved, I have returned as I promised." He grabbed her in a hug and spun her around, kissing her face as she beamed with happiness.
Rosalie, even though she was quite happy for her sister and not at all jealous of her new found love, was quite envious and scared she might be left behind.
Seeing her distress, Edward approached her. "Rosalie, my dear friend, you've been so kind and wonderful to me. I have brought you something of a gift." He gestured to the carriage that he had arrived in, upon which a door opened and a striking and large man emerged. "Everyone, this is my brother, Emmett. After hearing about the two sisters who had helped me survive the winter and saved me from living the rest of my life as a wolf, he wanted to meet you. Knowing what I know about the personalities of him, and of you, Rosalie, I think that you would make an excellent match."
Emmett walked toward her, then she bowed to him and said, "Your Majesty," while coyly batting her eyelashes, "It's a pleasure."
He dipped down to kiss her outstretched hand. "The pleasure is all mine, my Lady."
Soon after, the sisters, their widowed mother, and the two Princes moved all their belongings to the castle at Forks; whereupon, the King and Queen welcomed them with open arms.
Rosalie and Emmett often went on hunting trips and ran through the forest, getting to know one another and falling in love.
When winter arrived, both couples were married in front of a large, roaring fire at the castle while the clean white snow fell outside. They always wanted to remember how they first came to meet their large wolf friend, and how, even though it might not have seemed like it at the time, it was a blessing that the Dwarf put Edward under the spell.
Rosalie and Isabella never had to break their promise to each other of living side by side; they all remained in the castle together as one big family.
When the flowers bloomed the following spring, Isabella and Edward welcomed their first child; a boy they named Oliver. And a few months later, Rosalie and Emmett were blessed with their little daughter, Gwen.
The children grew up to be the best of friends and had many adventures.