Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from Once Upon A Time, I only own my OC.
I hope you enjoy my new story, please let me know if its any good and if I should continue. Thanks for reading!
I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was warm and cool, I could hear the trickling of water nearby as I made my down the cold pebbled pathway to the river. My dress was torn and covered in patches as my dark brown hair was pulled out of my face into a messy bun. I could feel the dirt on my face and I couldn't wait to clean up a little bit. I had a bucket in one hand and a small bowl in the other. Moments later I had arrived at my destination.
There were other women there, washing their hands, getting water for their husband's out in the field and also gathering water for their meals that night. I was not married; my parents both died when I was young and I now lived with my older brother and his wife. They were kind to me; I was still expected to do my share of the chores, but nothing horrible.
I looked at the other women and made my walked a bit further away from them as I didn't want to become involved with their gossip, though I knew distancing myself from them probably made them gossip about me.
I kneeled down and dipped my hands in the cool silky water. After my hands and face were washed I began filling my bucket with my small bowl. After a few minutes of that I decided to just put my bowl down and I gathered the water in the bucket itself. After the bucket was full, I stood up and picked up the bucket. I leaned back down for my bowl when I realized it had floated to the middle of the river.
'Great' I thought to myself as I put the bucket down and made my way to retrieve the bowl. I knew the river was deeper in this area and I wanted to try to get it before it became too deep. I was nearly to the bowl when my foot slipped and I fell completely into the water.
I struggled to regain my footing on the rocks at the bottom of the river, but by now the river was deep enough that I could no longer. The water was becoming rougher and I knew I needed to get out before I was completely stuck in the rapids. I called for help, but I knew I was too far from the other women for them to hear me.
I struggled against the rapids when I spotted a log. I reached for the log, but to my surprise a hand reached out and grabbed my hand. I felt myself being pulled to the edge of the river and soon I was back on land. I sat on the grass and caught my breath as I looked around for my rescuer. After a few seconds I spotted a man. His shoulder length hair was brown and barely lighter than my own. His red and black clothes looked different to me. I hadn't seen anything that looked like that before. Then my dark brown eyes met his.
"It seems Miss Gisela, you are going to be quite a handful." The man said to me in almost a menacing voice. I looked at him confused by his words. He stood a couple of feet away from me, and watched me closely as I stood up.
"How do you know my name?" I asked him confused. I had no idea who he was, yet he seemed to know me.
"I've know you for a long time. Though I suspect, your parents would never mention me." He said, smiling. I shook my head.
"No, I'm afraid I don't know who you are. Thank you for saving me." I replied grateful he had saved me.
"You're lucky I was in the area, a few more minutes and you would been in waters impossible to survive." I nodded, knowing his words were true. I looked around and then realized how far down river I had gotten. I was in for quite a walk plus I knew there was no way I was going to get all my chores done now.
"Something troubling you?" the man asked, noticing my distress.
"No, I just realized I have a ways to go to get back to my village." I turned back to him. He shook his head.
"In the end that won't matter, though I suppose I should come with you, to discuss with your brother what your parents owe." I didn't understand what he meant, but the sun would be going down soon and I didn't want to walk by myself in the dark. I nodded to him and we started to follow the river back to my village.
We walked in silence for a while, but I often looked over at my travel companion the majority of the time he was staring at me.
"What's your name?" I asked him, wanting to end the silence. He smiled a bit mischievously and said,
"All in good time Gisela. I promise you will know all soon enough. Your brother is sure to remember me and the bargain your parents made. "
I nodded and wasn't sure what else to say. It bothered me that he knew me, and I had no idea who he was. I wasn't afraid of him, I actually felt rather comfortable around him. For some reason, I seemed to know he meant me no harm, though I was interested to know about the bargain and what it had to do with me.
It was late by the time we made it back to the village. The man followed me to my family's house, though he seemed to already know the way. I opened the door and was surprised to see my brother who was obviously ready to head out.
"Gisela, I'm glad that you're alright. Some of the women in the village told me that you fell into the river and were taken away. I was about to come find you." I nodded as Daniel stood to the side and let me in. It was then he saw the man who had saved me.
"You! What are you doing here? It can't be that time yet." Daniel said surprised to see my rescuer.
"Is it not? She's now 21 isn't she? I've allowed an extra year, and now I've come to claim my prize." The man said looking at me. My heart sank as their gazes turned to me.
"Allow me one more day, Gisela has no idea about the bargain that was made." Daniel said as the man thought for a moment.
"Very well, I will be back tomorrow. No know this if your parents' end of the bargain isn't done, another famine will come." The man said, and then was suddenly was gone.
I looked up at my brother and asked,
"What is he talking about? Why does everyone seem to know about a bargain and no me?"
Daniel turned to me and said,
"Come take a walk with me." I nodded and followed him out the door. After a few minutes passed and we were out of earshot of the village Daniel started say,
"When you were young, our village was going through a famine, no food would grow and our cattle and sheep were dying. A man approached our parents and asked why they were so distressed. When they explained they had two kids at home and nothing to feed us. The man who called himself Rumplestiltskin told them he could solve all their problems. He could guarantee the end of the famine for our family and the whole village for a price."
"Me?" I asked him. Daniel nodded and continued to say,
"They agreed that you would meet him when you were 20 and you would be his. When he didn't show up last year I assumed that he had decided he no longer wanted you in his possession. Obviously that wasn't the case."
"What does he want with me?" I asked my brother.
"I don't know, but I won't allow him to take you, I will hide you and you never need to worry about him." I was surprised by his words. I looked around and realized he was taking me far away from the village in an attempt to hide me. I stopped him.
"I will go with him." I said to Daniel. My brother turned back to me with eyes as wide as watermelons.
"You can't be serious. You don't know him and you don't know what he wants with you." Daniel said trying to talk me out of it. I turned back towards the village.
"I'm not thrilled that our parents would just bargain me off like eggs at market, but a deal was made, and now we must uphold it. I don't want anything bad happening to the village because of me." I explained to him. I could see he hated what must be done, but for some reason I wasn't afraid of him.
The next night came quickly and Rumplestiltskin had indeed come back for me. His smile made my heart tremble; I had no idea what he wanted with me.
Rumplestiltskin turned from me to my brother.
"Your parents' end of the bargain is fulfilled; I will no longer come to you or your village. Gisela, come." Rumplestiltskin said turning back to me. I nodded and picked up the small bag I had packed of my few possessions. I left my brother, my family and my home forever.
I followed Rumplestiltskin throughout most of the night, rarely talking. By morning we had reached a small cottage covered in vines and it looked to be abandoned.
"Here we are! Home sweet home, you'll love it here, though it's a bit of a mess. You'll get used to it." He said to me as he led me into the cottage. I looked around, he was right it was messy and it was small. It only had one bedroom and one bed. I wondered where it was he expected me to sleep.
"When I originally made the bargain with your parents I planned on making you my personal slave. I don't think that will do anymore. Nonetheless its been a long night and I suspect you're tired. You may use the bed over there in the corner. I have business I must attend too. I'll be back in an hour or two." And with that he was gone. I looked around the room. I did feel tired, but I knew I couldn't sleep here.
After looking around the cottage I decided to get to work and start cleaning. It took me a good hour but everything was clean and organized. After wandering a bit outside, I found some blackberries, after picking them I brought some back and started to make some black berry pie. I was surprised Rumplestitskin wasn't back by the time I was done. After the pie was finished I looked back around the apartment, that bed looked really nice. I walked over to it and laid down. Soon I fell into a dreamless sleep.
I woke up to hear some pots and pans clanging. I got up from the bed and saw Rumplestiltskin wondering about the kitchen putting something together.
"Is there something I can help with?" I asked him. He turned to me.
"No I don't believe there is, Gisela, I am making a potion which requires my knowledge of magic." He said to me as he kept putting things together. "You certainly are a hard worker. I believe I told you to take a nap and you cleaned up the cottage and made a pie in the time I was gone. Impressive."
"I hope it pleases you." I said to him. He smiled and said,
"It does, I've been meaning to clean that mess up for a while. I'm glad that you were here and did it."
"Well a good slave does the work that needs to be done, even without being asked." I said, though I hated to refer to myself as a slave. I missed my brother and my life back home. Snapping me out of my thoughts, Rumplestiltskin said,
"No, Gisel, I don't believe you will be a mere slave in this household. I believe someday you may be more."