My idea of what will happen next season. I own nothing. Please don't hate me for the crappiness of the ending. Also I shamelessly stole the idea of 'Forgetful Dust' from Sisters Grimm.
Caleb Sanderson drummed his fingers on the steering wheel to 'Dynamite' as it played on the radio. He heard the sheriff in Storybrooke was a woman. 'Probably just forgets to write up the reports,' thought the relatively new, young deputy.
He shouldn't actually have gone at all. Sheriff Davids was supposed to check it out; however he had just found out that his year-old son, Christopher, had autism, and Caleb decided that the good sheriff could use a few personal days.
It was only eight in the morning; he hoped the sheriff was in. What was her name? Emma or Ella...he was positive it started with an 'e' and ended with an 'a'. He was sure that her last name was 'Swan', though, as he shifted the car into 'park mode' and unlocked the doors, he was pretty sure that she was new too, her first year or so of working.
He didn't know where to meet her, but he knew that Storybrooke was a relatively small town, and decided that he was content to park by the outside of the boarder and walk a bit until he found the sheriff's office.
Beginning the leisurely track on the sidewalk, he caught sight of something bright and pink flit past him. He turned. It was not there. Deciding it was a magnolia branch, heady with blossoms, for magnolia seemed to be filling the air suddenly, he felt an apprehension to look back and see if there really was a branch back there.
"Nova? Nova, where'd you go?" it was a female voice, and he turned around again, now feeling unsettled that the entire town was bordered by woods, and touched his holster. Mustering a bit of courage, he took a deep breath. "Who's there?"
"Oh." the voice was behind him now, and he frowned. Spinning around until he was face-to-face with the speaker, she gave him a confused glance. "You're not Nova." this was a different voice; which made sense, for there seemed to be two women standing next to each other.
One of the women, a pale lady with black hair that seemed an acceptable length, but at the same time too long for the wearer, was clothed in what seemed to be a white dress that had been chopped off right above her knees, blue jeans, and a heavy cloak. The girl next to her, also with black hair, seemed much younger, and only wore ripped (too ripped to be bought that way) jeans and a red hoodie that was much too big for her thin frame.
The woman who spoke first, the older one, put one hand over her mouth. "Oh! I thought you were...someone else entirely. We're sorry for disturbing you. Red—er—Ruby—can give you directions out of here, right, dear?"
'Ruby' yanked nervously on the sleeve of her red hoodie. "I came to see Sheriff Swan." he announced, "Would someone show me where she is?" 'Ruby' gave a humorless laugh. "Fat lot of good a sheriff does around here."
"Red!" the older woman frowned disapprovingly. "Don't push it!" she extended her hand to Caleb. "My name is Mary Margret."
Caleb shook her hand, then frowned. "Are you saying she doesn't do her job around here?"
"Of course, she does what she can. It's only the size of our problems...! Nothing to send anyone over here for of course, we can handle everything." Mary Margret was stumbling over her words and twisting a diamond ring on her left hand, which he took to mean she was married.
"Please take me to her." for some reason this seemed to startle both women, and Mary Margret shook her head. "No."
"I will have to arrest you for harboring a criminal." he knew the treat had no substance, but hoped the women did not know this. He seemed to be right, because 'Ruby' took a step back.
"If you really want to see her." Mary Margret said uncertainly. He nodded. 'Ruby' glanced around nervously once more.
The town was ruined. Gone. Dead.
He was shocked, as walking through it, he saw burned, gutted buildings, boarded up or shattered shop windows, and no people anywhere. A cold breeze blew from no direction in particular. 'Ruby' fell back, whisper-shouting the word "Nova!", and Mary Margret steered him onto cracked sidewalks, looking cautiously out from behind broken and twisted streetlights and every so often glancing at the sky as of she expected a dragon to fly down.
Several times he tried to ask her something—what had happened, who had done this, where was everyone, but each time she hushed him with a, "It's best to be quiet when walking by oneself, dear."
Finally they made it to a burned out house in the middle of town; it obviously used to be a fairly nice, middle-class home, but now most of the roofing was obliterated, showing burnt furniture from the top floor, and a gigantic hole in the front of the house, showing a dirty and ashen floor, walls, and stairwell. Mary Margret and 'Ruby' glanced around like they were afraid of being caught doing something wrong and hurried him inside.
Mary Margret journeyed down the pair of rickety stairs, telling Caleb to stay behind the,, and into what seemed to be a hotel.
There were people everywhere; sleeping bags, cots, and blankets and pillows were draped all over the floor. There were several small camp stoves and racks full of what seemed to be swords, bow-and-arrows, daggers, and the occasional unrecognizable weapon.
A blonde girl wearing a long blue T-shirt and jeans knelt on a blanket singing to a baby, which looked to be about one year old. A ten or eleven year old boy seemed to be reading a book on a sleeping bag. An older man with a beard and Italian accent spoke with a young man while they whittled away at blocks of wood. Three very short men carrying pickaxes trailed by.
"Snow!" a male voice rang out, and a man dressed in gray leather pants, a white button down, and black boots came over to their group, apparently not noticing Caleb. He embraced Mary Margret, who returned the affectionate gesture, greeting him as "James.", and nodded respectfully to 'Ruby'. "Snow, Red, glad you're safely back. Where's Nova?"
The pink flash flitted in the corner of his eye again, accompanied with the scent of magnolia blossoms. Mary Margret, who, Caleb was sure, the man was calling 'Snow', smiled. "Off to find Grumpy, I'm sure. Um...where is Emma?" James' smile faded, turning to look at the reading boy for a moment. "I'm not sure. She said she would be out for scouting with Thomas but apparently she's not back yet."
That was when he noticed Caleb. "Snow, who is that behind you?" he asked, seemingly calmly, though his hand hovered at his side, where a sword and scabbard were strapped.
"He wants to know where Emma is." said Mary Margret quietly. "She has not been filing her monthly sheriff's reports, it seems." James slapped his hand to his forehead and sighed. "Caught by paperwork."
Suddenly there was a clattering behind them and everyone seemed to tense. James stared at something behind them, and when Caleb turned, he saw a blonde woman in her late twenties, wearing a scuffed up red jacket, a tank top, and dark gray leather pants much like James', and a man wearing much the same thing as James, but with a gray vest and a dagger in his hand. Mary Margret, though Caleb was beginning to doubt that this was her name, turned to them.
"Henry, Emma's back!" called 'Ruby', turning away from the small crowd gathering in the doorway. The boy on the sleeping bag who had been reading put the book down and ran to the blonde woman, who wrapped him in a hug. The girl who had been singing to the child walked up to the man who had come in with her, and they walked off together.
"Emma, meet Caleb...I didn't catch your last name, sorry." James said, motioning to him and then to the blonde woman. Emma leaned down to the child's height. "Hey, go off and work some more now. I'll tell you what I've discovered afterwards." instead the boy glanced up at Caleb.
"Are you a stranger?"
"Nope, Henry, he's just lost." said 'Snow', gently pushing him out of their circle, then patting him on the head before he ran off to his book. "Now...Emma...Caleb is.."
"I've been sent to check on you, since you had not filed the monthly sheriff's reports for almost three months. But now that I have seen this town, well..." James and 'Snow' walked away, leaving them alone.
"What about it?" asked Ms. Swan. Caleb didn't understand how she couldn't see it, then wondered what happened. He voiced his question, and Ms. Swan shook her head. She was about to open her mouth when the blonde girl who was wearing the blue T-shirt came up to her, without the child.
"Emma," she nodded in a mixture of greeting and respect, "how was the ordeal?"
"Tiring, thanks for asking, Cinderella." she replied simply, pulling off her jacket. "Whenever Rumplestilskin isn't fighting us, he's fighting Regina, and vice-versa." the blonde girl (her name couldn't be Cinderella), nodded like she understood.
"I'm sorry about it. The Blue Fairy, Crystantha, and Nova are working on new weapons. Sharper, faster ones that we can reuse." she said. Ms. Swan bit her lip and frowned, glancing over at Henry again.
"Well, I need to show our guest the door.." she said. Caleb started to protest but she shook her head stubbornly, and motioned for him to follow her. For some reason she started to speak. He realized it wasn't to him, but to 'Ruby', who was keeping pace with them. "Here's the new announcement, word-for-word: When we first started fighting, the magic was taking time to settle and Regina and Rumplestiskin couldn't use much. Now there's no problem. All the houses were burnt to the ground, and we're in Snow's basement to hide in. The fairies are protecting it from spells. Of course, this can't go on much longer. We're running out of food in the town, and none of us can leave. Rumplestilskin and Regina can't go on for too much longer. They're running out of room. Of course, if they do stop fighting, the victor will just turns their full power on us, which would also spell the end."
'Ruby' sighed. "And how to I spin that to everyone like we actually have a chance?" Ms. Swan shrugged. 'Ruby' rolled her eyes and stomped off.
"If you're fairy tale characters, then why aren't you with your rainbows and happy endings?" he tried to mock her gently. She glared for a moment.
"Our happy ending is just a bit late." she muttered to him, rolling her eyes. She was walking through the makeshift camp, and he couldn't open his own eyes wide enough; there was an intensely blonde girl with freckles, arranging out three sleeping bags, varying in size, two twins, a boy and a girl, poking each other and laughing while calling each other 'Hansel' and 'Gretel', a teenage girl in pink sleeping on a mound of blankets.
Ms. Swan stopped when she came to what looked like a utility closet and opened it. Taking out a small, red velvet bag, she dug her hand inside it. Bringing it out filled with sparkly pink dust, she began to explain. "This is Forgetful Dust. It makes anyone forget everything they saw, provided if the worker does it right. We're gonna have to use it on you."
Caleb put on hand up to stop her. "Please, Ms. Swan. If you could just..." she opened the palm of her hand and blew it all at Caleb. Choking on the stuff, he fanned it away for a second before his hands fell to his sides.
"You don't remember meeting Snow and Red." Emma said. "You found an ordinary town, and a very forgetful sheriff, and she promised to send the reports straight to you." she thought of something, then said, "You will type up a fake report for Storybrooke every month. When you get to your car, the effects will come off. Isn't it a lovely day?"
Turning him around, she walked him to his car, where she watched as he drove away.