Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries ) (29 page)

BOOK: Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries )
5.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Is one of the items yours?” Shew asked.

“No,” Cerené said. “I have what I need here,” she lifted her dress, showing her the glass urn underneath. Shew wondered why Cerené hadn’t pointed at her blowpipe.

“And where is the old man, Charmwill?” Shew said.

“Like I said, I only met him once. Funny man, and  a funny parrot!” Cerené sucked the blood out of her finger. She’d hurt herself while hammering. “Come help me, and stop talking. We can’t let Loki get in.”

“This doesn’t look like a safe place, Cerené,” Shew commented, rummaging through a box of nails and looking for a hammer.

“I know,” Cerené considered. “But don’t worry. We’ll make it.”

Shew found a hammer and started nailing. She wasn’t enthusiastic about it. Keeping Loki out wasn’t going to be that easy. She kept wondering why Cerené brought her to this cottage. It didn’t look safe. Her first hit with the hammer landed on her finger, too. She let out a scream.

“You need to be tougher,” Cerené giggled.

“You just hurt yourself a second ago,” Shew defended herself.

“That’s true, but I’m not the Chosen One,” Cerené winked.

“How do you know I’m the Chosen One,” Shew’s face tightened. “I never told you.”

“Charmwill told me,” Cerené sighed. “Can you stop talking now and do some work?”

“Why is everyone else telling you things all the time?” Shew wondered. “Is that why you keep coming  rescuing me, because you think you should care for the Chosen One?” Shew said.

“Yes!” Cerené snapped again. “Are you happy now? I am supposed to take care of you, the same way you will take care of me. Bianca told me so, and Charmwill told me so. Why is it so hard for you to accept that I am here for you?”

Shew said nothing, and continued hammering. Cerené was right. They were two lost girls with no elder to take care of them. Both were damaged, yet blessed. The Chosen One took care of the Clue, and the Clue took care of the Chosen one. It was like nothing Shew had read in history books before. This was Shew’s and Cerené’s special journey, and they had to do it their own way. Love was not always the answer and friendship was just as important.

The two girls nailed a board over every window for extra security. Cerené had pulled off planes from the beds and used them as logs, and then she blew out the candles and dimmed the cottage.

Finally, the two girls sat on the floor with their backs against the wall, staring at the cottage’s door. Cerené  cleaned her blowpipe, but Shew didn’t bother cleaning her sword.

After some time had passed they assumed Loki wasn’t coming for them. Either the glass dragon had killed him or Loki had no idea they were in the cottage. Anticipating silence surrounded the two girls, accompanied by their own breathing.

“Do you think I will able to create fire one day?” Cerené asked in the dark.

“I would like to think so,” Shew said. “You’re still young. Maybe you’ll acquire the talent later.”

“And maybe the Creators are worried I’d use it the wrong way,” Cerené said.

“If I were one of the Creators, I’d gift you with every power available,” Shew said.

“Don’t try to glasscoat your words, Joy,” Cerené said. Shew supposed the phrase meant something like ‘sugar coat.’ Glass was as precious as gold and sweet as sugar to the people of Sorrow—and probably Murano at the time. “I know how weird I am. I’m not a fool,” Cerené confessed.

“You’re not—”

“Stop it, please,” Cerené said. “I am fine with who I am. I don’t care if others think I’m an outcast. It might be hard to believe, but I
in myself.  I deserve a happy ending, a prince and a ball where everybody looks up to me. But frankly, sometimes I also feel like the Creators are doing the world a favor by not gifting me with the ability to create fire, or—” she shrugged.


“Or maybe I’d burn them all,” Cerené said. “I’d burn the Queen of Sorrow for what she does to the children and me; I’d burn my stepfamily for hurting me, Loki the Huntsmen, Baba Yaga. It’s an endless list, really.  The world is full of evil.”

The girl who thought the world was full of evil was the same girl who held a clue to it all.

“Then you’d have missed the whole purpose of why the Creators gifted you with fire—if they ever did that,” Shew said. “Why burn the world if, with fire, you could create almost every living thing; the dragons, the sea horses, and the butterflies.”

“Good idea, Joy,” Cerené said. “I’d like to create plenty of those … after I burn the others. Let’s start all over again. The world needs a new beginning.”

Shew shrugged; glad it was dark. She did not want to see Cerené’s expression now, because she didn’t want to know if she wasn’t joking.

“Moutza,” Cerené whispered in the dark.

Shew laughed, “Did it work?”

“Of course not. You see any fire?” Cerené said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could light a candle with my mind now?”

“Keep trying, Cerené,” Shew said. “Who knows? One day, it might work. Tell me something by the way,” she fidgeted in her place. “Did your mother or Charmwill tell you anything else?”

“Bianca tells me a lot of things. I forget half of it most of the time,” Cerené said. “I usually remember when something in my real life reminds me of her words.”

“I meant did she tell you anything else about me?” Shew said.

Cerené’s voice disappeared in the dark for a while, and Shew felt like a blind girl looking for answers.

“Cerené? I asked you—”

“I know. You asked me a question,” Cerené cut her off. “Well, not everything Bianca says is always true.”

“Did she tell you anything about a ‘clue’?” She scooted nearer.

“A clue? What do you mean?”

“Remember when she told you were like a Pandora’s Box, did she elaborate?” She said.

“If she did I don’t remember,” Cerené sighed. “She did tell me something else about you,” she sounded reluctant.

“Please tell me,” Shew said eagerly.

“She told me that I would be doing a great service by saving you repeatedly.”

“That’s about you. What did she tell you about me that you’re trying to keep from me?” Shew insisted.

“She told me that on the other hand, you won’t be capable of taking care of me,” Cerené said. “But that’s just Bianca. Like I said, not everything she tells me is true.”

“Did she explain why I wouldn’t be able to take care of you?” Shew didn’t like Bianca at all now.

“She said you will have a lot on your mind in the beginning of your journey,” Cerené said. “She basically said that you’ll be focused on your love life so much that you won’t do many things you are supposed to do.”

Shew didn’t like what she’d just heard. She was going to take care of Cerené and she wasn’t going to fail. She leaned back, thinking about it.

“Really, don’t listen to Bianca,” Cerené broke the silence. “She talks all the time. Once, she joked that in order for Chosen Ones to become Chosen Ones, they had to be saved repeatedly by unchosen ones,” Cerené laughed. “Ironic, isn’t it?”

“It’s very true,” Shew said. “In fact, I know a mentor who died to save a Chosen One before. Do you know that the old man you met here is dead?” Shew thought she could try to explain to Cerené what was going on. Maybe she could believe her.

“What man?” Cerené sounded upset in the dark. “Charmwill? You know him? Is he dead? How do you know that?” her breath puffed against Shew’s face.

“It’s a complicated story,” Shew said. “I could tell you all about it.”

Unexpectedly, Cerené grabbed Shew from her dress, “Tell me, how did he die? That can’t be,” she said.

“Calm down, I can explain.”  Shew didn’t realize Cerené liked the man she had only met once that much.  She was over-reacting.

“Where is he? Take me to him,” Cerené insisted. “I know how to save him.”

“He is dead, Cerené,” Shew said.

“I know how to save him,” Cerené repeated, and it sounded as if she were crying. “He told me how.”

“Oh,” Shew said. “You mean you could resurrect him with the blowpipe? How’s that? Carmilla chopped off his head. That cake didn’t kill him—“

“Not with the blowpipe, Joy. Take me to him, Shew,” Cerené went crazy. “Now!”

“That’s impossible. I can’t really explain right now,” Shew was going to tell her that this was a dream and that she had to wake up from it first. “How can you save him, then?”

“I know his True Name,” Cerené whispered. “He told me that I could stay in the cottage and be safe if I kept his true name a secret in me.”

“Charmwill’s name isn’t Charmwill?” Shew wondered.

“His real name is one of three elements needed for his own Art!” Cerené said. “And his Art can resurrect him.”

“You mean we can resurrect Charmwill Glimmer? That’s great news,” Shew said as the sound of an axe banging against the door horrified her.

The two girls plastered their backs against the wall, flashing their weapons in the dark, no words escaping their mouths.

The same axe came slicing through the cottage’s door again, the crack making way for a thin moonbeam into the room.

“What should we do now?” Cerené held Shew’s hand.

“Don’t worry,” Shew said. “I will take care of you,” she squeezed Cerené’s hand tighter.
The hell with Bianca. I will take care of you.

A third hit sliced through the door, enough for Loki’s eyes and nose to show through the crack. He sneered at them, his hair dangling down his eyes.

 “Piggy, Piggy!” His voice oozed all kinds of evil. “Come to papa!”

“Moutza!” Cerené took a step forward and waved her hand with an open palm and five stretched fingers at Loki.

Nothing happened. Loki mocked her back with glaring eyes, “Moutza Moutza!” He wiggled his eyebrows.

It seemed like he was spiraling down into madness with each passing moment as Carmilla continued to control his veins with the Fleece.

“What’s happened to you, Loki?” Shew screamed. “You were such a kind young boy!”

“I ate a frog for breakfast,” Loki raised his axe and slammed the door, spitting a frog’s legs from his mouth. “He kept telling me he was a prince, but I didn’t care. Could that be the Loki you want, piggy piggy?”

“You hate frogs!” Shew protested.

“I hate you too, princess,” Loki hit the axe. “Doesn’t mean I don’t wan to eat you alive, piggy.”

“Stop calling us piggies!” Cerené protested, ready to swing with her blowpipe.

“But why? I’m hungry as a wolf,” he yanked a big part of the door away, and stuck his whole head inside the cottage, wiggling his tongue. “If you don’t let me come in, piggies,” he impersonated the wolf in the famous fairy tale, “I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down.”

Cerené giggled all of a sudden. Loki’s madness amused her.

“Shut up Cerené,” Shew pulled her back.

“Who’s your little piggy friend?” Loki titled his head, flashing his fakest smile, his hair dangling down his forehead.

“She’s the one who created the dragon that kicked your
butt,” Shew answered.

“Is that so?” he said. “Two hearts and livers are always better than one.”

Shew raised her sword and swung hard at his neck. It was time to chop this annoying version of him off.

Loki pulled back immediately, and Shew ended up slicing the air, her eyes finding Cerené’s, who seemed disappointed with her.

“What?” Shew yelled.

“You know what, Joy,” Cerené frowned. “You didn’t swing hard enough at him. You could have chopped his head off if you wanted to.

“Is this what Bianca told you about? Are you in love with the Huntsman?”

“Of course, not,” Shew snapped, pulling Cerené by the hand. “Come here, I’ll prove it to you,” she ran back to one of the windows and pulled out all the logs as she listened to Loki breaking down the cottage’s door.

Shew and Cerené jumped out and ran toward Shew’s unicorn. As they mounted it, Loki had entered and already reached the window.

“Huntsmen!” he screamed from the top of his lungs, summoning them.

Shew didn’t see the dark cloaked Huntsmen with their three eyed unicorns nearby, but she could hear them approaching, shaking the earth underneath her and Cerené. She whipped at her unicorn with her hand and rode away.









“Axel,” Fable opened her eyes slowly. Her brother had been feeding her water and Bram Jam—a special and limited Belly and the Beast offer: one Bram Jam, simply a jam and butter sandwich, and a Dracola, the worst fizzy drink in Sorrow because it tasted like blood. You could get a large or medium Dracola. Hell, you can even get it blood-free, but it tastes awful.

“Are you feeling better, sis?” Axel said.

“Yes,” she held his hand to help her stand up. “Much better, thank you for slapping me,” she mocked him.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better,” Axel said, “you were going crazy because of that stupid spell.”

“I think its effect is gone,” she said. “Thank you again, bro,” she kissed him on the cheek.

Axel was stoked. It was the second time she kissed him on the cheek in two days. The first was when he’d pushed Snow White’s coffin into the Schloss yesterday. He swore he’d not rub his cheek for some time, afraid the kiss’s effect would wear off.

“What are you reading?” she asked him.

“Nothing new,” he said. “All kinds of gibberish mentioned in this J.G. diary. I am on weird part which says that there is glass urn that holds the Chosen One’s redemption.”

“Whatever that means,” Fable commented. "Listen, bro. I really need you to do one more thing for me,” Fable said, her smile blossoming. She adjusted her glasses and looked nerdy, just the way Axel liked.

“Shoot, sis,” Axel said proudly. “I’m willing to do whatever you want.”

“I want you not to be mad at me,” Fable said, taking a step back.

“I could never be mad at you,” Axel said.

“Believe me, this time you might be,” Fable said.

“I could never—” suddenly, it was clear to Axel. He saw Fable run back to the purple light and walk through it.

“I am sorry, bro. I won’t be long. I’m going to save Loki, and come back,” was the last thing she said before she disappeared inside the Dream Temple.

BOOK: Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries )
5.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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