Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries ) (31 page)

BOOK: Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries )
10.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Loki let out a small demeaning laugh, and waited until the little ashen girl approached him.

“This first one was for thinking you could kill me,” Loki said. “This is for being stupid,” he simply chopped her other hand off, and rode away again.

“You little piece of shit!” Shew screamed at Loki and ran toward Cerené, trying to pull her up. This time Cerené wasn’t stubborn. She had that heartbreaking look in her eyes as if questioning how this could possibly be her fate. Shew pulled her up before she fainted.

All she could think of now was saving Cerené. Looking to the left, she noticed they were near the Wall of Thorns. She remembered when Cerené told her that each sleeping beauty in the Field of Dreams was a girl who had been killed. In order to live again, they had to dream and provide sand and tears for a hundred years, and then they could come back to life revitalized.

Shew didn’t know how to resurrect people through the blowpipe, nor did she know about the power of True Names. The Field of Dreams was her only choice to save Cerené. Cerené was dying in her hands.

To go to the Field of Dreams, Shew had to pass through the Wall of Thorns.  Shew rode toward it, not giving a damn about the thorn bush. If she rode fast enough, she should be able to pierce through it. Even if she didn’t, she’d give in to the thorn bush and allow the unicorn to take Cerené to the Field of Dreams.

As she rode, she noticed Loki following her again, but she intended to be faster. Once she entered the thorn bush, a couple of thorn vines crawled around Cerené and the unicorn, sniffing them. They slashed slightly at them, and sniffed their blood. Finally, they let them go.

I’m so close. I can make it to the Field of Dreams.

When the vines sniffed Shew, it took them some time before they slashed at her, tasting her blood.

Instantly they went crazy.

“Can’t you understand that I’m not the enemy,” Shew shouted. “Stupid thorns!”

Shew had come to a point where shedding blood had become really insignificant. She felt the thorns cut at her arms, her legs, and her face. It didn’t matter as long as there was the slightest hope to save Cerené.

If only she could ignore Mozart’s Magic Flute playing in her ears.

Somehow, she did this time.

Being seduced by music was only meant for the weak, not Chosen Ones when they’d learned their powers. The thorns had to do more than cut her skin to stop her.

Finally, Shew crossed to the other side into the Field of Dreams. Her dress was soaked with blood from every pore in her body

She stopped near one of the sleeping beauties, and eased Cerené down off the unicorn. She was hardly speaking. Shew located a free puddle of water and laid Cerené in it. She went back, undressed one of the girls in red, and dressed Cerené. She placed a glass urn to her right and one to her left, wondering if she’d done it the right way.

“Did I make fire?” Cerené muttered.

“Don’t talk now,” She urged her.

Cerené was already fainting. She had no more words to say, disappointed she didn’t live long enough to make fire. She held tighter, not knowing what else to do. She was waiting for a sign. Maybe she’d see Cerené crying sand and tears like all the other sleeping beauties, which would mean Cerené was saved.

“Tay,” Cerené tried to talk gain, her eyes white, not staring at Shew.

“Say nothing,” Shew held her face, trying not to think about the fountain of blood spurting out her arms. She suddenly remembered reading a gruesome fairy tale called the Girl Without Hands in the Schloss when she was imprisoned.

Who are you, Cerené? Who are you, really? Cinderella, the Phoenix, the Girl Without Hands, or my mentor?

“Tay,” Cerené’s tongue twisted. “Take,” she pointed at her glass urn tied to her stomach under her dress.

Shew took it, not knowing what Cerené wanted her to do with it. It looked like the other urns to her left and right. Cerené wasn’t talking anymore. She only pointed at the Wall of Thorns then fell back completely.

“Piggy, Piggy!” Loki shouted from behind the wall, his voice void of sarcasm.

Even if it was going to delay saving Cerené, she had to get rid of him.

Kill him, damn it. Kill him!

Shew took the glass urn and rode her unicorn back to the edge of the wall. She wasn’t going to run through it again. She’d been bleeding for some time, and she was getting weaker.

Loki was already in the middle of the Wall of Thorns, crossing it slowly on his unicorn. Shew felt maddened by the fact that Wall of Thorns considered him a friend and let him pass. She rode close to the edge of the thorns, looking Loki in the eyes.

 “This is for Cerené,” she said, and threw her sword like a spear, right into his heart, wiping the nasty smirk off his face. “And this sword has a piece of her in it.

Loki fell back instantly and his unicorn ran away. Shew couldn’t see what happened to him from behind the thicket of  thorns, but she was worried. She’d stabbed him in the stomach before and he didn’t die. There was no assurance he’d die when a sword plunged right through his heart.

A moment had passed without him even cursing or talking. Could it be that he was dead? It looked like it.

 She turned around, back to Cerené.

“Peek-a-boo,” Loki’s voice called her from behind, sarcastic and full of himself again. She turned around and saw his head from above the thorns. The Fleece reddened it. Loki had been saved by the power of the Queen again. “I see you,” he said, pointing two fingers at her and back to his eyes.

She wasn’t sure if he had pulled the sword out or not. It was hard to see his chest from behind the thorns, and there was no way she was going to enter the Wall of Thorns again.

“It’s been a rough day,” he said, wiping Cerené’s blood from his mouth. “And you owe me a heart and liver, princess,” he was walking toward her, about to cross the Wall of Thorns.

Shew stood
, without ideas, and almost void of any strength left. Ironically, it was at this very moment when she’d decided that killing him was the right thing. The Loki she had loved and always known was gone, just like any other relationship gone to hell, one of the two lovers had simply died. Foolishly, it had taken her the whole dream to figure it out. Nevertheless, the heart had reason the mind didn’t know of.

At this moment, Shew’s heart was on Cerené’s side and she had to kill that beast standing in front of her. 

While Loki was approaching, Shew stood with nothing but Cerené’s glass urn in her hands. What was she going to do with it, throw it at him? If she only knew what Cerené wanted her to do with it?

“Isn’t it ironic that the so called Chosen One herself can’t pass through the Wall of Thorns without being cut everywhere,” Loki said, approaching slowly. Of course, he was having the time of his life. He must have known there was no way out of the Field of Dreams, and she had decided she wasn’t in the mood to take more slashes from the Wall of Thorns.

“Stupid Wall of Thorns,” Shew said. A couple of insulted vines tried to reach out for her. “It doesn’t understand that you’re the enemy here, Loki Van Helsing.”

“Stupidity,” Loki considered, now extremely close. “What a beautiful thing. If the Wall of Thorns wasn’t stupid, we wouldn’t be in this situation now, where I’m going to rip your heart out with my own hands.”

A couple of another insulted vines crawled around Loki, unhappy with how he talked about them. She watched them with eager eyes and wished they’d avenge Cerené and kill him.

“Get off, stupid thorns,” Loki hushed them away. “They can’t hurt me, even when I am not good to them. You know why? Because like everything else in the world, they are stupid,” he sneered back at Shew. “Look at you, princess. All soaked in blood,” he mocked her. “I hope you still have your heart and liver intact.”

It was the first time the word ‘blood’ sounded sweet to Shew. She remembered when Dame Gothel spattered the cake with the girl’s blood in the weighing-of-the-soul chamber, and finally understood what the glass urn was for. She understood why Cerené insisted on her taking it.

Slowly, Shew squeezed the blood soaking her dress and partially filled the glass urn with it while Loki kept approaching and talking.

“Even if I keep insulting the thorns all day, they can’t hurt me, because guess what,” Loki waved his celebrating arms next to him, only five strides away from Shew, “to the thorns, I am a friend.”

“Not anymore,” Shew said, as she raised the glass urn and spattered Loki with her

It was if the thorns had waited for this moment  eagerly, sprawling their vines around Loki’s outstretched arms as the music began to play. The reaction on Loki’s face was priceless. All he had to do was give in to Mozart’s seductive tune, and then he’d kill himself in his own dance of death.

Thankfully, Loki loved music; it was a good way for him to die.

“Stupidity,” Shew mocked Loki, and watching the thorn which were about to kill him. “What a beautiful thing.”

She didn’t know if she’d just become heartless, or if it was because this was a dream, but she didn’t cry over Loki. It didn’t make sense. Maybe he really managed to make her hate him in this dream, or maybe it was all because he’d killed Cerené. Shew was confused. All she felt was the power of the Chosen One inside her. It was a grey kind of power. It wasn’t simply black and white or good and evil. It was dark power that could be molded to its owner’s liking, the power of making an instant decision. The Loki in this dream, who was controlled by Carmilla deserved to die. He might have not deserve  death on another day when he was himself, but today either Shew or the Huntsman could live. Shew chose herself.

As Shew began to walk away, Loki’s face changed. His snake eyes turned back to blue, and his blonde hair began fading into his natural black color again, the color Charmwill had given Loki when he unshadowed him. It was the color that was associated with Loki when he was to being the boy she loved.

Shew didn’t understand at first. She thought it was one of Loki’s tricks, but the innocent look in his eyes was real.

“Shew?” he wondered as if he’d woken up from a long nightmare. He looked at the vines wrapping around his arms. He looked like he’d never seen this place before. “What’s going on?”

“Loki?” Shew grimaced, confused. “Is that really you?”

“Where am I?” Loki’s voice suddenly sounded feminine. It was Fable’s voice.

“Fable?” Shew squinted “What the hell is going on? Are you Loki or Fable or who?”

“I’m Fable,” Loki said, confusing Shew even more. “I used a spell to possess Loki’s body. He isn’t bound to Carmilla now. Tell me what I can do to save this dream. I can’t stay long, but I want to help.”

“It’s too late for that. Get out of Loki’s body, Fable,” Shew yelled at her. “Right now!”

“Why?” Fable asked.

“Because he is going to die!”

Shew’s shouting made Loki’s voice return to normal, “help me, Shew,” he said. “I don’t understand.”

Shew stepped back, her eyes full of tears. Her heart ached as the real Loki talked to her. There was nothing she could do. The music had gotten into him, and he began moving his feet uncontrollably.

Fable had managed to enter his body a breath too late.

The Wall of Thorns was having fun with him, and Shew preferred not to watch. Death was all around her.

Shew turned around, telling herself she walked out on the Huntsman, not Loki. She didn’t know how she’d be able to live with herself if she thought otherwise. But then Loki’s words came like a dagger behind her back, “you didn’t read the necklace?” he pleaded.

Shew fell to her knees, Cerené dead in front of her in the distance, and Loki eaten by the thorns behind her. She only felt a little better when his dark voice returned and he started cursing her while the thorns tortured him.

Shew’s torture was never-ending, even when she knew in her heart that this long and heartbreaking dream had finally come to an end.

She walked to Cerené who was dead and pale already. She brushed her hair, asking her for forgiveness, “Bianca was right after all,” she whimpered. “I couldn’t take care of you.”

She cried her heart out as she started dizzying. She was about to wake up to a lonely world without Cerené or Loki. She supposed her suffering was her destiny.

A single image broke her sobs in one last trick of fate. She saw Cerené eyes creating sand, and then she saw her cry Tears of Beauty, which glided down her cheek and into the glass urn. And she saw her growing hands again while asleep. The Field of Dreams was real. It worked.

Shew’s eyed widened, and she felt slightly better, brushing Cerené’s hair again, “I understand now why Charmwill wiped my memory of you,” Shew whispered to her. “In order for Carmilla not to get access to the darkness of the world, the Clue had to be put to sleep,” she kissed Cerené’s forehead. “I’ll see you in a hundred years,” she said as the sky began raining tiny shards of glass.



Back to Candy House


Shew sat on the couch in Candy House, pushing the remote control’s buttons.

She wasn’t looking for something to watch. Just killing time. Each click on the button, a new channel appeared on TV that meant nothing to her. Like most people who watched TV in an attempt to escape reality, Shew was trying unsuccessfully to forget about Cerené.

It amazed her how she realized that remembering Loki wasn’t heart wrenching like remembering the ashen girl. Maybe because Loki’s darker side was too evil to neglect, or because he’d pushed Shew so hard she had to kill him. But that wasn’t it. Shew knew the real reason. She couldn’t forgive him for killing Cerené, cutting her hands so cruelly, even if it had been predicted in one of the Brothers Grimm fairytales. The look of betrayal in her eyes still haunted Shew. That look, when Cerené was wondering how she could die before knowing who she really was, and before she could create fire by will.

What did Cerené do to deserve this?

Shew couldn’t even forgive herself. They were supposed to take care of each other, and she hated that Bianca was right.
You’re not going to able to take of me the way I take of you.
And after all, Cerené died because of Shew’s reluctance to kill Loki in the beginning.

BOOK: Cinderella Dressed in Ashes ( Book #2 in the Grimm Diaries )
10.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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