Authors: Marie Bilodeau
Tags: #apocalypse, #fairy, #end of the world, #fairy tale adaptation, #apocalypse adventures, #fairy creatures, #endtime fiction, #fairy tale action adventure
“Come on,” Molly was pulling Pete out of the window
before Al had regained her footing from the second hit.
“What about the others?” Pete screamed.
The day turned dark and winds slammed into them. Al
looked up. The sun was still out, but it was dark. The shadows that
would usually be cast on a sunny day suddenly turned to light.
Hector grabbed them and pulled them out of the bus’s shadow of
light, moments before it lit everything on fire.
The scream rose to a fervent pitch for one second in
the bus before stopping, the scent of burnt flesh tossed about in
the wind. The water surged behind them and columns of it danced up,
taking equine and human shapes.
“Run, run, run!” Molly screamed, grabbing Pete and
Alva’s arms. Hector led the way. Mists came off the water and
slammed into them, knocking them to their knees.
Percival wasn’t far, now. Just a few more metres.
They could get in and drive away. Gruff was screaming at them to
hurry. He was in the passenger’s seat, the car on and ready to
move, the driver door open and the seat leaned forward, beckoning
The mists danced back and forth and they pulled
“Look out!” Hector screamed at Al, his face
contorted with grief as she looked down. She’d stepped into a
perfect circle of mushrooms. She felt something zap up her leg, but
before she could scream or even fear what was happening to her,
Molly tackled her from behind. She was either moving her, or she
hadn’t seen what had been happening, too frantic to escape.
Al fell down. Hector and Pete helped her up. Al
turned to grab Molly and keep running, but her hand was stiff as
she took it.
Al met her best friend’s eyes. Where there was
usually laughter and kindness was only fear. The hand she held was
a branch now. Al pulled her hand out as thorns pierced her
“Alva?” Molly managed to say in a broken voice, the
tears streaking down skin turning to bark as her face vanished
completely, swallowed by bark, leaf and thorn.
Al stared. She was gone in an instant, in mist and
the strange dark day, swallowed by a still forming bush, branches
writhing up and reaching for them, like hands pleading for
“Molly?” She repeated, reaching forward. Hector
pulled her back. Alva looked at him in anger, but stopped herself
from snapping when she saw the tears lining Pete’s face. She placed
an arm around Pete’s shoulders as yellow blooms erupted on the rose
bush that had once been Al’s best friend.
Not yellow like the sun. Yellow like Molly’s hair
had been. The only rosebush that would ever bear that colour. The
only one that ever should.
“We have to go,” Hector whispered. The winds began
howling. Al’s braid whipped sideways, but the rosebush wasn’t fazed
at all. Like it didn’t belong to this world anymore.
To any world.
“I’ll come back. I promise,” she whispered into the
gale, helped Pete and Hector into the back and shut Percival’s door
to the howling winds.
Al clutched the steering wheel, watched the yellow
roses vanish in a sea of mists, and pulled the car off the road,
away from her friend, toward more mist, to face a world she no
The rosebush continued to bloom behind them, each
flower covered in a fine layer of freshly-cried dew.
The watch lay quietly in Hector’s hand. No matter
what he did, he couldn’t get it to wind up. He couldn’t even open
Stella’s other great-granddaughter sat sullenly
beside him. He missed Molly, and he’d only known her for a short
time. He understood what the Taverner girls were going through.
What it felt like to lose your world.
To lose everything.
He understood the grief. The anger. The madness.
He held the watch in his hand and looked outside.
The spare sand he’d brought was almost gone. He’d used so much of
it already, just trying to keep them safe.
And if he used too much, he wouldn’t be around to
help them anymore.
He looked up to see Al, back in the driver’s seat,
observing him from the rearview mirror. Her eyes were still
grief-lined, but determined. She intended to see her sister safe,
if that was even possible.
The question was in her eyes now. Would they
He held her gaze for a time before looking away.
He had no answer to give her.
The End of Nigh 1
The tale continues in Nigh 2, now available at online
the first to get updates by signing up for Marie Bilodeau’s
Keep in touch!
Website and blog: