From Cursive To Curses- Part XX
- From Cursive to Curses- Part XXVII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part I
- From Cursive To Curses- Part II
- From Cursive To Curses- Part III
- From Cursive To Curses- Part IV
- From Cursive To Curses- Part V
- From Cursive To Curses- Part VI
- From Cursive To Curses- Part VII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part VIII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part IX
- From Cursive To Curses- Part X
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XI
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XIII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XIV
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XV
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XVI
- FROM CURSIVE TO CURSES- PART XVII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XVIII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XIX
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XX
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XXI
- From Cursive To Curses-Part XXII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XXIII
- From Cursive To Curses- Part XXIV
- FROM CURSIVE TO CURSES-PART XXV
- From Cursive to Curses- Part XXVIII
***Disclaimer: This is a work of Fan Fiction.
It is an adaptation of the characters created and owned by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.
This story is not associated with Disney’s adaptations, their added characters, or story elements. ***
Read the previous installments here.
Aledia ran her hands over the cavern walls. They managed to reach the shore without incident. The unnatural darkness had lifted. Even though the light from the torches on the boat was the only light around, the darkness was brighter. It did not push on their shoulders and try to drag them into the earth.
Behind her, Jacob and Wilhelm stood at the boat. They spoke in hushed tones to their father. She had given them space and pulled Rafe with her. Until they found the previous ferryman, this would be the last time they saw their father. She hoped they would see him sooner rather than later.
Rafe kicked a rock and watched it skid across the cavern’s floor. He looked over to the princess.
Was she worried about what laid before them? How were they going to find the last ferryman? How were they going to get him back here? Rafe was already looking for a reason not to come back. How could they convince anyone to come down here to stay?
“We’ll find a way,” Aledia spoke up and laid a hand on his shoulder, startling him.
“We’ll find a way to what? We’ll find a way out? We’ll find a way to get someone else trapped down here?” he scoffed and shoved his hands into his pockets.
“Both. You need to have a little faith, Rafe. We’ve already come so far. We are in the last leg of the journey. If we don’t free their father, the curse will affect others,” she reasoned.
Rafe looked over his shoulder to the brothers. Their father and Wilhelm were staring at Jacob. He moved towards the boat.
“Give them some space. They found their father and have to leave him behind. That would tear at anyone’s heart, don’t you think?” she whispered.
Rafe shrugged her off and sat on a large stone. Aledia sat beside him. She was not looking forward to traversing the winding corridors of the cavern. She shuddered and ran a hand through her hair. The pressure in her chest lessened the further she got from the Devil’s mother.
Who was the last ferryman? How would they find him? Would they run into more souls that the curse affected? All because they were in proximity to Jacob and Wilhelm?
She sighed as she picked up a rock and turned it in her hands, feeling the variations between the smooth and rough edges. The difference in the edges brought to mind how the roles between her and Jacob have switched throughout their journey. She breathed in the musty smell of the water from the river.
Jacob and Wilhelm turned from their father and rejoined their companions. Rafe was the first on his feet.
“Please tell me we are getting out of here,” Rafe whined.
Aledia wondered what they were talking about. She noticed an unusual change in Jacob’s appearance. He noticed her concern and smiled in assurance.
“We are heading to the surface where we’ll figure out our next steps. Father gave us a description of the last ferryman, and he sounds awfully familiar,” Jacob said, walking to the corridor entrance.
Aledia followed and noted that neither brother looked back. She turned and waved, but her hand stopped midair. Destrain’s tears, as he watched his only family leave him, broke her heart.
“We cannot stay. The way to help is forward, not back,” Jacob said, pulling her with him.
The reunion was meant to heal wounds, but the brothers were forced to leave their father again. Rafe’s somber look added to the melancholy hanging in the air. They had found Destrain but had to leave him at the mercy of the curse. Aledia glanced to Rafe. He had a somber look blanketing his face. Even he could recognize the melancholy hanging in the air.
The four moved into the darkness of the caverns. The tight corridors forced them single file as they made their climb upward. Aledia realized it was easier going down than up as the group moved silently towards the surface.
As the path widened a breeze, like the kiss of freedom, touched their faces. Yet, no one rejoiced.
Aledia broke the silence. “You said the ferryman sounded familiar. Do you know who it is?”
“From father’s description, it could have been the spitting image of the King’s wife. She is probably his child,” Jacob muttered as he pressed forward.
“Princess Aledia’s father?” Rafe gasped. “That cannot be right!”
“No not that one, the other one,” Jacob sighed.
“My cousins’ father? Ryia’s and Thea’s father? My uncle is kind, he would never doom a man to such a fate,” Aledia said.
“Not that one, the other one,” Wilhelm grumbled from the rear of the group.
“We know too many, perhaps we should start getting their names,” Rafe whispered. Jacob scoffed ahead of them.
“The lucky child. The one that traversed this path before. His wife, that King and that Queen,” he clarified at last.
“All the more reason to go back. The last ferryman must be a relative of some sort!” Aledia exclaimed.
A ray of sunlight trickled into the cavern as they turned the corner. They stared for a moment. The beautiful light cut the darkness like a dagger.
“Do you think that we will end up down there?” Jacob asked.
Aledia looked to Jacob. His question was jarring. He was supposed to be the wisest of them. He was her teacher, and his question was a blow to the image she had of him. The devil’s mother’s cackling laugh echoed in her mind, and she shuddered.
“I don’t know what you saw down there… but I don’t think so. I can’t believe it. For every Hell, there must be a Heaven, right?” Rafe chimed.
“Rafe’s right. We’ve only seen a small fraction of what this strange realm holds. If there’s dark, there’s light. We’ll bring the ferryman back and save your father from that darkness,” she vowed.
Rafe groaned but nodded. “I don’t want to go back but I can’t leave the man down there. He’s got a kind heart and deserves to see the sun again,” he grumbled.
Featured Photo by ID 12019 via Pixabay. Altered by Lindsey Gruden.