From Cursive To Curses- Part XIX
- 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, Jacob, and Wilhelm stood along the shore of the river. Behind them, the souls of the damned moaned in agony. The woman behind them prevented any of the souls from approaching the three. She towered over them like a dark protector. Her courtesy would only extend as far as the boat. After that, the foolish mortals were on their own.
“Do have any idea who your father interfered with?” She asked turning to Wilhelm.
“How on earth would I know?” Wilhelm asked.
“When I left he was with you at the farm. Surely you must have some idea. Did he meet any strangers?” Jacob asked.
Wilhelm threw his hands in the air. “I wasn’t with the man every hour of the day. I know as much as you do!”
The woman behind them chuckled. Even in the open void of the beach, the laughter reverberated back to them. “You mortals are truly a joy. Even when the answer is so close, you are so far.”
Soundless on the water, a dim light pierced the darkness. “There would be your ride. The words, girl,” the woman hissed.
Aledia nodded and whispered the words to the woman. The damned souls on the beach, lost in their own torment, did not give any indication of hearing them. The devil’s mother nodded and walked back towards her castle as the boat touched the shore.
“I am so glad you three are alright!” Rafe said and leapt toward.
Wilhelm caught the movement and pushed him back with a firm hand. Rafe tumbled backward onto the wooden surface with a thud. “Stay in the boat, you fool. There is no need to waste our coin,” he grumbled.
Each stepped into the boat and paid their toll. “Did you find what you were looking for?” Destrain asked as he began to row away from the dangerous shore.
Aledia breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to him. “In a way, yes and no. Your family is cursed because you interrupted someone’s fate. Does this ring a bell at all?”
Destrain pushed the boat through the water. His face scrunched as he thought over the past couple of months. “The only person that I met was the King and his bride. You know the one, the lucky child that traveled this same journey. Also, the ferryman…” he said.
“Then it must be the old ferryman. If we find him, we can break the curse and return you back home,” Aledia said.
“It won’t be that easy,” Jacob cut her off. “We don’t even know where the ferryman is.” He ran a hand through his curly hair. In this case, the saying was much easier than doing.
“How about we concentrate on getting back to the surface,” Rafe chimed in. “We still have to navigate those tunnels!”
“If only we had saved a slice of the golden apple for the way back. It would have saved us from navigating in the dark,” Aledia sighed.
“There’s no way of knowing if taking a piece of the apple would have nullified the apple. That was a huge bargaining chip,” Jacob said. He rubbed his eyes at the thought. What would have happened if they had nothing to barter with?
“Yeah, and potentially a small fortune for me,” Rafe grumbled and frowned. They had taken his apple and any fortune he would have made on it. He glared at the dark water beyond the edge of the boat.
“That reminds me. When we reach the surface, keep your hands in your pockets. Even if the apples fetch a small fortune, there’s no telling what curse you might invoke when it touches mortal lands,” Jacob said.
Rafe continued to grumble under his breath.
“Let’s focus on the tunnels. Then we can take it one step at a time,” Aledia chimed in.
“Well, it was straightforward coming in. What if it’s more difficult to get out. I wouldn’t imagine they want souls finding their way back…” Wilhelm grunted.
“They would have to get a ride with me. It was straightforward coming in,” Destrain stated, “it will be straightforward leaving. The souls carry no toll and cannot touch the boat.”
Destrain shook his head. “I appreciate you lot going this far, but there is danger in coming back to this place. If you cannot get the ferryman to return willingly, then do not return here.”
“Now that’s silly,” Aledia chided. “Of course, we are coming back for you. Why would we go to such lengths only to leave you behind now?”
“The devil’s mother escorted you to the shore. She has an interest in you,” he reminded them.
“What does that have to do with anything?” Jacob questioned.
“This is the devil’s realm. You may not have anything to bargain to get you free if she decides she is bored. The risk is too great,” Destrain warned, shaking his head.
A silent moment passed among the group. Each one calculated the risks and the benefits of coming back. Could they leave Destrain trapped in servitude? Would they be able to continue to live this cursed life? While they merely observed, when would the curse take hold of Rafe or Aledia in a more permanent fashion?
“No, we will be back. Whether you like it or not, you have brought us into this too. We will have to make the best of it,” Jacob said.
There was another pause. “You said you came down here to bring mother back to the living realm, right?” Wilhelm asked and looked to his father. His father nodded. “From what we saw on that beach, if she is there, there would be no way of finding her.”
“There could be a chance,” their father said.
“Beyond that darkness are people that aren’t people anymore. They are more demons and ghosts than to what a living being might be,” Jacob said. “If she’s there… if you did manage to pick her out from the void. She would tear you apart.”
Their father sighed and pushed the boat along the water. The cavern began to brighten. The crushing darkness of the devil’s shores began to recede. Aledia rolled her shoulders as the oppressive darkness began to let up on her small frame. Looking around, she saw that the others looked lighter as well.
The light from the torches on the boat reflected off the rocks that lined the river. They glistened and shimmered in the firelight. Aledia almost smiled at the small source of light. There was still the predicament before them. Still, the weight of the evil and darkness had released their grip. She felt like it was possible.
“We will find the ferryman and bring him back to you, father. Then we can return to the farm and live out our days as mother wanted,” Wilhelm said. He looked to Jacob.
Jacob nodded. It was noncommittal but an agreement, nonetheless. Aledia wondered what exactly he was agreeing to. Was it that Destrain and Wilhelm could go back and live on the farm after all this? Or was he agreeing to live with them?
“While we search for the ferryman, you should at least reflect on coming home. Mother would agree. You should return home. Your journey was made of good intentions but look where it has gotten us. Mortals are not supposed to be here,” Jacob said.
“I will think of it, boys. I make no promises,” Destrain agreed and gave the oar another push through the water.
There was nothing else any of them could do. They could hope that he would return with them if they found the ferryman. Aledia shook her head when they found the ferryman. Finding the ferryman was the first step. That would release Destrain and his sons from the curse. Then they could try to convince Destrain to return home. Small steps towards the overall goal. That was the only way they were going to be able to get through this.
Featured Photo by ID 12019 via Pixabay. Altered by Lindsey Gruden.