Friday Fiction- The End of the Fairy Tale (Part 10)

Castle Neuschwanstein, GermanyEddie stared through the glass window of the hospital room at Snow’s sleeping form. He pressed one hand against the pane; the other he balled into a fist until his nails dug into his palm.

“You did everything you could son.” Doc put a hand on Eddie’s shoulder. “It’s time you get some rest.”

“I can’t leave her,” Eddie whispered. “I need to be here.”

“All right,” Doc replied, giving Eddie’s shoulder a squeeze. “We’re going to stop by the cafeteria. You be sure to let us know as soon as she wakes up.”

Eddie nodded but couldn’t tear his gaze away from Snow. He heard the rustle behind him as the rest of the men eased out of their chairs. He listened to the sound of their retreat until he couldn’t hear them anymore; all he could hear was the steady beep of the monitor in the next room, telling him that Snow was still alive.

Eddie finally did turn when he heard a man’s voice, scared and urgent firing questions at Snow’s nurse.

“We pumped her stomach and found traces of poison. It’s all out, and she’s receiving IV fluids, but she bumped her head pretty hard. We can’t say for sure when she’ll wake up.”

The man ran a hand through his wavy black hair, then turned to look at Snow’s room.

“Who’s he?” the man asked the nurse.

“His name’s Edward,” the nurse replied. “He was the one that called the police and ambulance. He saved her life.”

Eddie watched the man watch him. He straightened out his shirt and then took a step forward and extended his hand.

“Edward is it?” the man asked as he reached out and took Eddie’s hand. “I’m Isabella’s father.”

“Isabella?” Eddie asked glancing back over his shoulder. “You mean Snow?”

“That’s her middle name, yes,” her father replied. “Is that how she introduced herself?”

Eddie nodded.

“That’s what her mother called her,” her father said softly. He realized he was still gripping Eddie’s hand, let go, and then ran the hand through his hair again. “Thank you, for being there, for, saving her.”

Eddie simply nodded.

“I need to see her,” Isabella’s father turned and addressed the nurse. “Can I go in?”

The nurse nodded and waved for them to follow her.

“May I come too?” Eddie asked.

The nurse paused, hand on the doorknob, and looked at Isabella’s father. After a moment he nodded.

The two men entered slowly and without a word they positioned themselves on either side of the bed. Each took one of Isabella’s hands in his own.

“Isabella, I’m so sorry,” her father whispered.

The stood in silence for several minutes, just watching Isabella breathe. The creak of the door made them both look up.

“Mr. White, I’m sorry to interrupt but the police are here. They need to speak with you.”

Isabella’s father squeezed her hand, then nodded to the nurse as he placed her fingers carefully on the sheet. He glanced at Eddie before turning to follow the nurse from the room.

Eddie watched them go until they were out of sight, then he looked down at Snow. Her black hair spread across the pillow like spilled ink. Her lips were parted slightly as she breathed. She looked so peaceful, so beautiful.

He lightly brushed the bruise on her temple with the fingertips of his free hand, letting them drift down her cheek, all the way to her lips.

His heart pounded as he leaned forward. He could not stop himself from touching those perfect lips with his own. He closed his eyes as he felt their breath mingle, warm, soft-

He heard her gasp and pulled his head back, shocked.

Isabella’s free hand covered her lips as she coughed twice, then inhaled deeply.

“Eddie,” she said once she’d regained her breath.

“Snow, you’re o.k.” He laughed and squeezed her hand, feeling tears well in his eyes. “You’re o.k.”

Isabella smiled, then looked around. A frown creased her forehead.

“Where am I?” she asked.

“You’re at the hospital-”

Eddie was cut off by the sound of the door creaking again. Both heads turned to see Isabella’s father enter the room.

“Father? What are you doing here?” Isabella looked from her father back to Eddie. “What happened?”

“Your stepmother tried to poison you,” Eddie replied.

“Thanks to Eddie, she didn’t succeed.” Her father nodded at Eddie, then continued to Isabella. “I just spoke to the police. Your stepmother is in jail. She tried to run but Hunter stopped her while Eddie tried to get you to the hospital. I’ve decided to press charges, and get a divorce.”

Isabella’s eyes widened in shock.

Her father reached out and took her hand again.

“Isabella, I’m so sorry. I was blind, and stupid. I promise it won’t ever happen again. You can come home now.”

Tears formed in Isabella’s eyes, but before she could respond the door opened again and seven old men spilled through the doorway, led by Doc.

“Snow, you’re awake! Thank the heavens you’re all right,” Doc said as he began to walk toward the bed.

“Hold on a minute,” Isabella’s father spoke in stern voice. “Who are all of you?”

“Father, it’s o.k., these are my friends.”

“Your friends?” One eyebrow cocked as her father scanned the group.

“Yes,” she replied firmly and as she looked as those seven smiling faces a grin spread across her own face. She turned to Eddie, who gently pushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. She gripped his fingers more tightly and turned back to her father.

“I am home,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere.”



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12 Responses to Friday Fiction- The End of the Fairy Tale (Part 10)

  1. Sarah L Fox says:

    I was so happy to see this in my inbox! Perfect ending to a great story, Nicole! =)

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you Sarah! I laughed a little at the ending. I mean, she’ll probably end up owning a diner in a tiny town at 18, every girl’s dream right? But hey, it’s a fairy tale, everyone is happy anyway. ;)

  2. Yay! I wanted to read this to the end so I didn’t forget what happened. Always nice to get through a story while it’s fresh on your mind. I have difficulty writing shorts because I always want to expand them into novels, lol. If you do get the idea for it though, fairy tale retellings are in right now, so it might do well as a novel ;)

    • Nicole says:

      Wow! Thanks for taking the time to read the whole story and comment on all the chapters Margaret! I do like to read a story through in one sitting whenever possible as well. I’ve had the same trouble with some of my short story ideas. They just keep going and going. With the ones I’ve posted here I’ve had to force myself to stay focused on moving the plot toward the end without wandering down a lot of subplot paths, which I do love to do. :) This was a really fun and easy to write story, I might just try to flesh it out! Thanks!

  3. Scott Hutchinson says:

    Her black hair spread across the pillow like spilled ink. This was the most perfect short story. The way you fused the fairy tale world with the real one was a real treat. This story should be published and read by the masses ! Thanx Nicole !

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you Scott! I appreciate those kind words and your encouragement. I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed the story so much and the feedback overall makes me feel like maybe I’m getting a little better at this writing thing. I hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Aw, I’m a sucker for big, heart-swelling happy endings. Although I don’t always write them. ;-) Great job, Birthday Girl!

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you Vaughn, for reading and for the birthday wishes! I do like to read darker tales when they’re well done, but I’m not so good at writing them, yet… ;)

  5. D. D. Falvo says:

    Sigh. That was lovely. Truly. I really hope to see this as a novella one day, Nicole. You had such a wonderful way of making an old fashioned tale fresh and urban. This is my favorite so far. :D

    How’s Empyrean doing?

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you D.D.! I appreciate your support and encouragement.

      Empyrean is in the midst of a partial re-write. I received some very positive and helpful feedback from the most recent agent I queried and am tightening up some of the human point of view chapters per her recommendation (because I think she’s right) and hopefully the changes will result in good things for the story! Thanks for asking. :)

I would love to hear from you!