This Story took much longer than I had hoped to get posted, As should be evident by the fact that I am posting it two weeks late. Part of that, was due to the nearly perpetual tie in the voting for who was going to win this battle. At almost no point was the winner set in stone, and so I wrote three different endings and had all three ready to post.... And then I decided I was going to make a fourth ending, which is being presented below. The winner of the vote is still being honored, I just wanted to change the final scene a bit, I'll make sure the other endings are all made available at some point for people to read. (Well.... the alternate endings will be exclusively available to backers from the various Kickstarter campaigns, but... there will be ways to read them.)
If you want to become a backer of the latest Miniature-based campaign, head on over HERE , and join the community!
So read on, and see how things turn out between Snow White and the Huntsman!
WARNING! While this story may be based on Fairytale characters, the story below is not intended for all audiences. It is bloody, and violent, and... well... not kid-appropriate. Proceed with caution!
The yellow brick road had become overgrown. Weeds grew between cracks in the bricks, and telltale brown stains covered more than half of the bricks. Snow followed the path, feeling horribly exposed, but knowing that this may be her only hope to find her husband. She kept her eye on the road trying to avoid looking out at the bodies littering the landscape. Although her eyes could avoid the sight, her nose could not avoid the smell. A thick miasma filled the air with the scent of decaying flesh. Occasionally a black cloud of flies would buzz past, disturbed when she had stepped too close to their latest meal.
Mulan had told her that there was an Oracle this way; she just had to keep her spirits up. Even when the world went insane, there was still room for hope. She found herself wondering how Mulan was holding up out there. Snow knew her to be a formidable warrior, but she still worried. There were few one could call friends anymore, not with the games going on.
Snow choked back a fresh round of tears. The world had fallen to a seemingly irredeemable place. How could anyone go on living like normal after the horrors that had been done? Even if she found her Prince again, how would she be able to look him in the eye? Not for the first time, she found herself wanting to give up. It would be so much easier to sit here, and let one of the roaming psychopaths end her misery.
She looked up at the shattered walls of the Emerald City. The red light of the sunset looked like blood reflected on those walls. Fires raged throughout the city, and dense clouds of smoke filled the air above it. This is where the yellow brick road seemed to be leading her, and the sight before her made her lose even more hope. If a great oracle had once been here, she didn't think that she had any hope of finding them alive. As this was her only lead however, she trudged on. What had once been long, purposeful strides were now little more then the shambling walk of the defeated.
Not far outside the city, she came upon a sight that made her stomach turn. She barely managed to turn her head, before she violently lost the meager breakfast she had found earlier this morning. There, sprawled out on the stained, yellow bricks, was the body of a large frog, wearing the tattered remains of what once would have been princely clothing. It looked like his stomach had been torn open from the inside.
“Another victim of the Queens.” Snow knelt down, and grabbed the small animal's hand. “I'm sorry this had to happen to you, little frog. Rest easy, your suffering is at an end.”
Despite her resolve, a tear fell. Then another and another. Soon, a river of tears came, flowing freely. She let go of the frog's hand, and covered her eyes, as she tried to control her bawling.
“He died a noble death, Snow.” An almost familiar voice came from behind her, as a hand lightly touched her shoulder. “He fought well, but he never had a chance.”
In an instant, the tears were gone and daggers were in her hands. In a single fluid motion she turned, stood, and sent a devastating kick right into the crotch of the man behind her. She only barely managed to stop before using her daggers to finish the man off. She recognized the face of the man doubled over, even with his features contorted behind a mask of pain.
“You!” She growled, recognizing the huntsman that had been sent to kill her all those years ago. “Did you do this? Did you kill this poor creature?”
The Huntsman shook his head, unable to speak through the pain. His breath came in wheezing gasps. He holds up his hand, urging Snow to wait while he regained his voice. He was glad he had managed to avoid blacking out from the pain, because he was quite certain he would never have woken up from that.
“Wasn't... me.” He finally managed to gasp out through gritted teeth. Slowly he managed to stand upright, and although the pain lingered, he was able to speak somewhat normally. “It was a fairy. There was no way he was going to get her with his sword, so he tried to eat her. As you can see, it did not turn out well for him.”
Snow stared at the Huntsman, distrust painted clearly on her face. “You watched all of this, and did nothing to help? Is there no compassion left in you?”
“By the time I saw there was a problem, it was too late.” The Huntsman looked down at the mangled form. “The best I could have offered him was a quicker death. If I had done that, I would likely be lying beside him right now.”
Snow looked down at the Frog. His tattered princely garments reminded her why she was here. “Have you been in the city?”
The Huntsman looked at the crumbling emerald walls, and shook his head. “It looks abandoned, and if it isn't, those fires are likely doing little good for the inhabitants.”
“I have to go there.” Snow said, her resolve returning and lending firmness to her voice. “I was told that there was a great oracle here. If I have any hope of finding my prince, this is it.” She took a deep breath, and looked at the man who had once tried to kill her. “Will you come with me?”
The Huntsman paused and thought. He had lived his life in fear, ever since the last time he had allowed this girl a second chance at life. Could he do so a second time, and once more risk the ire of the Queen? What if these games were the queen’s punishment for his insubordination? He set his jaw in grim determination, as he whipped out his machete, and sliced at Snow’s neck.
The startled woman managed to dodge out of the way, rolling to the side, and picking up the frog’s sword as she went. She recovered quickly from this betrayal of trust, though. In a single motion, she stood, and threw the blade at the Huntsman, followed quickly by one of her own blades. In an instant, she was dashing at him, chasing after the thrown blades.
He knocked the sword out of the air with his machete with relative ease. The second blade caught him in the forearm, and went all the way through, when Snow rushed in, and pushed it in deeper with her palm. The Huntsman stumbled back, loosing his footing, and flailing backward.
In a blink she was on top of him, her other knife clenched in a death grip. Her eyes burned with rage, but she couldn't quite bring the knife down. A small part of her still wanted to believe in the good in people, a small part of her wanted to avoid the senseless violence that the queens had doled out into her life.
Her hand trembled as she fought an internal struggle. Finally, with a quick motion, she stabbed the blade down, burying it deep into the ground just next to the Huntsman's head. “You're not worth it.” She growled in disgust as she got up and walked away.
“This isn't over, Snow” The Huntsman called out, as he sat up, and pulled the blade from his arm. He wrapped his hand around the wound, and eyed the frog's clothing as a possible tourniquet. “You know the queens demand blood. One of us has to die, it's the only way.”
He got to his feet, and hefted the dagger in one hand. Raising it over his head, he took a tentative step toward her exposed back, and then another. A smile that held no joy crossed his lips, as he approached. The blade glinted in the fading twilight, the blood red of the setting sun seemed appropriate.
“I'm sorry Snow... I wish it could
have ended differently.” He plunged the knife down, prepared for
the killing blow.
The blow never hit, as a large furry shape smashed into his side. Powerful jaws clamped down on the Huntsman's throat, ripping out his larynx in a fountain of blood. Claws ripped into his stomach and sides, as the beast growled and snapped. The light faded from the Huntsman's eyes as the beast continued to savage him, it only stopped, when the blood stopped flowing.
It looked up at Snow, the Huntsman's throat still dangling from its muzzle. She looked at the bloody mess in the wolf's jaw, and her lips curled up into a small smile. "Thank you. I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't been watching my back."
The wolf gazed up at her, its head tilted slightly to the side as it gulped down another morsel of the Huntsman. Blood dripped from it's mouth, as it gave her a canine grin. Its tail gave a single wag, before it turned its attention to the emerald walls further down the road.
Looking up at the setting sun, Snow nodded and quickly gathered her daggers. Night time was no time to be left in the open, and her best hope for shelter was beyond those walls. With the wolf loping along beside her, Snow made her way to the ruined city. For now, at least, she would not have to face the horrors of the games alone.
Well, that is all for this week. Hopefully the next one won't take as long to finish. Once again, join in the fun and back the project over HERE . As I stated before, if you back at the highest level, and let me know, I will write you into the Fairytale games... You could be decapitating princesses... Or you may even get to slay the Jabberwock. Who knows? All I know, is I will try and make you as much of a badass in the story as I possibly can. So back today!