- This is a one off story. A special story that I dedicate to Octaboona on his birthday. Several SP members will be part of this story as well. Not their oc's but them, themselves. This is my version of an old fairy tale ans it is not affiliated with any other side story I am doing. I hope you all enjoy this. Especially Octa! :D
She sat at the mirror with her dark head bowed over in despair, a princess trapped with in her own castle. Tears coursed down over the pale cheeks as her shoulders shook with sobs. Never again would she place her heart in the hands of men where it would be used and broken as if her love was nothing more then a piece of chaff floating in the wind.
“Enough!” She decided with bruised resolve.
She did not even look at the mirror, at her haggard appearance. Instead she stood and strode to the balcony that overlooked the green valley down below. Spread out as far as her eye could see was an expense of forest with a vibrant town situated in the middle. But despite it's beauty she despised it. Where once she had loved the town and it's people, hate grew instead.
She could feel the pressure build within her chest. The power swelled with her rage and she spread her arms wide.
Then magic burst forth from her as the words of the curse flowed harshly from her lips.
“Woe be to you residents of this doomed town. Because of the pain you inflict I will curse you and make all your days misery!” An insane and grieved cry escaped from her but was promptly subdued. “In this town where you reside I will trap you. You will NEVER BE FREE! NEVER BE HAPPY!”
Even as her last words rang dreadful and heavy over the town she began to laugh. It was a harsh and mocking sound that would echo within each ear of the townspeople for the rest of their lives.
But something happened as the curse begin to decent upon the helpless and unsuspecting towns people.
A blast of powerful magic sent her mirror streaking over her head like a large silver bullet. The mirror, made of magic itself caught half the magic destined for the town and the curse rebounded off it's shiny surface, shooting back at her. She could do nothing but scream in horror and agony as the steady stream of dark magic struck her and pierced her through the eye. It entered her body burning her to the very core. The mirror exploded into a million pieces of sparkling silver and hung over head a moment before disappearing into the rising mist.
“Oh dear. I did not mean for that to happen.” A lovely voice said from behind the writhing princess.
The owner of the voice ran to the balcony to witness the rest of the curse hitting the town below. Instantly everything went bleak and gray.
“Oh poos!” The girl cried before turning to face the tortured soul who was now on her knees and clutching her eye in agony.
Pity and regret showed on the face of the new comer.
“I am Quinnera Elviana. You can call me Quinn for short.” The beautiful enchantress Quinn paced around the glaring figure, taping along elegant fan against her palm as she studied her subject skeptically. “ Now what to do with you.”
“This is MY castle. Be gone with you!”The princess hissed out despite her pain.
Quinn snapped her fan shut, ignoring the outburst of the princess.
“I suppose it's to late to change what has happened.“ Quinn mused out loud. “However I can change your curse a bit. You are not the only magic princess here.”
Quinn smiled secretly then began weaving her magic into a spell.
“Kallista! You have become a beast of a person so a beast you shall become. Only when you find love again and it is returned to you will you become human again.”
A purple mist sparkled as it appeared, swirled around the princess cutting her off completely from the enchantress' view. When the magic dissipated, a tiny tiger cub sat there.
“Oh! This is not what I expected!” Quinn claimed mildly bemused. “From the way you behaved I was sure you would be some sort of monstrous beast!”
Quinn laughed as the tiger cub growled and charged at her only to tumble head first in the other princess's shoes. Then she held out a single purple rose for Kallista to see. It was a fresh flower whose soft lavender petals had just opened. Kallista batted at it with her paws, grumpy at the sight of anything pure and lovely. Quinn just smiled and lifted the flower higher out of reach.
“I would not harm this flower if I were you.” Quinn warned with a severe look. “This single purple rose is your lifeline and guide. It will tell you how much time you have left. Should you fail to find love before the last petal falls, then you will stay a beast FOREVER! But do not worry for it is no ordinary flower. It's petals will not fall off as an ordinary flower would. Still, I would not tarry. You must be vigilant.”
Quinn sighed as the grumpy tiger cub turned her back in scorn and looked the other way.
“I leave you now Kallista. Behave yourself and good luck.”
Kallista turned her head for a moment to see the enchantress disappear with a flourish in the same glittery purple mist.
“Show off.” Kallista muttered.
Or she tried to mutter. Instead a tiny cat sound came out.
Great! She thought crossly to herself.
The next few months proved to be quite amusing for the enchanted princess as she prowled around the town at night, using the shadows to make her look more monstrous and fierce. Then the snows came along with the great northern wolves. Kallista wisely decided to stick to her castle for a while.
It should have been a good day to go outside. The sun shown brightly in the clear blue sky above London. The weather was mild and warm despite the season. Indeed it was a rare sight for mid December.
Octaboona sighed and closed his notebook as he looked out his window. He had to admit that it was inviting outside. It seemed as if all of London agreed with him as he viewed the countless people busy with outside activities. I was a happy scene.
But the lingering thoughts of a poem swirling around in his head gave him pause. The weight of the words kept him glued to his seat despite the pull of nature. Yet even as he once again opened the binder for the umpteenth time, the words that needed to come retreated to the back corners of his mind, just out of reach.
“Enough!” He stated firmly as he made his decision.
Getting up from his writing nook he quickly made his way to his suitcase where he proceeded to pack his bag for a spontaneous getaway. The last thing he packed was his notepad and laptop.
Making his way out into the hallway he passed his brother’s room.
“Where are you going?” Pyro called out to him from where he was sitting.
“Away.” Octa answered simply as he jogged down the stairs. “I need to get away.”
“Alright! Road trip!” Pyro shouted as he scrambled to his feet. “Wait for me!”
“Sorry Pyro!” Octa called out as he left the house. “I need to be alone for a while. I need some time for reflection. You understand. Right?”
He did not wait for an answer. Instead he got in his vehicle and drove off, letting fate dictate where he should go.
Left behind, Pyro stood for a few moments in disappointment. Then he heard the voice of some one he knew.
“Pyro? You there?”
“RED!” Pyro greeted happily as Red entered his house.
All thoughts of leaving with Octa vanished.
Lost in his thoughts Octa didn't know how far he drove before he noticed the drastic change in the weather. Startled he blinked his eyes a couple times giving his surroundings a double take. Nothing looked familiar and there was snow on the ground. Up ahead the roads looked icy. Sighing he gripped the steering wheel tightly preparing for a battle to stay on the road. It proved to be a battle he would loose. Really with all things considered it was the wolves fault. If it had not darted across the road suddenly he would not have had to slam on the brakes. Then his car would have stayed on the road instead of spinning around several times before settling in a ditch.
“Well, so much for that!” He sighed as he checked himself out.
Nothing appeared to be broken or bruised. To his dismay he found his car was stuck and could not be moved to get out of the ditch. Worried about the wolves and whatever other creature was lurking in the dense woods he stayed in the car where it was warm and safe then took out his phone. But when he tried to call his brother, he found that no signal could get through.
“So much for technology.” He rolled his eyes tossing the useless phone onto the seat next to him.
After putting on his emergency flashers he leaned his head back and closed his eyes for a bit. Then out of the silence a heavy fist sounded on the window by his face. Octa jumped and hit his head on the roof of the car then jumped again at the face pressed against his window.
“Well hi there!” The young man grinned.
Octa relaxed a bit at the friendly face and began to breath normally again.
“You might want to come on out of there, sir!” The man continued. “There are wolves nearby and...”
The man's face lost a little of it's shine under his furry brown hat.
“Well, let's just say it will be safer if you come with me.” The man's face brightened again with friendliness and mischief. “It is getting late you know and nothing will be coming by here to get you out of this ditch.”
“Well, if you put it that way.” Octa muttered with a shrug then stepped out carefully.
Immediately the wind and snow cut through his thin jacket chilling him.
The young man looked Octa up and down with an amused grin.”Ah, city folk! Ya gotta love 'em! Lucky for you we are close to were I live. You won't make it far in a jacket like that!”
“It was sunny and warm when I left my house.” Octa retorted back to the man then followed him as he started walking pausing only to get his over night bag and locking his car.
“My name is Hellboy, by the way.” The young man told him as he walked ahead, keeping a close eye on the woods surrounding them.
“I'm Octaboona but prefer if you call me Octa.”
Octa noticed for the first time the gun in Hellboy's hands.
“Is is really that dangerous around here?” He asked pointing at the gun.
“Didn't use to be,” Hellboy replied as he walked. “I just moved here a few months ago. Back then this was a lovely place. It felt so safe. Now it seems to be a place where nightmares are born.”
Hellboy's face grew a bit grim as he talked.
The two men entered into a clearing where a cozy house was situated.
“Here we are. This is my abode! I have a great view of the castle from here. Not that it matters anymore. ” Hellboy cast a brief look over to the side of the mountain. Following his gaze Octa saw the imposing sight. It was an impressive sight but lacked anything appealing or inviting about it. Inadvertently he shivered then gladly followed Hellboy into the warm embrace of the cottage. A young girl was already there and bustling around straitening up Hellboy's home.
“Well, it's about time you got here!” She snapped at Hellboy then eyed Octa. “Who is this?”
“Octa, meet my lovely wife. Lizzy.” Hellboy grinned gesturing grandly to the girl. “Lizzy, this is Octa. He's homeless. Find him a bed, cook him a meal, and massage his feet!”
Octa raised his eyebrows as the girl shrieked and begin throwing couch pillows at Hellboy. Looking like he was having the time of his life he winked at the girl in between pillow debris then whispered dramatic to Octa so Lizzy could over hear.
“OK. She is really not my wife.” He laughed. “She lost a bet with me and so she has to clean my house and make my meals for the rest to the month.”
“A bet?” Octa questioned, mildly amused.
“We had a shooting contest.” Lizzy replied huffily. “I would have won had SOMEONE...”
She paused to glare at Hellboy who did his best to look angelic.
“... not BUMPED into the Pink!”
“The Pink?” Octa asked.
“My gun.” She answered simply as she walked into the kitchen.
Hellboy waited until she disappeared into the old fashioned kitchen before speaking. “I did NOT bump into her gun.”
“I heard that!” She called from the kitchen and a stick of butter sailed out and bonked Hellboy on the head.
Octa gave a little laugh then went to go look out the window at the silhouette of the castle against the dark of the sky. Even as sinister as it looked at the moment, Octa could not deny the strange compelling that drew him to the ancient castle.
“It's quite the sight isn't it?” Hellboy came up beside him to look out at it. “But if you don't mind, we like to close the shutters at this time of night and keep the shades drawn. Keeps unwanted attention away if you catch my drift.”
“Not sure I do.” Octa replied as he looked back at his host. “What is the story here?”
He was interrupted again as Lizzy walked out wearing a jacket.
“I warmed up a meal for your guest, Hellboy. Now I'm on my way home.”
“No Lizzy. You can't go out now. It's too late!” Hellboy replied, alarmed.
“I'm not staying here! I want to go home!”
Hellboy moved to intercept his friend. “But you know what is out there.”
Lizzy rolled up eyes and said two words. “The Pink!”
She held up a rifle that was indeed very pink. Octa wondered if they had such things as purple rifles. Though he was no lover of guns, he had to admit to himself that a purple gun would be epic.
Still Hellboy was not convinced and tried to persuade his friend to stay.
Octa sighed and leaving them to argue wandered into the kitchen to eat the meal that was waiting for him. He had been smelling it for some time now and realized he was quite hungry.
A moment later the door slammed shut and he heard Hellboy exclaim under his breath. “WOMEN!”
Popping his head through the swinging door into the kitchen he spoke hurriedly.
“Sorry Octa. Gotta go walk Lizzy home. Will be back soon. I hope. Don't shut the shutter till I get back. I'm going to need that light.”
He gulped and hurried back out and the sound of the door open and closing again resounded around the house.
Taking advantage of the sudden solitude, Octa went back to where his bag was and pulled out his notebook. He spent the next few moment recording his adventures up till now. The biggest thing weighing on his mind was the mystery that kept Hellboy and supposedly the other residents of the area holed up in their homes at night.
Curiosity made him peek out the window again. Nothing moved out there in the short space where the light from the window reached. But what lay beyond the light? What was in the darkness that was so dreadful? He hoped Hellboy and Lizzy would be alright. A sudden movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. A shadow suddenly streaked passed the window alarming Octa into stepping away quickly. A moment later a couple of shots rang out and then a harried Hellboy stumbled back in slamming the door behind him, locking it then trying to catch his breath while pretending to be casual.
“You OK Hellboy? Did Lizzy make it home OK?” Octa asked, concerned. “What was all that shooting about?”
“Yes. Lizzy made it home OK.” Hellboy responded as he went around pulling the levers to close the outside shutters. “I'm not sure, but I suspect a couple of the wolves were nearby. I fired into the air as a warning. Just hoping to keep them away.” Hellboy assured him as he finished.
“Where in the world am I anyways?” Octa asked bemused. “Is this place so dangerous that the police can not handle it?”
Hellboy paused and looked at Octa seriously.”Oh, man. You really have no clue do you? This is a place that is part of England but yet not of England. You just landed in a fikken fairytale my friend!”
If Hellboy expected his new found friend to be horrified or astounded, he was greatly disappointed. Instead Octa looked fascinated and got a strange dreamy eyed expression in his face.
“Really? This may be just what I need to write!”
He paced back and forth excited while thinking out loud. “Wow! At first I thought this was going to be a wasted trip! But now it looks as if I have hit the jackpot!”
He paced back and forth excited while thinking out loud. “Wow! At first I thought this was going to be a wasted trip! But now it looks as if I have hit the jackpot!”
It was Hellboy's turn to look bemused. “Er....What?”
Octa laughed happily and grasped Hellboys' shoulders. “I'm a writer! If what you say is true, this will help inspire my writing again! I just know it! Tomorrow I'm going to explore this place. My first place will be the castle!”
“But Octa. That would be to dangerous! I have only arrived a few months ago, bu the lifelong residents tell me a wicked princess used to live there. A few months ago, just after my arrival. Something mysterious and terrifying happened at the castle and the princess disappeared. Now people who have worked there claim it is haunted. No one goes there now. Shortly after the princess's disappearance, the giant wolves arrived and have preyed upon the villagers. You MUST be careful Octa.”
Octa barely heard a word Hellboy said. He was too busy already weaving a masterpiece in his mind.
Sure enough, true to what he said, Octaboona headed out the door after a good-nights sleep. He headed to his abandoned car to grab the rest of his things. All was quiet except the snow crunch under his feet. The morning was gray and overcast diluting the color of the evergreens and the hibernating woods. Indeed it seemed peaceful and non threatening unlike last night. Then he arrived back to his car. Not much remained of it. It looked as if something heavy had sat on the top caving it in. The windows had smashed in and the tires exploded. In shock Octa walked along the side of the car and felt the long row of scratches that stretched the entire length of it.
It was all he could say. He sensed Hellboy coming up behind him. His host came up beside him and looked at Octa's car grimly.
“That is too bad, my friend. I guess this means you will have to stay a few more nights until we can get you another car.”
If Hellboy expected Octa to be upset he was greatly disappointed.
“Yes!” Octa cheered.
“Whut?” Hellboy did a double take.
“This is a SIGN! Don't you see?” Octa was thrilled. “I am meant to be here.”
“Well, OK then.” Hellboy mumbled. “Cheers!”
“I'm off to go explore the castle!” Octa exclaimed as he began to jog towards the base of the mountain. “Don't wait up!”
“Well, don't wait till after dark to come back!” Hellboy called after him. But Octa had already disappeared in the woods.
It was not long into the woods that Octa realized he was being followed. Whenever he stopped along the pathway, the sound of crunching snow behind him stopped too. After a few more minutes of this he tried to call out to see if anyone was there. But no one answered.
He frowned, uncomfortable with this situation but pressed on. From the burning in his calves he could tell that he had started to ascend the mountain. Soon he would be at the castle. Spying a hidden cove up ahead he slipped into it and waited unseen for his follower to catch up. Sure enough the tell tale sign came that this stalker had arrived by the sound of the nearing footfalls.
“AHA! “ Octa leaped out in front of the intruder and.......saw no one.
He stood puzzled for a moment then scratched his head when a strange noise made him look down. There sat a tiny tiger cub with ears flattened back in fear, looking up at him and sitting in the middle of a yellow liquid.
“A tiger?” Octa bent down to pat the beast on the head. “Aww, did big old Octa frighten you little one?”
The expression on the face of the beast could have been one of a human as it changed slightly from one of fear to one with a hint of outrage. It made what Octa took to be a growl but sounded more like a squeak and lunged at him.
“Whoa little one! I won't hurt you.” Octa tried to sooth the cub as it tumbled over it's self before reaching it's goal.
But the beast slashed at the hand that was held out to it and ran past Octa making sounds that sounded something like sobbing. He followed it as best as he could. It was headed towards the castle same as he was.
Finally he reached the castle and stood in awe of the sheer massiveness of it. All around were signs that eluded to it's past grandeur. Remnants of what was once a climbing rose bush clung to the cold stone of the castle. The dead remains of garden sat nearby.
Brushing aside some debris he found a side entry way inside the castle. Excited he reached to open it but the small cub was back and was squeaking out a warning.
Unfazed by the angry spitting of the tiger cub he gently picked it up and placed it on his shoulder.
“You must be tired little one.” Octa spoke to it soothingly, petting it with one hand while opening the door with the other. “Let me carry you for a while.”
The cub seemed surprised by this and didn't react for a few moments. Octa took the opportunity to enter the castle and looked around. It appeared that he was in a long dark hallway. Flipping out his flashlight he began to make his way down the length of the hallway to his right. At first the tiger cub appeared to be stiff and silent. But as they went on, the cub leaned into his neck and started to purr just like a kitten.
Octa smiled to himself as he entered through a door. It led him to a smaller room with a window.
“Probably a maid's room.” He mused softly.
The cub leaped off his shoulders and begin prowling around the room, exploring.
“I've never been in this room before.” A female voice said.
Octa dropped his flashlight startled and turned around to see who else was there. But he saw no one else. The cub looked at his oddly.
“You dropped your flashlight.” The female voice spoke again.
Octa stared at the cat.
“You just spoke!”
“I did!” The cub responded. “SUPRISE!”
Octa bent down while eyeing the cub thoughtfully. He remembered what Hellboy had said earlier, about him having stepped in to a fairy tale. At the time, he thought that Hellboy was simply eccentric.
But now it seemed that his words were true. This was a place of magic.
The cub began to pace back and forth in front of him in a haughty manner.
“Listen up Mister!” She began in a commanding tone which Octa found quite amusing coming from one so small. “ I am the owner of this castle! You have now trespassed so you must be punished!”
“You are obviously female.” He murmured quietly to himself as he studies the enchanted creature.
Indignant the cub butted her head against his leg and snarled at him.
“Did you hear what I said?” She roared. Or at least she tried to. A tiny squeak came out. “You are to be my prisoner!”
“Really?” Octa exclaimed as he picked her up. “Sounds AWESOME. But I have to be back to Hellboy's by dinner time. He will be expecting me.”
“What?” The cub seemed confounded. “Don't you get it? You are my prisoner! You may not leave this castle!”
“Oh what fun we will have!” Octa said as he placed the hissing cub on his shoulder. “You can show me around then. But first I must name you.”
Octa reached up and petted the hissing cub as he thought. The cub begin to purr instantly and leaned into his hand.
“No! Wait.” The cub facepalmed herself, something Octa had never seen before.
“I will call you Tigger!” He spoke up suddenly.
The cub batted away his hand but her claws where not out.
“I already have a name!” She squeaked out.
“You don't want to be Tigger?” Octa asked puzzled.
“No!” She replied. “I want to keep my own name.”
She hoped down from his shoulder then turned to look at him.
“My name is Kallista. I am the princess of this castle, ruler of this land.”
Octa cocked his head at the tiny creature's proclamation but something told him that what the cub said was true.
“I am pleased to meet you, Princess.” He bowed before her as a gentleman would do to a Lady.” I am Octaboona, at your service. You may call me Octa.”
*HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR OCTABOONA!