Briar quietly made her way down the spiraling staircase. After all this time, after so much spent avoiding it, now she was going to have to answer for her past deeds.
Don't get the young beauty wrong though, if one were to give her a second chance she would do the exact same thing again in a heartbeat – she wouldn't ever give it a second thought. She wanted a future where she could play, live, and die with her friends. Death was an uncertainty for a reason; she didn't want to live a life knowing full well she would outlive all of her loved ones.
Neither destiny nor fate should be the deciding factor to how one should live. Everyone should have the right to choose their own way of life. Neither Author nor his fairy tale magic should determine it otherwise.
Everyone should be allowed to choose their own path. Isn't that the correct way?
Briar Beauty stood in front of the giant heavy wooden door. It was late, students and teachers have all returned to their dorm rooms for the night, resting up for the new chapters that were sure to follow. She was positive that the only ones awake at this hour were the two of them.
The young Beauty placed a hand on her chest as she felt it tightening. Anxiety was rushing through her body. She took a deep breath.
Everyone should have a chance at the story that they want.
Slowly, the brown haired girl opened the door.
Everyone wants to be the main character of their own life. Nobody wants to be the victim.
The old dungeon-esque villainy science lab was dark; the only light that shined was that of only a couple of candles that had been placed on top of tables. Sitting on the edge of the chemythtry table was a blue skinned woman, her body being illuminated by the shadows that danced as the flames flickered. She was one of the only few non-humans that attended this school. She was someone that was tied to the young beauty by fate.
Briar could feel her chest tightening up as she entered the dark room. "Fae…"
The daughter of the dark fairy turned her attention to the woman. "Briar…" she arched her eyebrow
Faybelle Thorn was one of the proudest students at Ever After High. She took pride in the fact that she was going to follow her mother, become the dark fairy and put her sleeping beauty under the hundred year curse. It was her inheritance after all, it was understandable.
Why was she so determined though? Nobody really knows. Some rumors flew around that since Raven's mother, The Evil Queen, had stolen the Dark Fairy's story, the entire thorn family had lost respect in the fairy tale world. Faybelle was probably trying to restore the honor back to her name sake, she didn't care who she hurt in the process.
"So…how are you doing, Fae?"
"Cut the chit-chat, Beauty" the dark fairy demanded with presence. "Talk!"
Since a few months ago, these two girls hadn't been able to be in the same room as one another. Ever since she had found out that Briar was the one to throw away destiny –causing everyone to diverge onto their own path – the dark fairy wanted nothing to do with her; feeling her own pride betrayed at that moment; attacked by someone that meant everything to her story. Now, Briar wanted to put everything on the table; to clear the air around them. She didn't want to leave this school with unresolved issues. The two of them needed to talk.
"Listen, Faybelle," Briar looked into the dark dungeon at her what could have been antagonist. "I wanted to apologize, for what I did…"
"Yeah?" the dark fairy cocked her eyebrow as she stuck hands into her pockets.
"I know how much your story means to you," the young Beauty continued. "I know that following your destiny was always a dream, ever since we were kids." She sighed. "I know, in spellementary we would be playing pretend and you would always force me to play the part of Sleeping Beauty… and then-"
"Can you just get on with it?" Faybelle sucked at her teeth – irritated at the conversation already.
Briar nodded. "I wanted to apologize for what I did," She started to scratch the back of her neck, "to apologize for what I did to you."
The dark fairy crossed her arms in the candle illuminated darkness.
"I want to apologize for throwing away the story book of legend." Briar admitted, her chest was tightening, "I know what I did also affected your destiny."
"I-I," Beauty took a deep breath. "I didn't want to sleep for one hundred years, I still don't." she continued. "I don't want to go to sleep knowing that everyone that I love will all die before I awake, I don't want to find myself in a new world with none of my friends and family. It would be a nightmare that I would never wake from."
Faybelle sucked at her teeth as she looked away.
"I know how much our story means to you, Fae," Briar went on, "and now that I know that our destiny can be changed. I just couldn't go through with it."
"So then…" the blue skinned woman asked, "What about me? What am I supposed to do about my family's story?"
"I…" Briar looked away. "I don't know…"
"So then," she stood from the table, "ignoring the fact that you could have actually killed the both of us with that little stunt of yours; now I can't follow the story that I actually want because of what you did."
Briar said nothing.
The dark fairy rolled her eyes, "You people are all hypocrites," she stated matter-of-factly, "You always go on and on, preaching about 'We have the power write our own stories,' but that isn't true. The truth of the matter is that not all of us are going to get what we want."
Briar couldn't say anything. She was right.
"I want to put Sleeping Beauty to sleep." Fae continued. "I doubt I will find anyone that would be willing to take your place." She placed a hand onto her head, "And even if I could, I would be laughed out for the mere fact that it isn't actually sleeping beauty's daughter; I will probably be disowned by my entire family – and it will be your entire fault."
"You all act like this is some perfect little world we live in. That it caters to the wishes of all good little boys and girls. That it delivers whatever your pretty little heart desires on a silver platter. Well guess what. This is reality, and the real world is not written that way."
For a moment, there was only silence as the candles danced.
The brown haired beauty got the courage to speak up. "I'm…I'm sor-"
"STOP!" the dark fairy demanded as she started to rub the ridge of her nose. "Just listen, okay."
Briar looked at her with confusion.
"I get it, alright." She sighed as she put her hands into her pocket. "I get why you did it. You didn't want to sleep for one-hundred years so you took action. You wanted something else and you took the chance and took fate into your own hands, just like Raven Queen did. I just wish you told me about it, after all, what you decide to do with your destiny also risks my future."
"Look…" the dark fairy shook her head. "I'm not saying I am happy about all of this; in fact it's the opposite… but…" she looked away, not wanting to make eye contact. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that… I'll find another way, on my own."
Briar tilted her head and cocked an eyebrow.
Faybelle scratched at her neck with her left hand, as if she were embarrassed. "I guess I'll find someone else to put to sleep; maybe I'll even find someone willingly wanting to be pricked by a spindle. There may be a person that has had insomnia for one-hundred years; I bet he would be more than happen to go to sleep or something like that."
"Fae…" the brown haired girl smiled, she appreciated the fact her "nemesis" was trying to make her feel better. "Thanks."
"Yeah…whatever." the dark fairy sucked at her teeth. "I guess this makes us friends or something."
"Yeah, I guess it does."
What came next took Briar Beauty by surprise. In the candle-illuminated darkness, Faybelle had pulled out her right hand out of her pocket and put it out in-between the two of them, as if giving an open invitation; her eyes still looking away.
For the moment the dark fairy said nothing. "Well?" her eyes looked back at the brown haired girl, as if to ask "Let's shake on it."
Briar smiled. She knew the daughter of the dark fairy for the longest time; after all, they were a part of each other's life. She knew that she had a cold demeanor towards everyone at school; it was her pride that caused her to act this way. But now? Now she was opening up, it wasn't much, but it was a start. Perhaps with time, they could even have a friendship like Raven Queen and Apple White.
"Friends." The young beauty grabbed her now new found friend's hand. The dark fairy smiled as she squeezed.
Briar winced as she pulled her hand back; a sharp pain had pricked her. "Ow…" she looked down into the palm of her hand; there was a small dab of blood coming out.
"Fae?" she looked at her friend with confusion. "What did you d-" she took notice that the other girl's smile grew bigger, almost that of Cheshire cat quality.
In that moment, the young sleeping beauty felt light-headed. Anxiety was starting to take over her as fear was setting in.
"What's going on?"
"Oh…" Faybelle smiled. "I'm just taking fate into my own hand." She smiled slowly opening her palm to the light that danced. "Something I learned from you, Raven, and everyone else."
It was hard to make out in the dancing shadows, but in the palm of the dark fairy's hand was a piece of tape. Inside the tape was a tiny piece of splinter, the blood that belonged to Briar was on the tip. It was obvious where that piece of wood had come from.
Briar eyes went wide in fear. "No…"
Suddenly the energy that the young sleeping beauty once had in her body was starting to slip away. Her breathing was becoming heavier.
"Yes" the dark fairy said mockingly. "I am writing my own story, following the destiny that I want." She looked down at her hand, as if studying the manicure from earlier that day. "Do you think this color looks good on me?"
There was no fighting in this situation; there was only flight – the dark skinned beauty bolted for the door.
The dark fairy shrugged her shoulders with a sigh.
Briar Beauty reached for the door handle and pulled; it was much heavier now then it was earlier. No; it wasn't that the door was heavier, but the fact that was her body was losing strength. Such a simple task was forcing her to use the energy that she didn't have to spare.
Using the wall beside it as leverage, the dark skinned girl swung the large wooden door open with all of her strength – as soon as there was a gap large enough, she dashed off into the empty dark hallway.
Faybelle thorn slowly walked towards the door, making her way towards sleeping beauty. She had all the time in the world.
Briar's breathing was hectic, her legs were burning. Her heart rate was going millions of miles per hour, but there wasn't any adrenaline pumping into her system. With every moment passing by she could feel her body becoming heavier and heavier, causing her to use up more energy to move her body; which only caused her to become even more tired and her body to weigh even more – it was a horrifying cycle.
As she ran, her vision was becoming worse; almost like there was a haze forming around her. Her surrounding almost felt foreign to her, mere minutes ago she could touch the walls if needed; but now, everything seemed like they were growing further and further apart from her grasp. Her mind was fading.
Vision fading away, mind almost completely gone, there was no way that Briar could have prepared herself for the cobble stone stair well in front of her as her foot slipped on the stone bricks – she went face first into the rocks.
If Briar had broken anything, she wouldn't have been able to know, all feeling in her body was all but gone – but she couldn't just stop there.
In the distant, the young lady could barely make out the sound of someone walking towards her. Anxiety and fear washed over her. All senses were falling apart; there was no telling how far or how close the dark fairy was from her.
Panicking; sleeping beauty tried with all her might to use her arms to get her body back on her feet. It wasn't going to work; her lower body was dead; almost as if she had partial sleep paralysis.
Frantically, fear driven, she reached out to the cobble stones in front of her; using what remains of her consciousness she dragged her body up the stairwell. She could only imagine what kind of damage the rocks were doing to her as it tore away at her skin, but she didn't care. She needed to get up the staircase and find someone to rescue her.
"Help… me…" Briar yelled as loud as she could, but it only came out as a mere whimper, barely audio able. "Please…help me…" she "called" out again, her eyes were growing heavier. "Please…someone…anyone…"
But no one was coming. No knight in shining armor was coming to save her. After all, it's a hundred years too soon for her story to end.
Tears started to trickle down the side of the face. She continued to drag her body up the stone stair well – but it was using all of her strength to pull herself up one stone, there was no way she was going to make it back to the first floor. Her arms were beginning to go numb.
"There you are." A voice spoke, it sounded so far away too the young beauty.
Breathing slowing to a steady rhythm, eyes growing heavier, Briar looked up the stair way that seemed to disappear into the darkness, her strength was going. "Pl…please…" she spoke, slowly reaching her hand out as if hoping someone was going to be on the other end, "someone…help…"
Something had wrapped around her chest; her body jerked, but there was nothing she could have done.
"Hold on there, girl." Another blue hand had cupped around the brown skin girl's mouth. Her mind could barely even register the pressure of the arm tightening around her body; it was like a soft buzz in the back of her mind. She could feel her body being lifted off the cobble stone.
Her body was flipped over; she was turned face-to-face with her adversary looking down at her. The dark fairy was sitting against the wall; with sleeping beauty's body propped into her arms - her hand and arm pressing her tightly against her body - it was as if she was mocking her by cradling her like a child.
"There, there," Faybelle spoke softly, "Everything will be just fine…" she raised her hand that she had pressed against Briar's body and brought it to the girl's forehead; she started to part away the hair from the young beauty's face. Though her eyes could barely register anything, she could tell the dark fairy was enjoying this immensely.
Using what remained of her strength; Briar Beauty flailed her arms hoping to break out of the grip she was in – it just came off as if she was a baby trying to throw a temper tantrum.
"shh~ shh~" the dark fairy cooed. She took her index finger and started to slowly form a lemniscate around the girl's eyes; the motion in itself was hypnotizing. "Just rest…"
Briar tried to struggle in Faybelle's arms, but it wasn't even so much as an irritation in her grip. The hand keeping her mouth shut was forcing her to breathe through her nose; a slow rhythmic breathing. Combined with the hypnotic circling around her eyes, she could feel herself sinking lower and lower in the Dark Fairy's arm. She found herself leaning her head onto the blue skinned woman's bosom.
"You see." Faybelle spoke, continuing to circling her finger on the woman's face. "Everything will be alright."
Before the world around her faded into the darkness as her eyelids slowly shut for the last time, the final thing she saw was the dark fairy's smile, an actual sincere smile on her face – and why not? She was getting the story that she wanted, the story that had meant everything to her.
As the last remnants of her consciousness started to fade away, she could feel the dark fairy's chest rise and fall in a slow, but comforting rhythm.
She could hear the sound of Faybelle's heartbeat; like the sound of a ticking clock in the darkness, as if acting as a sendoff to the young beauty as she fell into the darkness.
"Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam, Et lingua eius loquetur indicium."
The Dark Fairy was singing, she was singing the "Elf Song" as if one was singing a lullaby to a restless child.
"Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem, Quoniqm cum probates fuerit accipient coronam vitae…"
Briar's consciousness was gone, she was sound asleep. Faybelle Thorn smiled as she continued to sing alone in the darkness. This was her story after all.
This story is part of a series called "Bad End"
The song in question in the end.