Okay here's one I'm working I found via The Horror Tree - it's called Grimm and Grimmer ( Submissions should be sent to email@example.com as word documents or rtf files.) Basically they are looking for horror stories that are horror reworkings of fairy tales etc I've started on one using Little Miss Muffet and The Pied Piper , it's rough but here's the stage it's at in development..
Muffet -Spider Slayer
She was only ten years old when it happened. Her father was working in the silver mine on the edge of her village. He and his fellow miners had discovered a new vein to plunder .
She remembered just how happy her Father was when he found it, his face beaming with pride and excitement he’d told her– “ This is the one, it’s going to make us all rich. Set us up for life not just our family but the whole village.”
That was the last time she saw her Father alive. She remembered that day when they came and took away her childhood and any chance of a normal life. She had been sitting on tree stump near the mine eating her favourite curds and whey , it was a special treat that her mother had prepared for her. She would forever associate that food with the death and devastation of that day , even just the smell of it would give her flashbacks so vivid that she would relive every detail in slow motion.
She had sat there and waited for the blast that would crack open the new silver vein. She had learned to love that sound once. It had meant that her family would not starve, that they would see out another winter. But when the blast happened that day it was followed by the muffled screams of horror of the men trapped down there.
She watched her Father stagger from the dust and debris, his steps strange and exaggerated as if he was learning to walk all over again. From a distance he looked okay , he wasn’t bleeding , his face was slack and expressionless. Looking back she realised that it was the shock that wouldn’t let her stand, her legs wouldn’t work so she just sat there like a fool her hand around the bowl of curds and whey, the spoon in the other. Her Father dumped himself down and sat bedside her while letting out a low groan, he turned his head towards her and smiled...There was something wrong with his mouth , his teeth and eyes were not there. His skin hung on his frame like a ill fitting glove, something that wasn’t him moved around inside it... Suddenly his forehead was illuminated from within by eight red eyes, They glowed so bright and hot that they burned holes through her Fathers face. His empty smile got wider as it was split side-ways by two long fangs, that spat something yellow and foul smelling at her with a hissing sound. She instinctively raised the bowl up to her face, but the venom splashed across her left arm and hit one side of her face blinding her left eye. She screamed in agony as the venom eat into her flesh and burned away. The pain snapped her out of her trance and she ran away then. The thing that was once her Father tried to get up swiftly but it struggled inside the bag of flesh, eventually it ripped it’s way through the sides with it’s eight spindly black legs emerging and gave chase , the remains of her Father’s body still attached swayed to and fro like a loose limbed marionette .
The fear that had once glued her to the spot now gave her speed, she had gained some distance on her pursuer. As she ran , she saw more miners stagger out of the mine, walking the same way her Father had , greeted by their loved ones who were grateful that they were still alive, only for them to be dissolved and devoured by the creatures that now lived within them.
She ran into the river and dived beneath it’s surface, using a reed to breath she stayed close to the riverbank gripping a hold of the roots that jutted out it with her one good hand , so that she would not be carried away by the current and drowned. Even under the water, she could hear the Spider who had eaten and later worn her Father hover near the edge , listened to its frustrated cries and heard it’s many legs drum out a rhythm like rolling thunder. That day she first learned of their many weaknesses – they could not cross running water.
The cool water felt good against her wounds , it had nullified the venom and stopped the burning. After a while, what may have been hours or days once the Spiders had killed everyone in her village and had moved on to find other victims , she emerged from the water. Blind in one eye and her left arm withered and eaten into a warped stump by the venom . She staggered aimlessly for days , not sure of the direction she was moving in relying purely on instinct. Forever watchful and alert to the sounds of The Spiders. Hunger, exhaustion and the trauma of her wounds eventually all took their toll and she collapsed by a country road. She phased in and out of consciousness . Every time she came to, she would look up to see the worn old roof of a hut. Someone, a man stood over her mopping her feverish brow and tended to her wounds. Sometimes the man’s face was out of focus other times she would see her Father, when she tried to tell him what happened to her in demented fever-talk he would say soothingly– “ Rest Little Miss...”
After what may have been weeks or months she had enough energy to pull herself into an upright position - an old man in a shabby green hood stood by her bed side his white goatee beard and mouth only visible. “ Excellent . You are awake, you are safe now. It was a little touch and go, I treated your wounds as best as I could. I’m so sorry. But I had to amputate your infected arm and remove the eye. The venom although no longer burning was still dangerous, it would have gone to your brain and driven you insane. I changed your blood , gave you some of my own. You don’t appear to have any signs of infection anymore.”
She looked down at her left arm . Everything from the elbow and below was gone. She instinctively reached up to her scarred face and found it bandaged over , she scrunched her facial muscles together and could feel the cotton wadding in her empty eye socket. She knew then that nothing would ever be the same again, She would never be the same again. She allowed herself a few tears from her remaining eye. She cried for her Mother, her Father, her friends and all the villagers who were now dead, she cried that she would never grow up and be pretty , no man would want or love her, no one would marry her, she would forever be alone.
“ That’s it child, let it come..” The old man said soothingly just like her Father used to when she would cry and hold him when she hurt herself falling while playing. “ You have lost much ,that is true. Not many can with stand what you have for one so young. I can never give you back what you have lost but I can give you something else, if you wish. That choice , that path must be yours alone to take..”
What was this crazy old man talking about? “ You see I know the creatures who did this to you. Along time ago, , The Spiders where infesting the land. I was so arrogant and cocksure of my abilities, I underestimated them. There was too many to slay by hand. So I devised a way to slay them all, I was experimenting with music as a lure, it would become a trademark of mine.
I rode through all the towns and villages where there were Spiders and played the tune I had made just for them. I got them all in a trance, and lead them down into the dark. I tricked and trapped them down there.
I thought that they would perish in time, starve to death, but they had must’ve feed upon one another and grew even stronger. Back then it was just caves, I did’nt foresee the building of a town or that those caves held silver...”
The old man shook his head with deep regret. “ It was’nt the first time this stupid old man made a mistake that cost lives. There was Hamelin with the rats, on completion of the job the government refused to pay me, so I took their children to teach them a lesson. Used a tune to charm the children and follow me, I just wanted to scare them, make them reconsider their actions , make them give to me what I was owed. I was so blinded by my anger that I lost concentration and dropped a few notes by mistake. The effect on the children was horrific. Before I could recover the melody – the children had thrown themselves into the river and drowned.”
Tears rolled down the old man’s face and his chin shook with the sobs of sorrow. “ After that I gave up being the legendary Pied Piper – I have since lived a solitary life, a hermit unworthy of human contact.”
He wiped his eyes and took a deep sign “ Perhaps, I can make up for some of the things I have done. Can saving the life of one child be enough to save me from damnation? I do not know if it’s possible , nor do I deserve such redemption. But, If you let me. I can help you to track and slay those who did this to you.
I am too old and broken to be any real use of you . All I have to give is my guidance , my knowledge... and this.” The Old Piper held up a large long cylindrical devise made of brass, a series of weird clockwork clogs and pulleys ran along it’s side . The old man put his hand inside it and turned it sharply to the right– with one click the devise opened up suddenly like a umbrella with four wicked barbed blades around it’s sides , a larger telescopic blade emerging from the centre , doubling the devise in it’s length. “ What is it ?” she croaked, she had never seen anything so beautiful , so lethal in her life , then or since.
“ Your new arm -The Spider Lance...” the Old Piper allowed himself a smile ,the ghost of pride haunting his face. “ You can use it up close... “ he pointed it at the wall and turned his wrist sharply left “ Or far away!” the Lance ‘s central telescopic blade spat out a flurry of smaller blades into the worn wood of the cabin wall. “ The best part is, that you never run out of blades , they’re made by the Forging Sprites inside it.”
“ But I’m getting carried away here – the excitement of an old hunter...” he said some with embarrassment. “ The choice is yours. Revenge is a dangerous path to tread, it is something not be taken lightly. It may take you years to find them all, they may have changed by then, their habits and their abilities may have evolved ,they may be harder to find and even harder to kill. Make no mistake, they are not dumb creatures, they are diabolically intelligent. The road will be a hard one, it will change you for all time, you may become even unrecognisable to your self. You will no longer trust anyone , for they can be anyone at anytime now, they will work much harder on maintaining their disguises. The one advantage that you have is surprise, they will not expect you to come looking for them. And once you have killed them all you must ask yourself what you will do then? When your sense of justice and vengeance has been satisfied...”
She sat a bit more upright then, the strength coming from somewhere within “ Then I’ll find and kill those like them.” She told the Old Piper .
“ Very well. Rest now Little Miss... sorry what is your name? You have me at disadvantage...”
She thought then. She couldn’t use her first name anymore, the girl who she had been was forever lost , that girl who had eaten curds and whey had died with a parents– so she settled with just using her family name, the one which she would use to avenge them...
“ Well then” Little Miss Muffet “save your strength and rest, tomorrow we begin your training. “
The Old Piper blew out the candle and plunged the room into darkness, she listened to his footsteps echo out into the hallway. That night she couldn’t sleep, it wasn’t the pain or the nightmares that waited for her in the dream world that kept her awake.
She was excited .
She couldn’t wait to make those bastards pay.
" The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind. " - H.P. Lovecraft