The Fairy Tale Darlings

The Introduction Chapter: They

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There used to be a time in which princes and princesses, kings and queens and nearly all forms of royalty were unarguably considered the light of the world. They were the witty, the benevolent, the brave, the handsome, the noble and the beautiful. It was also a time in which dragons ruled the skies, eating villages, and kidnapping princesses; ogres and trolls were huge and corpulent and ugly and they lived in caves and under the bridges; there were also witches - fat old crones with warts on their noses and unsightly protuberances elsewhere, adorning tall pointed hats and clad entirely in black. They lived alone, casting spells, turning princes into frogs and eating children with their tea.

Truly, there was such a time in which the world was still relatively new and young and full of magic.

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Approximately thirty minutes ago, Paige Horton had had a family and they were all alive, more or less. Her mother and father and her older sister Penny were squeezed in the tiny kitchen probably sipping from cracked mugs of coffee and eating pre-packed cheese and tomato sandwiches. Her younger brother Philip would've probably been comfortably reclining on the squeaky queen-sized bed, remote in one hand, staring enthralled at the tiny television screen in front of him, almost hypnotized by its electric glow.

They were all probably discussing their plans for tomorrow. They had just spent the last two weeks of their winter break on a family vacation over at a relative's place. Tomorrow they were planning to drive down to Monterey, preferably to stop by her uncle's house for a good conversation and some post-Christmas lunch before driving home, starting school and work again the day after. Tonight they were going to simply spend their night in two rooms at a seaside motel.

Paige could hear her mother telling her brother to turn the volume down; it was far too loud and he could wake up people. She could hear her brother retort and protest in reply that yeah, right, like hell it was loud and who would even be asleep at this hour anyway? Even in the tiny bathroom with the door closed, Paige could still hear them. She rolled her eyes and shook her head as she listened to their argument while standing next to the bathtub, fully clothed, in front of the mirror, a silver palm-sized camera in one outstretched hand.

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There was a knock at the door and Paige heard the dry grating sound of chairs scraping against the floor as somebody rose up to answer the door. Most likely her father, she assumed and paused questioningly, camera still in hand, turning as she heard an unfamiliar voice enter the room; it was deep and slightly rough.

Probably came to complain about Phil and the noise, she thought smugly. She couldn't hear much however; the stranger appeared to be talking in rather low tones which was then followed by long pauses in which she heard people muttering short answers.

Then it got quiet outside all of a sudden. Curious, Paige pressed an ear to the door and attempted to listen. The stranger seemed to be talking to himself, in a slightly louder voice this time and Paige realized that he hadn't arrived alone as she heard a new, distinguishably feminine voice answer him back.

Silence took its toll in the tiny room again before Paige heard a growl like that of an animal (Did they bring in an animal with them? she wondered) followed by a thick, wet sound like ketchup being squirted with such pressure from its packet and then -

A blood-curdling scream that made her body jolt in fright and shock. The scream was shrill and filled with anguish and Paige realized a minute later with cold dread that the voice belonged to her sister's. She wondered for a moment if it was merely a prank and if they were trying to scare her out of the bathroom for a moment and her hand hovered, trembling over the doorknob. The scream however seemed to have no intentions of ending and it felt genuine; affliction clearly being defined in the piercing cry.

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It all happened at an alarmingly rapid pace. Paige could hear various frightening noises at once. Over her sister's shrieks of agony and the growls, she could make out her mother sobbing uncontrollably now, apparently pleading with their attackers. She could hear her father yelling. She could hear chairs tumbling over, crashing to the floor in noisy thuds. She heard nothing from Philip but she pictured him frozen in fear and bewilderment.

She felt as if she had plunged into a nightmare she would have dearly loved to wake up from; it all felt too dramatic, too horrific to be real. It wasn't right. Her parents weren't supposed to be angry and delirious with fear. There wasn't supposed to be things crashing against the wall in a fit of fury. The movie playing on the small television set should have been the loudest thing that could be heard through the door; not the anguished screams of her sister, not the yelling and the crying of her dad and her mom respectively and certainly, not the frightening animal-like growls.

And yet as she was forced to pay attention to the noises outside, some of which Paige felt that they might as well have pierced gaping holes in her heart, as they were coming from some of her family members, she was forced to learn that it was in fact, very real.

Despite herself, she gently lowered her head to the cold wet tiles and curled up in a tight little ball like a newborn kitten on the floor, too afraid to venture outside for fear of being caught by them (whoever them was) as well. Her eyes were wide and frozen with horror and fear. She rocked herself from side to side as if she was willing herself to sleep but in reality, she was willing herself to shut out the screams and the growls from outside and the sickening images that kept replaying inside her mind, taunting her to lose her sanity.

Paige didn't scream nor did she cry. She just listened helplessly and shamefully as the attackers was tortured and murdered her family members in what seemed to be in rather painfully languid succession.

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She knew it was nearly over when the room had become progressively quieter. The screams and cried that she had to endure for a good thirty minutes had died down and (Paige felt the back of her throat ache and burn when she slowly realized this), so were the living sources from which the screams originated from. It was almost quiet now, save for a painful and heartbreaking moan.

Paige didn't know who it was out there who was still alive but she refused to allow her mind to scramble and analyze and put two and two together. It was slightly easier for her to listen to a disembodied voice in pain than to have the voice tagged to a mental image in her brain, particularly one in which, one of her family members was lying on the floor most likely bleeding to his or her very death.

There came a sharp clear snap, causing Paige to jerk her body in fright, impulsively and ultimately causing the moan, and inevitably, somebody's life to end abruptly. Silence resumed almost immediately over the place once more; an almost pleasant and peaceful alternative had it not been a solid confirmation that the sufferings were indeed over and the victims were lying dead in the next room.

Paige felt numb and cold all over. She felt like screaming for there was something very strange happening inside of her; it was almost forcing its way out of her. It felt strong and intense. It stung and burned and it seemed to bubble and simmer as it rose up inside of her like one monstrous tidal wave. It wasn't an individual emotion such as anger or hate nor did it feel like the collective of various emotions that had been building inside of Paige, forming and developing like an ever growing wad of chewing gum ever since the start of the deal.

No, it felt so much stronger, so much heavier.

It felt like-

Paige felt her mouth open on its own volition.

Vomit.

And whatever she had ingested for the day splattered in a messy and sticky puddle on the floor.

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"Wait!" Came a voice sharply from the next room. "I heard something. Did you hear something?"

Paige froze, her eyes fixed on the door. She could feel her heart pounding in her ears, pulsing in her throat, resonating and throbbing in her skull, battering like a wild ram against her ribcage.

She heard the female answer. "Liam, you know as well as I do that one of us in this God forsaken place has more humanly incapable abilities than the other," drawled the other stranger. "And it's not me I'm flattering this time,"

There was a pause and then the sound of footsteps thudding softly against the carpeted floor. "I think-" started the male and Paige could hear him very clearly now. She could've even detected an accent in his voice that sounded French if she had been less frightened and had listened carefully. "-we have-"

Through the crack of light under the door, she caught a glimpse of a dark figure, shadow and shape combined, approaching closer. She jerked her body away from the entranceway and screamed a short-lived bark of a scream as the door was swiftly kicked down with a force so astonishing that the door splintered into pieces, sending sharp fragments of wood flying into the air as a boy, not much older than Paige herself, stepped inside, easily crushing the broken pieces of wood beneath him.

He was tall and lean with long, dark, dishevelled hair and pale skin. He grinned pleasantly at Paige who slowly diverted her attention from his eyes - which were a brilliant blue and appeared to be laughing at her - to his mouth. He looked consummately boyish and charming, and he might not have even struck her as the person who killed her family had it not been for the blood that was smeared messily around his mouth, coating his lips, staining some of his clothes. Paige felt the urge to throw up all over again.

"-a survivor!" He finished triumphantly and sounded as pleasantly surprised as a child who discovered one last unwrapped present nestled comfortably under the Christmas tree. "Lilith, look!"

He was then joined by a girl whom Paige was just as surprised to find, was as young and striking as her companion had proven himself to be. She too had blood smeared over her mouth and down the front of her dress.

"Oh lovely," said the girl in a tone that suggested the exact opposite as she watched Paige scrabble frantically and far away from them as she possibly could until her back pressed against the bathtub. She lowered her eyes to the thick chunk-spewed puddle on the floor and made a face.

"Would you rather have this one too or shall I?" asked the boy in what seemed to be a rather humorous attempt to be polite, given the recent occurrences. Paige felt a frightened squeak escape from her throat, which felt slightly raw from heaving. A glance past the two strangers and into the next room provided her a brief view of the destruction that had taken place more than half an hour ago. She momentarily froze as she spied a dismembered hand near one of the beds.

Paige's eyes fell on the door. She glanced nervously at the pair who were talking, deciding who would kill her and shifted her glance to the door once more, mentally calculating the probability of making it out of the door alive. She re-shifted her focus on the pair.

"You can have her," The girl had been saying. "I think I'm just about finished here," She gave the girl a single look of disgust and as if she was able to read Paige's mind she added, "Do it quickly, though, will you? This one's looking to escape,"

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She was left alone now, with the boy. There was something unnatural about the stillness that sauntered in the air. She could feel it. She felt like the prey, guarded and wary and weak and exposed. Far too exposed. Standing not far from her, examining her and watching her with a look that was far too calculative, far too hungry and far too interested, was her handsome predator.

"Please," Paige choked out in a voice that was dry and small and on the verge of crying. "Please...,"

"Please .. what?" inquired the boy politely. He looked amused as he looked at the girl, huddled up in a corner and looking very much pathetic and pitiful but there was also a faint glimmer of curiosity behind his eyes as if he genuinely did want to know what Paige wanted to tell him.

"Don't .. don't kill me. Or h-hurt...," She whimpered uselessly, trailing off. Her eyes were wide and dry, from which sprung a slow leak of tears. "Please..." She whimpered again as tears fell and she began to cry softly.

The boy suddenly and slowly dropped to his knees, inches away from Paige, and deliberately lifted her chin with his long and sharp fingers until her wet, surprised eyes met his unfaltering gaze; it was a gesture that, given what he was purported to have done not too long ago, was extremely gentle and altogether, rather unseemly; it only made Paige sob harder and slightly longer.

"But I'm not going to hurt you," said the boy in tones that matched the softness of his touch and Paige blinked at him in bewilderment and confusion and she was about to echo, "You're not going to hurt me?" and the words had already begun to form themselves before she felt it. The conviction.

It felt like one of those gigantic frothy waves outside the motel, crashing down upon her before pulling her away from the safety of the shores and land. It was such a breeze, succumbing to it and she did so effortlessly, feeling as if a huge burden had been lifted off her chest and she felt better and lighter and she didn't cry as much.

She believed the boy now. He wasn't going to hurt her. Why would he? she thought, looking into his friendly blue eyes. He doesn't look like a killer at all. He's not going to hurt me. He's not. Because he just said so.

In her eyes, the blood on his mouth and on his clothes blurred, becoming only mere stains that would clean off with some good detergent and water. She believed him now and in a move she normally would've found extremely dangerous only moments ago, she leaned into him, embracing his sudden warmth (although in actuality, his body was as cold as ice).

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AUTHOR'S NOTE:

If you have any intentions of reading the rest of the story (in which case, thank you very much), I suggest you read this first. It helps. Somewhat.

About the story :

- First off, a chick-lit writer is writing this story that is a horror/fantasy deal and the writer admits that she's basically writing this story for a few giggles. Brace yourselves, you lot.

- There is going to be a questionable amount of weirdness and ridiculousness in the chapters to come. It's all fiction and fantasy, yes but still - weirdness and ridiculousness. Again, brace yourselves.

- This is part one of the prologue. Actual chapters will also present themselves in parts.

- Working summary. And maybe chapter titles. And maybe the title itself. The writer has a fickle mind.

- All chapters are first drafts, like the rest of the writer's stories and since they're generally crappy, first drafts, she thanks you for actually reading them.

- Chapters will be re-edited, trimmed and rewritten (should it be needed. It will be anyway). Writer's honor.