Hey my fabulous readers I wanted to add some details to the prologue so the story flows easier. I made a booboo too! I forgot that her last name was Azqerl so I changed it to Sawyer because it will be easier to remember. Again, it is my favorite fairy tale, next to Beauty and the Beast, so I hope I did it well!
So please enjoy the edited prologue!
I do not claim the original fairy tale, but TWH's plot and characters belong to me as well as Ashley, New Orleans. Any famous songs, TV show/movie names, and brands that are mentioned in this work belong to their rightful owners.
© Willa Field
The Wooden Heart
A modern retelling of the Russian fairy tale:
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffmann
Once upon time not so long ago, there was a magical land, Da Fae, hidden from the real cruel world we know ruled by a brave king and a kind queen. The young couple was expecting a child, an heir to their rule, and everyone in the kingdom was overwhelmed with happiness about the new prince or princess, all but the mouse Queen and her many children. They thought they're next to have the chance to rule over Fae but the unborn heir ruined their dreams.
Three days later, Princess Dawn was born and was the most beautiful creature in the land by far. As she grew, however, the mouse Queen watched over the princess like a hank waiting for a moment of weakness in the prey. Then when the king turned forty-two, the mouse Queen saw the opening she waiting for.
You see, the king loved blue cheesecake with cream cheese covering. So as a surprise, the queen and Dawn worked all day on the cake for the king's big party that afternoon, but then the mouse Queen appeared with the cute mouse face.
"Oh please, kind noblewoman, my family is starving but I have no way to feed them, please give me cheese." She pleaded her voice as soft as a lovely caress.
And being tender hearted, the queen put the infant princess aside and cut a piece of the beautiful cake, putting the plate down so the mouse could reach, but once the pretty piece was on the floor, the mouse Queen grinned and gave a shout calling her 'family' in, still grinning devilishly. With one run, the once beautiful cake was now a thump of blue cheese with sickingly looking frosting. The little she-devil gave a laugh and pointed to the fragile queen who was staring with wide eyes at her.
"This was only the beginning, you wench, we mice will eat everything in this kingdom if you and your beloved husband don't back down and give the kingdom to me." With that threat, the mouse Queen ran off, laughing like a crazy person, leaving the poor queen in tears.
The next day, after hearing what happened, the king ordered the royal clockmaker and inventor, who was German and named Drosselmeier, and his nephew, Hans Ashgers, to capture the mouse Queen. So Drosselmeier invented the mouse trap, but every year leading to the princess's sixteenth birthday, they only caught her children all but one, a son. Outraged by the deaths of her children and the prince's siblings, she vowed revenge on the royal couple. Seeing how beautiful Dawn has grown, she formed a plan.
The little queen was a master at magic, so she and her son swept into Dawn's room at night. She climbed onto the bed and begun to cast her evil spell.
"Eyes as blue as the sea, skin like silk I order you to become as ugly as possible. Make this beauty into a beast." She hissed harshly before biting hard on the young woman's toe, causing her to howl out in pain, the mice hurried from the room as the maids ran in, and what they filled them with horror.
The princess's skin was now sickingly green, and her nose has grown long and crooked. Her teeth once white were as yellow as the sun. The royal couple was told at once, causing tears to fall.
The king blamed Drosselmeier, telling him he had a month to break the spell or the man will pay with his life. The old man and his nephew stayed by the princess's bed side and tried to form a way to break the horrible spell, but with every passing day, they fell deeper into hopeless. One day, while the older man thought hard, Hans fed nuts to the crying princess, trying to calm her down. He looked at Dawn with pity, but also admiring.
"Poor, poor princess Dawn," Hans paused to put a chestnut on the young woman's tongue and smiled, turning to his uncle. "She sure likes nuts." As he stated this, Drosselmeier got a great idea. A devilish grin danced across his as he quickly stood from his chair, "Hans, come, we have work to do. Quickly now, my sweet boy." He said as he exited the room fast, Hans, confused, put the bag of nuts down on the bed and quickly followed his uncle to their home.
There, the inventor poured over maps of the stars and papers about Fate and Density, trying to find the princess's path, as Hans read about love and hate along with other things. This had gone on although the night before they find the answer at long last. The crackatooh nut.
They ran to tell the king the guidelines of the cure: the spell can only be broken by a young man who never wore boots; he has to crack the almost unbreakable nut with his teeth only and he must hand it to the princess with his eyes close, then without stumbling, the young man has to take seven steps back as he keeps his eyes close in the progress. The king grinned happily, standing up on his thorn, and then he exclaimed:
"Let it be known, anyone who cracks the nut will have my daughter's hand in marriage! Nobility will still stand of course." And, with that, the race was on to find the new prince.
All the good noble young men were oh-so-ever eager to get the chance to marry the beautiful Dawn, so they lined up outside of the castle and awaited their turn. Each boy was blindfolded because the king and queen told no one outside of the spell, knowing that no man would come. But sadly, the young men, all of them, could not crack the nut. The king cried out, wanting Drosselmeier's head. And to the mouse Queen, this is the funniest thing she has seen in years.
"See, Adam, they can't and won't break this spell, and no one will marry Dawn. We will rule!" She said to her son, who was grinning devilishly.
But as they talked, the thing they feared most happened. Hans, seeing his uncle in help, picked the nut carefully and placed the nut between his teeth and pulled his long dark ponytail, the nut cracking under the pressure. Then, with the count watching him, he walked towards the princess his eyes closed. The mouse Queen fumed as Dawn changed back into her true form.
"Why that little idiot! He ruined everything! I'll teach him to mess with our plans." She growled, stalking forwards to the teen. "You broke my spell this time around boy, but I would like to see how you'll escape this faith. As you fall, your heart will freeze, your skin will harden like wood, and you will crack nuts until you find your true love, prince of the dolls." The little Queen chanted before she bit the poor boy's ankle, causing him to throw back howl loudly in pain and to fall into the statue of the royal family head first. As the boy changed into an ugly nut-cracker, Kama returns a flavor to the queen mouse because when the young man fell, the statue crashed her.
After seeing this, the king was disgusted that Drosselmeier's nephew turned into a 'doll' and he kicked them out of the beautiful kingdom. Things gotten even worse as the Mouse King swore his revenge on Hans for ending his mother's life.
Drosselmeier spent many years trying to find the girl that would break the spell, but without any luck. He quickly became hopeless until he met the Sawyer family in the Americas. He befriended them and was soon dubbed Uncle Drosselmeier to their three children: Annabella, the oldest at 22, Maria, the middle child at the age of 17, and the youngest at 13 was Daniel the only boy.
The old man had a very close relationship with all of the Sawyer children but Maria was something special, he knew it.
She will be the one, she has to be. He recognized her the moment he laid his eyes on her beautiful face. She is the one.