016. The Three Snake Leaves

by crfricke

*This post is part of A Grimm Project, a series of short fiction pieces using each of the Brothers Grimms’ Nursery and Household Tales as writing prompts. For more information about the project, click here. For more about the story which inspired this freewrite, click here.*

When I opened my eyes, your face filled my vision. Hope was spread across it like too much butter on toast—you were smiling, proud of what you’d done. What you’d discovered.

I did not like coming back from the dead; I did not know, yet, that dead is what I had been. Your face and its ravenous smile frightened me. Is that an excuse for breaking my vow to you? I wish, in truth, that I could say no. But death made an honest woman of me.

Come, meet my new bridegroom: the shadow that moves in the dark. He does not mind what lovers I take, for I am his, no matter how many leaves you keep in your waistcoat pockets.

I remember loving you. When you said you would give up your life for mine, yes, I loved you. But instead of keeping your vow, you claimed my life and twisted it from sleep into waking. Before you marked me yours, I thought you fine. I do not like the jealous smile you wear when you watch me now. I do not care for the way you beam.

Cate Fricke
April 2014

illustration by Jamison Odone: http://jamisonodone.wordpress.com/about/

illustration by Jamison Odone: http://jamisonodone.wordpress.com/about/