The Tale of The Long Face

  • Esquire

    The Tale of The Long Face

    Deep in the Whispering Grove lays a quiet and quaint cottage, where once lived a kind, old lady. She stood about five feet tall and always seemed to be chipper. On the 15th of every month, Hilda walked just outside the grove to where she can barely see a small bright light, and she smiles with a single tear drifting down her face. With a gasp, she thinks “is it the anniversary?” she sheds another tear ”of my mistake…”

    Oh, how she longed to go and see her love, her daughter, and the townsfolk, but she can’t… because to them, she is a witch.

    “Papa! Are you ok?” said the daughter

    With another cough Barney, said “Yes my little girl, I am fine, I’m just getting old”

    “It looks to be your bedtime young one. Why don’t you go get in bed, and I’ll be right up there to tuck you in” said the mother.

    She scurried away as she was always excited to hear bedtime stories of witches and ghouls and the unnatural. Barney coughs again but this time it seemed to be serious, so his wife Hilda grabbed him a cup of water and said “Oh barney my love what are we going to do? Our daughter is so young and I don't think I can raise her alone, we can't afford to lose you.”
    She nervously continued, “Listen I heard whispers in the town of a ritual used by the nemurtingi…” she said before Barney interrupted her.

    “No, NO we cant use ancient magic we don’t understand…” he coughs more violently than he ever had before, “the magic they use is for nemurtingi alone, no man can harness the power as they can, it’s not worth the risk.”

    “But…” she adds

    “No buts, my answer is final, I love you now go and tuck our daughter in.”

    Hilda goes to tuck her daughter in and she decides to tell her daughter the story of little red, and as she is doing it she sees across windows into her bedroom where Barney lay coughing and coughing until he passes out. At this point her daughter is asleep, so Hilda quietly jumps to her feet, and rushes over to her love and shakes him, begging “Please, Please!” she shouted, “you can’t leave me...” She then whispers “I love you” and heads into town, to find the man who mentioned the ancient magic of the nemurtingi.

    She is panicking, racing left and right in the town center trying to look for the man’s face, and she could not find him. She wound up finding herself at the well, and looked inside and couldn’t handle it, everyone had gone home for the night and the streets were empty. She looked into the well and burst into tears. A minute had past and a grumbly voice said, “Was it ancient magic that you sought?”,

    ‘What...who’ she thought, “Hello?” she looked around and no one was there.

    “Down here little missy.” she looked into the well and it was her reflection speaking back at her.

    “Why that’s me? Who are you?” she said with a tremble in her voice, the reflection replied saying “Why I am you, Hilda…”

    “But how is tha…”

    “Now now Hilda, you don’t have time to waste now do you, our husband seems to be dying.” She shook her head.

    The reflection continued “take this spell, burn it while standing on your right foot”

    “My right foot?” Hilda said, “but what will it do?”

    “This is a spell of youth if it is done wrong, then, well, let’s just hope you don’t do it wrong.”

    She remembered barney telling her to not mess with the magic of the nemurtingi, and thought maybe I shouldn’t. She took the spell and ran home and quickly into the bedroom of and stood up tip-top on to her right foot, she brought the flame to the paper and…

    “AGAHPODSGHJAFA….” screamed the daughter, and Hilda fell and the paper lit on fire, a loud grumbling happened, and barney woke up. He stared into Hilda’s eyes as he turned into a beast, hooves grew from his hands and feet, his nose started to stretch until finally, he was nothing but a show pony.

    The daughter ran into the room and sees the mother standing over top of the newfound horse, and says “Dad?” Hilda gets scared, just before she is seen by the daughter she runs, into the Whispering Grove, and keeps running until she finds water, where she looks into her reflection, but no reflection appeared.

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