The Asylum for Fairy-Tale Creatures

The Asylum for Fairy-Tale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory

Book: The Asylum for Fairy-Tale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sebastian Gregory
Tags:, ScreamQueen
Once Upon a Time
    Once upon a forever more, a long time ago in the dark place where imagination and nightmare met, they built the asylum. Surrounded by a forest of dense thorns and crumbling on a precipice falling to an infested monster sea, the asylum held the most insane in the entire fairy tale kingdom.
    To be poor abandon children in the forest, left to the whims of the nearby witch in her gingerbread house - imagine how frail your mind would become. Imagine the trauma of finding a house inhabited by bears who think they are people. How about being a boy made of wood who can think and talk yet is ridiculed and shunned. Or a girl given to a reclusive beast by her own father. It would be enough to drive a person to madness. And so many of the fairy tale creatures went skipping into the comfort of insanity.
    Their demented wails carried through barred windows and into a rainstorm to haunt the turbulent air. A raven followed the cries to a break in the highest tower roof. The rain dripped from cracks in the slates. On the rafters the raven shook off the rain and cawed to itself, tipping its head this way and that with dark curiosity, before swooping downwards through the rafters and away amongst stone corridors. Flying between the shadows of the gas lamps, the raven passed the padded cells of the asylum’s inhabitants. All and more locked behind deep oak doors for evermore. The raven explored further, gliding along until it came to a spiral staircase. It landed on the stone steps a moment, hopping and pecking before flying off again, downwards. To another corridor and, if it were not a fool bird, the raven would have noticed something different. There was only one door at the end of a dark hallway of stone,., bolts and chains and huge padlocks holding it firmly sealed. The raven did not concern itself with this and settled on the bars of the door; it cawed and pecked at the metal with a rat-tat-tat. For a moment something reflected in its onyx eye; from the gap in the bars a bony finger, unexpected and quick, simply brushed the poor creature with all the force of a breath on a nape. The raven cried its last and disappeared, falling within. There was a momentary sound of bones falling on stone, a kind of rattle before everything was silent again, save for the distant sound of the storm, and the ravings of the insane fairy tale creatures.

Blood Red Riding Hood
    The woods held no fear for the girl. She followed her grandma’s advice and her boots held to the path hidden amongst the moss and shed leaves. Thick and ancient trees, old and wise, smiled with knotted faces that only the girl could see. Beams of bright yellow split through the dense overhead canopy and created a dark green rainbow. Her way was clearly lit through The Dark-Dark Forest. And the girl loved this place; it was so mysterious, so gloomy but so full of life. Birds perched heavy on the branches and screamed into the air; insects danced strange fandangos to the sound. Creatures of all shapes and colours trembled in the undergrowth. They crawled from rotting bark, playing amongst carpets of compost. “The dank is good for the lungs,” Grandma told her. “Breathe it in, girl.” The scent of wet greenery filled her senses, making her nostrils sting and eyes water. It was sweet sweat of the forest. She felt so at home here, the other children of the village thought her strange and sneered when they saw her go by. She did not mind; she only needed the forest and her grandma.
    Ever since her father had succumbed to a wasting infection the previous year, her mother’s wits were lost to everlasting grief; the girl had found refuge in solitude. Her own thoughts and company were more than enough for her, those and the frequent trips to the house in the woods to visit Grandma. The girl losing her father and her grandma a son gave strength to the other. So it became traditional that the girl would bring a basket full of treats once every seven days. Mainly berries

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