Alright, so I’m caving on the postponing of flash fics thing. This time, it’s a little different. This fic is inspired by the writing prompt that Arielle of Fairy Tale Central posts each month for their featured fairytale!
This month, they’re doing The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen!
I tried to spin the kiss a little, so the dialogue was amended accordingly…and yes, I know I’m posting a flash fic on a Thursday. (Then again, I’ve posted a few on Saturdays before)
Also, this’ll be the first time I’m introducing these characters, who totally gave me an entire Snow Queen retelling idea that’s really more like a sequel to the original tale. I’m also thinking of using them for other HCA fairytales that FTC might do. (Hey, that sounds like what I’m doing with Hobgoblin)
Descriptions: (Yes, I’m going to be totally vague because I just came up with these characters two nights ago, bear with me)
Mette – Green eyes, light brown hair, round-ish face, petite.
Gunnar – Blue eyes, strawberry-blonde hair, oval-ish face, taller than the Snow Queen.
Snow Queen – Blonde, blue eyes, taller than Mette but shorter than Gunnar (though not by much), sharp facial features.
Snowdrop – If you’ve seen Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure, imagine Snowdrop as a bee version of Blaze, only light and dark blue colored. Like ice and indigo blue.
Ice Maiden – Looks like a frosted-over person (I really don’t know how else to explain it??)
Mette awoke refreshed and ready to ask questions. Despite her room being made of ice, she had surprisingly been warm.
She prepared for the day, opting for the beautiful sky-blue gown the Snow Queen had gifted her instead of the rose-pink one she had worn for the journey. She finished with braiding the fronts of her hair and tying them back, adding the little rosebud from the garden they had passed through a week ago.
Satisfied with what she saw in the mirror, she slid across the icy hall and knocked on the door to Gunnar’s room.
As she waited for an answer, she studied the intricate details of the door. Of all the things her parents hadn’t told her of the Snow Queen, it was the beauty crafted within her castle.
Be cautious, for she is not one you want to provoke.
Mother’s words from right before they were separated in the avalanche rang through her mind and Mette frowned.
But she welcomed us so warmly, she thought. Maybe Father and Mother were wrong. Maybe she isn’t what they said she was.
Gunnar still hadn’t made an appearance and so she knocked again.
“Gunnar?” She waited a few more minutes. Still, nothing.
Mette’s frown deepened. She noticed one of the ice maidens coming down the hall and rushed-more like slid-to greet her.
“Good morning! Have you seen my friend?” She asked, noting inwardly that it didn’t feel awkward to call him that anymore.
Maybe things were changing after all.
The maiden ignored her. Mette got in front of her, asking again.
Having been blocked, the maiden now looked down at her, and Mette couldn’t suppress a shiver. Then, the statue-like woman slowly shook her head.
“O-okay,” Reidun stammered. “I’ll just find him myself. Thank you though.”
She traveled the West wing, and finding no trace of him, entered the East wing. She hadn’t gotten far when the Snow Queen turned the corner at the end of the hall.
“Good morning, Mette. Are you lost?”
“No, ma’am!” Mette replied. “I’m just looking for Gunnar. You haven’t seen him, have you?”
“Not since last night.”
Was it just her or did the Snow Queen have a twinkle in her eye? Mette cleared her throat. “Perhaps he got lost. This is a rather large castle.” Never mind the fact he came from nobility and had more knowledge of castles than she, a commoner, did.
“If I see him, I’ll let him know you’re looking for him,” the Snow Queen said, in an almost sing-song way.
She passed by Mette, who replied, “Thank you!”
“Oh, and Mette?”
“You never told me why you and your friend are here.”
“We’re looking for my sisters,” Mette replied. “They were kidnapped and so my parents and I went to look for them. Gunnar ended up coming along too. We were separated during an avalanche.”
Mette grew worried with every passing minute. She was sure to have explored the majority of the castle by now and she still couldn’t find Gunnar.
A tiny speck flew towards her, and with a start, she realized it was one of the snowbees. More specifically, the one who had led her and Gunnar to the palace in the first place.
“Hello, Snowdrop!” Mette said, reaching out as though to pet it. She paused. “Oh wait. I’m not supposed to touch you. Or at least your stinger. Correct?”
Snowdrop nodded and then motioned for Mette to follow her.
“Where are we going?” Mette asked as they entered a dark hallway. She tripped when stairs appeared under her feet and barely managed to catch herself on the railing.
Snowdrop buzzed incessantly.
“I’m coming, don’t worry,” Mette said. She reached the bottom of the stairs, where a single torch stood sentry by a door. Mette approached it, and upon finding it had no knob, turned to her tiny companion. “Do you want me to go inside?”
Snowdrop pointed towards the door and Mette noticed parts of the design stuck out. She ran her fingers over it.
“Is this…a puzzle?”
Snowdrop nodded again, and flew from one block to another. She stopped in front of Mette, looking pleased with herself.
“Um…I completely lost track of all of that.” Mette said. “Could you show me again, but slower?”
Snowdrop rolled her eyes and did as requested. Mette did her best to memorize the combination and then set to solving it.
She missed one, but Snowdrop didn’t bother to help her again.
After a few more tries, the entire puzzle pulled back from her and a click sounded. Soon, the door slid open, revealing a vast room with-
“Ice statues?” Mette glanced at Snowdrop. “Seriously? You wanted me to find ice statues?”
Snowdrop only buzzed worriedly as she zipped from statue to statue.
Mette followed, amazed at the detail in each statue.
Until she noticed some had the looks of fear upon their face.
“Wait a minute…” She walked up to a woman who cowered. “These aren’t statues. They’re people.”
Now horrified, she went from person to person. Some were grouped together and looked like soldiers, being led into one final charge by a man she could only assume was the leader.
Snowdrop appeared beside her, buzzing loudly.
“What happened to them?” Mette asked. “How did they freeze?”
Snowdrop pointed to her stinger.
“Wait…you froze them?”
Snowdrop shook her head and pointed at the floor. It was then that Mett noticed what she had thought were loose pieces of ice were actually snowbees.
She bent down. These ones didn’t seem to be alive.
“Did they freeze these people?” She asked. As Snowdrop nodded, Reidun remembered the Snow Queen’s words from the night before.
“Do not let them sting you. It won’t be a pretty sight.”
Mette’s mind raced. “Gunnar was being chased by a bee last night,” she mumbled. She had thought it comical when it happened, but now…
She stood, shouting, “Gunnar!”
She ran from statue to statue, breathing a sigh of relief each time she didn’t see him among them.
“Gunnar, answer me! Please!”
Snowdrop flew ahead of her into a darkened room. Mette followed with dread churning in her stomach.
In the dim light, she saw a broken mirror lay on the floor, reminding her of the mirror from her parents’ tales. Shards lay scattered about, some appearing to be in the form of a word.
Mette stepped closer.
The shards that made up the ‘n’ trailed off in a manner that led her gaze elsewhere, directly at yet another statue, with one arm clutching the other.
Her heart sank.
Mette felt tears prick her eyes as she slowly turned to Snowdrop. “What happened? Why did the bees freeze all those people? And Gunnar?”
“I commanded them to.”
Mette turned to the doorway, where the Snow Queen stood. “But-but why?”
“The others, you need not be concerned about the reason. As for your friend, he found my little collection.”
“Collection?” Mette sputtered. “They’re-they’re people! Or they were…they’re dead, aren’t they?”
“Perhaps,” The Snow Queen waved a hand and a swarm of snowbees surrounded her. “Or perhaps not. Would you like to find out?”
Despite the threat, she did not immediately send the bees to attack, giving Mette time to start backing away. Snowdrop buzzed in her ear, pointing frantically towards a nearly hidden opening in the wall before zipping through it.
Mette glanced at the opening. It looked like she could fit through. She shifted to the right. “As you said last night, don’t let the bees sting you. I happen to want to live at the moment, so no, I’m not going to let you kill me!”
She turned and bolted for the opening. The Snow Queen gave the command for the bees to follow. Mette purposefully slipped and slid through the opening, barely managing to grab a large mirror shard on her way in.
It was both dark and light inside the tunnel, dark enough she couldn’t see beyond three or four feet in front of her but light enough she could see thin columns of ice keeping the roof of the tunnel up.
Buzzing reverberated behind her and soon, a dozen bees had appeared. She swung the mirror shard at them, but it did little to help. One got a little too close and she swatted at it out of instinct.
A brighter light appeared below her feet and she fell into a snowbank a few seconds later. She stood and was greeted by one of the horses.
She swung onto its back and spurred it into a gallop, knowing she would be able to outrun the bees this time.
In her hurry to get away, she failed to notice the bees were gone and she could no longer feel the biting cold of winter.
*evil grin* Keeping my lips zipped on what happens next…feel free to speculate!
©H.S. Kylian 2019
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)