The Story Keeper (Flash Fiction)

scrapbook-1345381_960_720

After the ink dries, she closes the book, placing it on the shelf next to the other hundreds of stories written before her. Walking back over to her antique wooden, writer’s desk, the Story Keeper lets out a deep breath at the blank pages that were scattered everywhere.

Despite the mild ache in her writing hand, it is already time to start on yet another story. Within the last few days, she has already written the stories of Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle.

The Story Keeper gathers another ink container from the drawer, placing it on the corner of the desk. She dips the blue, purple, galaxy marbled quill of the Story Keepers into the midnight black ink and glides it across the paper as she begins to write the story of Snow White.

With each word written from the magical quill of the Story Keepers, the very thing written happens out in the Enchanted Forest. It is because of that magic that all Story Keepers are forbidden to write-up their own stories. They cannot write their own happy endings.

As she is filling up an empty page with words of ink, a bell rings into the room, signaling that someone is walking into the library. The Story Keeper lays the quill down, with a squint of her eyebrows, before waking up to the front.

The first thing she sees is a girl dressed in hunter’s clothing and a dark, hooded cloak standing at the large, wooden desk, blocking the way to the back of the library.

The Story Keeper approaches the desk and the girl. “Hello, what can I do for you today?”

The girl looks up, removing her hood. Abigail notices just how beautiful she is. Her hair was black as coal and her skin was pale as snow.

“Are you the Story Keeper of the Enchanted Forest?” She asks.

“Yes, I am Abigail, the Story Keeper,” she responds with a nod of her head.

The visitor looks around, out the windows, as if she is afraid of being followed, or found. “I was told that you could be of some help to me,” she states.

Shifting her weight off of her left foot onto the right, Abigail nods. “There is a possibility. It simply depends on what you need help with exactly. Is there a specific book that you are in need of finding?”

“Not exactly,” She tells Abigail. “I’m in the need of a story to be written or at least an ending.”

Abigail looks at her with squinted eyes and a turn of her head. “I do not know who sent you here but that is not something that I can help you with.”

The girl with coal black hair and skin as white as snow, looks to Abigail as she slams her fist onto the front desk, almost shattering the glass atop it. “Is it true that you have the magic to make anything come true by simply writing it?”

Abigail turns her head to the side, letting out a sigh. “It is true. But it is a magic that I cannot use in such a way as this. Therefore, I cannot do what you are asking, so if that is all, I have work that I need to tend to.”

The girl reaches out for Abigail’s arm as if to stop her, even though there is a barrier between the two. “Please! I need your help. I need you to write this story. Please! I’m in danger as we speak!”

Abigail turns towards the girl, shaking her head. “I am sorry. I truly wish that I could do what you ask but I cannot. It is forbidden. Now, I must go and you can let yourself out.”

The young girl’s face flushes red with anger. “So, that is it? You are just going to walk away without even hearing the reason why I need you to do this. You don’t even care that I am in danger!”

“Even if I did care, I cannot change what is to be.” Abigail sighs. “But if it would make you happier, fine, I will listen to what you need to tell me.”

The girl’s face lightens up a bit as she takes a step backwards. “First, I guess I should start off with my name. My name is Snow, Snow White.”

The Story Keeper’s eyes widen as she realizes who this girl is, and what is happening in her story, in her life.

“I believe that my stepmother, the Queen, is trying to have me killed.” She says.

Abigail tries to hide her realization in her voice. “And why do you think that?”

“She sent a huntsman to kill me but we fell in love. He then told me of her plans. We have both been in hiding for weeks, which is why, coming here to speak with you is a huge risk to myself and him.” She says.

“So, what is it that you want me to write exactly? I cannot go back and rewrite what has already happened.” Abigail states.

Snow White gives a small nod. “I figured as much, so I am not asking you to rewrite anything. I have read the stories in this very library. I have read all the happily ever afters of those in this land but I fear that I, myself, will not have a happy ending. Not while the Queen wants my head.”

Abigail looks into Snow White’s eyes. “You want me to write you your happy ending?” She says. “You want me to make sure that the Queen causes no harm to you, so that you and your beloved can live happily within these lands.”

Snow gives a slow nod. “I do not wish any harm done to the Queen, I just want to be free from her. Free to be with my huntsman and free to rule my lands, as my mother and father wished it.”

“I understand what you want Snow but I don’t think that I can give it to you. No Story Keeper has ever written anything other than what has truly happened. Our job is to record what happens in this land for those after us. ” Abigail says.

Snow’s face flushes red with anger again. “Even if that means someone is going to be killed for nothing? The queen is jealous of me, always has been. She knows that I am the true Queen of this land and she is doing whatever she can in her power to have me dead. And you, you have the power to not let that happen! You have the power to make sure that I live and you choose not to help me!”

The Story Keeper’s fist clench up as she shakes her head at Snow. “It is not that simple! If I do this for you, it could change everything! Everything that happens in this land, affects all of those within in it. And not only could you change the story of others but I will lose my place as the Story Keeper. If that happens, the Story Keeper ends with me, for I have no one to give it to. I have not married. I have not bared a child. I have do not have my own happy ending yet.”

Snow looks down at the ground, salty tears filling her eyes but never falling while kicking her boots across the floor. “So, this is hopeless then. I will just have to live in fear, wondering when the day that the Queen captures me will come. The day that I will most certainly die.”

Abigail stands there, silent, not knowing of anything to say.

Snow puts her hood back over her head, looking to Abigail one last time. “I am sorry for taking up your time but thank you for listening.”

The Story Keeper remains standing there, speechless as Snow White walks out the door. A few moments pass before Abigail makes her way back to the secret room that is her workspace. She sighs running her hands over face. She wishes that there was a way for her to ensure Snow White’s happy ending but she knows of no way, at least a way without breaking the rules.

Abigail stares down at Snow White’s story that she is working on. ‘Maybe, perhaps, maybe there is a way that Snow White can have her happy ending. There must be a loophole of some sort’ she thought. A few moments in deep thought, an idea pops into the head of the Story Keeper as a smile spreads across her face. She takes that magical quill in her hands, gilding it across that paper once again. She was doing something no other Story Keeper as ever done before. She was breaking the rules.

Some hours later, maybe even a whole day passes before Abigail closes the finished book and walks over to place it on the shelf, adding another happy ending to stacks.

Published on shortfictionbreak.com

Photo Credit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *