IMPORTANT: Chapter 32 will not be the end of KoT. Instead, it will be Chapter 31. However, I will leave up Chapter 32 until I get to Eve's death in Book III. I'm sorry to those of you who liked that ending, but it seemed more like Chapter 31 was a better ending. Chapter 32 just seemed too rushed. So, Book III will not begin after Eve's death but, rather, before it. I really really didn't like that ending.
Forenote: Technically, this isn't completely my own idea. It was a joke I thought of, and wanted to see it happen. So, this is dedicated to her and all other readers and reviewers (but mostly her since she liked the idea so much). Before we begin, though, I have to make a few things clear. No, this isn't a part of the actual story. It's more of…well, the title should give it away. Yes, it involves Vinny, Melina, Helena, Robert, and Francis. You'll find out how in a few moments. And yes, it is a poorly rendered version of Disney's Sleeping Beauty (if only for the scenes in it). It's meant to be satire. Then again, anything with Vinny in it is pretty much satire.
Once Upon a Dream
It had been a fairly beautiful day—not a cloud in the sky, birds chirping in the trees—so why was it currently dark and stormy? The rain fell in sheets that soaked him to the core. Vincent was cold, wet, miserable, and lost. To make matters worse, he was alone. If he were to say he was irritated, it would be a vast understatement.
A sneeze itched his nose, and he closed his eyes for a moment. When the feeling passed, he opened them, green eyes searching through the darkness.
Why did it seem like it was no longer raining?
"What are you doing here?" Helena's voice demanded.
A sudden light blinded him, and he lifted his arm to shield himself from it. "What are you asking me that for? Aren't we traveling together?" His eyes adjusted to the light, and he looked around the room. "Where are the others?"
"Touch the spindle of the spinning wheel," Melina's voice urged from behind him.
Vinny paused before he turned around. Nobody was there. "Very funny, witch. Where are you?"
"Right here," she softly replied.
He whipped around again.
"Helena, touch it."
But there was nothing to touch. The room was empty. "It might be helpful if you actually provided her with a spinning wheel before you request her to do impossible things."
"What are you saying?" Helena asked, confused. "Isn't the spinning wheel right there?" She pointed to a corner of the room that had been bare only moments before.
The way she said it made it seem like it had always been there. Clearly, it hadn't. "That wasn't there a moment ago," he retorted.
She gave him an accusing look. "Are you blind? It's been here the entire time."
"Then why don't you touch it?" he asked sarcastically, crossing his arms.
If she hadn't touched it yet, there was no way she was going to now.
Her face acquired a pained expression. "You really don't care about me, do you? You'd let me fall into a deep sleep with no possibility of waking up."
Groaning, he ran a hand through his hair; he was soaked, cold, and cranky. This was definitely not a good combination to have when speaking with her. "Helena, I don't want you to prick your finger on the spindle; I merely think that you will never touch it."
Her mouth fell open in shock. "Now you're accusing me of being a coward?"
"Fine, I'll touch it!"
"Helena, you're not listening-"
She ran to the corner of the room before he could think to react and touched the spindle, pausing only to give him a defiant glare. He raced after her, but it was already too late, and she collapsed into his arms before the room was, again, enveloped in darkness.
He was back outside. The wind blew, freezing him to the core. At least it wasn't raining anymore. But the body that had once been in his arms was now gone, and he found himself alone yet again. Where was Helena?
"Melina! Where is she?" Vinny demanded.
The only reply he got was a soft laugh.
"The witch has locked her in the castle, and she needs you to wake her up," Robert's voice declared. For some reason, it seemed higher than normal—an almost unnatural voice.
"Robert?" Vinny frowned and looked around. "Where are you?"
A tap on his shoulder made him spin around, but he saw nothing.
Francis laughed, and the prince found himself growing more irritated by the second.
"Oh honestly," Robert's too-high voice huffed. "We're right in front of you."
Vinny focused his gaze in front of him and made out two floating shapes with wings. Unknown to him, a smirk spread across his lips. "Somehow, that makes sense."
"What does?" Francis asked, his little wings beating like a humming-bird's as he drew closer to the prince of Astaire.
"The two of you being fairies," he replied, turning away from them. "What did you do to make Melina angry?"
A sudden buzzing at his ear drew his irritation, and he swatted at the bug, only realizing it wasn't one when he heard Robert's startled cry. "Prince Vincent!"
Vinny turned around to see Robert in the dirt. The little fairy glared up at him, brushing dirt off his clothes and checking the sword at his side. Satisfied that no harm had come to it, he, again, beat his little wings and flew into the air.
Francis was giggling hysterically, holding his stomach and doing summersaults in the air with the force of his laughter. "Y-you just swatted him like a fly!" he gasped out.
"I'll kill you!" Robert screeched, drawing his sword and flying after the other fairy.
"No, wait!" Francis raced through the air and hid behind Vincent, who lifted his hand, catching Robert within it.
When he uncurled his fingers, Robert was collapsed on his palm, breathing heavily, his sword dropped beside him. Francis fluttered over his shoulder, beaming down at the knight.
"This is too bizarre," Vinny declared, dropping the fairy and walking away.
Robert snatched his sword from the air and flew after him. "Where are you going?"
"It's obvious that this is a dream, and I've no desire to stay in either of your presences."
Francis crossed his arms, grinning. "Smart man."
"But what about Princess Helena?" Robert demanded.
Vinny stopped short. "What about her?"
Francis rubbed his hands, a devious smile playing on his lips as he continued hovering near the prince. "She's locked in the castle, placed in a deep sleep that only you can save her from."
"I don't care; this is a dream. When I wake up, everything will be fine." He started walking again.
"And if it isn't a dream?"
Again, Vinny stopped, this time turning fully around to frown at Robert. "You expect me to believe that the two of you being fairies is reality?"
"Well, technically, there were supposed to be three of us, but nobody wanted to be the third fairy; Dominic threatened to kill us, Christopher said he was busy, Eric laughed at us, and Bianca chased us away from George."
"And I care about this because…?"
"Because there are supposed to be three of us!" Robert's voice was an irritating shriek. "It has importance!"
Vinny smirked at him. "Of course it does."
The little knight pouted and crossed his arms. "If you don't save her, then nobody will."
The prince shrugged. "That isn't my concern." Then, he began walking again.
"If you rescue her, we'll leave you alone," Francis offered.
A slow grin spread over his face. "I do believe that is the smartest thing you've said in your life. I'm surprised."
Francis scowled, and Robert laughed.
Once again, Vinny was irritated. "How did we get here?"
Robert gave him a questioning look. "What do you mean, Prince Vincent?"
A scowl crossed his face as he dismounted a strangely deformed horse. "We were talking only moments before. What happened?"
Francis shrugged. "Magic: you agreed to rescue Helena, so the magic took you here."
"And here is..?"
"We'd tell you, but it'd take too long to draw a map. We've got time and length constraints. Besides, it's the end result, not the journey that people care about."
"All people…?" Francis shrugged and looked at Robert.
"Don't look at me," Robert declared, crossing his arms. "You're the one spouting nonsense."
Vinny ran a hand through his hair, groaning in exasperation. "Forget it. Where is Helena?"
Robert pointed a tiny finger at a dark, looming castle that hadn't been there moments before. "She's in the tallest tower-"
Vinny scoffed. "That's predictable."
"It's supposed to be. But first, you've got to-"
"Destroy the evil witch in order to rescue the princess?"
"Yes." Robert blinked, frowned, and sat in the air, his wings beating constantly. "It's far too predictable, isn't it?"
"And the evil witch…?"
Robert shrugged. "Melina."
"Well, you could pretend to be surprised."
Vinny shook his head and unsheathed his sword. "Why would I do that? I'm only playing along so the two of you will leave me alone." Then, he took a step toward the path leading to the castle.
Thorny vines sprang from the earth, effectively blocking everything but a tiny path.
"You must cut through the vines to reach the castle!" Francis supplied helpfully.
Robert cried out in alarm. "He can't! Those vines will ruin the durability of his sword." He paced back and forth, fretting in the air while Francis watched him with mild amusement.
Vinny cocked his head and studied the path through the vines. It seemed safe enough. He picked up a rock and tossed it into the clearing. Nothing moved. Shrugging, he turned to speak to his two companions, only to find Robert curled up into a ball while Francis was coming up with a variety of fascinating ways to destroy a sword.
"No…no," Robert mumbled.
"…and then I'll drop a boulder onto it. If that doesn't smash it, then-"
"Are the two of you seriously having this conversation right now?" Vinny demanded.
The fairies fell silent, watching him with shocked gazes.
"What happened to saving Helena?"
"Well, we thought that you'd take care of that," Francis replied cheekily.
Vinny's expression turned lethal as a sarcastic laugh fell from his lips. "You thought that I'd take care of it? Well, I've been thinking about a lot of things, myself. I'm becoming quite fond of one of them. Would you like to hear it?"
Francis shook his head. "I'd rather not-"
"Good because it involves you flying into the deepest recesses of that mess right over there and seeing if you can find your way out."
The fairy's eyes widened. "You wouldn't!"
"I'd like to see it," Robert supplied, glaring at Francis.
Francis gaped at him. "We're supposed to be comrades! You wouldn't harm a fellow fairy, would you? We're the only ones of our kind!"
Vinny raised an eyebrow at this. "Oh really? I recall hearing somebody talk about needing a third but having nobody willing to play the part."
The two gaped at him, and he turned away, frustrated.
"Forget it. There's a path through the vines over here. Apparently, somebody was lacking motivation when they made them."
Upon getting no reply, he turned his attention back to them. They were gone; in their place, Melina stood.
"Hello, Prince," she drawled lazily.
He looked around her, completely ignoring her presence until she grew irritated.
"What are you doing, Vincent?"
"Have you seen two tiny, irritating pests? There were here a moment ago."
A wicked smile crossed her lips. "I disposed of them."
This was exactly what he wanted to hear, and he sheathed his sword, smirking. "Good. Then I'm done here." He walked away from her.
Her mouth fell open in shock, golden eyes widening. "W-where are you going?"
"If you disposed of them, then I no longer have a reason to be on this useless quest."
"But…you're supposed to fight me!" she cried out in alarm.
"I'm sure you can get somebody else to do it. I have every confidence in your resourcefulness, witch."
"You can't just…walk away!"
He paused and regarded her thoughtfully. "Funny; that's exactly what I'm doing. Are your eyes failing you?" With those words, he continued on his way.
A blast of fire stopped him in his tracks. The route in front of him was now a blazing inferno, and he sighed and shook his head.
"Fire, Melina? Is that the best you can do?"
"No, I can do much more, but we'll settle for thisss now."
Turning around, he gave her a nonplussed look. "Are you developing a lisp now, or…never mind."
Standing before him in all its glory was a large, black dragon. "Well?" She asked. "What do you think? Terrifying, isssn't it?"
He crossed his arms and cocked his head before sighing and shaking his head. "How much weight did you gain?"
Melina screeched, sending fire blazing. "You callousss boy! Hasssn't anyone told you to never make fun of a girl'sss weight?"
"I'd agree if I was talking to a girl. Tell me truthfully: do you see a girl here? All I see is a nasty lizard." He waved a hand in front of his face, wrinkling his nose in disgust. "Have you considered oral hygiene?"
She paused and held out her hand, tentatively breathing on it and shrieking when fire escaped from her mouth, burning her sensitive palm.
"Did you just…burn yourself?" Vinny asked, skeptical.
Glowering at him, the dragon did its best to appear nonchalant. "Not everything isss foolproof. Besssidesss, dragonsss are completely fictional charactersss, ssso how wasss I to know that it wouldn't be imperviousss to itsss own fire."
"Is it just your hands, or is every part of you sensitive to fire?"
"I know what you're trying to do," the dragon declared, shaking her head. "And it isssn't going to work."
"What am I trying to do?" he asked, casually looking around.
"You're trying to make me dessstroy myssself."
He shrugged. "It was mild curiosity. That lisp is really starting to grate on my nerves. It makes me almost want the two foolish fairies back."
The dragon blinked. "Isss it really that bad?"
"Then, I sssuppossse…am I doing it again?"
She scowled. "Thisss isss irritating. I ssshould kill you now."
"But I might grab a branch and use your fire against you now that I know you're not resistant to it."
"I'll ssslaughter you with my clawsss," she declared lifting her claws for him to appraise.
"You chipped a nail, and your claws are pretty dirty. I suppose you could kill me as long as I didn't get to my sword first."
"My ssskin isss tougher than a sssword'sss blade."
"But are you faster than me? I could always run past you and hide in the vines."
She paused. "You wouldn't; you'd get hurt."
"It's better than being slaughtered by an overweight animal." He gave her a smirk.
"I'm not overweight. Thisss isss a normal sssize for a dragon."
He walked around her, taking her in. "No matter how I look at it, you look like an obese elephant."
"I have wingsss; elephantsss don't have wingsss." Large black wings resembling a bat's more than a bird's flapped in confirmation of her words.
He eyed the leathery appendages thoughtfully. "Impressive."
The dragon flashed a smile.
"Can you fly?"
"I have wingsss, don't I?"
He gave her a dismissive look. "So does a turkey. Have you seen a turkey fly?"
"Are you calling me a turkey?"
A skeptical look, then…
"I can fly!" she declared, flapping her wings in irritation. Sure enough, she lifted off the ground, but the exertion was visible on her face.
"How long can you keep doing that? You look like you'll faint at any moment."
Her breath came in shallow, raggedy gasps as she tried to speak only to fail.
"Then you're like a chicken—only able to fly short distances." He shook his head. "Disgraceful."
Her eyes narrowed in anger, but it was quickly replaced with exhaustion. "Thisss isssn't the lassst you've ssseen of me. I'll be back." Her promise echoed as she disappeared, leaving the prince to frown at the place she had been.
"You've beaten the witch!" Francis cried out in glee.
Vinny raised an eyebrow at his words. "Where did you come from?"
"We hid behind a tree," he replied. "It was Robert's idea because Melina's scary when she's mad."
After receiving a reproachful glare from the prince, the knight fairy blushed and cleared his throat. "Where are you going? Isn't the castle the other way?"
"Didn't I just beat the witch?"
"You're supposed to slay the witch with your sword!" Robert protested. "It isn't finished until you kiss Princess Helena."
Vinny froze. "Kiss?"
"…Yes?" was his tentative answer.
"Nowhere in all this did I hear that I had to kiss her," the prince raged, pacing back and forth on the forest floor.
"You forgot your horse," Francis noted.
"I don't care about the horse."
"But it's your faithful steed."
"It looks like something from a nightmare, and you're changing the subject. I am not kissing Helena."
Robert sighed. "Fine, then I'll kiss her and wake her up."
A hand closed around him, cutting off his exit. "What did you say?"
Vinny's fingers uncurled, and Robert crossed his arms as he sat on the prince's palm. "Well, you're not going to do it. Somebody has to, so why can't it be me?"
"Or I can do it!" Francis suggested. Two glares focused on him, and he made a face. "Why are you two the only ones who can wake her up? It doesn't seem fair to me. We'd be happy together! She wouldn't have to worry about being second place to a sword or about being constantly mocked and ridiculed."
"What about Madeline?" Robert asked.
Vinny looked confused. "Who?"
"She's dead; it's time I moved on. Why not Helena?"
"Because-" Vinny began before he cut himself off.
The two watched him with interest, grins widening at the prince's flustered appearance.
Finally, Vinny began walking again. "I don't care what the two of you do."
Francis pouted. "And here I thought you were going to admit your love for her—how nobody can ever hope to understand her as you do." He lowered his voice in a poor imitation of Vinny. "'I've known her longer than either of you, so I get priority. Besides, she loves me, doesn't she? Although I say that only a fool would love her, I am, in fact, admitting that I am a fool because I've been in love with her since I was a boy.'"
Vinny paused. "How did you-"
"'But I'm not finished yet! Even after she made me take her dove necklace, I've kept them both. No matter how many times I've tried to get rid of these feelings I have for her, I found that I cannot. Every time I see her, my heart beats a little bit faster, and her every word fascinates me. Oh Helena! I love you, I love you, I love-'"
A hand closed around him, silencing his words. "You're an embarrassment to society!"
He got a muffled reply.
"What was that?"
Robert grinned up at him from his other hand. "He asked you why we're going back to the castle."
Vinny frowned. "We're not. We're…just going in a different direction than before."
Robert sighed and shook his head. "You won't like it."
"He said that you're in denial of your true feelings."
"Air is so good!" Francis declared, stretching his arms as he batted his wings in the air. "I knew that you couldn't keep me in your hand forever," he taunted.
Vinny sighed. "You were enjoying it too much."
"I was reading your palm. There was nothing better to do."
The glare he received did nothing to wipe the grin from his face. "Vinny's going to have one child. What does that mean? Are you…impotent?" His gaze shifted downward.
"Not any more than you are, I'm sure," Vinny replied easily.
The fairy crossed his arms in frustration. "You're no fun. Robert, let me read your hand!"
Robert pushed him away. "Get away from me."
"I'm going to have two children, Vinny-kins," Francis declared, returning his attention to the prince. "That makes me less impotent than you."
"Did you just call me…Vinny-kins?" Vincent asked, a horrified expression on his face.
A hand went to Francis's mouth. "Oh, wait. Helena's the only one who's allowed to call you 'Vinny,' isn't she?"
"She doesn't call me anything, and I think you're making up how many children you're going to have. For all I know, you'll never be married."
"Doesn't it bother you?" the fairy asked, settling down on his shoulder.
Vinny paused before stepping through the path in the vines. "No."
"Why would I lie? It doesn't matter what she calls me."
"It does to you. What would you do if she called you by your name? Would you tell her you love her?"
Irritation sparked inside of the young prince, and he flicked the fairy off his shoulder. "You're acting awfully close for a commoner," he muttered.
"I landed on a thorn," was his reply.
"I think I'm bleeding. Come save me!"
"I'm already saving one damsel in distress. There's no need for another." He turned his attention to the other fairy. "You're too quiet."
"I was wondering the same thing as Francis, actually," Robert stated. "Why doesn't she call you by name?"
"That is nobody's business but our own. I don't ask you about your past with her."
The fairy blushed, and Vinny frowned. "We didn't have…too much of a past."
"Then why are you turning red?"
"Because it's embarrassing, that's why! Besides, this is your dream, so you'll never know what went on between the two of us. It'll continue to eat away at you until you ask her, not me."
Vinny nodded, smirking. "So then you agree that it's a dream."
Robert groaned and smacked his hand against his forehead.
"It looks a lot taller than it did back there," Francis declared, gazing up at the tower.
"Everything looks taller to you. You're the height of a pin."
The fairy gaped at the prince. "I don't say things about your attitude."
"Didn't you just say something about it with the words you used?"
The fairy clamped his hands over his ears. "You're confusing me! Stop it!"
Robert frowned as Vinny continued to taunt Francis, his gaze straying to the tower. "How are you going to get up there?"
Vinny turned his attention to the tower. "Oh, I thought I'd ask 'Rapunzel' to let down her gold hair," he muttered sarcastically.
"That's the wrong fairy tale," Francis replied, holding up a finger in an authoritative manner. "This one is Sleeping Beauty, not Rapunzel."
Vinny sighed. "It's amazing how sarcasm is lost on you."
"Nothing." He walked around the tower and came to a door marked "Authorized Personnel Only."
"Are you authorized?" Robert asked.
Vinny smirked. "Do I care?"
He opened the door and walked up the stairs, the fairies casting a soft glow, illuminating the way for him.
"I suppose the two of you are useful for something," he muttered absently.
The fairies glared at him.
"You're lucky we're even helping you," Francis retorted.
"Yes, thank you for hiding behind a tree while I faced a fire-breathing dragon on my own."
"You're welcome." The fairy beamed.
At long last, they came to a door. It opened easily enough, and Helena lay on a bed in the center of the room. Three pairs of eyes fell on her and didn't stray from her figure. Her hair fell in soft waves on the bed, not a strand out of place. Translucent eyelids fluttered as she softly sighed in her sleep, rolling onto her side before falling still again. Beneath those eyelids were known to be eyes resembling the depths of the ocean. She was female perfection, and her lips were slightly pouted, as if she were dreaming about a person she wasn't quite fond of. Then, suddenly, a ghost of a smile crossed those same lips, and the three collectively held their breaths.
For a moment, the prince toyed with the idea that it was him she was dreaming of, and a similar smile crossed his face. But it was a fleeting idea, and the smile melted into a smirk. Helena—his Helen—was waiting for him to kiss her.
"Since you don't want to," the fairies declared, fluttering away from him.
He reached out and grabbed the two in his hands, tossing them out the door and shutting it, effectively keeping them from her. With a sigh, he leaned against the wood, allowing it to support him. His gaze never strayed from her. Careful, deliberate steps carried him to her side, and he traced her face with gentle fingertips.
"You can't keep us out forever!" Francis declared. "I can fit through the lock!"
Vincent groaned and turned his attention back to the princess. How hard could it be to kiss someone? After telling himself that he couldn't for so long, he had started to believe it.
"Vinny?" a tentative voice called out.
He ignored it.
"Oh Vinster?" the voice repeated.
"What, Francis?" Turning, he saw a little hand waving from the keyhole.
"I'm stuck," the fairy remarked, troubled.
"I told you it was a bad idea," Robert muttered from the other side of the door. "Now he's never going to kiss her; you interrupted them."
"I'm going to die in here!" Francis cried, terror making his voice higher than it should have been.
"Good; I won't have to deal with you anymore."
"Prince Vincent!" The fairy was horrified.
Sending one last wistful gaze toward Helena, Vinny turned away and was about to help the ailing fairy when he found that he couldn't move. Glancing down, he found that Helena's hand was wrapped around his shirt.
"This is oddly familiar," he declared faintly, a playful smile finding its way to his lips as he fondly watched the sleeping girl.
"Vinny," she whispered, and his eyes widened in shock.
"W-what did you?" He drew nearer to her. Surely, he hadn't heard her right, but then his gaze fell on her lips, and he felt his resolve slip as he knelt over her, lips hovering inches above hers. "Do you even know what you do to me?" he asked her before covering her lips with his own…
"Prince Vincent, it is time to wake up!" Francis's voice declared, jarring him from his slumber. Vinny scowled and glared up at the commoner, whose sole purpose in life it seemed was to make his a living hell. "Wow, that good of a dream, eh?"
"You interrupted the best part," the prince said, struggling to return to the bizarre dream.
"Unless it had you kissing Helena, I doubt it could be that good," Francis said airily as he walked out of the room.
A moment passed before his head poked back in through the doorway.
"Ah, so it did have to do with-"
"Of course not!" Vinny replied, furious. "Why would I be kissing her? Better yet, why are you still waking me up? Don't you have better things to do?"
"What could be better than hearing my prince talk in his dream about kissing Helena?"
Vinny smirked. "Funny, because I distinctly remember you being stuck in a keyhole."
"Stuck in a…?" Francis's brow furrowed in confusion. "Do I want to know?"
The prince shook his head and stood up, images of him kissing a certain princess stuck in his head. No matter how he tried to forget them, they remained there the entire day.
"You're smiling," Helena noted as she passed him.
He started after realizing exactly what it was that was making him smile. "I…had a good day today," was his weak reply.
"You were even smiling at Robert," she continued.
"Can't I smile at Robert?"
"You never smile at Robert."
"Did you want me to tell you that I dreamt of you last night, of kissing you and doing things…"
Her cheeks heated in a blush, and she gave him an outraged look. "Must you be so cruel—raising my hopes only to discard them like trash?"
He shrugged lazily, his eyes tracing her lips, but she was too preoccupied with her outrage to notice. He wouldn't dare touch her, though. Not with these dreams threatening the fragile grip of his resolve that still remained. "Helena, don't ruin my good mood with your misplaced anger."
"Misplaced…you've been avoiding me," she started, drawing nearer to him.
He held his breath. One more inch, and his control would snap. Then she'd see exactly why he was avoiding her.
But she turned away at the last moment, hurt apparent in her gaze. "I know that you're preparing for the war against Devas, but it seems like we're becoming strangers." She walked away from him, and he sighed, leaning against the wall for support.
His hands were shaking, and he closed them in an attempt to hide exactly what she did to him. Laughter bubbled up inside of him, and he chuckled and shook his head.
"If she only knew," he muttered, gazing up at the ceiling. "If she only knew…"
Author's Note: I figured I'd put the important thing at the top of the page for people who don't read author's notes. I know I'm one of them, so I'd be a hypocrite for chastising them. Anyway, I have crazy news. My laptop—the one that destroyed my old hard drive—had a processor that…for lack of better word burned up. It smelled funny, and my computer had a cursor flashing. No windows started up. This was very bad, and it happened last night. It's obviously been taken care of since. I've got a new computer (although Word 2007 is on it…yuck), and my hard drive has all the info off of if (like college notes, mostly, which cost me $25). The new laptop is cheap…three hundred and some. I figure why spend a lot of money on something that is likely to crash in about five years' time. So, that was my adventure for the week. Let's hope there are no repeat performances.
All in all, I thought that this little side thing was pretty good. It could've been funnier (beta's words), but Vinny was in character, and that was all that mattered. Plus, the part with Francis stuck in the keyhole was classic (again, her words). Somehow, I ended up putting some serious things in there…oh well.
Book III will be out when I get done with my Evolution homework. It's seven pages…ouch, right? Then I can write. I also have to write a short story for my Creative Writing class. Maybe I'll put it up here just to see what you guys think before I have to turn it in. It's going to be about Afghanistan, and it's going to have an adultish vibe to it. I know, scary… At least nobody will die in it. :) For some reason, it seems like a good majority of short stories deal with somebody dying. Anyway, I have an idea of where I want to start with Book III. It'll be a place in the past (not quite too distant, but before Helena's story). As for my reasons for it, I'm thinking that it'll help with understanding Melina's character a little better. Then again, maybe I just want to see Cindy again. Well, you'll see it when it gets posted (after I actually write it).
Oh, and I saw a cloud that was shaped like a hand closing around the moon. I thought that was cool, and I might use it in a later chapter.
Special thanks to the following reviewers: eaststar, Crystal Royale, aureliasilver, xxBloodxRedxRosexx, .YoXx, dwpea., LondonLi, MuseofMagic, , Erikaizzle, miss-life, MissMei92, Solestis, R.A. , SpotWillRuleTheWorld, AestheticBreezyDoll, TreeWhisperer, LateNiteRomance, reachforit, loveables, thingamabob, and littlerenren.
Like many authors on here, I love reviews very much! Without you guys, I'd be feeling pretty miserable.
Okay, first off, I know this question is going to be asked:
Why are you rewriting Eve's death?
I wasn't satisfied with the ending. Of course, it wasn't until after a few reviewers started mentioning the same things that I saw that my beta decided she didn't like it either. "Yeah," she said, "that's what I was thinking too. You need more time for Eve's death. It was just…bam—done!" So, thanking her profusely for not telling me before I posted it (sarcasm), I decided to do what my gut told me to do to begin with. I'm putting Eve's death in the third book. We see so little of Phoenix, and I don't want him to be some passing character who only is there for Eve's death (although, technically, he is), and I do want it to make a lasting impression on you guys. Besides, I don't think I did Eve justice in that chapter. She'll still die on the mountain, and things will be pretty similar (only with more details and such? We'll actually go into Phoenix's town on the top of the mountain). So, hopefully, I'll give Eve her due in the next book.
Now that we've got that over with…
It seems like Melina is trying to use Eve to turn Phoenix into a bird, but why?
Actually, it's the other way around. Melina's using Phoenix to kill Eve. She has a reason for it, but I can't go into too much detail because you'll find out soon enough (after Eve's death in Book III). She also had another reason for visiting him—but she did that earlier. I might write about it in another story, but that'd be a detailed account of the mythology of the kingdoms more than anything.
Is Eve's death going to have a profound impact on Helena (like a turning point for her)?
Yes, it is indeed. Not only for her, but for the others as well—everything goes in a landslide from then on out. I'm using the phrase "Betrayed by the Dawn" because dawn tends to symbolize knowledge. "Prelude to an Evening" was the back-story, pretty much. "In the Absence of Light" was Helena's being oblivious to most things. Like most instances when people find out the truth, Helena wishes she'd been left in the dark. So, Vinny's bargain will be known to her, Melina's plan, and Eve's part in all this.
Is Eve's mother significant?
Again, yes. Although it's been only hinted at, there have been instances (mostly in Prelude, I think) that refer to her mother's significance. Her mother's ancestry came from the island off the coast of Kratin. This island, although lost to history, had once been a hub for explorers wishing to find various hidden things (such as the fountain of youth, for instance). It was also the only place that could be used to get to Allusia, and only very few people knew how to get there. As for Allusia itself: it had once been a place of varying seasons in its prime—now, it exists only as a place of endless winter. Allusia itself has no real power. Rather, the items left behind from ancient inhabitants are what make this place so…valuable. Melina wants to go there for reasons I will not yet divulge.
What motivates Melina?
The course to an end motivates her. Right now, she wants Helena's first born child…with whom she will fall in love…and ultimately be killed by. She doesn't want to stop this from occurring. Instead, she's merely following her own destiny. You'll understand it better later.
How important is Phoenix, and what did he mean about wife number 347?
Phoenix is fairly important, just not in this story other than for Eve's death. And as for wife number 347—he's lived for quite a long time…but he has a harem where there are multiple wives for him. When he says 347, he literally means that she'd be his 347th wife. Of course, Melina always has the spot of number one, but she'll never take it.
Did Phoenix really die or what? Isn't he going to be reborn?
No, he's not really dead. Yes, he is going to be reborn. He burst into flames and disappeared (turned into ash). He'll rise from his ashes again. Poor Helena…but he, of course, is angry that he's a bird. He'd much rather be a human.
Will the next book be the last book?
Yes! It will definitely be the last. There are only a few things left to happen before that all-important-even occurs, so…yes, the next book will be the last of KoT. Technically, it wasn't supposed to last this long, but…well, I guess these things happen.
How did Eve's mother know about the Phoenix since all the people that find out have to stay on the mountain?
This falls into the other question about Eve's mother. She is a direct descendent from the royalty of that island, and, as such, has had every story told to her that involves the place. Before Phoenix found Melina, he went there looking for some way to turn human. Of course, accounts were that he had. Then, somebody else wanted to find out how to kill Phoenix because…well, let's just say that the man's wife was pretty…so he, also, found out about Melina, and he got the story from her, told it, and left to kill Phoenix (an impossible feat). Of course, he was never seen or heard from again.
Just how bad did Vinny want Helena to write him when she was in school? Why?
Vinny was going through his whole love-Helena-hate-Helena phase of his life, where he tried to destroy his dove necklace only to save it moments later. In that time, he was beginning to understand his feelings for her, feeling foolish, and growing irritated that she wrote everyone in his family but himself. She had, in fact, written often while she was at Magnolia. He was the only one she neglected to write, and he was growing resentful of her. When he finally did receive a letter, it was not what he had expected, and Eric laughed at him and mocked him. In reality, he wanted her to write him, but he had no expectations of her writing him. Still, he couldn't help how he felt—that they were connected and she had to think of him as often as he thought of her. Ironic how she was falling in love with Robert at the time and not giving Vinny practically any thought at all unless forced to. When he decided to accept her invitation to the ball, he did it out of spite. He thought that, after seeing her again, it would be obvious that he'd see her faults, shortcomings, and find her to be not nearly as pretty as he remembered. It would've been a good plan. Pity it turned out to be the opposite.
So, I'll see you guys in Book III. Hopefully you got some enjoyment out of this parody. If you saw the parallels with Disney's, then it's a good thing. If you didn't, that's a good thing too. The only parallel should've been the setting (except the door…that wouldn't be in Disney's Sleeping Beauty). Vinny and the others pretty much ruined any other similarities, but I was thinking of Disney's when I wrote this (even the creepy horse…Seriously, it looks strange…).