Cinderella Gone Weird, Write Rewrite, Rewrite Challenge (first day, humor!)

I started a 36-hour Challenge. Check it out and participate!

Since its new, I’ll be taking part until it gets its feet off the ground. So, here’s:

Cinderella Gone Weird

The troll’s in my backyard, again. He’s taken two steps out of the corner. I can see his knees. The gnarled hunks of wood with pecan slivers for nails that should be his hands sit lightly on them.
He hasn’t made it out of the far right corner yet, and who am I to pry, anyways? We just moved here. That’s a question I don’t need to know the answer to, right now. I have bigger things to worry about, like busted hot water heaters and baking the perfect cake and making the most awesome dress for the ball.
He’ll come in and kill me when he wants to.
I love the people here. They’re so friendly (except for my family, LOL) I can’t believe I ever got used to people being rude. I guess when you live in a kingdom that tops the lists for most miserable and crime ridden regularly, rude is par for the course.
Damn it, I took my eyes off him, and now I can see his beard. I’m not sure that’s a healthy color for a beard. It’s so dark above his knees it almost looks wet.
Oh, shit. It is wet. Fucker’s drooling, and its slipping over his bulbous lower lip and dread-locking the hair on his chinny-chin-chin.
I should probably stop typing, right? But I’m not done with my cigarette. I NEED my nicotine, come Hell or just…fucking trolls. These hallways ain’t gonna’ mop themselves.
The cancer stick is almost halfway gone, and he moves slow as molasses down the crack of Frosty’s ass, anyways. I got time.
Don’t I?
Where was I?
Oh yeah, busted water heater. That sucker was spewing like a damn frat boy in every direction. The water was going under the house, too. I was out of cigs and coca cola, so all I could do was pop my knuckles, gulp at random, and pray my stepmother wasn’t coming home any time soon.
The repairman probably thought I was nutso. That’s okay. I probably am.
Okay, all better. If he can’t see me, I can just turn the typing sounds on my keyboard off.
Done, and
Hah, now he’s moving in a zig zag. This is so going on yetube.
Shit, he heard me laugh at him.
Double shit, he’s mad.
I think I’m done with this cigarette. Time to stick my tongue out andflfjcjnsikcnjfj rndinchndnenjfj . Encjjndnen
Tyytttthhheee tttttrroolllllssseeezz nnooo yuuer rooooollllll, ppppprrrincceesss


Part 2 of The Bookkeeper of the Grim, Hideous Ticket, A terrible minds challenge!

A wayfarer waited at the docks for Death. No escape from her reality, she was a smuggler of the worst sort to be found on the brimstone highways.

Just in front of her stood Mene, resplendent in mustache – a thirty decade indulgence – and black eyeliner. Sinful and kind, he only promised no deceit for those who asked to touch him, fascinated with the willowy strands of gold threaded above the black hair that delicately framed his face and feathered down strong shoulders. With angular features and an overbite, he was not conventionally handsome. Yet even on such tumultuous shores, he captivated the travelers come to meet loved ones, making them forget temporarily whom they sought to drag to hell or lead to heaven. Easy come, easy go, he blew in with the wind and out just as fast, perplexing and titillating, an instant best friend, killer queen, and naughty nanny of purgatory. No matter the destination, he enticed all and refused few the sweetness of his voice and the temptation in the kink of his smile.

Today was different, however. On the shores of the Styx in a feathered white robe and black spandex jumpsuit, every ounce the impish pagan god, Mene’s mercurial nature was subdued.

If the wayfarer hadn’t known better she almost would have sworn he was…worried. She smirked and stepped up into his peripheral vision. “Lost your BFF, have you?”

Mene glanced in her direction. Hate dropped into his eyes and his entertaining smile dimmed. He nodded at someone addressing him, then asked flatly, “How long has he been gone?”

“I stopped keeping tabs on him twenty years ago.”

“Still quite the little cunt, aren’t you? Who are you waiting on, then? Gandhi?”

“I was just leaving, love,” she said sweetly, then punched him square in the jaw. “Goodbye.”

Mene, unsurprised, rubbed his jaw and followed her with his eyes. If she was up to something her eyes would be darting around, paranoid. Then just when she couldn’t stand it anymore, she’d turn and cast a look-

He snarled. Of course, she was up to something. It’s not possible to play princess in Hell and keep clean hands. He shot through the crowd like thunderbolts and lightening. They spun away frightened.

“Calla Lilly, what have you done?” Mene grabbed her arm.

“Magnifico,” she spat and knocked him back, “Fine, he’s the poor one, the one most unfortunate, right? Spare him from this monstrosity of fate! Spare him! You think you’re the only one who wants to break free?”

“I asked for it. You were banned from it. He never so much feigned interest in it, and you bloody well know it!”

“You foul, loathsome spineless creature, at least I made the choice! I stood amongst gods and devils and demanded –“

“-your brother live and lie for you to get out of Hell, and now you’re the taint of the underworld, somewhere between an arse and a right, sopping cunt. You don’t get to pat yourself on the back for any fucking thing.” He stumbled forward as the ground shifted. Sweat spilled over his forehead. “Whatever you have pulled now, stop it or I will hang your soul in Tartarus myself.”

“Ah, but brother, the show must go on. The terror of knowing what this hell is, watching your sister screaming ‘let me out’, and turning away from it all like a blind man, you think that makes you noble? It only makes you blind to what was already in front of you. If you won’t help me, I’ll make big noise playing bloody and dirty on my own.”

“D’you mind telling me what the bloody hell gives you the right to demand anything? Do you know how many thousands of souls are waiting to come here from the last hour alone?”

“I did what I had to do, and I’m not going to apologize for that to anybody, not to him or to-” Her eyes widened briefly and she stopped talking.

Too late.

Mene noticed and pounced, “Her, who? Kismet?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I don’t think I asked your preference regarding participation in this discussion. What did you do to Kismet?”

“One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal, one golden glance, one fucking chance and I took it. That was the deal, her into hell for the highest bidder and I’d be free.” She stuck out her chin.

“Bloody hell. Cali, you told someone who’s known only the monotony of death to give up the one child he had to the eternity of its shores. What man, no, what father would want that for his daughter?”

She scoffed, “He’s no man.”

Mene slapped her brutally across the face, “You, he was with you. And because he refused and gave her a life on earth, you did this? You had your daughter murdered to smuggle into hell and expected to get her past her father, the fucking ferryman, all because you’re miffed you can’t go on an outing?“

A swell of voices interrupted them.

Mene turned. The river ballooned, sucking up people and building to a head.

Above the mountain of the doomed hovered a sphere. Those not caught by its gravity scrambled away and watched it engorge in horror. The souls writhing beneath it were stripped from their bodies, trailing to the sphere in a wisp, their forms left burned into clay effigies.

When the last soul was left, the sphere quivered. The mountain rumbled. Survivors on the shores fell back further. Then the last soul let go. The mountain imploded and an atomic boom billowed across the river.

Bodies layered atop each other in a hollowed out canyon of the dead, hands reaching out, covering up and pushing away from loved ones, their disfigured faces bearing the terror of the moment forever.

“His wrath,” Mene pointed to the dead monument, “but not your funeral. No, you’ll bleed and scream and crawl…forever.”

The Bookkeeper of the Grim, Hideous Ticket

Dawning of twilight comes before the world revives, a purgatory of sorts neither the dying bustle of evening, nor the hustle of working morning. Prying eyes are fewer and the streets nigh empty. No more perfect time exists for the disposal of sin, and Jacob Stevenson was only the latest of many to take advantage.

He glanced around the dock for possible witnesses. Empty boats dipped in the water, waves lapped softly against the shore, and the morning sun peaked lazily over the horizon. Satisfied, he kneeled. Twenty minutes later only soupy curls remained, big as bows and red as cherries on the murky water’s surface. The strands of hair straightened in the morning surf, then disappeared.

Jacob turned to leave, then a sound so deep it shook his soul stopped him. With puckered pores, he froze.

A geyser erupted up by his side, followed by a fetid stench that burned his nose. No matter how he tried he could not close his watering eyes.

Jacob whipped around just in time to see a figure rise from the gurgling waves. A boat and walking stick came to rest beneath the terrifying being. Maroon, voluminous robes wrapped around the body, revealing only piercing eyes inside the cowl. The being’s presence punched a hole in the morning, leaving only night where it hovered. Its mottled hand grabbed and slammed the staff against the bottom of the boat.

Shapely, dirt-coated legs rose from the depths, followed by intestine tendrils that trailed into the lake. Chunks of coagulated blood slid from the crudely cut waist and plashed into the water. When pink fingernails broke the surface, Jacob’s worst sin rose haunt him.

Her legs draped across the left arm of the figure, while the shoulders ascended to rest on the right arm. Slowly, the hanging gut coiled up and pulled the two halves back together.

Jacob screamed.

The figure’s gaze shifted from the re-knitting body. The sound coming from Jacob’s throat was snuffed out.

“No, you will have no such mercies.”

Voices in thousands of languages drilled into Jacob’s ear, and he grabbed his head. A piercing ache exploded across his forehead and above his ears. He howled with pain.

Unconcerned, the specter raised the woman in its arms. The air thickened with a curse, then suddenly she sat up, like a board snapped in half under too much pressure. A trickle of blood looped her abdomen. Without noticing, she tried to smooth back hair and a chunk of scalp came away in a knot.

The figure released her and she turned. The left foot swung out first in an elliptical dip – leg unbent – and froze at its peak like a toy soldier, then the right foot jerked forward. Jacob realized no life inhabited the visage of puppetry before him, even as it walked. When but inches away, her eye lashes shucked open, the curve of her eyes gummied by mucus.

Behind her the figure snapped.

The corners of her mouth shot up in a joker’s grin, and Jacob recoiled. Sweat coated him completely. When a rigid, clammy hand cupped his face, he fainted once again.

“Wake and witness my judgment upon you.” The voices assailed him without sympathy, and he cursed the lips that uttered them. Abruptly, he realiazed he was being choked. He opened his eyes and dug at his neck with a gasp.

Before him hovered a fuzzy image of himself, and he clawed at his throat to breathe. It was then he noticed a tiny, silver oval whipping left and right. His fingers slowed and he lifted his chin to see better. Even as the fingernails dug into his skin and sawed his delicate flesh, Jacob felt the answer rise in him and he burst into sobs. The tears burned his cheeks as they slid down. Cracked skin curled up in streaks after in their wake.

The locket had been the only gift her father had ever bestowed upon her to let her live a mortal life. Attached to her soul, the jewelry dug into Jacob now to find the whole of her hidden within him. Helpless, he watched as his blood spurted mist-fine into the fog.

The spray slowed and came to a stop. Jacob swallowed, but the necklace still obstructed his throat. He could only take in half of the oxygen he desperately wanted. He wheezed and a rumble crept across the water.

The figure laughed. “Did you think you would live a whole life after what you have done to my daughter?”

A snap cracked the air and the image of Jacob magnified. Beneath the peeling skin, new formed the color of deep honey. His hair turned a patchwork checkerboard pattern and the strands extended in long wisps. The brown of his eyes turned green, and even his colorless lips plumped with red.

He shot a glance begging for mercy toward the being, desperate.

“Oh, no,” the figure said and waved a bony hand in dismissal, “not for you; I felt the knife you plunged it into her heart; I paced the shore to comfort her on her journey. I could have accepted normal human violence. That was the world I let her live in. But her death was a tool to smuggle her into Hell. For that alone I would hang you in Tartarus, a resurrecting treat for the Hounds of Dinai. To save her, however, I condemn you to a century of death. Her locket will devour your soul.

With every tear you’ll uncover her skin. With every kiss you buff away your own lips. For every five years, needle sharp hair will replace your own in patches. And around your neck you will wear her soul, alive and waiting for the day her body is reborn. I am the Grim Reaper, I am Death, I am Charon, and my wrath is forever unequaled, because I have dominion over the eternity of your soul.”

This is part of the Terrible Minds challenge!