Happily Ever After


Sir Basil

Original poster
The bar was quiet. It was dark. This was the Inn. It had been the Inn in every story, the meeting place of every adventure. All stories got their start at the Inn. The Inn was sometimes a castle, it was sometimes a tavern, but it was always the starting place. For the moment, the Inn had taken the shape of a seaside pub, with a friendly, plump barkeep, as the windows showed the crash of waves against a coast outside. It sported a sign that said: The Fisher's Respite. All sorts of patrons drank from mugs of ale, cups of mead, bottles of spiced wine, and ate the fruit of faeries. Every person from every tale had passed through the Inn at some point. Everybody drank, and talked in hushed voices. Once, the Inn had been a place for cheer. For the moment, however there was only a grim murmur through the room. The Cult of Ever After had struck once more, here at the beginning of every story.
Little Boy Blue was found with his trumpet impaled through his chest, breaking all of his ribs in a gory mess. There was a circle of his blood around him. The words were written, in his own blood;
Happily Ever After.
The innkeeper had cleaned it up. There was no Little Boy Blue anymore. There was only Happily Ever After, still stained on the floor with blood. And everybody, everybody could feel fear and anger in their imaginary, fictional bodies.

A man spoke. He had soft flaxen hair, well kept facial hair and watery blue eyes. He was not very impressive looking, though something was under his eyes, something dark and fearful. A lot of it was in the way he carried himself, a lot of it was in the fact that he was easily recognizable as the ominous, dreadful, Mr. Fox, the robber bridegroom. He spoke softly. "Happily Ever After? It can't be true. God forbid it should be so." He sighed, and wiped a hand across his face, "I... i think that something must be done. I am not prone to taking action," He admitted, looking around the room. He was addressing the room. Fear shown in his face, but his words sounded determined, even if his voice shook.
"I'm... I'm not sure how it can be done. But..." He swallowed, "Somebody has to kill them. They would kill us. They want us dead." Nobody was really listening to him. It was as if he was babbling to himself. But the room was quiet, and the tone dark, and he spoke loudly and clearly. "Why they want us dead doesn't matter." His voice grew in strength, "They want us dead and we have to fight back. I don't WANT to end happily ever after!' He looked down at himself, with his disturbingly pale skin and that strange hollow look in his face. It was like he had been bleached and deprived of some essential living quality.
He hunched over his drink - a bottle of black wine. He mumbled to himself, "I wish somebody would listen to me. They never do. They killed me." He thought to himself. He had died here. He had told his story, and his bride had told hers. The villagers of the Inn had killed him, finding him to be the heinous murderer that she had spoken of. It wasn't true. God forbid it should be so. It wasn't so. He never had killed anybody.
But now, he wanted to kill the Ever Afters.
More than anything in the world.
Someone had entered the bar. Patrons turned around to see who it was, but once they did, they turned back around.

It was none other than Wolf.

Wolf looked around the bar room with his single red eye, studying every detail in the tavern. His other eye was nothing more than a thin strip of ragged pale flesh. His scar from his encounter of the Ever After cult that never healed. Walking forward slowly, the click of his nails was clearly audible. He came to stop before the blood splattered on the floor. Dark smoke collected around his feet, seemingly coming from his body. Then it disappeared just seconds after it had appeared.
"Happily ever after..." He said, running his tongue over his large teeth. Strange enough, he was grinning. "Work of the Ever After cult, hm? Well, I don't know if I should be surprised." Nobody replied or said anything, though some coughed to mask the strained silence in the room.
Wolf spotted Mr. Fox, hunched over his drink. "Ah, Mr. Fox." He walked over to him, black smoke appearing and vanishing with every step he took. After he had reached his table, he studied him with his only eye. "What brings you to this grisly crime scene?"