Love Fairy Tales?
How about dark Fairy Tales?
If you do, you're in for a treat.
I'm happy to host Anne Rowan, good friend, author and fellow fan of the macabre, who writes her own original, dark stories from long ago. From creepy forests and kingdoms to witches, magic and enchantments, her tales have it all.
Today, Anne takes on a trip into the dark history of the beautiful city of Prague.
Take it away, Anne!
Like my dear friend Debbie, I am fascinated by monsters, monstrosity, the dark, and the unexplained. I’d seen things I couldn’t fathom and I’d always wondered about the reasons or the choices the beings people considered to be monstrous had encountered that made them so marginalized by the society. I came to the conclusion that they were the very things with which many people in today’s world struggle, such as betrayal, unrequited love, greed, lack of acceptance, and more. This summer I got to learn about some of those reasons during a ghost tour of my favorite city in the world, Prague.
If you tune out the loud laughter and out of tone singing of the drunken tourists, you can walk about the ancient cobble-stoned streets and alleys of the Old Town and get lost in the past as the dimly lit lanterns suspended from the old buildings barely illuminate your path. Just think back hundreds of years, to when there was no electricity, and the moon above cast shadows into the narrow street, its cobble stones echoing the panicky footsteps of the desperate merchant who’d just cut off the head of his betrothed because she went with another man. In a nearby courtyard you can hear the cries of a daughter who is trying to pull her drowning mother out of the well into which her father had thrown her because she’d accidentally discovered his buried treasure. The cries petrify you, so you run through an alley and out into the open square, only to encounter the galleys on which the motionless bodies of the accused and executed thieves swing side to side in the wind. Suddenly, you turn because the scent of putrefied blood and flesh fills your nostrils. So you squint your eyes as you can’t believe what you are seeing, but they are indeed there. The wooden stakes along the bridge, each adorned with a severed head of the person who’d tried to overthrow the king. The smell is so revolting you want to hide between the walls of the ancient buildings where the wind dies out into a barely noticeable breeze whose assault on your nose can be reduced if you cup your hand over it. So you do so. You stand for a moment, trying to still you jittery limbs. Breathe, you say to yourself, but as you finish the thought, the sudden echo of flapping wings ascends into the sky, and you look up and laugh at yourself because now it is pigeons that send you jolting backward against the wall. You know you’d had enough, so you turn around to walk back to where you first started, seeking solace with the drunken tourist over whose moronic behavior you had cringed earlier, but now you see them as a comforting knowing that nothing else would frighten you tonight. And as you set off toward the modern day world, the very ground beneath your feet begins to shake and you say to yourself, “I’ve never heard of an earthquake in Prague.” And by the time you realize that it is not an earthquake, you are staring into the eyes of the Golem as he is reaching out the grab you.
Excerpt from Enchanted
“Shush!” Dethdemona shooed her daughter off. Then, as if she hadn’t heard Mathelda’s questions, she took the cauldron, set it on the tree stump, and poured into it the liquids from all the vials at once. The brew immediately started to bubble. “Now for the final ingredient…” The witch bent down to pick up the pointy knife. “I should have foreseen why the potion didn’t work,” she said as she approached Rosalynn. Dethdemona lifted the knife to her stepdaughter’s neck. Rosalynn’s blue eyes widened with horror, then shut tightly at the same moment Mathelda’s throat issued a high pitched shriek.
Excerpt from The Serpent King’s Sorrow
On the first anniversary of her father’s death, Eleanor found herself in the deepest state of hopelessness ever known to mankind. Her insides twisted with agony, for she had failed as a ruler. Her mind gnawed on her soul, for she had not lived up to her word. And her body had surrendered to hunger, for she had been giving most of her meals to the small beggar children in the royal courtyard. In all her sadness, Eleanor crawled under her father’s bed, as she did not think she deserved to lie in it, and waited for Death.
He appeared out of nothingness like he had when he came for the king. His grim voice filled the chamber with an echo whose message resonated deep inside the queen’s soul.
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Anne Rowan is an award-winning author of the Once Upon a Time… series of fairy tales that return to authentic storytelling, stark characters, dark settings, and, of course, magic! With her original plot lines, she examines the blurry line between good and evil and takes the readers on a journey of discovering (or questioning) their own morals and ethical values.
Rowan holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She divides her time between the Czech Republic and Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and Poe--the cutest ugly dog in the world.
Follow Anne Rowan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anne-Rowan/710417919076933
On Instagram: @aneta.cruz_anne.rowan