Grimm’s Dweller (SAMPLE)
GRIMM’S DWELLER: CHAPTER 1 (A.X. Tape)
Why do certain stories pass the test of time while others fade as soon as they’re written?
Many people before you have have wondered about that, especially storytellers. But maybe it’s time I let you in on a little secret. Maybe it’s finally time to tell my story. But for that, we have to go back. Back in time, I believe you call it.
Over the course of humanity, a lot of things have changed. Stories have been told and retold, over and over again. Not many of them are still accurately remembered today, but that doesn’t mean they were forgotten. Somewhere along the way, someone kept track of the tales for all of us… Dwellers. Like me. There isn’t a place I haven’t seen, not a stone I left unturned. But still, the first years of my life were meaningless and uneventful. I won’t bore you with the detail, I’ll take you to a much more interesting time.
“It makes no sense,” I argued, staring into his dark eyes. Will brushed the curls from his forehead and dipped his pen back into the ink pot.
“Why not?” he muttered as he flicked the feathery end of his pen against his chin.
“Nobody wanted to try.”
“Why not?” he asked again, tilting his head.
I shook my head in amusement and pointed at the last words he wrote. “Nobody felt very compelled to try the donkey’s piss.”
“But it turned to wine? I mean, can’t they tell?”
“My apologies, but nobody thought it was that amazing.”
Will lets out a long sigh and scratched away more of his story. “You’re sure they didn’t appreciate it?”
“I’m afraid not,” I replied carefully, recalling the looks of disbelief and contempt on the villager’s faces as one of the brothers introduced his magic donkey. “What would your brother write?”
“Jacob?” Will scoffed as he threw his quill down on his wooden desk. “He’d probably make the donkey piss gold, that pompous twat.”
I chuckled as I watched the ideas lit up brain. He dipped his pen back into the dark ink and scribbled down more words. The metal tip screeched over the parchment and I could see the ideas and worlds swirl in his mind. It was a joy to watch him at work, a genuine pleasure to see the cogs turn in his brain. Yes, being around storytellers definitely made living worthwhile. And Will was one of a kind, even though he didn’t believe it.
“What do you think, Gris?” he asked, pushing the paper towards me. I stifled a grin and bent over his words. He kept forgetting I didn’t need to words to see his story. With one small touch, I could watch it unfold in his head as he penned it down. The perks of being a Dweller.
“I think it works, but I’ll have to get into the story to know for sure,” I added, eager to return to his tale.
“You’re able to make another trip?”
“If you want me to dive right in?”
“If you could?” His hopeful eyes beamed and I couldn’t resist. Jumping into their worlds was the best part of my life.
Will leaned back in his chair and ran a hand over his exhausted face. “Thanks, Gris. I appreciate it.”
“I’ll see you in a moment,” I smiled. I placed a hand on his shoulder and closed my eyes. With a deep breath, I called upon the ancient magic swirling through my veins as I asked it to reveal the pathways to Will’s mind.
A cold chill swept through the room and the circular portal opened in front of me. I nodded at Will and he nodded back. I didn’t need his permission or consent to wander around in the fictional worlds he created, but I found it to be a bit more polite. Especially since I did consider him to be my friend.
I brought the hood of my cape up and brushed the frame of the portal. As always, the magic sizzled as I set foot in Will’s world. Just like when I met him, he still changed his world too much for the universes to be of solid form. But I didn’t mind, I liked walking around in the fickle parts of his imagination. Especially now that I had the chance to influence his stories. I quickly shook that thought out of my head. It didn’t belong there. We were not a folk of storytellers and we shouldn’t have the desire to be one. I didn’t want to be a storyteller. I didn’t want to be a storyteller. I was a Dweller.
A children’s rhyme from my childhood popped in my head and I shook it away. The teasing chants of my friends shouldn’t affect me still, but every now and then, they resurfaced.
Dweller, dweller, not a storyteller.
No, I couldn’t let old voices disturb new thoughts. I was working with Will now, and I was just doing my job. I was checking his universes and making sure nobody unwanted slipped in or out. I hovered my hand over the wooden door of the inn and paused. Just my job, right?
This is the end of the first chapter. Travel through the portal with Gris in the rest of the books and end up in Will Grimm’s fairytales.
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