The Huckleberry Bush

The Huckleberry Bush

A Story by DB Heinemann
"

I've always been a fan of the original Grimm and H.C. Anderson type Fairy Tales so that kind of inspired this. It's sort of like Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin combined. But not. No spoilers.

"

Once upon a time, there was a typical queen who wanted a child though she was quite barren and never could conceive. So she went to a nearby mountain where an old sorceress lived and asked her how to get one.

“Go back to your castle,” the old hag replied. “And if you follow my instructions exactly, you will be granted a child.”

“Oh, do tell!” the queen eagerly pleaded.

“Cut your and your husband’s hair and put it in the birdbath in your East wing garden,” she told her.

The queen scrunched her eyebrows. “That’s not how babies are made.”

“It is when your birdbath is actually a cloning machine left behind by some aliens.”

“What?”

“Nothing, nothing, just trust me, it’ll work because it's magic,” the sorceress waved her hand. “But keep your child away from huckleberry bushes. They’ll be terrible for your child.”

The queen thanked the sorceress and ran home to tell her husband, the king. “What a strange and not fun way to make a child,” the king mused.

“Yea,” the queen agreed. “But she also said to keep the kid away from huckleberry bushes so we should probably-”

“BURN ALL THE HUCKLEBERRY BUSHES.” the king boomed.

“What? No, I was just going to suggest to keep the child away from-”

“BURN THEM ALL. WHERE IS MY LAWMAKER?” continued the king.

“But what about the environmental impact?” the queen asked.

“SCOTT, MAKE A LAW TO BURN ALL THE HUCKLEBERRY BUSHES NOW.” the king told a wiry man that had entered the room. The queen sighed as she debated using the gardener’s hair instead of the king’s.

But put hair in the bird bath she did and the next day, she arrived to find a baby girl cradled in the very same bird bath. She named her Birdie for obvious reasons the author hopes she doesn’t have to explain. The child grew to become a very beautiful and rather righteous young princess. And with no huckleberry bushes to worry about, all was well and happy with the world. Until Birdie’s 15th birthday when the queen died of some disease. That was pretty sad. 2 years later, the king suddenly realized how old he was getting.

“I’m about to die and I’ve only a silly girl to look after the kingdom when I’m gone,” thought the king to himself. So after Birdie’s 17th birthday, he took his daughter into one of the private parlors to announce his decision to find Birdie a husband and thusly an heir to the throne.

“Why can’t I be heir to the throne by myself?” Birdie demanded. “I don’t want to be married off to some fool like a sack of meat.”

“I shall have a tournament of sorts for all eligible princes starting next week and whoever wins gets your hand in marriage,” the king smiled at his daughter after handing her a chocolate.

Birdie, however, threw the chocolate right back at his face. “You can’t win me over with chocolate, Dad. I’m a human being just like you and it’d be nice if you actually listened to me for once!” Knowing her father hadn’t listened to a word she said, Birdie stormed off in a huff, pretending not to hear her father chuckling, “Women. Just when I think I got them figured out.” Birdie stormed and stormed until she grabbed a cloak and stormed out of the castle and into the nearby forest and started pacing around a large oak tree and muttering to it angrily.

Now, nearby the roots of the oak tree, there was a small huckleberry bush. And in that small huckleberry bush that was apparently overlooked by the Huckleberry Bush Burners of 17 years ago, yes, in that huckleberry bush lived a huckleberry sprite named Finn. And after a moment of stamping around, the princess took it upon herself to take her rage out on the huckleberry bush and give it a swift kick. Finn, naturally, flew out and landed painfully on one of the oak’s roots.

“Goddamn, girl, what troubles you?” cried Finn as he rubbed his head.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” Birdie ran to Finn’s side. “I didn’t see you there, are you ok?”

“Fine, fine but you must be pretty angry to kick like that,” Finn commented. “What ails you?”

Birdie sighed. “My father, the idiotic king, wants to marry me off to some prince I’ve never met before by the end of the month.”

But Finn stopped listening after “My father, the idiotic king.”

“Wait, you’re Princess Birdie?” He asked her.

“Yea,” Birdie shrugged. An evil grin spread across Finn’s face. Finn hated the royal family. They destroyed his fellow huckleberry sprites’ homes. All of his friends and families perished in the fire. He had waited so long for a chance of vengeance.

“Dear princess,” he bowed. “Your tragic life stings my soul. Here, have a swig of some fermented root juice. It’ll help to burn away your pain.”

Birdie, who could use a stiff drink around now, heartily took the offered drink which sloped noisily in a hollowed out wood chunk. She hoped it would ease her suddenly itchy foot which she used to kick Finn’s bush.  Almost immediately after downing the whole thing, she fell over suddenly, asleep. Finn leaped for joy.

“Oh, thank you, sorceress,” he said, hoping the witch who gave him what was actually a sleeping potion could hear. He remembered her words like a fresh burn after the fire.

“I didn’t mean for them to burn down all the huckleberry bushes,” she had said. “I just meant they might give the kid an allergic reaction. Here, take these. Keep them until the time is right, You’ll know.”

Finn was glad he had enough of the potion. He had used most of it to get him through the nights. But now, what to do with the body? He considered just killing the lass but then he wondered why the sorceress also gave him this ring and necklace set which had mind controlling abilities. Unless… of course!

He slipped the ring on Birdie’s finger and put the necklace on his self. Once Birdie became conscious again, he told her to go back to the castle and await further instruction. Which she did while Finn hid in the hood of her cloak since he was quite small.

The week was surprisingly quiet leading up to the Get Hitched Trials the king was throwing. Finn told Birdie to go on autopilot and just kind of lie low and do whatever anyone told her to do while he tried to summon the sorceress with his spritely powers- for reasons to be revealed. The king hardly noticed Birdie’s suddenly obedient behavior.

The day of the Get Hitched Trials, the lethargic princess was led into a room filled with 20 suitors, her father, and some stand by guards. The suitors gawked at the princess they had only heard about. Birdie normally would have snuffed and rolled her eyes at the men. But she simply stared over their heads. The trials, which were fashioned by the king, were unsurprisingly easy.

“Present yourselves!” the king began. The first test was a proof of Princely I.D. 5 wistful counts and dukes were escorted off the premises. “Now a test of reaction time!” The king then touched his finger to his nose and stared at the princes expectantly. Another 5 slow pokes were asked to leave. “Now, I don’t want an heir who has bad luck so-” the third test, the king had each prince turn to the one next to him and play a game of 2 out of 3 Rock, Paper, Scissors. The losers left in a huff.

“The next one my lawman, Scott, came up with,” the king rolled his eyes at the memory of Scott’s insistence at having at least one test that would involve a skill of some kind. Scott gave each prince a paper and pen and told them to write an essay on why they should be the next king of the kingdom. The current king was thoroughly unimpressed and only agreed to allowing this to be a test because Scott agreed to read the essays.

After a few hours, Scott collected the papers and graded them. One had an obscene amount of grammatical errors. Another, the format was Chicago instead of MLA format and the sources weren’t properly cited. The next was written in a strange language Scott couldn’t be bothered to translate. Thusly, the contestants who wrote those essays lost miserably and were asked to leave: 2 candidates left.

One was Prince Rick of Shay. Rick was handsome, kind, and considerate, smart, your typical Prince Charming. The other was not actually a prince but- shocker- Finn, who had gotten the sorceress to change his appearance to that of a prince who didn’t RSVP because he was sick with the flu. She also gave him some other magic-y stuff so he could win the Get Hitched Trials.

The final trial, the sorceress herself suggested to the king in a dream. “For the next and final trial,” the king announced. “I will let each prince spend one hour with the princess. In that time, you shall try to convince her to choose you as her husband. Whoever she chooses will be the overall victor of the Trials.” It really is a shame the first time the king actually gave the princess a choice in any matter was when they were both under the influence of magic.

The first hour was given to Rick who had fallen in love with her at first sight. So for his hour alone with her, he tried his best to woo her. He confessed his love, faithfulness, and life to her. But Birdie said not a word to him in return for she was under Finn’s spell.

After running out of things to say to her, he began to resort to small talk. “Is it always this sunny?” Birdie didn’t answer. “Crazy thing this is, yea?” No reply. “That’s a pretty ring there. Can I see?” No response. Hesitantly, Rick took her ringed hand. “What is that, sapphire?” It was then Rick withdrew his hand, slipping the ring off Birdie’s finger to take a closer look. Birdie, in response, suddenly punched him out of his seat. The spell over her had been broken.

“Don’t touch me unless I say you can!” she shouted before running out of the room.

“What a beautiful voice,” Rick sighed as he nursed his shiner.

“Might I borrow this?” Birdie asked a guard that was standing outside.

“Sure,” shrugged the guard as he handed her his dagger.

“Thanks,” she smiled before continuing to run towards the room her father was in. As one would expect, when she entered said room where, conveniently enough, only the king and Scott were in, she slid behind her father and promptly sliced off his head with no hesitation. She pointed her dagger at Scott. “You saw nothing.” Scott’s raised hands agreed with her statement.

She tore off the outer layer of her 10 layered dress and wrapped her father’s sopping wet head in it. She then quickly ran to another room which housed the counterfeit Prince Finn. Bursting through the doors, she threw the crumbled, red-stained fabric at his feet.

“That’s my father’s head in there. I just killed him. He was the one who ordered all huckleberry bushes to be burnt. No one else wanted to. He’s the one you want,” Birdie told him before giving him a chance to speak himself. “Also, I plan on becoming the ruler of the kingdom my father left behind and when I do, I plan on importing huckleberry bushes from other kingdoms in order to help the huckleberry sprite population flourish once more in this kingdom. It’s not much but I hope it is enough.”

“How did you-” Finn sputtered, stunned.

“Your mind control thing, it connected us psychically. I could see all the pain and loss you had suffered through while you controlled me. Never do that again, by the way,” she replied shortly. “I have deep sympathies for your cause but I do not wish for more blood to be shed. My dad deserved it but no one else does. I only hope that you can forgive me for my sins towards you so that we can move past this and into an age of peace and understanding.”

Finn stared at the bloody rag with the king's head poking out, laying at his feet. “Yea, sure, of course I forgive you... Thank you.”

Birdie smiled. She had finally done something by herself. Weeks, months, years of political maneuvering and rallying and gaining of public support later, the people voted her Head of State, in place of the old monarchy. The kingdom had never prospered like it had under Birdie, with faithful Scott by her side as Vice Head. She even held good with her promise to Finn and replanted hundreds of huckleberry bushes herself. “I always did like gardening,” she would say.

© 2016 DB Heinemann


Author's Note

DB Heinemann
I feel like this probably has plot holes and flow problems that need to be reconsidered. And feel free to point out grammatical errors. I hate grammatical errors but sometimes I miss them.

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Featured Review

As a huge fan of fairytales and fables, this was the best f*****g story I have ever read. I was DYING throughout the whole thing! It was HILARIOUS!!! Who cares about grammatical errors? THIS IS PURE GENIUS. Please make more stories like this and publish it in a novel!!!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

1 Year Ago

Ha, thanks friend. I'm totally a grammar person though. I get so upset when I find errors. But thank.. read more



Reviews

As a huge fan of fairytales and fables, this was the best f*****g story I have ever read. I was DYING throughout the whole thing! It was HILARIOUS!!! Who cares about grammatical errors? THIS IS PURE GENIUS. Please make more stories like this and publish it in a novel!!!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

1 Year Ago

Ha, thanks friend. I'm totally a grammar person though. I get so upset when I find errors. But thank.. read more
I laughed. I like strong women even if it is only a world of fantasy. I suggest reading your stories out loud, to yourself. You will find speech inconsistencies show up then, including any grammatical errors that you may have made.
Well done.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

I haven't heard of it but it sounds hilarious. But wouldn't a miniseries be lovely? I'd be the kind .. read more
JoeM

2 Years Ago

I suspect that with the producers shoving a stick up your rear, you'd conform to their deadlines. Ke.. read more
DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ha, probably. I actually work better with deadlines. And thanks, you too!
guys i need writer to my site www.finalflaw.com please have a look at my site and please me my contact info is in my sdite

Posted 2 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
shadows334

2 Years Ago

hey that was pretty good to read! And you can have look at our site! if you want write your content .. read more
DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Weak sauce, man. I'm not interested in posting on your website but thanks.
What a strange story. Before I say anything else, I like this story. It had some interesting elements and some funny moments. But on your page, you encourage people to "tear [you] to shreds. So I'll give you my thoughts as best I can. Take what I say with a grain of salt; this story--the whole uber casual, sporadic style--just really isn't my cup of tea, so I might be a little too harsh on it.

I'm normally a sucker for this sort of fairy-tale-reboot story, and I can appreciate the humorous tone, but the whole thing just didn't ring true for me. Instead of supplementing the story with humor, you had a number of flippant lines that either didn't do much of anything or just didn't feel right within surrounding context. They didn't feel consistent, I suppose. And it's the same with a lot of the dialogue and character interactions. Sometimes they felt a bit obnoxious, distracting, and out of place. And then the whole thing where Birdie cuts off the king's head... That felt like it was just shoved in there.

I like a lot of the ideas you have, especially the king's tests for the suitors. It just seems like you forced those concepts to fit your tone.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Your criticism is much appreciated! I will agree the ending could use some work- it was a bit rushed.. read more
shadows334

2 Years Ago

guys i need writer to my site www.finalflaw.com please have a look at my site and please me my conta.. read more

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Author

DB Heinemann
DB Heinemann

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Just a super awesome person looking to hone the craft. I mostly do fantasy but I occasionally get science fiction-y or some artsy fartsy soul searching writing. But fantasy's my main go to because the.. more..

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