The Land of Stories: Gleefully Ever After


In which the walls come tumbling down…

“Once a Warbler, always a Warbler,” Sue crowed, as the golden light from the Wishing Spell items swirled higher and higher. “All my years of waiting and plotting have finally borne fruit. I wish for my sister to be reunited with me!

Sue fell to her knees in an uncharacteristically supplicating posture. The golden light shot towards the Mirror of True Love, in which Jean had been imprisoned. The mirror wobbled, and then fell forward on top of Sue, swallowing her whole before shattering into a million pieces as it hit the stone floor.

Will and Santana stared with a mixture of horror and relief at the place where the Evil Queen had been. Nothing remained of her but the faint reflection of a red tracksuit in the tiny shards of glass that littered the floor.

“Well,” Kurt quipped, breaking the silence, “I guess she got her wish.”

Santana broke into a completely uncharacteristic fit of giggles. Will stared at her in shock for a moment before joining in.

“So,” Kurt said conversationally, once their laughter had died down, “since you’re no longer the Evil Queen’s henchmen, how about you untie us?”

The Huntsman looked to his daughter, who shrugged. “Okay,” Will said. “I don’t see why not. So long as you don’t plan us any harm.”

“Don’t worry,” Kurt assured him. “I’m not holding any grudges. All I care about now is being reunited with my True Love.”

At this declaration, Rachel let out a muffled stream of objections. Chris couldn’t tell whether she was trying to express anger and disbelief about the fact that the Mirror had confirmed that Kurt and Blaine were meant to be together, or whether she was trying to beg Will and Santana not to untie Kurt for fear that he was still planning on killing her, but either way, the gag was only effective at garbling her words, not erasing her shrillness.

Rachel’s incoherent protest was interrupted by a booming voice coming from outside the castle. “Evil Queen! I am Sir Cooper, commander of Queen Snow White’s Royal Guard! My soldiers have vanquished your Big Bad Wolf Pack! Surrender immediately, or we will open fire with our cannons!”

“Now would be a good time to untie us,” Kurt urged, “so that we can go out there and explain what happened. So long as you let us go now, no one’s going to blame you for what you did before, while you were obviously under some kind of spell cast by the Evil Queen.”

Chris and Darren, still gagged, nodded their agreement. Will rushed to untie Darren, while Santana freed Kurt. Then all four of them went to work on the devilishly intricate knots that Sue had used to bind Chris after he had kicked the vial out of her hand.

As they struggled to release Chris from his bonds, there was a BOOM from outside, and the whole castle shook with the impact of the first cannonball. Darren, Kurt, Santana, and Will redoubled their efforts, but it was hard for them to keep their fingers steady as the old castle began falling down around them.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Cannonballs began smashing through the walls of the great hall, and chunks of the stone ceiling rained down. Darren finally managed to free Chris’s hands, and Chris pulled the gag out of his own mouth.

“Why don’t you just try to cut the rope?” Chris suggested, after trying in vain to untie the fiendishly convoluted knots with which the Evil Queen had ensnared him.

“The rope’s pressing too tightly into your skin,” Kurt replied. “I don’t think I could slice through it without severing one of your arteries.”

Chris blanched at that.

Just then, Froggy came leaping into the room, followed by Blaine on Rum Chocolate Soufflé. Rachel let out a high-pitched “Mmff, mmff, mmff!”

Froggy hopped over and quickly untied her. As soon as the gag was out of her mouth, Rachel kissed his cheek. “Oh, my!” she gasped. “What slimy skin you have. But thank you for coming to rescue me.”

Froggy blushed a darker shade of green. “Let me carry you to safety,” he croaked, scooping Rachel up and bounding out of the room with her in his arms.

Meanwhile, Blaine had slid down from Rum Chocolate Soufflé’s back and flung his arms around Kurt. “Oh, thank heaven you’re alright! When Rum Chocolate Soufflé showed up alone, I knew you needed help. Come on – let’s get out of here before the whole castle collapses on top of us.”

“Wait!” Darren cried. “We’ve got to untie Chris!”

“There’s no time,” Blaine insisted. “Sir Cooper is hell-bent on demolishing this place. Let’s just pick up the chair and carry him.”

Grabbing the high back of the massive, solid wooden chair, Darren tipped it backward until Chris’s head was resting near his chest. Kurt and Blaine took the legs on opposite sides of the chair, and Will and Santana supported the seat. The chair weighed a ton, but together they managed to maneuver it out of the rapidly crumbling castle.

The fusillade of cannon fire had ceased, since Froggy and Rachel must have alerted the soldiers to the fact that the Evil Queen was gone, but the damage to the castle had been done. As the rescuers carried Chris’s chair across the drawbridge, there was a final, shuddering FWOOMPH! They turned their heads to see the entire structure collapse into its foundation.

The shockwave from the imploding castle splintered the drawbridge, casting Chris, Darren, Kurt, Blaine, Santana, and Will into the cold, deep water of the moat. As the chair to which he was bound slowly sank, Chris had just enough time to think Damn, this must be made of ironwood before he lost consciousness.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.