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Sleeping Beauty

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***chapter 1***

*How It All Began*

Dark were the forces of evil that night. :ph34r:

Oh, there was a moon, round and full, admiring its own reflection in the midnight waters. And glistening stars and, now and again, the curving sweep of headlights of some vehicle or other, and the glow of streetlights shining on the faces of the late-night revellers passing merrily by. So, you see, all was not quite lost.

Not yet..

For the large, large house stood all alone on the corner and was the most brightly lit of all. After all, it was Christmas. And a very, very special Christmas.

So tiny twinkling lights decorated the two huge old trees that stood like sentinels on either side of the porch and in the vast garden a giant inflatable Santa Claus still danced gently and rather alarmingly in the breeze. Some of the townsfolk had frowned and said irritably that the Santa was gross and some of the townsfolk had smiled and said indulgently ‘Well, it is Xmas!’, but the children of the town had stared in wide-eyed delight (most of them, that is; I’m afraid one or two of the very little ones cried in fear) when they saw him.

Inside the glass porch of the large, large house a pretty little fibre optic Xmas tree glowed proudly in different shades of lilacs and greens and blues and above the door (old-fashioned, I know, but the couple who lived here were very fond of tradition) hung a sprig of mistletoe, ready to catch out any unsuspecting visitors and make them blush.

But the Xmas tree in the window! It was a real Xmas tree, the most expensive in the shop, and so big and important that it demanded immediate attention. It was decorated with ribbons and baubles and chocolates, and fairy lights to dazzle in a myriad of wonderful colours. And at its top was a silver star and its bottom fresh-smelling pine needles fell down on dozens and dozens and dozens of Xmas gifts of all shapes and sizes. Small wonder that the kids who saw it sighed and wondered worriedly if Father Xmas would have anything at all left for them on his sleigh!

Inside the large, large house with the very expensive Xmas tree a mother and father looked fondly down at the crib where their beautiful baby daughter lay sound asleep.

“We called you Angela because you were born so close to Xmas,†said the father, gently stroking the baby’s soft, smooth forehead.

“And because we waited so long for children of our own and you are our own little angel,†said the mother, kissing the baby’s cute button nose.

“We’ve bought you lots and lots of presents, little Angie, because we love you very much,†said the father, wiping a tear from his eye.

“And because, little Angie, you shall have everything you want,†said the mother, kissing the baby’s downy head.

It truly was a Xmas tableau to gladden the heart. :)

And if that wasn’t just asking for a meanspirit to cast a meanspell, then I don’t know what was!

Now, as luck would have it, a meanspirit happened to be passing by. You may or you may not have heard of meanspirits. They can, and they do, appear in a variety of forms, as ghosts or hobgoblins as wizards or witches, as bogeymen or little green men, or even the ice cold breath on the back of your neck when you know for certain you’re all alone. :ph34r:

This particular meanspirit, unable to sleep because of the moon, had crossly climbed out of the midnight river at the very end of the town (where none but the very foolish would dare to walk by on haunted nights such as this) and had decided to appear as an eerie thin, grey shadow, with hollow eyes and no nose and just a thin line for a mouth.

Well, there he was, creeping along and still dripping wet, and he came closer to listen. Of course, when he heard the loving words, he was sick at once. Very, very sick! Right there, right then, right on the vast lawn of the large, large house, and all over the inflatable left boot of the inflatable Santa Claus.

For, you see, there was nothing a meanspirit detested more than happy little family scenes. He must do something about it, he thought, scowling horribly. And all at once a plan began to form in his meanmind.

So the child was to be spoilt, was she? Spoilt rotten by the sound of it. Rotten was a lovely word. One of the meanspirit’s favourites. And he'd waited long enough.

It was time, the perfect time, to cast a meanspell...

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***chapter 2***

*the tap-a-tap mystery*

Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap!

It was most peculiar. Angie’s mother sat, rocking her baby daughter in her arms, softly singing a lullaby. She was sure they were all alone in the nursery. Angie’s father (being the type of husband who loved nothing more than to cook and bake and leave as many used pots, pans and dishes as he possibly could strewn all over the kitchen) was downstairs, humming merrily as he iced the Xmas cake. Angie was, as usual, fast asleep (though it must be said the mother had a terrible voice and both the mother and father would talk all the time as though they were in the middle of a fairytale and Angie seemed to be asleep a lot so I’m inclined to think she was only pretending in the hope they would go away).

Be that as it may, there was a tap-tapping at the window. The mother tenderly tucked the expensive shawl round her baby daughter and carried her across to the window.

“Who can that be?†She called.

But there was nobody there! Not a Xmas robin nor a Xmas window cleaner after a Xmas tip nor even a Xmas burglar suddenly discovering he was afraid of heights. And then, just when she was looking, the tap-tapping started again!

Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap!

Only this time it came from the nursery cupboard!

“Who can that be?†The mother called, looking into the cupboard.

But there was nobody there! Not a Xmas mouse nor a Xmas rat nor her Xmas lover having accidentally hidden himself in the wrong bedroom. And then, just when she was looking, the tap-tapping started again.

Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap! Tap-a-tap-a-tap!

Only this time the tapping was at the window again. Angie’s mother gently laid the baby back in her cradle. “Dear little daughter, you are our very own sleeping beauty and I don’t wish to wake you,†she said dotingly.

It was all the poor, poor meanspirit could do not to be sick again. But his meanplan had worked. The child was alone! The moment the mother went to open the window, the nursery glowed with different shades of blues and greens and lilacs (as in all good soaps, meanspirits do like to be unnecessarily dramatic and our meanspirit had been very taken with the fibre optic tree).

“You will destroy,†the meanspirit whispered in Angie’s ear. “Destroy, destroy, destroy!â€

The child’s eyes flew open at last. They were black. Black as coal and old as centuries. And Angie’s demonic laughter shrieked through the house... :o:ph34r:

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***Chapter 3***

*A Wonderful Adventure!*

The meanspirit was strangely drawn to Angie because at the back of Angie’s head, unnoticed by the simple mother and father, three golden curls fell into three magical numbers: 666. :ph34r:

This helped the meanspell of destruction work at once. Overnight, the child grew into a beautiful woman and despatched her rather strange parents to la-la land forever. She became famed for her beauty and many a suitor travelled from the ends of the globe seeking her hand in marriage. But every suitor she turned into a garden gnome with which to decorate the vast gardens of the large, large house that had grown into a palace. For, sadly, the evil Angie was in love with none but herself.

Every day she preened herself in front of the hundreds of gilt-edged mirrors that surrounded the palace and asked Mirrors, mirrors, on the walls, who is fairest of them alls?

And every day the mirrors faithfully answered You, oh Angie, are fairest of them alls.

Until that fateful morning when the voice of the mirrors, one and all, echoed with a different answer... Sorry, luv, you’re history! Kirsty of Summer Bay is now fairest of them alls.

Angie’s jealous face was terrible to behold and her ear-splitting scream of rage terrible to hear. Each and every mirror, window and glass in the palace, unable to bear the terrible screaming, shattered into thousands and thousands of tiny pieces.

“Then Kirsty of Summer Bay must be destroyed!†She declared, petulantly stamping her foot and ruining her brand new designer Cinderella glass slippers.

But this is a fairytale-soap and, as we all know, wishes come true in fairytales and anything at all can happen in soaps. No sooner had Angie furiously yelled, “Now I need another ******* goddamn pair of slippers!†than a pair of ruby red slippers tumbled down from the sky!

Of course Angie tried them on at once. They were a perfect fit. She clicked her heels together in admiration.

And then a strange thing happened. A long, winding road appeared in front of her and the oddest-looking, tiny woodland creatures scampered out from the nearby woods!

“Follow the Summer Bay Road!†They called in their high-pitched sing-song voices. “Follow the Summer Bay Road! Follow the Summer Bay, follow the Summer Bay, follow the Summer Bay Road!â€

Pausing only once, to gaze in adoration at her own reflection in the shiny ruby red slippers, Angie clicked her heels together twice more. And then off she went, dancing and skipping, along the long, winding road, with the odd creatures skipping after her until it grew far, far too dark for the poor little things to follow any further.

“Angie! Good luck, Beautiful Angie!†They screeched, waving tearfully.

Angie glanced back in disdain and, with one imperious wave of her hand, turned them into crumbling leaves that were quickly borne away on the wind. The evil one laughed manically and skipped on. She was on her way to Summer Bay and the beginning of a wonderful adventure!

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I love the way you're drawing from all different types of fairy tales and putting them into Summer Bay . . .


Fairytales have a dark side... :ph34r::wink:

Okay, you’ll notice a distinct change of style in this chapter as the earlier chapters were too wooden. Don’t think anyone’s done an occult-themed H&A fanfic before, have they? :lol::ph34r:

***chapter 4***

*Angie: A Bitch in the System!*

At last, the night thick with darkness, the evil one reached a clearing in the woods where the long, winding road ended abruptly. So this was Summer Bay where Kirsty did dwell! Well, soon fair Kirsty would be no more!

She rubbed long, red-taloned fingers together and gave a twisted smile. Her large gleaming molars shone brightly as any torch and at the end of the abruptly-ended path she could now make out a house standing all alone.

Angie blinked and tried to remember if she’d done drugs again last night or not. First weird-looking creatures running out of woods and now a house made of bon bons and liquorice and sweetmeats, with windows of popsicles, smoke curling from a chocolate-coated chimney and a single, giant, round Maryland cookie for a door! Yet, strangely, nothing had melted. Jeez, they must have been bloody good drugs! Maybe they came from that box of Sarah Lewis special, weird, she thought she’d used them all up. Angie marched smartly up the garden path, her ruby red slippers clacking importantly, and, just as she was about to push her way in, the cookie crumbled and she was able to peer inside.

All darkness, save for in the old-fashioned hearth where the red and yellow flames of a fire danced and crackled and sent golden sparks flying up the chimney. There was little furniture and what little there was had long ago become covered in tangled, grey cobwebs.

A rickety chair or two, one with a soaking wet greatcoat thrown across its back; an old wooden table on which sat a cauldron of steaming soup and an uneven pile of books, yellowed with age and thickened with dust; a Welsh dresser with old, cracked plates and half an unlit candle still in its holder and still with the drips of wax staining its once shiny surface.

She crept across to the table and picked up the top book, blowing off the dust to squint at the title in the firelight and starting as she read the words that ran across the jacket: Angie: Wickedest Bitch of the Best!

No, it was only coincidence...wasn’t it? Tentatively, she wiped the dust from the spine of the next book, swallowing nervously as she read. Angie: A Bitch in the System! And on to the next Get Bitch Quickly! An Angie Guide to Making Millions! and then Bitch that Diet! Follow the Angie Guide to Losing Weight! on and on the titles went, as though in some peculiar dream-like way someone or something mocked her.

The smell of dust and soot and candlewax was making her dizzy. Something about the shadows and the way they fell in firelight and moonlight stirred some deep-sleeping memory. A vague image seeped into her mind, dozens of misty shapes of men and women, here in this room, whispering her name over and over, reaching to her, walking ever closer...


This time the voice was real. Not just inside her head but inside this very room.

For the very first time, Angie noticed the witch’s pentacle chalked in front of the fire...

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Sorry for the delay. Even tho I'm including some black magic stuff in this fic I definitely don't want it pervy or anything so I'm treading a very fine line, which is slowing me down a bit. :)

***chapter 5***

*Angie Baby*

Without remembering when or how, she had dipped the ladle into the soup and brought it to her lips. Warm and salty as it hit her tongue. The misty shadows closed in on her, whispering her name louder, and now music was bouncing and echoing off the walls, a song she knew from many, many years ago...

*You live your life in the songs you hear

on the rock and roll radio

and when a young girl doesn’t have any friends

that’s a really nice place to go...

Angie Baby, you’re a special lady

living in a world of make-believe...

The words crashed round and round in her head and, screaming, she pressed her fists against her ears...


At last the more insistent, faraway voice had managed to cut through the constant whispering.

As though waking from a slow dream, Angie blinked and focused. The room was her office. Clean, bright, airy. Young Dani Sutherland sat at the PC, papers, pen, mobile and keys scattered on the desk, her fingers paused in the act of tapping the keyboard.

“Are you...are you okay?†She asked, staring.

The older woman looked round in confusion, heart pounding against her chest. No whispers now. No song thundering through her head. No misty people reaching. The five-pointed star, the rickety chairs, the soaking wet greatcoat, the old table, the Welsh dresser and its cracked plates and used candle...all gone.

Where the fire had earlier blazed, the wall radiator emitted a comforting heat with its usual gentle clicks and sighs. On the table, in place of the tureen of tomato soup, stood a thin-stemmed wine glass and bottle of red wine. But there were books. Three in all.

Dry-mouthed with fear, she quickly poured and gulped back some of the wine, feeling its warmth soothing the back of her throat, and cautiously fingered their titles - The Oxford Concise Dictionary; A Thesaurus of Words and Phrases; Fairytales for Today by Angie Russell...

The latter she snatched up, frantically flicking through its pages, eyes greedily scanning the lines of type.

They were children’s stories. Prettily illustrated in the bold, bright colours that children loved. Simple tales told in character and given up-to-date twists and frequent dashes of humour.

Little Red Riding Hood bought her outfit from a designer outlet, worried about animal welfare and tried to persuade her grandmother to give up smoking. Cinderella hated her job in the hotel and dreamt of becoming a contestant on a reality TV show.

Angie’s breaths became more even. She took another sip of wine. Calming now. It was alright. Everything was alright. It was coming back to her. She had been working on the second series of Fairytales, following on from the huge success of the first. They were her stories, her ideas, and the collaboration with Dani made the words flow. But there was...had been something about the room...hadn’t there...?

She dug into the recess of memory. No. Gone. Slipped from her mind like the meanspirit that suddenly upped and left the swamp where it had dwelled a thousand years in her tale of The Princess and the Haunted Castle. All that she could recollect now was pressing her hands against her ears and giving a small scream of fury when writers’ block hit at a crucial point of dictation.

She’d been working far too hard. Sleeping at odd hours, not eating properly, her mind constantly churning with creating story after story. Small wonder she sometimes felt she was losing her grip on reality. And the Sutherland girl didn’t appear to have noticed anything different about the room. Her gaze burnt into Angie Russell only, her eyes wide.

Obviously, Angie realised, she’d been scaring the kid with creative histrionics. She took another sip of the wine and smiled reassuringly at her co-author.

Dani smiled back uncertainly. The wine had stained Angie’s teeth. It often did. She had no idea where Angie purchased it from, but Angie insisted on drinking a glass of red wine every time they worked together. Helped her think, she said. Dani thought it made her a little...unhinged. Of course she always offered Dani a glass when she came to continue with the book, but Dani always declined. The very thought made her gag.

Dani Sutherland had no desire whatsoever to drink wine she knew to be made of blood.

*"Angie Baby†by Helen Reddy

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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided not to put any of Angie's childhood in this after all as I want to work on that in a separate fic. :)

***chapter 6***

*Secrets and Shadows*

Dani was shaking when she returned to her car. Emotion welled up inside her, small tears doing little to release the pent-up terror. Her hands tightly gripped the steering wheel, her knuckles turning white as though she needed to cling for life on some death defying fairground ride.

It had gone too far now for her to dismiss it as just another of Angie Russell’s idiosyncrasies. The other stuff had been harmless. Like the vanity. So what if Angie couldn’t walk past a mirror or indeed anything, a window, a picture frame, on one occasion even a teaspoon, that captured her reflection without pausing to admire herself, touching up make-up, smoothing her hair, checking out her toothy smile?

Non stop TV interviews, book signing sessions, flashing cameras in restaurants, all that adulation was bound to go to anyone’s head. And it was weird but what did it really matter if Angie was often in a deep sleep whenever Dani arrived? Okay, it was irritating that sometimes it took several rings of the doorbell to rouse her, but perhaps she just slept badly nights. Or maybe it was the wine. The wine...

Dani sucked in a shuddering breath, yearning to put distance between herself and the isolated beach house, but aware she was in no fit state yet to drive. Her trembling hands, despite the sweat, clung desperately on to the steering wheel. Until tonight she’d thought Angie was joking. Even laughed when the older woman mentioned that the wine she drank was made with blood.

They’d been taking a break from writing Hansel and Gretel Go Ice Skating! and fallen into idle conversation about whether the witch in the story could have been based on a real person.

“I don’t believe she ate people,†Angie said. “But she might have drunk blood wine. Like this. Care for a glass?â€

Dani declined, laughing, rattling her empty coffee cup back into its saucer. Wine made her sleepy and she wanted to concentrate.

Angie shrugged. “It’s an acquired taste. But good for helping me think more clearly.â€

Dani smiled politely and changed the subject. Privately she thought the wine had exactly the opposite effect on Angie. Made her ramble and Dani’s job of transcribing Fairytales more difficult. But there were a few things she had chosen not to share with Angie Russell.

Like the fact she was glad her name wasn’t in any way associated with the books. Dani thought the new stories sucked, preferring the traditional tales of her own childhood, but she needed to supplement her meagre Uni grant somehow so she’d happily accepted the deal of anonymity and one-off fee for turning the stories into readable word-pictures on Angie’s behalf.

Despite Dani’s misgivings however, something must have appealed to the nation’s psyche because, almost overnight, Fairytales soared to the top of the best-seller charts, toppling J K Rowling’s much-awaited latest tale, her darkest yet, of Harry Potter’s doppelganger enrolling at Hogwart’s.

The moon abruptly stole Dani’s gaze, shining as it did with a sudden luminous brightness. With heavy sighs, the silvery tide had begun to flow over the sands, ebbing and flowing and rising as though some invisible being beneath was waking and determined to dash itself to an untimely death against the rocks.

So beautiful and yet so treacherous, Dani thought. Under the rhythmic waves, far, far away and deep in those waters, red-hot volcanoes erupted, sea predators fed on carrion and men died slow, agonizing deaths as their ships sank down, down, down on to the ocean floor. And yet the sea could touch the soul, inspiring great music, paintings and literature. Like the fairytales, full of light and dark. Like Angie. Dani frowned, thinking back to the night’s events.

Leaving her usual glass of wine on the computer desk, Angie had gone up to the loft to fetch an old book and check out an ancient Chinese fairytale that they couldn’t find any information about on the net.

Engrossed in rewriting a paragraph, Dani reached for a packet of mints without taking her eyes off the computer screen and manged to cut herself on the sellotape dispenser, catching the wine glass as she rushed to stem the blood, splashing a little of the wine on her skin before she was able to steady the glass again. And that was when she realised. That was when things really got scary. Exactly the same colour. Exactly the same texture. Angie hadn’t been joking...

“Found it!†Angie had returned at that moment, and, seeing Dani bleeding, she was full of concern.

“Wow, kid, you’re white as a sheet, and all this shaking. It’s not that bad a cut, honest,†she said as she bathed the wound.

“I...I just feel crook,†Dani whispered, wanting Angie to let go of her hand, and too terrified to tell her why.

“Yeh, you look it. Maybe we should wrap up early tonight, huh?†Angie had taken a quick sip of wine and that had been when she had...


Eyes wild with terror. Seeing something that Dani couldn’t see. Screaming an ear-splitting scream.

“Angie!†Dani yelled over and over in fear. “Angie, Angie!â€

It seemed an age before she had Angie’s attention again. Even then Angie barely saw her, looking round the room as if she didn’t know where she was, snatching up Fairytales and riffling through the pages as though she’d never seen the book before.

And now...the blood.

Dani had to tell someone. Someone she could trust totally. But who? Jade was still in the city getting to know the de Groot family. The olds were holidaying in Europe. And it wasn’t exactly the kind of news you could impart over the phone.

There was Kirsty...Dani bit her lip.

Everyone, even Flynn, even Kirsty and Kane, thought she was okay with what had happened, okay with her life now. Truth was, it was a facade. It was the reason she couldn’t hold on to any relationship. She was still crumbling inside.


Angie slowly sipped the remainder of the glass of wine, deep in thought. Funny how the joke had popped into her head. What the had hell made her say the wine was made with blood?

But it had seemed appropriate at the time, what with she and Dani discussing how many fairytales had a dark side. Hansel and Gretel. Bluebeard. Rumpelstiltskin. Now he was a puzzle. Meant to be a magician, but he could just as easily have been a devil or a ghost or an alien.

She yawned and stretched. The wine tasted good. She’d found a whole crate containing a dozen bottles, down in the cellar. Funny, but try as she might she couldn’t remember how she came by it. She yawned again. The clock was ticking soothingly and her eyelids were growing heavy.


You can only fool yourself for so long. So you can tell yourself you’re dreaming and you can tell yourself you’re crazy, but...

It is.

Figures rising from the sea. At first nothing more than grey indistinct clouds of mist sweeping up from the water, then separating, then each becoming a shape and each shape becoming darker. Forming into something vaguely recognisable. People. Shadowy people.

Perhaps they have dwelled beneath these waves for thousands of years.

And it might be the light of the moon playing tricks on your eyes but you know...what you see...

Now there are whispers. And sighing. So much sighing. Oh, it might just be the sea breezes or the waves sweeping to the shore. Except you know...what you hear...

And an ice-cold wind blows past, though the car should shield you from the cold of outdoors, so perhaps it’s only your imagination. But you know...what you feel...

And Dani watched in terror as the shadow people emerged from the sea and seeped through the walls of Angie’s house...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don’t think anyone’s reading this and it's not one of my best stories, but I don’t believe in leaving fics unfinished. This was meant to be the final chapter but it got a bit too long. The next one definitely will be.

***chapter 7***

*A Deal*

“Dani!” Kirsty’s delight when she opened the door to see her standing there quickly turned to fear. “Dani, what’s wrong? What’s happened?”

Impulsively, she threw her arms round her older sister.

“Sorry,” Dani managed to find her voice. Briefly. “I...”

It was hard to know where to begin. Dani tried to make sense of the night. She had driven to Kirsty’s on auto pilot, never once looking back. Terrified that some of the beings that had come from the ocean might somehow have attached themselves to her car...the shadow people, ghosts, whatever they were. Meanspirits. That was what Angie called the beings that emerged from the deep waters in her tales. It was only then it occurred to Dani. Where had Angie got the idea from? Unless...she’d seen them herself...?

“Hey, Kirst, where’s...?” Kane didn’t finish his question. “Hi,” he added uncertainly.

“Hey,” Dani returned.

He didn’t look the way she always remembered him. The image she had in her mind of him pushing her back, pressing his mouth against hers, drowning out her protests. Even during Kane and Kirsty’s wedding, even while she was behaving like she was fine with everything, it was all she saw. Nobody knew she had turned away the moment Kirsty and Kane had looked into each other’s eyes and made their vows, recalling when those same eyes had looked into her own without seeing her terror.

She had visited her nephew only once before. Out of duty. The day he was born she had called at the hospital, brought flowers, offered congratulations, leaned close to Kirsty holding her newborn son, smiled for the family photo as Kane, his face wreathed in smiles, clicked the digital camera. They had asked her to hold Jamie for another picture and she had refused, made some excuse about being afraid of dropping someone so small, wondered how Kirsty and Jade could bear to touch the child of a monster. Because Dani knew with overwhelming certainty it was all a sham and he didn’t care for anyone but himself.

But now, carrying his sleepy son, a teddy bear and an almost empty bottle of milk, he looked every inch the proud husband and father. For, as he entered the room without knowing Dani was there, she had caught an unguarded moment. The look of tenderness he had for his wife and son.

“Found it!” Kane answered his own question, swinging round momentarily to pick up a musical toy, while Jamie watched his aunt sleepily, his chin resting contentedly on the teddy bear on his father’s shoulder. Despite herself, Dani couldn’t help smiling. Jamie’s eyes flickered back wide open and he smiled back as though they shared a secret.

“Can I hold him?” Dani already had her arms outstretched.

Kane and Kirsty exchanged glances as Dani held her little nephew for the very first time, talking baby language to him while he jabbered and laughed. Kane squeezed Kirsty’s hand. It had hurt so much that Dani had always been cool towards them. Kirsty pretended not to mind that she never visited but Kane knew how his wife often broke her heart crying and how often he cried with her, knowing he was the reason she never came to the strange little isolated house that they rented situated on the lonely beach road.

A cuckoo clock struck somewhere in the house - out of time, out of step, it was one of Robbie’s inventions - and the noise suddenly woke Dani to the reason she was here. In the midst of all this normality, it was hard to believe that she had lately fled in terror. The moment Kirsty had hugged her, she had stopped shaking. Reassured.

She held Jamie tight and closed her eyes, opening them slowly, afraid that this was just a dream and she would open them again to the terrors of the night. But instead her gaze fell on a photo taken at the hospital the day Jamie was born. Kirsty, her face shining with happiness, sat up in bed, cradling her newborn son. Dani and Jade sat at each side, their faces pressed against hers. There was something, Dani thought, about this eccentric little house with its uneven doors and sloping windows and cuckoo clocks that couldn’t tell anyone the time. Something warm and comforting. Something invisible and yet everywhere. And then it came to her. There was nothing but love here.


The world was a deep fog. Filled with strange beings calling her name. It was like she’d known them a long, long time ago. Like they’d always been waiting for her...

October 31st 1979.

Sixteen-year-old Angie Russell ran breathlessly up to her room, switched the radio on LOUD as always, flung down her school bag and grinned at her reflection. This was it. The date she’d been waiting for. The witch’s pentacle had already been drawn, the sand-dusted tome she’d found on the beach was at her feet and open at the correct page, incense burned at either side of the mirror, as the spell decreed it should. Soon Angie would know beauty, fame and riches beyond her wildest dreams - and all that she had to do was summon up a witch inside the mirror!

Angie hummed along to the music. The station was playing a mixture of old songs, back to back. The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields faded and Helen Reddy’s clear voice filled the vacant air.

You live your life in the songs you hear

on the rock and roll radio

and when a young girl doesn’t have any friends

that’s a really nice place to go...

Angie Baby, you’re a special lady

living in a world of make-believe...

Angie stopped humming as she stepped inside the witch’s pentacle. Concentration was everything now. Her heart thudded in eager anticipation.

“Beauty, riches, fame, be mine, I summon thee, beauty, riches, fame, be mine, I summon thee, beauty, riches, fame, be mine, I summon thee...” Recited three times as instructed. Almost like a spell from a fairytale.

Angie looked down at the sand-dusted tome and carefully intoned the next part of the spell. Words she had never seen before, could barely pronounce, seeming to jumble together. An icy breeze rippled the corners of the pages. An eerie wailing seeped through walls that had began to run profusely with a deep red liquid. The putrid smell of rotting flesh overwhelmed the scent of incense. And then...

She was inside the mirror. She was inside the mirror!

In a room where all was darkness, save for in the old-fashioned hearth where the red and yellow flames of a fire danced and crackled and sent golden sparks flying up the chimney.

There was little furniture and what little there was had long ago become covered in tangled, grey cobwebs.

A rickety chair or two, one with a soaking wet greatcoat thrown across its back; an old wooden table on which sat a cauldron of steaming soup and an uneven pile of books, yellowed with age and thickened with dust; a Welsh dresser with old, cracked plates and half an unlit candle still in its holder and still with the drips of wax staining its once shiny surface.

She crept across to the table and picked up the top book, blowing off the dust to squint at the title in the firelight and starting as she read the words running across the jacket: Fairytales for Today by Angie Russell

Without remembering when or how, she had dipped the ladle into the soup and brought it to her lips. Warm and salty as it hit her tongue. The smell of dust and soot and candlewax was making her dizzy.

The same icy breeze here too. The icy blast from a door flung suddenly open. Wind-blown night rain followed a strange creature inside. The creature was the size and build of a man yet it was no more than an eerie thin, grey shadow, with hollow eyes, no nose and just a thin line for a mouth. It picked up the greatcoat and took Angie’s hand.

“One year,” it said without speaking. “You will have one year, far in the future, of beauty, fame and riches and after that year, your soul will join us. We have a deal?”

“A deal,” Angie agreed, mesmerised.

They were suddenly on the beach. The wailing came from the black angry waters. From the misty shadows that lived there. Calling her name as they sank back into the depths of the ocean. Leaving Angie alone on the sands.

In the same spot where she stood now. Nearly thirty years later. Realising too late that the wine had been blood that had addled her brain. Being dragged by the shadow people towards the sea and screaming in terror... :ph34r:

*yawns - a lot* And I've really gotta go to bed now! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

***chapter 8***

*Happily Ever After*

“Be careful,” Kirsty said, weeping softly against Kane’s chest as he enveloped her and Jamie in a hug.

“I will,” he promised, kissing his wife and child tenderly.

“You love her so much,” Dani said in wonder, as they got into the car.

Kane smiled, his eyes shining with the tears he was trying unsuccessfully to hide. “My wife and my kid are my whole reason for living.”

“I know,” Dani said. And suddenly she did. Suddenly he wasn’t a monster anymore. He never had been. The true monster was Angie.


They heard Angie last screams and they ran quickly down to the shore but Angie had already disappeared into the mist. Of course the meanspirits tried to rise out of the sea to drag Kane and Dani into the ocean too but suddenly a wall of love prevented them and they were powerless. Love, you see, is the only thing that can defeat a meanspirt and Kane was thinking of his wife and child.

“It’s too late,” Kane said sadly.

“For Angie,” Dani said. “But it’s not too late for Kirsty and me to be sisters again.”


So the moral of this story is beware of the meanspirits. They lurk in oceans and ditches, in rivers and seas, in whirpools and waterfalls, and they always call to you. Beware! If you will allow yourself to be lulled by the gentle music of the water and steal closer to listen then they have your name and you may fall under their spell forever.

But take extra special care should you ever find yourself on the beach in the little seaside town of Summer Bay. You see, it’s believed a most dreadful thing happened there in times gone by.

They say there once dwelled in Summer Bay the beautiful but very spoilt Angie (she may even have been a princess) who, when she was just a baby and fast asleep, was cursed by a petulant meanspirit who happened to be passing on his way to find a new river to live in.

Now, once you’ve been cursed by a meanspirit, there’s nothing you can do about it. Angie was cursed, and that was that. So, when she was sixteen and being very bored one day (there being no more Kane/Kirsty storylines in H&A anymore) she wandered down to the beach where she found a strange book filled with magic spells. Evil spells.

Of course, evil spells don’t always work right away. Sometimes it might take a great many years for the power to build. But work it must have done or our tale would not be told.

The good folk of Summer Bay claim that on certain nights when the moon is bright and the wind is low you may hear an unnatural wailing coming from the sea and you may see an eerie grey mist rolling in across the water. Don’t go near! For, if you do, you will surely be swallowed by the mist and the meanspirits (some call them meanspirits, some call them shadow-people, some call them ghosts, some say - and it may even be so - that they are demons) will come for you. But, no matter who or what they are, they will know your name they will take you into the deep with them forever but...

Worse than this. Worst of all.

It will be the ugliest, most destructive, most evil old hag who will drown you. Slowly. And laugh while she does so. Her name is Angie and once they say she was beautiful. But beauty is only skin deep and her true nature was always ugliness.

However, I tell you this only to warn you, be on your guard and watch out for the meanspirits who wait by whirlpools and waterfalls and seas and suchlike. In truth, you need not be afraid in Summer Bay.

The bravest man of all, Kane Phillips, dwells in Summer Bay together with his beautiful wife Kirsty and their adorable baby son. And wicked witch Angie will not dare show her pimpled face while our hero and heroine live there because she knows their love and happiness would kill her. For, as is known throughout the land, Kane and Kirsty are the happiest, most in-love couple in the world. And because their home is such a happy one and filled with laughter everyone visits often, but especially Kirsty’s two loving sisters, Dani and Jade.

And so my story ends with much rejoicing. Angie was seen in Summer Bay no more and neither were the nasty meanspirits who would dare wish our golden couple harm. The good, honest folk of Summer Bay held a party in honour of our wonderful hero and heroine. And they all lived happily ever after.

***THE END***

*Apologies for the poor quality of this fic but I felt obliged to finish what I started and hope you enjoyed reading...uh...some of it anyway! :lol:


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