Beauty and the Deceased

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Once upon a time, there was an odd, yet beautiful, maiden named Bombshell. Her name was fitting because she was strangely assertive and outspoken for a woman of her day. Sometimes, she’d even openly disagree with men’s opinions (GASP!).

Every day, Bombshell would travel into town and do things like go to the library (gasp!), or get a hamburger (double gasp!), or even attend classes at the town’s STEM school (whaaaat?!). And sometimes, she would do all of these things while wearing PANTS (THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED).

Still, Bombshell remained the envy of all who knew her because she could do all of these things and be beautiful all at the same time.

One man in the village was particularly taken with her. His name was Morón. Of course, he was not very bright, but he was hot, so everyone forgave him*.

*Note: Bombshell is beautiful, yet people cannot forgive her for being smart. Morón is a moron, yet he is forgiven because he is handsome. Bombshell is a woman. Morón is a man. 

One fateful day, Morón decided to propose to Bombshell. Now, Bombshell had never so much as flirted with Morón, but he was convinced she’d marry him because, who wouldn’t?

She wouldn’t.

Yes, she turned him down because she had standards. Not many other women did, but she did. Still, Morón was not discouraged and vowed that he would marry Bombshell one day and make her do his chores and have his children and make him sandwiches, all while barefoot.

As is often the case, Bombshell had not gotten smart and assertive all on her own. Her father, Mortice, had taught her never to care what others think. In fact, this was a principle Mortice applied to his own life often, for he was a renowned baker in the village. This was especially strange to many of the villagers, for it was not a man’s place to cook!

Still, Mortice made the best cakes, pies, breaks, and cookies in the entire region. And, one day shortly after Bombshell rejected Morón’s proposal, Mortice set off for a kingdom-wide baking competition.

Along the way, however, Mortice became lost. Deep in the forest, he began to wonder if he had taken a wrong turn when suddenly, a pack of coyotes appeared!

RUN!!!

Mortice stumbled down the path, with coyotes biting at his heels. Just as he was about to give up, he happened upon a castle!

Quickly, Mortice bounded up the castle’s gate, out of reach of the coyotes. With nowhere else to go, he slowly made his way toward the castle’s door and knocked. The door creaked open, ever so slightly, and Mortice tip-toed inside.

The castle was dark and eerie. Mortice found a candlestick that was lit and attempted to explore the castle. However, while he was exploring, Mortice could have sworn he heard voices.

He thought, “Perhaps this candlestick is alive and trying to whisper to me?”

Haha, nope. That’s absurd.

As he was thinking this, a voice echoed behind Mortice, “What are you doing here?”

Mortice spun around to see three glowing figures– ghosts!– staring back at him. You see? He knew the notion of a talking candlestick was absurd.

Mortice stuttered, “I’m. Well. I guess. I don’t. Lost. But.”

The first ghost, a tall, thin fellow with a jovial disposition interrupted, “It’s okay, old boy. Everyone’s nervous the first time they see a ghost. You’ll get on here quite nicely. My name is Allumé and the killjoy next to me is named Temps.”

Temps glared at Allumé and muttered, “The master will not like this at all.”

The third ghost then piped up, “And I’m Mrs. Creuset. Delighted to have you here. Can I get you a spot of tea?”

Just as Mortice was about to ask for a nice cup of earl grey please, he heard a deep moan ring throughout the castle. The ghosts which stood before him vanished and then standing before his eyes was an ugly creature. Mortice fainted.

Later in the village, Bombshell was getting worried. Her father had not so much as sent a letter home and he’d been gone for nearly a week. She decided to go looking for him.

Bombshell took one of their horses and followed her father’s trail. When she happened upon the castle, she was very confused as to why this wasn’t on a map or in any urban legends floating around the village.

She entered the castle quietly– so quietly that Allumé, Temps, and Mrs. Creuset hadn’t heard her come in.

As she explored the castle, Bombshell wandered into the dungeon, where she heard a familiar cough– it was her papa!

Bombshell ran to him and yelled, “Papa! It’s me!”

Of course he knew it was her.

“My dear!” Mortice yelled, “You must leave this place before–”

A terrifying groan filled the air in the dungeon, followed by the sound of a rumbling voice:

“Who are you? Come forward and explain yourself.”

Bombshell stepped forward and said, with confidence, “My name is Bombshell. You will release my father at once and can take me instead.”

This was ridiculous for several reasons: 1) Bombshell had much more life to live than her father. 2) Mortice probably only had a few years left because he only ate cake. 3) No one had even offered an ultimatum here.

Bombshell continued, “But first, if you are to be my master forever, I want to see your face.”

The creature stepped out from behind the dark shadows. He was hideous and only nearly human– for he had been human at one point. Yes, he was…

A ZOMBIE.

Gross.

Bombshell fainted. It’t genetic, I guess. The ghastly ghoul let Mortice go and placed Bombshell in one of the castle’s vacant rooms. He figured that if she’d be staying in his castle forever (or at least until he decided to eat her brains), she might as well be comfortable.

When Bombshell came to, she saw a ghost sitting at the end of her bed!

The ghost introduced herself as a maid for Bombshell and offered to find a dress for the girl to wear to dinner with the Zombie. Bombshell couldn’t believe it– this creature actually expected her to eat with him after what he had done?! Never!

Bombshell asked the ghost, “What could have happened to that corpse to make him so ghastly?”

The ghost explained that long ago, the Zombie had been a handsome prince. Unfortunately, his sexy looks had resulted in quite a haughty and self-absorbed attitude. One day, quite unexpectedly, a young Girl Scout knocked on the door to sell cookies. When the prince learned that the girl was all out of Thin Mints, he became enraged. Just as he was about to slam the door in the girl’s face, she transformed into a beautiful maiden. This was weird indeed. She said to the prince,

“All you care for is yourself. It takes the most heartless of humans to turn away a Girl Scout selling cookies. And now, you will be cursed! You and all of your household will no longer be human. Your servants will all become ghosts and you a zombie– for you have acted in a way which is brainless and deserve to be handsome no more.”

This was terrifying news.

Bombshell refused to go to dinner all the more.

The Zombie became enraged when he heard that Bombshell would not be joining him and went to knock on her door. He yelled,

“How dare you disobey me?! You will starve in that room until you die of hunger, or until I decide that I’m hungry enough to eat you!” and with that, he stormed off to his room.

Several hours later, Bombshell did get rather hungry, so she slowly crept out of her room to look for a kitchen. Along the way, Allumé, Temps, and Mrs. Creuset joined her. They decided to make for her a lovely meal and introduced her to the rest of the castle ghosts:

Le Fragment (Mrs. Creuset’s son)

Miss Plume (The maid whom Allumé adored)

Miss Robe (The other maid whom Bombshell had already met)

and Mr. Cuisinier (The cook)

They then took Bombshell on a tour of the castle grounds and warned her never to step foot in the west wing.

Naturally, Bombshell was intrigued and split off from the group. She had a little bit of trouble finding the west wing, for she was slightly directionally challenged. But, when she did find it, she was mortified:

It was a dark, damp place in the castle. The walls were tattered and dusty and the rooms wreaked of rotting flesh (What? The guy’s a zombie).

But, in the middle of one room was a glowing, glass case. Within the case was a golden onion, the layers of which had peeled back slowly over time.

Bombshell forgot herself and, just as she was about to remove the case to see if the onion would make her cry, the Zombie stormed into the room and yelled,

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? GET OUT! GET OOOOUTTT!”

Overcome with fear, Bombshell ran out of the wing, down the stairs, past the ghosts, and out into the forest. She ran for some time, fighting to choke back tears. However, because she had not been paying attention, she ran right into the midst of a pack of coyotes!

She was being attacked on all sides!

She certainly wouldn’t have made it out alive if it wasn’t for– the Zombie! He had followed after her and began biting and eating the brains of each coyote attacking Bombshell– soon, many of the other wild animals became scared and ran away.

Bombshell couldn’t believe it! But no sooner had she been saved than the Zombie collapsed of fatigue and stomach cramps (from overeating).

She took the poor creature back to the castle and bandaged him up. Of course, it was hard to tell which parts of his flesh suffered from fresh wounds and which had been festering for a while now, but she did her best.

Over time, the Zombie and Bombshell became friends. They read books together and talked about all of the things in the world they wished they could have seen.

Months passed and Bombshell agreed to come to more dinners, laughed more often, and even made a cake for the Zombie on his birthday.

Much of the castle staff were excited by this, for they knew that the spell placed on both them and the Zombie could be broken if the Zombie learned to love another and be so loved! However, for the curse to be broken, this needed to occur before the final layer fell from the magic onion in the west wing– and there were only a couple layers left!

One day, the Zombie decided to take his platonic relationship with Bombshell to the next level and asked her to dress up and join him for dinner and a dance.

Bombshell agreed and wore a beautiful golden gown.

Then, the Zombie took Bombshell to the balcony of the castle and showed her a magical heirloom book that, on each page, showed the story of one’s life in moving pictures! Bombshell flipped through the book and watched the portions of her life during which she spent time with her father. Oh, how she missed him.

That’s when the Zombie realized that, if he really loved Bombshell, he would let her go. And so, without another thought, he set her free.

Bombshell was so grateful and immediately set off for home.

The rest of the castle was saddened, but happy that the Zombie had finally learned to love another.

When Bombshell got home, she found that her father had been carted off to an insane asylum for talking so much about a zombie! Bombshell could not stand for this– she went and spoke to Morón and begged him to speak to the owner of the insane asylum because he had refused to listen to her on the grounds that she was an “emotionally hysterical woman.” Jerk.

However, Morón wouldn’t believe her either. So, the only thing left for Bombshell to do was to show Morón the book the Zombie had given her. Morón saw that Bombshell was telling the truth!

He became terrified and ran into the village to gather a group to fight the Zombie.

OH NO!

They all marched to the castle with pitchforks and torches and garlic and wooden stakes (50% of them thought they were going to fight a vampire, tbh).

The group broke into the castle and began looking for the Zombie. Luckily, many of the people were afraid of ghosts, so were scared off rather quickly. But not Morón, for he was a moron.

He found the Zombie in the west wing and shot the creature in the back with an arrow. The Zombie did not care. He’d lost his true love. Also, he didn’t feel pain because he was undead.

Just then, Bombshell caught up with the angry villagers and yelled, “Zombie! I’m here!”

She had come back! Zombie now had a reason to live (well, theoretically speaking).

He began to fight Morón in earnest– he must win Bombshell’s love! However, just as he was about to feast on Morón’s brain, the Zombie was overcome with compassion. How could he eat this man’s brains if he had 1) Truly learned to love others and 2) If he wasn’t even sure if Morón had a brain to begin with?

The Zombie decided to let Morón go free, but warned him never to return.

But no sooner had Morón begun to run away than he turned around and shot a single arrow at the Zombie’s head. NOOOOO!!!

The Zombie crashed to the ground as Bombshell ran to him.

Bombshell held him in her arms and whispered, “You can’t die. You’re a zombie, it’s going to be okay.”

The Zombie whispered, “Bombshell. My one weakness is my brain. I’m just glad I got to see you one last–” he stopped.

This couldn’t be true.

Bombshell began to cry and softly said, “I love you,” just as the final layer of the onion fell and the Zombie died.

All was lost. Or… was it?

Just then, the Zombie’s body began to lift into the air. Bombshell had never witnessed a zombie death before, so she wasn’t sure if this was normal, or?

His body began to repair itself before her eyes! His golden hair returned, his skin glowed, and he began to smell like a human again. His body dropped to the ground and, almost immediately, he began to sit up. When he turned around to face Bombshell, he was hardly recognizable! His piercing blue eyes were the only thing recognizable.

It was him! It was the prince!

He embraced Bombshell and the two kissed.

At that moment, all of the other castle residents began to transform into their old selves– Allumé was a dapper adviser to the prince, Mrs. Creuset a trusted nanny and tea connoisseur, and Temps… Wait a minute…

Temps was still a ghost?!

Allumé exclaimed, “Sacré bleu! Why have you not turned into a human?!”

Temps’ face became red as he bashfully looked at the prince.

The prince replied solemnly, “Um, well, it seems that Temps is an actual ghost. You see, one night I was angry and hungry and came across him just sitting in the hallway and…”

Oh well, it made no difference. Temps was annoying anyway.

And so, Bombshell and the prince married and traveled the world together. They even set up tours in the castle and donated all of the proceeds to Bombshell’s father as he established his own chain of bakeries! Oh, and don’t worry– Morón had been devoured by a pack of hungry wolves on his way back to the village.

So it looks like each of them lived happily ever after.

LA FIN.

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Author: Madisson

I am a storyteller by nature. I am a joke-teller by choice.

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