Spoilers: R Tam Session Excerpts
Summery: Take handful of nursery rhymes, a bunch of fairy tales, and the R Tam Sessions. Press puree.
When she had first arrived, she had been shy and quiet, the little mouse her old classmates had called her. She had hugged her family goodbye and left home with a thrill in her heart for the learning.
Her first night, she had slept quietly, curled up mouse like on the bed she had to herself in the room that was not a prison.
The bed had given beneath her comfortably, and she did not feel the prick of the pea that had been placed under the mattress.
The first month was a dream. Happily and without peas, they all slept in their pods and made friends and joked and went to classes.
She was one of the youngest, and her teachers flattered her and drew her out of her mouse quiet, and tested her quickness in absorbing the new material.
She did not wonder why they spent so little time on facts, like how beans grew into stalks or how the nerves in a mouse's brain can be stimulated with shocks. Instead, hints at knowing and feeling and the questions of right and wrong and following orders were instituted.
She had always enjoyed philosophy and ethics.
Her nose twitched and she wondered what it would be like to be able to know everything.
After the first month, the classes had reduced in size, and she looked around for her friends, but they could not make it in the school, they were doomed to be mice and not giants and would not be able to climb the beanstalk. So they had taken their tarnished golden harps and gone home.
The teachers smiled often, showing their teeth, and as a mouse, she should have seen the big bad wolf, but she still couldn't feel the pea under the mattress and had no idea of the danger she was in.
She wrote letters home and told her big brother of the strange dreams she was having, full of teeth and beans and bakers. She told him how her back twinged now and again, like her bed had a slight lump somewhere she couldn't yet see.
Her dreams were odd and she woke up with a strange taste in her mouth, metallic and sharp, like she had bitten into a needle and burnt her tongue on the porridge inside.
More of her classmates had disappeared, and the teachers' smiles were pointed and bloody and little mice should know better than to ask questions where anyone could hear you, and now she knew what she dreamed was not a nice dream of skipping through the forest to grandma's, but a true waking nightmare of being in the belly of the wolf.
Her pen and paper was taken away, so she couldn't tell her brother about wolves and mice and the needle sharp porridge being fed to her to keep her docile and quiet.
Quiet as a mouse.
Other students/mice/giants scattered around her like dried peas on the ground, and she wondered that Mama Bear never came home. She would scold, but she was gentle and her porridge was cold.
Papa Bear's chair was too hard and shiny against her forehead, and she had never liked porridge anyway. But when she tried to spit it out, she inhaled the others' screams and tasted wolf dreams.
She tumbled down, falling like Jack into memories and dreams and nightmares not her own.
Goldilocks ran away, but her feet were gingerbread, and she would sink and fall to pieces if she tried again. Wolves wore white coats and little girls with big eyes traded their souls for magic beans to save their own lives.
Broke your crown, she told them, when she had given them a taste of the bones inside the cupboard of her mind. They smiled and slapped themselves on the back for doing such good work.
As a reward, she got paper and pen back from the blackbirds, but words dropped to the floor like bugs from her mouth, and she couldn't make them line up.
Bear paws aren't equipped for writing. And she had fallen off the wall some time ago and scattered into pieces.
All the king's horses couldn't put her together again.
Scraps of paper dropped like breadcrumbs as she left a trail for her brother to follow.
Baked her words in a pie and sent them off to Simple Simon.
But it was long to wait, and the pea beneath her mattress was sprouting, and she couldn't sleep on a bed of bones.
She ripped out the beanstalk from beneath her, hiding it in her mouth, and let the wolves pretend that she was no longer a problem.
But she had a beanstalk to plant, where the giant could climb down, and she wouldn't stop until the wolves had been cut open.
Blackbirds would peck out their eyes, and they would dance in shoes from the fire.
And all the King's men wouldn't be able to stop her.
I really need some River icons.