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December 5th, 2008

Steve/Tony Snow Queen, part II @ 11:20 pm

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As with the previous installment, some content has been paraphrased & quoted from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen."

Story the First: The Steel Mirror
Story the Second: The Soldier and the Smith

3) Of the Library At the Young Woman's Who Understood Witchcraft


But how fared the soldier in the smith's absence? What had become of the gunsmith, no one knew, nor could anyone make even a guess as to his whereabouts. All the towns people could tell the soldier was that they had last seen him riding through the streets in a large, metal sled, driven by a lady of strange and wondrous beauty.

No one knew where the sled had gone, or who the lady might be, and though the soldier was too hardened and battle-worn a campaigner to weep, the days seemed very long and empty to him without the sound of hammerblows echoing off the front of his shop. He told himself that the smith must be dead, that he had drowned in the river that flowed through the town.

The winter passed like an age, cold and lonely and without hope, until at last spring came, with sunshine and warmth that didn't touch the cold inside him.

"My friend is dead and gone," said the soldier.

"We don't believe it," said the paintings in his shop.

"My friend is dead and gone," he said to the clocks in the smith's abandoned workshop, which still tolled the hours day in and day out, because the soldier wound them faithfully once a week.

“We don’t believe it,” they chimed.

"My friend is dead and gone," he said to the helmet, pike, and musket that were all that remained of his soldiering days, stacked neatly in a corner of his attic.

"We don't believe it," they insisted, their voices fierce and warlike, and at last the soldier began to doubt it himself. “I will put on my red boots,” he said one morning, “the ones that my friend has never seen, and then I will go down to the river, and ask for him.”

Then he put on his red boots, donned his old helmet, slung his musket over his shoulder, and walked quite alone through the streets toward the river. “Is it true that you have taken my friend away from me?” he said to the river. “I will give you my red boots if you will give him back to me.”

It seemed to him that the waves nodded in a strange manner. The he took off his red boots, which he had worn through a dozen campaigns and more battles than he cared to remember, and threw them into the river.

He threw them out very far, as hard as he could, yet the waves simply carried them back to the shore by his feet, as if the river were refusing his offering.

The soldier could be very stubborn once he had set upon a course of action, and thought that maybe he hadn't thrown the boots out quite far enough. So he borrowed a boat that sat tied up by the pier, and took it out into the river, meaning to tie the shoes to his helmet and throw them overboard.

But the current was stronger than he had expected, and before he knew what was happening he was caught in it, and the little boat sailed away down the river at great speed.

The boat floated on the stream, and the soldier sat in his stocking feet with the boots resting on the seat beside him and watched the buildings of the town go by. "Perhaps," he thought, trying to make the best of it, "the river will take me to my friend."

More quickly than he could have thought possible, the boat had left the town behind, and the soldier was floating past fields and woods and green, mossy banks. Some of the scenery was so beautiful that he wished for charcoal or ink to draw it, but of course he had none of those things with him, and so he could only sit there and watch. A day passed, and then two more, and still the boat floated onwards.

At length he came to a large apple orchard, its trees great clouds of pink and white blossoms, in which stood a small house with a thatched roof and a red door. It was the first dwelling place the soldier had seen since the boat had left the town, and after almost three days drifting on the river he was faint with hunger and thirst. He called out, hoping to draw the attention of the person who lived in the house, and a young woman opened the red door and came out.

She wore a large hat with a veil hanging from it to shade her from the sun, and her dress was all shades of red, from the bright cherry-red of her door to the deep red of blood to the flaming hue of poppies at sunrise.

“You poor man,” said the young woman, “how did you manage to come all this distance into the wide world on such a rapid rolling stream?”

And she fetched a rope from inside the house and threw it out to him.

The soldier caught hold of it, and together, he and the woman in red hauled the boat to shore. The soldier was glad to be on dry ground, though his legs weren't quite steady after so many days without water or food, and he thanked the woman with all his heart.

"I'm an afraid I cannot reward you for your help," he told her. "Unless you want my boots or my musket."

The woman smiled; she had a still, thoughtful face, like one who had known much sorrow, but the smile transformed her, and made her look quite as pretty as you could wish. "What use would I have for those?" she said. And then, "Come and tell me who you are,” she said, “and how came you here.”

Then the soldier told her everything, while the woman shook her head and said, "Hmm," and when he had finished, the soldier asked if she had seen the smith, and the woman told him with regret that he had not passed by that way. "But," she added, as if trying to cheer him, "maybe he will come."

And she told the soldier not to be sorrowful, but to come inside and refresh himself with food and drink.

Then she took him by the hand and led him into the house, and closed the red door behind them.

The glass in the windows was red, yellow, and green, and the colored light danced along the walls and floor and made the soldier think of the paints he had left behind in his workshop, and he wondered, all of a sudden, what would become of his shop, and of the smith's forge and workroom as well, with both of them gone away.

The woman in red served him food and drink, and he ate with great pleasure -- the water she poured for him tasted sweeter than the finest wine, so thirsty was he, and the bread and meat was, he thought, the very best he had ever tasted.

When he had satisfied his hunger and thirst, the woman sat him down before the fire and began to brush his shining gold hair with a pearl-handled brush. He closed his eyes and felt the soothing motions of the brush, and thought that it had been a very long time since someone had been kind to him.

“My husband has gone away and left me, and I have long been wishing for a fine, strong man like you,” said the woman, “and now you must stay with me, and see how happily we shall live together.” And while she went on brushing the soldier's hair, he thought less and less about his dearest friend, for the woman in red could work spells and enchantments, although she was not a wicked witch; she had had great power, once, but now she used witchcraft only a little for her own amusement, and now, because she was lonely and wanted to keep the soldier.

The soldier fell asleep at the table, his head resting on his folded arms, and when he woke he had no memory of the smith, or of his search for him. Perhaps he might have recalled it had he been able to hear the ticking or chiming of a clock, but the woman in red kept no clocks anywhere in her house, nor anything mechanical at all.

Summer came, and the apple blossoms became small, green fruits, and the days were long and drowsy. The soldier helped hoe in the woman's garden, and fixed her thatched roof where it was beginning to sag, and painted her shutters with red poppies, to match her door. And at night, she brushed his hair before the fire, and he combed out her long, dark curls, and if the inky color of her hair seemed familiar to him somehow, he told himself that it must be because he had spent so many days in her cottage that it was beginning to feel like home.

The cottage had only a few rooms, but one of them was a library, stuffed with more books than the soldier had ever seen in one place before. One of the things he had shared with the smith was a love of reading, and so each afternoon, after he had finished all the chores around the house that the woman didn't do herself, and practiced with his musket, he would go into the library and select a book to read.

The library was dusty, because although the woman loved to cook and garden, she wasn't quite so fond of dusting, and one day, when the soldier was reaching for a book, he found a spiderweb strung between two of the leather-bound volumes.

"Please," the spider cried, in a small voice, "do not move my books. It would tear my web apart, and I have only just gotten it built this past winter, after my old web in the clock was destroyed. I do not want to have to move house again."

"In the clock?" the soldier asked, and the words seemed to strike a chord within him.

"I hate moving house," the spider was saying, "because your things get all knocked about and mixed up, and it takes ages to get everything straight again, and there's always something you've forgotten and left behind, and then you feel terribly silly. Yes, the clock. I used to have a very nice web strung inside the casing, where I could watch the cogs go round and round. I lost it when the woman took the clock down and threw it away. Everyone is mean to me. It is because I am so small, I suppose. People don't notice me.

And the soldier, thinking of clocks, remembered everything all at once, and was amazed that he had ever forgotten it. He groaned, and scolded himself aloud, apalled at how near he had come to abandoning his friend, and the spider, curious, inquired of him what was the matter.

And so he told the spider his story; how the smith had been driven away in a great metal sled, by a woman the townpeople said had had skin like polished silver, and how the soldier was wandering the wide world in search of him.

"That is very interesting," the little spider said, "but I am afraid I cannot help you. I have read every book in this library, and I cannot recall ever reading about a woman made of metal. Unless the witch has taken away those books, too."

A wasp buzzing about the ceiling had also heard the soldier's words, and she flew down to land upon his shoulder. "I, too, have never heard of a woman made of metal," she said, "but my husband the ant is very wise, and has made a study of the natural sciences. Perhaps he knows something of her."

The solider then said that he would very much like to talk to the ant, and the wasp flew away with an air of purpose. Several moments later, she and a small, black ant both crawled out from behind a book by Paracelcus. "Here is the man I told you about," she said. "He is searching for a woman with skin like polished silver, who took his friend away."

"Do you know of such a woman?" the soldier asked the ant. "Or where she might be found?"

The ant's antennae drooped. "I do indeed know of her, much to my shame. I was not always as you see me now. Many years ago, when I was a very young man, I was a great scholar and an alchemist. It was I who created her, through dark alchemical rites I should have knwn better than to perform. But I sought after knowledge to the exclusion of all else, and thought only of the renown such a creation would bring me.

"But being created by unworthy means, and for unworthy motives, my creation soon proved herself a monster. She left me to travel the world on her own, and I, realizing too late what I had done, came to the witch who lives in this house and had her turn me into an ant as penance."

The soldier listened with fascination to this story, and was greatly astonished. "And after all these years, you have never asked the sorceress to change you back? Surely your penance must be complete by now."

"No," said the ant, "for I am happy as an ant. I love the wasp, and I would rather be an ant and stay by her side than be a man without her." He rubbed his antennae together for a mement, and then went on, "And I have learned all the languages of the insects, and taught the wasp and the spider both to speak in human speech, so I have all the society I could wish for."

"I am learning alchemy and medicine, as well," the spider piped up. "And I had mostly figured out how the clock worked before it was taken away, only the gears were so much larger than me that it was hard to be certain."

The wasp was silent at first, hovering in the air beside the soldier and beating her translucent wings. After a long moment, she said, "You never told me any of this, husband, and we have been married since this spring. I had thought you under the witch's curse."

The ant dipped his head, looking for all the world like a man who has ashamed of himself. "I did not want you to think badly of me," he confessed.

"I am sure no one thinks badly of you," the soldier broke in. "Now tell me, what else do you know about the metal woman? Do you know where she lives?" It was rude of him to be so impatient, of course, but you must remember, reader, that he was very anxious about his friend, and his anxiety had only grown upon hearing the ant's story.

"I do not, but the witch does. She traded most of her power to her in exchange for a husband. I advised her against it, but she was lonely, for no man would marry a woman with such unnatural abilities, or even come to visit her house. But she was cheated most cruelly, for the husband the metal woman gave her was only a clockwork man, and after a year and a day the mechanism in his heart ran down and he ceased to love her, and went away into the wide world, whereupon she has been alone ever since."

"I think I remember him," the spider said. "I hadn't learned to understand what humans said yet, so I mostly ignored them, but I remember that he was very colorful, and he made whirring noises when he walked. Was that why the lady in red took down the clock and destroyed my house?"

"I don't know," the wasp told him kindly. "For I lived in the garden, then."

The soldier thanked the three profusely for their help, and left the library to ask the woman in red, or the witch, as he thought of her now that he knew of her power, where the metal woman might be found.

The witch was in the orchard, picking apples. When she heard the sound of the soldier's footsteps, she turned, an apple as red as her dress cupped in her hands, and as soon as she saw him, with his helmet on his head and his musket over his shoulder, ready to set out into the wide world again, she knew that her enchantment had been broken.

"You remember," she said quietly, her voice sorrowful.

"Yes," the soldier said.

"I am sorry for keeping you from your friend," she said, "but my husband had been gone for months when your boat came floating past my doorstep, and I was lonely."

The soldier felt sorry for her, and the memory of her kindnesses made him like her in spite of the trick she had played on him. But now that the witch's enchantment had been broken, his heart and mind were entirely filled with the thought of his missing friend, and there was room for no other. So when she said that she supposed he was now going to go away and leave her, he nodded solemnly.

"The insects in your library said that you might know where the woman with skin like metal is to be found," he said.

"Yes," she said. "I did not want to tell you before, because I knew that it would make you leave, but she is an old acquaintance of mine. I was a great enchantress once, not a simple crafter of spells and charms as you see me now. I traded her nearly all my power for a favor that I wanted of her, and now her magic greatly surpasses mine, but I am not a witch for nothing. When you told me of your quest, I looked for her in my mirror, and found her many miles to the north, in the frozen wastes where no living thing walks. Perhaps your friend is there with her, and perhaps he is not. I do not know."

The soldier thanks her, and bid her farewell. But as he turned to go, the witch stayed him, and pressed the apple she held into his hand.

"Take this," she said. "You may be hungry along the way."

The soldier took the apple and tucked it into his pocket. It was perfectly ripe, exactly the kind of apple that is so wonderful to bite into on a cool, autumn day, and he realized as he looked around the orchard that summer had come and gone, and it was autumn now. The trees that had been pink and white clouds of blossom when the river had brought him here were heavy with fruit, and the air was cold.

"Thanks you," he told the witch. "It is a long way from here to the frozen wastes, and it might be that I will pass your husband on the way. If I do, I will tell him that you are waiting for him to return to you."

And then he left the witch's orchard, through the old wooden gate in the garden wall. He left the door open behind him, and looked back three times as he walked away. Each time, he saw the witch still picking her apples, her face turned away from him.

The leaves on the oak and willow trees were brown and yellow, and the path beneath his feet was covered with them. They made a dry, crackling sound at his every step. "Summer is gone," they whispered to him as he walked. "Winter is coming."

"I should never have stayed so long," the soldier reproached himself. He tried to consoled himself with the thought that he would not know how to find the metal woman were it not for the witch's directions, but everything around him was dreary and cold, and the dying leaves dripped with autumn fog and rains. He thought about how far he had left to go, and how close it was to winter, and the whole world appeared dark and weary to him.

 
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From:kijikun
Date:December 6th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
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I'm really loving how you incorporate all the different characters. But oh poor Wanda. I hope Steve the Solider comes across her clockwork husband.

(And I adore the steampunk feel, you've pulled it off much better than I was able to).
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
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poor Wanda. I hope Steve the Solider comes across her clockwork husband.

I actually hadn't decided on that part -- maybe She-Ultron the Lady has him somewhere in her palace.

I adore the steampunk feel

Thanks! (though if I were being really technical, I'd call this gunpowderpunk, since it's all clockwork and muskets and things and I was sort of aiming for a 17th/18th century feel). And your Iron Beast steampunk is really good! I need to get on the ball and review it.
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From:kijikun
Date:December 6th, 2008 07:13 am (UTC)
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I have to say I squealed when I realized who all the incests were.

I'd call this gunpowderpunk, since it's all clockwork and muskets and things and I was sort of aiming for a 17th/18th century feel.
I'm horrid about just calling all the variations steampunk.(Well expect cyberpunk which is easy to tell apart).
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From:nataku_kun
Date:December 6th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
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Of course everyone's mean to the spider! Who isn't mean to the spider?

I really like the way you've told this tale and the entire setting seems so wonderfully beautiful. I look forward to the rest of it, most definately
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I feel a little bit guilty, actually, because I am slavishly copying from the original in a lot of places.
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From:nataku_kun
Date:December 7th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
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Ah hah hah, yeah, but don't be too hard on yourself. The story flows very well (given that there's two styles in it and such) and nothing seems that out of place
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From:20thcenturyvole
Date:December 6th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
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I really love how you incorporate all the different Marvel elements into such an authentic-feeling fairytale. It reads like something from the 18th century, with a really consistant and engaging tone. And did I mention the story's hooking me in like crazy? :D
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
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It reads like something from the 18th century

Yay, thanks! That's exactly what I was going for - a sort of Charles Perrault/Brothers Grimm feel (it probably helped that I ripped off Andersen's orignal prose like mad at the begining and end of each section).

The Snow Queen's always a good fairytale to adapt ensemble casts to (there's an utterly awesome Highlander one out there), because Gerda runs in to so many different characters while she searches for Kay.
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From:runenklinge
Date:December 6th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
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that is awesome!
Everything just fits - it´s like the AvengersFairytales...only that I honestly prefer yours.
And the way you write - wow.

Everything here makes sense, the relations, the characters...

I bow before your talent
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
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it´s like the AvengersFairytales...only that I honestly prefer yours.

Wow, really? *has big, shiney eyes* Because I'm not sure anything but Marvel Adventures can surpass the Hank/Jan + Vision take on Pinoccio for adorableness.

Thanks so much!
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From:marinarusalka
Date:December 6th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Aww. I loved the wasp and the ant and the spider. You blend the comic and the fairy tale elements so seamlessly.

Can't wait to see what you do with the Little Bandit Girl and the reindeer. :-)
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
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I loved the wasp and the ant and the spider.

*grins* Thanks! The flowers always confused the daylights out of me as a little girl (their stories didn't make any sense at all to me until around middle school), so I scrapped them entirely so that I could put some of the other Avengers in. And Peter, because every story is improved by having Spiderman in it.

The little robber girl was actually the first character substitution other than Steve & Tony for Gerda & Kay that I thought of. I'm still pondering what to do with the reindeer, though.
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From:hohaiyee
Date:December 6th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)

re: Snow Queen

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I like Wanda, there is such a pretty way about her in spite of the crazy way she grew up. ...and Hank would totally stay for Wasp and poor Peter is always whiny troubled. I was reading MA #10-12 last night, and a man he saved thanked him as Daredevil!
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Snow Queen

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Thanks! Wanda was consigned to an ambigious role in this since really, who else on the Avengers could you make the enchantress, but I tried to make her more sympathetic here than the original Old Lady of Summer by having her help Steve out in the end.

Hank is staying for Wasp because they're one of my Marvel het OTPs, along with Rogue/Gambit and Peter/MJ. (Why does Marvel hate all my canon-pairing OTPs?) *grins* I tried to make the spider sound like Peter while still talking in fairytale-speak, and the result was that he came out kind of whiney.

a man he saved thanked him as Daredevil!

That reminds me of the JLU episode where people keep asking Booster Gold if he's Green Lantern (made all the funnier by the fact that while Booster does look a tiny bit like a blond Hal Jordan, the Justice League cartoon's Green Lantern is Jon Stewart, who is black).
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From:hohaiyee
Date:June 9th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)

Re: Snow Queen

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It's okay, Peter canonly sounds whiny quite a bit, though I don't think he actually is, because considering his background, he is allowed to whine!

My Marvel OTP used to be Peter and MJ, I watched the cartoon when I was little after all, but while I still like them a lot, and it turns me away what BND did because damn it, it should be like toast, I expect it to be there, I'm not more interested by Reed/Sue...or Sue/Reed. Sue/Reed got the geeky cuteness, but at the same time, I like the dark undercurrent that came out during Civil War, which was hinted at before, in the Marvel Zombies*. I think Reed will go crazy if either his wife or his children die, because it's not that he doesn't have emotions, he doesn't know how to process them.

*Marvel Zombies: He so totally turned the FF into zombies, in order to prevent what's left of his family from being eaten by zombies, and awww, he brought Tony along! Constant hunger a con, but near immortality a plus when you can't stand losing the people you love to death.

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From:smilingskull
Date:December 6th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
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I totally thought the spider was just a spider at first (d'oh!) and then you mentioned the wasp and the ant and I had a total "YAY! :D" moment. They're so adorable! <3

This story is so awesome so far. I can't wait to read the rest of it!
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
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I totally thought the spider was just a spider at first (d'oh!) and then you mentioned the wasp and the ant and I had a total "YAY! :D" moment. They're so adorable! <3

Thanks! The insect!Avengers in the library were my favorite part of the whole thing to write. In the original version, Gerda talks to a bunch of flowers that are growing in the Enchantress's garden, but flower!Avengers was just too silly for me to be able to do seriously.
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From:ani_bester
Date:December 6th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
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This was lovely. The way you write reminds me of the Wizard of Oz a little bit or the Magician's Nephew. It is *wonderful*

And it needs cute Denslow illustrations, it really does.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm doing serious fairytale-style pastiche here, with not a few borrowings from Hans Christian Andersen's original version, but I read half the Oz books and all of the Narnia books in elementary school, so it wouldn't surprise me if some influence from them crept in.

it needs cute Denslow illustrations, it really does

In my head, everything looks an awful lot like watercolors by Trina Shart Hyman. With a full-page illustration devoted to Wanda in the apple orchard in her many-shades-of-red dress.
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From:ani_bester
Date:December 6th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
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However it is all coming together it is really working. Actually this is also interesting to me because this is one of the few stories I've never read, so I've no clue what you are adding and what you are borrowing ^^;;

And OMG! That artist. I have a new thing to buy so a can heart all over the illustrations. *wow*
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 6th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
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She did a Beauty and the Beast and a St. George & the Dragon book, too.
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From:jazzypom
Date:December 6th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)

Well done

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There's a feeling of craftsmanship and sensitivity towards the telling of the tale. The language is lovely, that formal, flowery language that beckons a child to set down, and get lost in the tale being told.

I'm really impressed. I'd say more, but I have my coat in hand, my slap on and I'm about to head to a dinner. I'm interested to see where this will go.

Good speed, scribe.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)

Re: Well done

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Thanks so much! I'm copying the style off the original (along with the occasional stolen quotation and some of the dialogue), so the floweryness is not all me, but I'm trying to make sure the parts I re-write/add-in fit the original.
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From:simmysim
Date:December 6th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Oh man I'm loving this. The repeating "we don't believe it" was especially great, that last time fierce and warlike. nkfdsgj yes. At first I was like "dang this little spider is down on himself for some reasOOOOOOH." and man poor Wanda. I really do hope Steve finds Vision. :[

This is is so whimsical and fantastic, I can't wait to see the rest.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
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Thanks! The "he is dead and gone"/"we don't believe it" exchange is straight from the original, only there Gerda is talking to the sunshine and swallows instead of paintings and clocks and weapons.

*grins* The Peter cameo seems to have surprised everyone. And here I was convinced that it would be screamingly obvious right away.
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From:ladymordecai
Date:December 7th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
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I love the fairy tale you're doing, and the style in which you're writing (it's so very true to the form), and everything about this. Can't wait for more!
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm pretty much copying the style from Hans Christan Andersen and other old fairytale book I had as a little girl (like Grimm's Fairytales). More is in the works -- it's a seven-part story, so there are four more sections to go.
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From:cygna_hime
Date:December 7th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
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Okay, so I really really love this like woah. Everyone's so perfect! I, too, didn't catch on to the spider until Hank showed up. But it works so perfectly! (And a lot better than making them flowers would have done.)
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
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Yay, thanks! The Peter, Hank, and Jan cameos were one of the first things I thought of when I started this (well, after deciding who Gerda, Kay, and the Old and Young Robbers were going to be). The flowers and their stories always confused me as a child, because for the longest time I couldn't figure out what the stories had to do with the flowers at all.
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From:caduceus03
Date:December 7th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
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*awed*

Okay, I know you said that you were blending some of the original story text in there but that really can't account for just how gorgeous the prose in this entire story is. So very pretty and so very spot-on for the original fairy tales I loved *feeling nostalgic*

Steve and Tony are just lovely and I loved how you worked Peter, Jan, and Hank in there. Totally squee moment there once the lightbulb went on for me. <3

Out of curiosity, since I don't have a copy of the fairytale at hand - how many parts are you expecting this to be?

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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
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Okay, I know you said that you were blending some of the original story text in there but that really can't account for just how gorgeous the prose in this entire story is. So very pretty and so very spot-on for the original fairy tales I loved *feeling nostalgic*

Thanks so much! I read a huge number of fairytales when I was little (the Brothers Grimm, Andrew Lang's colored fairy books, etc.), so pastiching it isn't really as hard as it looks. The hard part is trying to keep some amount of canon characterization for Steve while still having everyone speak in fairytale speak and keep that kind of innocent air protagonists in fairy tales aimed at children tend to have.

Steve and Tony are just lovely and I loved how you worked Peter, Jan, and Hank in there. Totally squee moment there once the lightbulb went on for me. <3

*grins* Honestly, the Avengers cameos are my favorite part of the fic thus far.

Out of curiosity, since I don't have a copy of the fairytale at hand - how many parts are you expecting this to be?

Seven parts. The original story's divided into seven sections, each with a subtitle. There are four left from ths point: "The Prince & the Princess," "The Little Robber Girl," "The Lap Woman and the Finn Woman," and "Of the Snow Queen's Palace and What Happened After."
From:crimsonquills
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
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It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the witch was Wanda. *sheepish* Despite her enchantment of Steve, by the time her part of the story ended I felt so sad for her, being so lonely.

I loved the Wasp and the Ant! :-D They may actually be my favorite part of the story so far. And the Spider, grumping about his house being messed up. *grins*

Keep looking Steve! <3
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From:elspethdixon
Date:December 10th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
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*grins* The Wasp and the Ant (and Peter) were totally my favorite part to write.
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From:ija_ijewna
Date:December 10th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh. You've taken my most beloved fairy-tale and gave it a new spin, staying so true to the style, the emotion and the ideas, that now I have tears in my eyes.

I love clever retellings and I admire people who do them well as it's so hard to maintain the balance between one story and the other. Here the characters fit stunningly, both these serious ones and those serving rather as humour reliefs. It's unbelievable how few details needed to be changed to merge these two universes. Hats off to the author. ;-)

Can't wait to see who will play the role of the Little Robber Girl. I'm sure (s)he will fit wonderfully.
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From:cosmicbiscuit
Date:January 3rd, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
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I was rereading the chapters and just had to ask... Is the Snow Queen Ultron!Jocasta, or Jan-Clone!Ultron? Because I saw the bit about where the ant created her and my brain went ::whoosh!:: off to the speculation zone.
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From:elspethdixon
Date:January 4th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
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She's kind of all Ultrons at once, I think.

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