The lovely Emily White over at Stepping Into Fantasy is hosting the Fairy Tale Blogfest today. When I first read the announcement for this blogfest I was totally excited. And then the days slipped by and I hadn't written anything. Here we are on the big day and I'm writing by the seat of my pants again.
What I came up with is a sci-fi mash up of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. It's a little long, but I hope you like it!
So, without any further ado, here's my contribution to the Fairy Tale Blogfest:
Rafe Charming strove always to live up to his name, and so far he'd done well for himself. In the midst of a galactic uprising he'd found plenty of work as a hero-for-hire. But this job might have been biting off more than he could chew.
"Hey, Rafe," his partner, Doc, whispered. "You still think this job was such a great idea?"
Now three floors under the ruins of an ancient palace on a planet at the fringe of the galaxy, Rafe reconsidered. A mental inventory only ramped the adrenalin another degree: one entrance, one exit, the Crone Council, an army of androids crawling the planet surface, a senator's daughter in need of rescue. All in a day's work.
"Maybe not," he admitted. His back to the damp stone wall, he inched closer to the nearby chamber, careful not to trip on rocky debris.
Keeping the wall between him and the vastness of the chamber, he slid a mirror from his pocket and edged it into the open space where the wall came to an end. What he saw inside caused a sheen of sweat to prick his hairline, a bead sliding down his temple. He swallowed hard.
Seeing his response, Doc let his head drop against the wall behind him. "Let me guess," he whispered. "Our lovely target is being held against her will in the midst of some impossible obstacle course."
"You're half right," Rafe replied.
Doc's brows rose as he considered what could possibly make their situation more complicated. Then he smacked his hand to his forehead. "Some huge, hairy, invincible creature is guarding her."
"Shit. I don't know why I keep working with you."
"It's the charm. I'm irresistable," Rafe said, shooting Doc his most charismatic grin.
"Yeah, whatever," Doc grunted. "Let's get this over with. I'll take the hairy beast. As usual. You get the girl."
"As usual," Rafe finished. That was his favorite part.
They stepped into the empty space of the doorway, blasters blazing, and luck was on their side as they took the massive creature by surprise. It's eyes shot wide as the first bolts hit it, singing its fur. It bellowed rage while its blood flew, spattering the unconscious woman it was guarding. The force of the blaster shots compromised its balance and, arms flailing, it tipped backwards and toppled off the platform into the void below.
The following silence rang in Rafe's ears, but there was no time to waste. With nimble and practiced feet Doc negotiated the obstacle course, making short work of booby traps and obstructions. Rafe took up the rear, guarding against surprise flank attacks.
On the central platform, the woman lay unconscious on a stone dais, her hair an ebony puddle framing her alabaster face.
Rafe approached her, his heart tripping with anticipation. He watched her slow and steady breathing, in awe of her perfect beauty. Her lips were full and rosy and they stirred in him a desire to taste them. He amended his earlier thoughts. This was his favorite part of the job.
"Doc," he said in a reverent whisper. "The balm. Give me the balm."
Doc rolled his eyes and dug around in his pocket until he found the tube of lip balm, then placed it in Rafe's outstretched hand.
Rafe smeared it on his lips, feeling the familiar tingle as the magic took effect. It was almost gone. They'd have to go back to that creepy apothecary and get some more. He sighed. All part of the job, and well worth it if it meant kissing more women like this.
He leaned in until his lips met hers. Soft and cool and sweet, he applied more pressure - just to be sure - then savored the growing heat as the magic began to do its job. He sampled one last mouthful of those luscious lips before the heat of the magic was too much, then stood to find Doc glaring at him.
"What?" he asked. "It's my reward for a job well done."
"What a prince," Doc said. "And we're not out of the woods yet." He gestured at the dark hall from which they'd come. "We still have to get out of here."
The woman stirred and sat, rubbing her eyes. "Where am I?" She asked.
Rafe took her hand and pulled her to her feet. "C'mon, Princess, we've gotta go."
Just then, a spine-chilling cackle filled the room. Looked like their luck wasn't going to hold after all as the Council of Crones spilled from an entrance hidden in the opposite wall. As twisted and hideous as rumors promised, Rafe wasn't interested in sticking around to make their acquaintance. His job was done and it was time to go.
"Doc!" he called. "Take the girl and get back to the ship! I'll take care of these hags."
Doc didn't wait to see if Rafe changed his mind. He took the girl by the hand and sprinted out the door, retracing their steps while Rafe backed away from the crones, his blasters burning bright, serenaded by the sweet sound of screeching as each shot hit its mark.
"I take it back," he said to himself, hopped up again on an adrenalin high. "This is definitely the best part!"