Chapter 4: Pig Plot
"So what do you think? Can you get something worked up for me rather quickly?" King Reginald asked the three little pigs. "With that boy being lost in the forest I am needing to be expedient with this plan to put the kingdom at ease, especially with rumors of monsters and beasts spreading amongst the villages."
Brixx, Stixx, and Bailey spoke up in unison, "You can count on us your grace!"
Brixx continued, "It may take us a few days to work up some building plans, but it shouldn't be a problem at all! Go ahead and make your announcement, we will get to work on the plans!"
"While I do want to make my announcement soon I would much rather have plans on display as part of the ceremony," replied the King. "I will come back at week's end to retrieve the plans."
As the King thanked the pigs and began to walk away Stixx spoke up, "Wait Your Grace, I think I have some plans right over here that may just work. What do you think of these?" Stixx quickly walked over to a desk covered in paper, pens, and all sorts of building instruments. He dug through the mess and pulled out a set of blueprints for some homes the pigs had designed a while back. With a quick bow he presented the plans to the King.
King Reginald unrolled the prints and skimmed over them briefly. His face showed a definite sense of disappointment. "Stixx, thank you for your urgency; however, I was hoping for something with a little more glam, a little more excitement to offer my people. I'll hold on to these, but I would very much like for you to create some plans with a bit more charisma. I'll see you in a few days." With that the King was off.
The three little pigs, though old in age, got hard to work just as they had always done. They worked together over the next 4 days to build a wide variety of blueprints and models for when the King returned. With a day to spare the pigs felt quite accomplished. Their home was an absolute disaster, but they felt the job was done. It was time for rest, cleaning could come later. Stixx grabbed some wood to start a fire and the pigs gathered by the fireplace with their favorite tea in hand. Just as Brixx settled into his chair they heard the sound of bells being rung outside in the village, the same village that Hansel's family called home. The pigs jumped from their seats hoping this meant good news from Hansel and the search party. Sure enough as they walked out their front door they saw porches lined with families cheering as Hansel, Hans, and the dwarves came walking down the street. Gretel and Red had joined the procession as well, both skipping along in their typical merry fashion. Being the last house on the street the pigs got the privelige of speaking to the group first as crowds formed behind the search party.
"Hans, it's so good to see all of you!" exclaimed Bailey.
"The whole Kingdom was worried. The King even planned to send an army in there after you," said Stixx.
"I suppose that'll still happen! Supposedly the Huntsman found evidence of beasts in the forest. King Reginald plans to clear the whole thing out and exterminate any monstrocities living inside! He's going to have us build new homes on the land for anyone in the kingdom that wants them!" Brixx shouted.
As the crowd cheered and laughed with joy the search party grew silent. What Hans planned to handle in secret suddenly seemed to demand a public audience. If what Brixx said was true Hans had to find out more as soon as possible.
"When does the King plan to do this?" asked Hans.
"Well, we don't really know," said Bailey. "He is holding a ceremony tomorrow evening to announce his intentions to the kingdom, but given that you are all safe he may alter his plan. He should be here first thing tomorrow morning to pick up our building designs."
Noticing the change of demeanor within the group, Brixx asked if they'd like to come in for some warm tea and a meal. Hans spoke up for the others and immediately took advantage of the offer. The group told the crowd bye before heading inside the house. Everyone settled in while Brixx began brewing a fresh kettle of tea. Seeming content to follow Hans' lead all of the drawves sat silently, as did the kids. After grabbing a piece of bread Hans in a hushed voice began to share with the pigs what they had found in the forest.
"You are not going to believe what I'm about to tell you. There are creatures hidden within the Grimm Forest, but they aren't what you might think. All the tales we've heard of scary and treacherous beasts were fabricated by the kings of old, though the stories of a forced exodus are true. The creatures were forced into the forest long ago by an old king who was desperate for power. Now, for some unknown reason, the spells that kept them hidden for so many years have faded, allowing us to hear them living within the depths of the trees. We can't let the king to destroy their home."
The pigs sat in shock, as did Gretel and Red. The group as a whole sat silently for a moment before Hansel spoke up, "Do you think King Reginald would allow the creatures to live with us again inside the kingdom or maybe let them stay in the forest? Since I'm safe now he has no reason to send in an army, right?"
"It's possible said Hans, but certainly doubtful. Just as with the kings before him, Reginald is bound with a hunger for power and control. Opening up the kingdom to the creatures would certainly make him feel as if his kingship was in danger. Also, now that he knows the creatures are in the forest he may be compelled to go to destroy them due to fear of their power."
Bailey spoke up with a gentle voice, "King Reginald's supposed reasoning for sending an army into the forest was to rescue Hansel, right? What if that was a disguise for his selfish desire to expand the kingdom. What if he wants to destroy the forest along with the "beasts" whether Hansel is safe or not? If that's the case he will go forward with his plan and expect designs from us when he arrives tomorrow even though you have all returned safely."
"I have an idea," said Stixx excitedly. "Yes this will be perfect! Tomorrow when the King arrives to retrieve our building designs we will tell him that Hansel was found. In the event that he still wants to move forward with his plans we will simply give him the most atrocious building designs he could possibly imagine. This will leave him with no choice but to cancel his plans and instead make the ceremony a celebration of Hansel's safe return to the kingdom! You can't have buildings without builders!"
Seemingly in perfect unison the dwarves began to cheer, slamming their cups together causing their untouched tea to spill all over the floor. The other pigs looked toward Hans and they nodded in agreement that this could be their best shot at stopping the destruction of the forest along with all the creatures that call it home. The group finalized their plan for the following morning and decided to send the dwarves out on a search. If for some reason the King decided to move forward with his plan they would need a witch or wizard to hide the creatures once again in the forest. Brixx, Stixx, and Bailey got straight to creating new designs while the others began tidying up the mess within the home. Before you knew it the house was spotless and the designs were complete. Turns out it doesn't take near as long to create something terrible!
"These pumpkin homes will be positively perfect!" exclaimed Bailey!
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*First image in this chapter is by Mr. Cuddington*