“Who are you old fools, and why on earth would I have any interest in a troop of vagabonds such as you three?” Said Grimhilde, the regal queen sitting back on her throne, her chin held high as she regarded the woman. “Particularly you… aged one.” She asked, her hands visibly clenching at the sight of the leader of the group.
Grimhilde, known by those critical of her as the “evil queen,” but never to her face, was a beautiful woman. Smooth skin, red lips and long black hair hidden beneath a cap, her golden crown glittering, her high cheekbones and nose giving her a gorgeous appearance. However, there was an edge to her beauty, faint lines, a bit more makeup than normal if you looked closer and the fact that she hid skin as much as possible. She was beautiful for sure, but clearly beginning to age, and desperate to avoid being seen in that state.
“Such a cruel question.” The crooked lead figure in a black hood and red dress said.
To Grimhilde, she seemed aged beyond imagining and her curly gray hair and bony hands gave her the appearance of being nearly skeletal. Beside her was a tall but similarly aged woman, her body wrapped in a black dress, feathers sticking out from her neck, and a distant foreign face though she had come from some new world. The third was a bloated and obese looking woman, aged but clearly the youngest, her body wrapped in a black dress that trailed behind her… and almost seemed to squirm like snakes were moving beneath it.
“Why we are your allies, and we have come a great distance to find you, Grimhilde, great and beautiful queen.” The old crone said, as she bowed forward. “We in fact have the very thing you desire, and with your help we could all benefit.” She said, a playful almost operatic swagger in her voice.
Grimhilde recoiled from the three, her lip curling. “You three have nothing I want.” She waved her hands for the guards to take them away. “Be gone and don't return or I shall have you thrown into the moat!”
The guards moved forward, as the heavy one and tall one turned, clearly concerned about being thrown out, but the old crone in the center seemed to remain calm. “Very well, then we will take our secret of eternal youth with us and depart for some other land.” She said, as she turned to go.
“Wait!” Grimhilde’s hand shot forward, as the guards stopped instantly. “Eternal… youth, you say?” She asked, suddenly very interested.
The old crone slowly turned back to her, eyes glittering brightly. “Yes I did… why?” She asked, her lips curling sharply.
An hour later, all four women stood far beneath a castle, hidden in Grimhilde’s laboratory, over a bubbling cauldron. The leader had revealed herself to be a servant of an ancient demon sorceress, her name Gothel and Grimhilde had heard of her in stories far in her own past. The second was called Yzma, a melodramatic noblewoman from a land she called TawantinSuyu, which apparently lay across the ocean to the west. The third was the most shocking of all, as the infamous witch of the sea, Ursula, a mer-person with the lower body of an octopus hidden beneath her dress. The three of them all had some experience with magic and alchemy, but apparently needed Grimhilde.
“So allow me to get this straight.” Grimhilde said, as she eyed each of them. “You each found a part of the recipe for eternal youth independently, and in seeking out the other parts, you found each other. Clearly not wanting to share it, you made an agreement that you would only reveal it together, where all of you could have access to it at the same time? Is that about right?”
“You got it, sweetheart.” Said Ursula, as her tendrils moved about the floor. “It only seemed fair, since none of us had the complete list of ingredients.”
“And you don’t trust each other enough not to lie?” Grimhilde asked, eyeing each of them suspiciously.
“Would you?” Yzma asked, her accent thick and her voice rich. “If you had the secret of eternal life, youth and beauty, would you share it?”
Grimhilde sneered. “Naturally… I would not.” She said, crossing her arms. “So why come to me?”
“Ladies! Ladies! So distrusting!” Gothel crooned, as she swooped in close to Grimhilde, her movements surprisingly lithe. “The simple truth is… We don’t know what the final ingredient is.”
Grimhilde snorted. “Fools! I don’t know what it is either! How could I be of any help?” She sneered.
“Ah, but you do have resources!” Ursula said, before breaking into a husky laugh. “See, rumor has it that you’re very vain, often needing to be reminded of your beauty daily.”
“How dare you!” She snapped, prepared to call the guards.
“Tut tuttut!” Yzma laughed. “You clearly haven’t heard of your own rumors.” The old woman bent forward “The rumor of your… advisor?”
“My advisor?” Grimhilde asked, before noticing that Gothel had drawn a mirror and was playfully holding it up so that Grimhilde’s face was visible within.
In that instant, Grimhilde understood. “Ah… I see…” She said, as she turned and called to her guards. “Bring me my mirror at once!” She sneered as the others did as well, before turning to face them. “Very well, each of you will reveal your ingredient, and then I will ask the magic mirror for the final one. In this way all of us will know the elixir’s ingredients, and no one will be kept in the dark. We will mix it together here, and all drink at once, that way none shall lie and poison the others. Is this acceptable in return for access to my mirror?”
All four nodded in agreement, though they each seemed to eye the other suspiciously. Soon the guards brought down a cloth shrouded item, and set it upon the wall as all four stood around the Cauldron. As soon as the guards were gone, Grimhilde turned to the mirror and spoke.
“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, heed to me and answer my call!” She boomed, throwing her arms up.
A face slowly formed in the mirror, twisted like a speaking mask, darkness behind the image. “Speak your question to me my Queen.” He spoke in a voice that echoed through darkness.
Grimhilde smirked. “So that these ancient crones do not fear, I command thee, once they reveal their ingredients reveal the final ingredient to the youth elixir!” The other three seemed to cringe at being called ancient crones, but Grimhilde seemed not to care.
“So shall it be!” Spoke the mirror.
“Well then ladies.” Grimhilde said. “You have my promise in the mirror, which cannot disobey me, even by a later command.” She gestured to the bubbling cauldron. “Begin.”
Gothel stepped forward and held out a single glowing petal. “I bring a petal from the flower grown from the sun drop, for a beauty which blinds all!” She said, dropping it into the cauldron, the water starting to shine.
Yzma then came forward and reached out with a vial of silver flakes, which she began to sprinkle down over the surface of the bubbling fluid. “I offer silver, ground beneath the full moon for a beauty that cools all flames!” She sang as the silver mixed into the burning liquid in glittering strands
Ursula snickered and came closer, her hands revealing an abalone shell, which she crushed and snapped over the cauldron. “A prism from the bottom of the sea, a flash of beauty loved by those above and below the waves!” With that the liquid began to change in colors, popping and fizzing.
Finally the mirror spoke as Grimhilde waited, grinning with anticipation as she waited. “Hair. Hair of Raven delight, from a beautiful queen for a beauty that is as deep as the night.”
The three looked confused for a moment, as Grimhilde began to laugh, causing them to look concerned at her. She reached to a nearby table, plucking up a pair of scissors in her right hand, as her left hand reached beneath her cap, and drew out a lock of her hair. Her hair was a beautiful glittering black, and all three of the others smiled in delight as she snipped a small strand from her scalp.
“This was faking it apparently.” She said, as she released the hairs into the cauldron, and a plume of dark smoke rose up from its center, before clearing. Now the bubbling liquid cooled, turning to the collar of a rich wine, and all four stared in delight. “Ladies? Our prize.” She said, as each of them took up a goblet, and dipped them into the fluid.
“To eternal youth, and beauty!” They said at once, and each sipped from their goblet, draining them completely.
For a moment no one spoke, as each one felt the warm liquid in their stomach, waiting for some sign of the transformation they had all dreamed of. Then it was Ursula who suddenly gasped, grabbing her stomach, and throwing her head back sharply. Instantly her body began to thin, the heavy bulk of her frame seemed to slide downward, like dough being stretched across a kitchen table. In moments she was as thin as Grimhilde, her heavy bosom bouncing down, before firming up against her chest. Her short white hair exploded back over her neck, and her face began to thin and smooth, as the others watched with wide eyes. By the time the transformation was finished, she was skinny, curvy, a perfect hourglass shape, with shining black hair down past her rear, and perfect skin like the inside of a seashell.
“It worked!” She laughed. “Now even that little brat Ariel would be jealous of me!”
Then Yzma drew in a sharp breath, her voice purring slightly. “Oh baby this feels great!”
Her thin frame actually began to gain some weight, some bounce, some curves, as she rocked her hips back and forth. Her legs became long and supple, her butt bouncing up behind her, and her modest bust became pointed and firm. She ran her hands from her ankles slowly up her frame, and as she passed over any exposed skin the wrinkles vanished. Her arms became delicate but soft, her shoulders smooth and polished like alabaster, and her face positively popped as the sharper wrinkles and valleys were stretched taut. Now she looked incredible, the feathers which had made her look like an aged palm tree, now making her look like a diva as she laughed and rubbed her face.
“I look like I’m no more than twenty again!” She giggled playfully. “I’m sure no one will mind if I take some for the road?” she asked, as she and Ursula were both filling up several small bottles.
“Ooh I can feel it!” Gothel laughed, as the wrinkles on her face instantly began to fade.
Her brittle looking fingers stretched out, smooth and soft, as her back straightened with an audible pop. She cooed and laughed, as her hips swayed back and forth, her bones popping back into place, as her figure began to fill out. Rather than being the bent and hobbled crone, she began to straighten out into a perfect hourglass shape, her chest burgeoning back to its former glory at the same time. Her curly hair lost its silver gleam, as darkness flowed through each piece, and color filled her dark glorious hair. She threw her hood back, and gasped as her face moved, lips plumped, and her eyes popped open brilliant and wide. She laughed, twirling around, and throwing off the black cape, as she trotted towards the mirror. She was absolutely startling, like a performer on a stage, as she laughed and adjusted her hair with the reflection.
“Hmm… I look a little young… around Rapunzel’s age.” She snickered, before she shrugged. “Oh hell, a gal can stand to be eighteen again!” She laughed, as she ran her hands over her hips, and then threw them over her head with a flourish, tossing her hair about.
“What about me! I-is it working?” A high, almost childish voice asked, which caused all three the others to turn in surprise.
As they stared, the three witches couldn’t believe what they were seeing, as Grimhilde now stood at half her height. Her robes were hanging off of her body, her skirt and cape pooling on the floor, as a crown shifted sideways on her head, and the cap slid over her eyes. She looked like a child, no more than 12 years old, and as she pulled the cap back, it was obvious that she was still shrinking.
“W-Why do you look so big?” She gasped, before realizing her voice had changed. “M-My voice?” She gasped, as she tried to grab her neck, but was unable to reach into the folds of her dress.
“Looks like you have to be a certain age to use this potion or it’s a bit too potent.” Gothel said, smirking down at the little queen.
“”W-what do you mean?” Grimhilde asked before glancing down at her changing body and shrieking. “N-No! I was aging! This was supposed to make me beautiful forever!” She squeaked in a voice that seemed to be losing any strength or command.
“Sorry, but them’s the breaks kiddo!” Ursula laughed, as she hurried up the room, with several bottles of the potion in her hand. “Magic can be that way!” She called as she vanished.
“No!” Grimhilde cried, as she sank lower and lower, her dress seeming to deflate around her. “Dis can’t be happenin!” She pleaded, as her voice began to lisp.
“Buyer beware!” Yzma purred. “Now if you excuse me, I have places to go, kingdoms to take over.” And with that she was gone up the spiral stairs.
Gothel paced around the dwindling queen, smirking at her humiliation and defeat, bending over so that she could watch up close.
Grimhilde continued to sink to the floor, tears flowing down her face, as it began to grow round and soft. Her crown finally peeled back her cap, revealing that her long raven hair was turning into short black curls. She was practically buried under the massive robes and dress, her arms hidden beneath it, as she stumbled down onto her bottom. Soon the dress slid off completely, as she was so small she came right out the top of it, and it deflated around her like a disc of cloth. There sat the queen, barely three months old, her lips trembling with shock, her mouth toothless and empty, with barely any hair on her scalp. She looked up as if she wanted to speak, as if she wanted to protest, but instead all that came out was gibberish and burbling sounds.
“Sucks to be you, sweetheart.” Gothel shrugged, bending down and tickling the baby’s chin. “But you know what they say about women not handling aging well. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.” She said, scooping a wine skin full of the fluid from the cauldron, and slinging it over her shoulder. “Look at the bright side! You served as a great warning for us! Have fun growing up again, tahtah!” She laughed, as she left the room, her laughter echoing off the walls.
Grimhilde looked up to her mirror, but knew that it would not respond to her voice as a child, and found that it was very difficult to move. After a few flustered moments, she rolled onto her back, her legs sticking up above her, as her childish hands moved and squirmed. No matter how hard she tried, all she could do was squirm and wiggle her body around. Rage and despair built inside of her, and she realized she wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long time. A sound built inside her body, and the most dignified thing she can say or do, erupted out of her.
“WUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!” She wailed, and wailed, and wailed until the guards came to find her.