A Snow White retelling set in 1920s Germany
Come with Me to the Dorf
As it was Grete’s gift, she soon shifted the conversation on other, more harmlThe Frozen Maze – Episode 18 – Come with Me to the Dorfess matters as everyone stood.
Dagmar was the last to rise. She needed a moment to gather her thoughts and decide what to do.
Grete stood by the door as everyone walked out. Moving very slowly, Dagmar was the last to reach her, when everyone else had already reached the library door.
“You’ll excuse me if I don’t join, Grete,” she said.
Grete stood still, surprised. After a moment, she said, “You really shouldn’t worry, Dagmar. I can handle this. You know I can.”
Dagmar pressed her lips together. “You’ll excuse me if I prefer not to hear perfect strangers making plans for the house where I was born.”
She crossed the door, but Grete grabbed her arm and stopped her.
“Just let me give this a try, Dagmar. We need to find a different way. You know it as well as I do.”
Dagmar straightened her back and raised her chin to look into Grete’s eyes. “Tell me honestly, Grete. Do you think Julian would have approved of this?”
Grete went white under the makeup.
“What does this have to do with this?” she hissed.
“Are you really prepared to destroy everything he loved? That woman is a vulture, you know that better than I do—“
“She’s also a cask of money,” Grete retorted before Dagmar could go on. “I’m trying to save Schneezwerg, not to destroy it. But change is needed.”
They looked into each other.
“Why do you want to destroy the maze?” Dagmar asked.
“Why do you cling to it so desperately?” Grete retorted.
They both whirled to Ingeborg, who had approached, leaving Lotte and Florian standing on the library door.
“Is something the matter?”
Dagmar could spy worry on her niece’s face. She smiled. “No, child. I was just telling Grete that I have things to do at the dorf, so maybe you would excuse me for the rest of the day.” She turned to Grete. “There’s the commemorative mass, tonight.”
Grete raised her chin. “That’s fine,” she said. “But you’ll be back by tomorrow, won’t you?”
“Of course,” Dagmar smile. “I wouldn’t miss your party for the world.”
As she made for the staircase, she heard Ingeborg say, “Grete, would you mind terribly if I retired too? I need a moment to think.”
Dagmar didn’t hear Grete’s reply, but as she reached the top of the stairs, she heard Ingeborg’s shoes tapping softly on the stairs.
The storm in Ingeborg’s eyes surprised her.
“What was that all about?” Ingeborg demanded.
A pang hit Dagmar at the mouth of her stomach.
Ingeborg’s eyes blazed.
“She means good, aunty. She’s just trying to do the best for all of us.”
She was so earnest. For the first time, Dagmar saw – she really saw – the woman Ingeborg had become. She recognised Julian’s intense eyes on her face and Clara’s soft mouth. She was not the child she had cared for and protected long ago. Not anymore. She could not treat her as if she still were.
But what was she supposed to do?
“I know child,” she whispered. “I know Grete has the best of intentions.” She pursed her lips. “But fear is seldom a good adviser.”
She started to move away, but Ingeborg grabbed her arm. Dagmar turned and met her fiery eyes.
“There are things you and Grete are not telling me.” Dagmar’s heart sank. “How am I suppose to take any decision if you hide things from me?”
Dagmar shook her head no. “No. No, child.” She caressed Ingeborg’s cheek. “Not hiding.” How could she tell her? How could she tell her in a way that she would accept and comprehend? She had grown up so far away. In such a different place, where so many things had been forgotten.
She grabbed both of Ingeborg’s hands and held them tight, bowing her head.
Did she have the words? Could this even be expressed by words?
“Tell me something, aunty,” Ingeborg almost pleaded. “Grete’s plan makes sense. I know we should play along. Then tell me why I don’t want to.”
Dagmar looked into her niece’s eyes. Her brother’s eyes. She squeezed her hands tight – and decided.
“Come with me,” she said. “Come with me to the dorf. Come and celebrate Allerseelen Nacht.”
Ingeborg blinked. She moved her lips without sound.
“Will you come?” Dagmar said as worry sat heavy on her heart.
Ingeborg hesitated a long moment, so long Dagmar thought she would finally decline. Instead, she nodded. “I will.”
Worry lifted from her heart. “Gut.” She nodded. “We’re off in a couple of hours.” And smiled.
“What?” Dagmar asked.
“There something I think you should know.” Ingeborg was so stern, Dagmar worried again.
“Florian,” Ingeborg said. “He went into the maze. This morning.”
“Why would he?” Dagmar asked though answers started to crowd in her mind.
Ingeborg’s expression darkened. “Indeed,” she whispered. “Why would he?”
In the photo Château de Chenonceau photographer unknown (from Instagram @francefr)