1148: A Frozen Corpse – Chapter 1Posted: August 21, 2015
Hello, dear Patrons! I’m here with a new fic, and I’m all by my lonesome. That’s right; no one can get me in here!
:giggles nervously while glancing around:
Sorry if I’m a bit jumpy; Syl’s been following me around a lot lately with this weird look in her eye, just giggling and fondling a Sharpie. :eye-twitch: It’s a little unsettling.
So what is this fic I’ve found? It’s yet another Frozen crossover, but this time it has been crossed with Corpse Bride. It’s not a terribly popular crossover pairing, but interesting. At first glance I didn’t think these two canons would work well together, but given Hans’ behavior it would be possible to incorporate certain elements from CB into the Frozen plotline. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens here.
Let’s take a look at the summary, shall we?
Kristoff is just looking for some money but he ends up getting more than he can handle when he manages to bring a corpse back to life AND promise it passage up the North Mountain. This is inspired by the Corpse Bride and does NOT follow the plot line. Rated T for mild gore and small violence. (I probably could have gone K but rather be safe)
This is actually a decent summary; short yet informative, even though it does contain some extraneous information. None of that “I suck at summaries, plez read!” nonsense we typically see here in the Library. I initially clicked on this fic while looking for personal reading material and was intrigued by the idea.
Then I read the fic.
It’s not ultra-terrible, but it does have numerous problems.
Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
A tall man forced his way through the outlying forests of the town after a very unsuccessful day at the market. A sack of wooden figures he had whittled hung heavy over his shoulder, he had learned that no one needed décor when their basic needs weren’t being met. Unfortunately the only offer of payment involved taking a family further into the mountain.
It’s only the first paragraph and already I have nothing but questions. Why is this man travelling through the forest rather than taking a path or road? Is he new to the area and thus unfamiliar with the layout? But if he’s new, then why would anyone offer to pay him to be their guide? If he’s a local, shouldn’t he be familiar with the economics of the area and know that there wouldn’t be anyone willing to buy wooden figures? The whole passage is just very contradictory.
“What do they expect me to do, huh? I’m not some stupid tour guide, I’m an ice harvester.” He grunted and pushed his way further into the pines.
Really? Because that sack of wooden figures you’re toting around kind of makes it look like you’re a woodcarver, not an ice farmer.
He needed money, and no one needed ice in the middle of the coldest winter Arendelle had ever faced, so maybe it was time to start looking for a second occupation.
Wait, it’s winter? Pity you couldn’t have shown that through the narration rather than just telling me.
And wouldn’t that be his busiest time? Ice harvesting takes place in deep winter; the ice is cut off of ponds, lakes, and rivers and stored in insulated locations to be sold in the summer. If he’s an ice farmer, then he would sell in the summer to get enough money to tide him over during the winter months, when he would be harvesting the next year’s ice. That’s why Kristoff is upset in the film; it’s suddenly winter in the middle of summer, making his already-harvested ice worthless. Did Nameless Ice Farmer/Woodcarver Who Is Probably Kristoff blow all his summer money on this woodcarving venture?
But a tour guide? “I don’t do people.”
Meh. As long as it isn’t illegal, do who or what you feel like. I don’t judge.
The man plopped himself onto the ground and leaned against a boulder.
He’s in the deep forest, in the coldest winter ever, and it presumably has been snowing or some other wintry precipitation has occurred at some point. Why is he doing this? Does he want to get hypothermia and frostbite?
Could he even pretend to like someone for the money?
…Yes? Or at least be polite while under their employ. You don’t have to like the person your work for; I’ve hated some of my previous bosses, but I was still polite to them because that’s how a job works.
He looked at his boot, running so thin he could feel the cold ghosting his toes.
Not to mention your legs, ass, back – that’s why it’s a bad idea to sit down in the snow and use an ice-cold rock for a backrest.
I don’t have a choice, he thought.
He could try to find an ice-harvesting crew that needs some day labor, or head to the closest big city to look for work – there’s several options available to him if he truly is as desperate as he appears to be. Trying to sell carvings in the middle of a forest, where a fair number of the inhabitants probably have the same hobby, during the winter months when there is likely to be no money to spare is probably the worst plan he could have come up with. And if there has been any kind of severe weather there would likely be few people willing to make the trip to the market in the first place, even if they had funds to spare. This was just doomed to failure from the start.
But if he were going to take that family he’d do it on his terms, and without losing his dignity.
Hmmm … keep your dignity and starve/freeze, or kiss a little ass and survive a little longer.
Time to pucker up, buttercup.
The mountain man closed his eyes, “I’ll do it… No, that’s too desperate.
It’s really not.
If you need it, I can take you up the mountain… I guess.
Dude, are you accepting a job offer or asking a girl out on a date?
That’ll have to-” Underneath him, the ground began to shake.
Even the Earth is disgusted by your behavior.
He turned around quickly and watched as the boulder emanated an eerie green glow.
He’s sitting on the ground, leaning against the boulder, with a pack on his back – I call bullshit on him being able to turn around quickly.
“What is going on!?” A loud crack and the rock split in two and fell to the ground.
That’s what I’d like to know.Wasn’t the rock already on the ground? How else was Unnamed Ice Farmer/Woodcarver Who Is Probably Kristoff able to use it as a backrest? And even if he managed to turn around, he’s still sitting on the ground – either the bits of rock fell on him, or he fell into the crack that just opened up.
From where the stone had previously been the surrounding snow flurried into a whirlwind so strong the man covered his eyes and attempted to peak through his gloved hand.
HA! I knew it; he is sitting in the snow!
:does the I’m Right dance:
Wait, that’s a bad thing.
Also – unless your hand and glove are made of glass or another transparent medium, you cannot peek through them. You can peek through your fingers, though.
From the ground rose a figure that crept up to him and hovered over.
Quick, summon your Patronus!
An emaciated woman with sage green skin and a smile that spread from one ear to, well, where the other ear should have been leaned forward and grabbed his shoulder.
Wait is that … Descriptive narration?!?
From her right elbow to wrist she had no skin or muscle, only bone, and the man could see the foliage behind her through her rib cage.
:gasp!: It is! It is descriptive narration! :fans self: I feel faint.
This woman seems to share a similar pattern of decomposition with Emily, the bride from Corpse Bride, although Emily only had exposed ribs rather than being able to see all the way through her body.
She wore a once beautiful green dress that clung to her to her waist
What exactly is the dress clinging to? Her torso has been skeletonized! And if her flesh has rotted away to the point you can see through her, how is there any dress left? What is holding it up?
then mushroomed out in a gorgeous rosemaling pattern.
If this is Anna in her Coronation Day gown, and I assume it is based on the dress description, then her skirts do flare out into a bell and there are decorative patterns reminiscent of traditional rosemåling on the skirt, but the way this is worded makes it sound as if the skirt itself is shaped like a rosemåling pattern.
However, the dress was tattered in spots and covered in dirt.
That’s to be expected; she did just pop out of a rock. It should actually be in much worse condition, given her advanced state of decomposition.
But all the man could look at was her neck: her head swayed precariously on a stack of vertebrae.
Yeah, no – if she’s decomposed to the point that her neck is nothing but exposed vertebrae, then that would mean that there’s no muscles or connective tissue keeping her head attached to her body. That melon’s coming off.
His mouth fell in a silent scream and he scurried backward dragging his rear through the snow mumbling incoherently.
How can he be both silently screaming and mumbling incoherently? Those are two different actions.
She lurched forward and her head toppled off and rolled into his lap.
HA! I was right again!
Awww … I made myself sad.
She blinked then said, “Oh thank goodness you’re going to take me up the mountain!” And with that statement the man lost consciousness.
What? How did she get that from what he said? He wasn’t even facing the rock she came out of!
The man woke in the snow and rubbed his eyes. “God, I need to eat more so I stop having such crazy dreams.”
You’re also very lucky you didn’t freeze to death while you were unconscious.
He went to stand
when he heard the sound of frenzied sobbing. Following the sound with his eyes
Bwa? How do this?
he saw a twist of red hair wrapped in ribbons from a woman sitting against a rock.
Where did the hair come from? Why did the woman wrap it in ribbons before sitting against a rock? What is going on here?
“I killed him, oh no oh no. That’s very not good, I mean how am I going to meet Hans up the mountain without some help?
She’s more concerned about missing her date, which judging by her state of decay she’s already very late for, than the fact that she might have killed someone? What a peach.
I’ve ruined everything, all over again. I can already hear her now, Good job Anna. If only you’d listen, Anna. Just try to let it go, Anna.” The mountain man walked over and leaned against the rock on the other side.
… Is Hans a woman in this fic? Because she was talking about Hans and then shifted over to talking about “her”, so that implies that he’s now a she.
“Bold choice. I like it!”
GET OUT OF HERE! :throws shoe at Syl:
“I need to ask you a really strange question, okay?” He wasn’t sure what he was doing, but he had to know what this dream came from.
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
“You’re alive!” He heard her rustle as she stood, then a thud.
There goes the head again.
“Yes, I am. Are you?” He glanced around the boulder and shuddered to see the lonesome head on the ground and the partially decaying body chasing after it. “I’ll take that as a no.”
Oh, no; women normally have detachable heads so we can do our hair easier. It’s a design feature!
“Oops, we don’t really like to stay together…” She whistled and the skeletal arm reached forward and located the sound.
How? Her ears are located on her head, where the whistling came from. Her body has no sensory organs to locate her head via sound.
Once her neck was (relatively) attached to the head she sat in front of the man.
Who should still be standing, making this far more awkward than it needs to be. And how is her head staying put? With none of the muscles and connective tissue left, there isn’t anything keeping it in place.
“So you’ll take me up the mountain?”
Since when did you ask him that? You popped out of a rock, nearly gave him a heart attack, there’s no reason he would do anything for you.
“What? Why would I do that?” Even though this girl was a corpse, the hurt expression still managed to get to him.
She’s missing half her face, how expressive can she be?
“I, I don’t do people, okay?”
So I’ve heard.
“But, you said you would!” The red head retorted with ferocity.
In the most reluctant, wishy-washy way possible. He didn’t even mention which mountain, nor did she. They just assume that they are both referring to the same one.
In the source materials Victor recites his marriage vows several times, or attempts to, but it was only when he was confident and managed to get through them perfectly and places the wedding ring on Emily’s finger (which he thinks is a dry branch due to its skeletonized nature) that she emerges from her grave. It took the specific combination of wedding vows, ring, and Emily being a jilted bride awaiting a groom for everything to work. Just speaking the words out loud did nothing.
“Not you, there’s a family, they were going to pay me. I can’t just take a day trip up the mountain and not get anything from it.”
A zombie cracks open a boulder and demands that he take her up the mountain and all he can think about is getting paid?
Dude, that is hardcore. Like, Scrooge McDuck hardcore.
“Think about it this way. My sister is Queen of the Dead. Walking away from this will be payment enough.” She looked unsure about this, but really, a corpse was threatening him, could he take any chances?
She’s a decaying corpse that is mostly empty space and her head falls off if she moves too fast – I think you can handle her.
“Fine, we leave when the sun rises.” He grunted. The man attempted to sleep, however the girl kept pushing questions.
Is one of those questions “Why the hell are you sleeping in a snowbank in the middle of a forest? Do you want to die?” Because I know I’m curious about that. I know that in the source materials Anna approaches Kristoff while he’s camping in a shelter, but these two have never left the area around the boulder.
And is it night time now? Because sleeping in a snowbank, in the forest, at night, with absolutely no source of heat is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.
“What’s your name?” She prodded his shoulder.
Big shock, much surprise.
“I’m Anna, it’s spelled like Aaanna, but pronounced Onna.
The hell? Does the author not realize that this is a spoken conversation? He can hear her pronouncing it.
I always had issues getting people to say it correctly before.
But that wouldn’t happen here because YOU ARE SPEAKING TO EACH OTHER! Generally speaking, people only have a problem pronouncing a word if they’ve never heard it spoken out loud before.
Elsa says it’s an old family name. Oh! Elsa is my sister I was telling you about. Do you have any siblings?”
And that’s the end of that conversation, right?
“Must have been lonely growing up. I mean, I was also pretty lonely because Elsa was bedridden and then she died when I was fifteen and then I died and now we’re reunited. I’m not really sure how she got all this power in the Land of the Dead. Apparently that’s why she was so sick, because she was never meant for the Land of the Living.
Oh, gods; an info-dump. And it’s rushed as hell; her whole life story boils down to one run-one sentence. Is this really the best way to deliver exposition, by having Anna blather on about her backstory ten seconds after meeting someone?
She has these really cool powers down there though, like really cool. Hah,” she laughed,
Now I remember why I don’t care for most of the fics where Elsa has her canon powers – the ice puns.
“Oh you don’t get the joke. Well she has ice powers, so get it, cool!” When Kristoff didn’t respond, Anna continued.
Can we just toss her back in the crevasse and go back to watching Kristoff freeze and/or starve to death? I think everyone, including Kristoff, would prefer that.
“You’re very grumpy. Do you have friends up here? Or a pet? Or do you always talk to yourself like you were when I found you?”
You didn’t find him – you popped out of solid stone like you were an undead jack-in-the-box because you heard him say he might take someone up some mountain. It was almost as if he summoned you from the SDQF with his vague phrasing.
And how exactly did she get into the rock? In the source materials, Emily emerges from her grave among the roots of a large tree, but I doubt anyone buried Anna inside a boulder.
“I have friends!” Kristoff buried his face in his hands. “I used to have a reindeer but he was more of a companion than a pet.”
I fail to see the difference between a companion and a pet, but then I’m incredibly attached to my herd of cats.
Why, why was he talking to her? She was threatening him with death, (albeit a very tentative threat)
No! Bad author!
and he was just sharing with her.
She told you about the traumatic death of her only sibling, as well as her own death. You told her you once had a pet reindeer. You didn’t exactly bare your innermost soul to her.
“Right right, sure you do.” Kristoff could practically feel her eyes rolling.
What the hell is wrong with her? Does she doubt that he used to have a pet reindeer? Who would make up something like that?
“What happened to the reindeer? Oh! Was he soft? I bet he was. Though actually, I’ve never pet a reindeer before, are they soft?
:points into Void:
The crevasse is right over there; we could drop her in and no one would ever know.
Hey, where are you going?” The mountain man was walking away into the trees.
To die in the dark out in the wilderness? That’s also a good option, but she might bring him back from the dead and then he’d be stuck with her forever.
“We leave now.” Anna ran after him, holding her head with both hands to keep it from finding the ground again.
The detachable head thing is getting annoying. It’s really more of a visual gag than one that works in the written word.
“But the sun?”
Is a valuable source of light and heat, two things Kristoff seems to be lacking right now. He’s stumbling around at night, in a forest, away from any path or road.
Boy gonna die.
“Clearly I’m not getting any sleep and the faster this nightmare is over the faster I can get on with my life.” Kristoff spoke more to himself than to the jogging body beside him. “It’s gonna be a long and difficult trip, but if we don’t stop at all we’ll make it before the sun sets.”
A trip you’re making even more difficult by wandering off in the dark. Seriously, I have zero experience in hiking and even I know this is a recipe for disaster.
“And if we ride?” Anna’s foot stuck in the snow and she fell face forward. Kristoff bent down and grabbed her by the waist to pluck her up and put her on her feet. He shuddered as his hand slid between two ribs.
Ride what? Did you die with a snowmobile in your pocket?
And again – what waist? Just where is he grabbing her at? If he grabbed her around the pelvic region, where your waist and hips are, then he would be too far below her ribs to stick his hand in them. If he grabbed high enough to touch her ribs, in the mid-chest area, touching her bones would have to be a conscious choice since there’s no flesh in that area to hold onto as it has rotted away to the point that you can see through her.
“Oh, gross.” He pulled but, oh no, it was stuck. His hand was stuck in an animated dead body. “This is definitely the worst day of my entire life…” Kristoff kept tugging and Anna rattled around his wrist giggling.
What the hell? I’m sure this would be an amusing visual, but I’m just trying to figure out the logistics of how he got his hand stuck in the first place.
This is a ribcage; on the left is a normal one and on the right is the ribcage of a woman who wore a tight-laced corset.
Given how tiny Anna’s waist is, she would likely wear a tight corset; as you can see, the distortion of the bones gives Kristoff’s hand nowhere to go. He could probably fit a few fingers in, but not his whole hand.
“It tickles!” She explained at his exasperation.
He’s … tickling … her bones.
There are nerves running along the surface of the bone, but they should have rotted away with her flesh. I don’t even think the nerves would respond with a tickling sensation if touched, anyway – more like sharp and shooting pain.
“Just calm down and it’ll be easier.
That’s what she said.
Ready, there you go!” Kristoff shook his free hand like he had touched a fresh pile of droppings.
Why is he shaking his free hand? Shouldn’t he be concentrating on getting his trapped hand out of Anna? And wasn’t he wearing gloves? What happened to them? Is there a glove rattling around inside Anna now?
“But really, can we ride?”
Not with your hand stuck in her torso. Even if you had transportation.
“Yeah but we have no ride, Anna. You can’t just pull it out of thin air.” Kristoff was still staring down at his hand in absolute disgust.
This is why you should have kept your gloves on. This, and avoiding frostbite.
“But I can pull it out of the lake!
Is that what Anna calls her ass?
There’s one over here right?” Anna walked to the left then the right, chewing on her lip in indecisiveness.
Am I the only one picturing her accidentally biting her lip off and chewing it like a piece of Bubble Yum?
“Come on, this way.” He led the way with a brisk walk, watching to make sure she didn’t fall and he could avoid the terrifying moment again.
You could avoid it by not grabbing her clearly exposed bones. It’s not like she was trying to hide them or anything.
They continued on in silence until Kristoff turned around to look at her hopping like a rabbit in his large foot steps. He couldn’t help but laugh, if she weren’t so goulish, it’d be pretty damn cute.
I assume this “quirky” behavior is meant to be charming, Anna is a touch scatter-brained in the source materials, but this is just getting annoying.
“Do you mind if I ask why you want to get to the top of the North Mountain?”
“Wait, you’re going to the North Mountain? I need to go to the South Mountain! Dammit, now I need to find another wandering dumbass to take me!”
That’s why you should discuss travel plans before you embark on a road trip with someone.
“Not at all, you see there’s this guy, and we’re going to run away together! He told me to meet him at the top of the North Mountain and then we’re getting married-“
And exactly when did he tell you this? Because judging by your current state of decomposition, I don’t think it was recently.
“What makes you think he’ll still want to marry you? No offense, of course.”
That’s a perfectly logical question, Anna’s aware of her current condition so she would naturally be apprehensive of meeting with her lover.
“Right no offense.” Anna huffed. “We love each other. And I’ve only been gone a month…or so. Hans can’t have moved on right?”
Well, he damn sure isn’t still waiting on a frozen mountain if it’s been that long. And I suspect it has been much longer. Dead bodies don’t rot in temperatures this cold, they freeze. Anna would have had to die in the warmer months, and have been dead long enough to have rotted to her current state before the cold set in.
“So when you find this Hans, assuming he’s just been living on top of a mountain for a few months, what’s your plan? Does he die or do you live?”
That’s a stupid question, you can’t revive a corpse that’s missing half its flesh. I mean, you could – but you end up with something like Anna.
“I, ugh, hadn’t thought about that. But true love always wins out! So it’ll work out, I mean we chose to get married by the end of the week, he wouldn’t turn me down for some superficial reason, right?”
Wait a second – she’s been missing for a month, probably more, but they arranged to get married at the end of the current week? Why was she wandering around in the forest so early? Was she that worried about being late? And assuming he didn’t kill her, wouldn’t Hans take her extended absence to mean she had changed her mind?
“The end of the week? Hold up, when did you meet?”
Hopefully several months ago when she was still alive.
“That week? Why?”
What week? GAH! Why can’t you be more specific!?!
“You can’t marry someone you just met, Anna that’s ridiculous.”
She didn’t just meet him, there’s been a time-squiggle forward while she putrefied.
“You can when it’s true love.” Anna crossed her arms but the squabble was ended by their destination.
That’s sweet, but really naïve of her at this point. This exchange works in the source materials, Anna has just met Hans and is still caught up in that first flush of emotion, but there’s been a passage of time in the fic – a very long passage of time. Anna has had a lot of time to think. If the circumstances of her death mirror those of Emily, the Corpse Bride, then Hans seduced her into bringing valuables to a secluded location under the pretext of eloping only to kill and rob her. She wouldn’t still be looking forward to running off with him, she would probably hate him.
In the center of a clearing a small frozen lake glistened in the night light.
Most people call the Earth’s night-light “the Moon”, but whatever.
Anna knelt down and brushed the snow of an area and began to write with her fingernail.
What the hell is she doing? Is Anna a witch?
“What are you doing?” Kristoff stood a few steps behind her.
Despite his earlier foolishness with the woodcarving and sleeping in the snow, and hiking at night with no light, Kristoff’s finally starting to make some sense.
“I’m sending a message to my sister.” Anna waited and when there was no response scratched the message harder.
…So the way she contacts her sister, The Queen of The Dead, is to scratch a message into ice? With her fingernail, not a stick or a hairpin or something suitable sharp. And if she doesn’t get an instant response, her reaction is to … scratch harder?
How is this supposed to work? Seriously, how?
Elsa does have cold-based powers, she can create and manipulate ice and snow, but she shows no continued awareness of her creations. She didn’t know it was continuing to snow after she left Arendelle, nor did she know Olaf had gained sentience after she created him. Even if she created the ice on this lake, which she probably didn’t since there has been every indication that this is a naturally occurring winter, she wouldn’t be able to receive any message that Anna left her. Even is Elsa does have some new ability that gives her perfect awareness of every single gram of ice everywhere in the world – there’s a lot of damned ice out there, whole glaciers of it. How could she distinguish Anna’s little scrapings from, say, the random bumping of two icebergs?
Kristoff sat a few feet from her and looked into the ice.
Dude, you were doing so well! Now you’ve gone back to sitting on places you really should know not to.
Has anyone else noticed that Kristoff’s huge bag of woodcarvings, which he apparently felt were valuable enough to risk a trip through a snowy forest to sell, has vanished somewhere along the way? He could have at least used them for firewood.
The reflection of a blueskinned woman caught his eye and he leaned forward so his palms braced the frozen water.
If she’s a reflection, then she would be behind him and not in the ice itself. Because that’s how a reflection works.
Two blue hands reached up and suddenly Kristoff was submerged through the ice.
I don’t think the author understands how ice works.
That’s it for this week, Patrons; join me next time for the final chapter! Yeah, the fic’s only two chapters long.