X-Men Fairy Tales #3

Issue Date: 
September 2006
Story Title: 
To Die in Dreams

CB Cebulski (writer), Bill Sienkieqicz (artist), Guru FX (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Mark Panicca (consulting editor), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

A blind tailor and his talking crystal ball take a cloak to a customer. On the way back through the woods, they come across a casket, where a young woman lies. The crystal ball tries to stop the tailor from opening the casket, but to no avail, and the blind tailor rescues the young woman inside. She returns to town with them, and a local butcher detects her return. The tailor and the young woman talk to each other, until she becomes distracted when she sees a pair of scissors. The tailor puts them away and gives her a new red dress. Emerging from behind a curtain with the dress on, the young woman is confronted by the butcher, who addresses her as a princess. The young woman plays dumb, pretending not to know the butcher, who pulls out a knife to kill the princess. The crystal ball informs the tailor of what is transpiring, so the tailor comes to the princess’ defense. But when the butcher cuts the princess, energy forms around her and she flies into the air, laughing, boasting that she will unleash her wrath upon these lands. The butcher informs the tailor that this is the Witch Who Never Dies, and as they walk into the woods to find her, he reveals how the witch bonded with a princess, and how he, a knight, could not kill her when he had the opportunity, as he still loved her. The princess / witch finds the butcher and the tailor, but when the butcher tries to destroy her, she drains him of his life energy. The tailor asks the princess if he can see her as he did when he first saw her, as he fell in love with her then, the witch agrees - but the tailor carries with him the scissors, and he stabs her. The witch falls, but the princess rises, and convinces the tailor to take her life, if he loves her. She helps him plunge the scissors into her as they kiss, and the tailor walks off with her body.

Full Summary: 

A small town in the countryside:

The sun shines down on a clear day. Outside a butchery, several skinny dogs wait by the door. And at the Red Rose Tailor Shoppe, a young man with a scarf wrapped around his eyes stitches some material with a needle and thread, as a crystal ball speaks to him: ’I don’t know why you continue to torture yourself… it’s not as if the girls in this village lie awake at night dreaming of blind tailors. Why bother with bridal dresses if you’re never going to find yourself a wife?’ the crystal ball asks. The young man holds the ball up and exclaims ‘I’d tell you to bite your tongue if you had one, Ball’. An image of a blond boy in the ball pokes his tongue out, then a snake appears, followed by a dog, both baring their fangs. ‘If you could only see me now’ the crystal ball declares.

The blind tailor turns his attention to a red dress and tells the ball that having to listen to it is punishment enough. ‘Just you wait and see. I’ll find the right woman one day!’ he boasts. ‘Oh, I’ll see, all right… as I usually do the seeing for both of us’ the ball replies, suggesting to the young man that he should have listened an hour ago when he tried to remind him that Grandma Darkholme is waiting for the cloak she ordered for her granddaughter’s birthday. ‘Oh, no! Where is it?’ the young man asks, turning away from the red dress. The ball tells him that the cloak is to his left. ‘Steer me straight! Make sure I don’t run into anything this time’ the young man tells the ball after he collects the cloak and picks the ball up, he steps out of his shop.

Later, the ball guides the young man through a forest and tells him to lift his feet as the roots are pretty thick through this stretch. ‘Boy, talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I thought the old lady was going to bite my head off’ the young man sighs. ‘You should have seen the look in her eyes!’ the crystal ball declares, an image of Grandma Darkholme’s eye appearing in the ball. ‘Well, we made it out alive and got paid. Be thankful for the little things -’ the young man begins, as the eye tells him to turn left. ‘What? You better not be joking around again! I don’t find bumping into trees funny…’ the tailor replies. ‘No! There’s a light coming from under a thicket of brush over there’ the ball reveals. The tailor continues through the forest, and the ball tells him to push aside the branches ahead. He does so, and steps out into a brightly-lit field, where orange and yellow leaves blow in the breeze, and a casket with a glass case has been laid in the field. A young red-haired woman in a green dress lies in the casket.

The young man kneels down and touches the casket. ‘It feels like glass… what is this?’ he enquires. ‘Something I don’t think we were meant to find. We should just cover it back -’ the ball suggests, but the young man asks if it is a box of some kind. ‘This is no concern of ours. We should be going-’ the ball suggests, but the young tailor clinks his ring against the box and declares that it is a glass box. ‘A coffin, more likely…’ the ball announces. The young man asks the ball if he can see what is inside, what the box contains. The ball doesn’t answer. The tailor finds a handle on the side of the coffin and clicks it open. There is a whooshing noise as the lid raises, and the tailor declares that the air is so warm. ’Please don’t! This feels wrong!’ the ball calls out. Reaching into the casket, the young man feels around and touches the young woman’s face. ‘There’s a person in here. A woman… there’s a woman in here!’ he announces, touching her face, he reaches for her lips. ‘What are you doing?’ the ball asks, as the young man leans into the casket and puts his lips on the young woman’s.

The tailor pulls away and rubs the scarf covering his eyes. ‘I… I don’t know what came over me… I was drawn to her. Like she was calling for me’ he announces. The ball remains silent. The young woman’s face appears blank, motionless - until her eyes open and a fiery glow radiates. Her eyes close, and then open again - green and bright. ‘Where… where am I?’ she asks as she sits up in the casket. ‘Who are you?’ she asks the young man, who announces that he is a lowly tailor who was lucky enough to find her here. ‘But who am I? And what was I doing here?’ the girl enquires. The young man asks her if she doesn’t know her own name, or how she came to be locked away in these woods? ‘No… no I don’t remember anything’ she replies, before starting to sob. The tailor asks the ball what he is supposed to do now, and the ball radiates with energy.

The tailor tells the young woman that he can see her, a picture of her in his mind. ‘You… you’re beautiful’ he declares. The young woman thanks him, and the tailor asks how this is possible. ‘It must be a sign of some kind…’ the young woman begins. ‘Or an omen’ the crystal ball suggests. The young woman climbs out of the casket and as she walks alongside the tailor, who holds his crystal ball, the sunsets over them. The ball tells them that there is no much they can do out in these woods, so they should head back to the village and try to figure things out from there. The tailor tells the ball that it is right, they should head home where they will be more comfortable and safer. ‘Who knows what dangers lurk out there?’ he adds.

Back in town, an elderly man holds up a large game bird, while another man, older than the tailor, carries a large pig over his shoulder. His apron pockets contain various knives. He looks outside the window, and sees the young man and the young woman in the village. He storms out of the butchery, other civilians gather nearby. ‘Alive and kicking, eh?’ the butcher growls, declaring that it is time to do what he should have done in the first place.

Inside the tailor’s shop, the young woman holds a cup and drinks from it. ‘That should warm you up…’ the young man tells her. The red-haired woman thanks him and tells him that he is too kind. He then motions around his shoppe and asks her if anything she sees sparks any memories. ‘I know it’s not much, but I just thought maybe there’d be something here to take you back… make you remember some of your past’ he suggests. The young woman looks at the red dress, then at a pair of scissors on a table. The scissors remind her of a set of metal claws and she leaps to her feet, ‘Noooo!’ she screams, throwing her hot drink to the ground. The crystal ball shows an image of the scissors as the young woman tells the tailor to get them away. ‘What’s wrong? What did you remember?’ the tailor asks. ‘Something here must have set her off…the scissors on the table to your left!’ the ball announces. The tailor picks them up and asks the young woman if these are what she is afraid of.

The young woman screams, and the tailor remarks ‘I guess so…’ as he tosses the scissors into a drawer. ‘Ouch’ the ball remarks, an image of an ear appearing in the ball. ‘No, not again. I don’t want to remember… I can’t let it happen again. I don’t want to hurt -’ the young woman exclaims, holding up her hand. ‘Who hurt you? What did they put you through?’ the tailor asks, before holding up the red dress, and suggesting that her clothes must be wet from the spilled tea, so she should change while they try to find the village doctor. ‘Thank you’ the young woman smiles.

Soon: ‘Hello? Kind sir, are you back?’ the young woman asks, emerging from behind some curtains, she no longer looks innocent, but now a temptress, dressed in the revealing red dress. ‘Nah, your boyfriend ain’t back yet, but I figured I’d drop in and check on ya’ someone standing in the shadows replies. ‘Make sure you weren’t up to your old tricks… Princess’ the butcher addresses her. ‘Princess? What? Do I know you? Do you know me?’ the young woman asks, energy glowing around her. ‘Don’t play dumb with me, Red’ the butcher replies. He holds up a knife and tells the princess that she is now talking out of here alive - that he is not going to make that same mistake a second time.

‘STOP!’ the young tailor shouts as he re-enters his shop. The crystal ball warns him to be careful, alerting him to the fact that the butcher has a knife. The butcher pulls out a second knife, and suggests he stay out of this. ‘I got no grudge with you’ he assures him, warning the tailor that he has no idea what kind of trouble he has dragged into their village. ‘You want her for yourself, don’t you?’ the young man asks, declaring that he is not going to let the butcher take her. ‘I love her!’ he reveals. ‘What? Have you lost your mind?’ the crystal ball asks. ‘So she’s already got you under her spell, does she?’ the butcher asks. ‘Stay low!’ the ball tells the tailor, who has picked up the scissors and holds them up - they clang against the butcher’s knives. ‘Not bad for a blind man! But don’t think that ball’s gonna be able to block this!’ the butcher declares as he reaches forward with the knives, slashing at anything before him.

The princess touches her cheek, a scratch reveals blood, which trickles down her face. She looks confused, before licking the blood with her tongue as it touches her lips. Her eyes glow again with the fiery energy, and she grins wickedly. An instant later, the shoppe is destroyed in a fiery explosion as the princess bursts forth into the sky, an evil laugh resonates through the night sky, which is brightly lit by the phoenix emblem that her energy creates. She stares down at the village below, ‘You thought you could erase my memory and place me in eternal slumber? You fool!’ she snarls at the butcher who, along with the tailor, looks up at her in the sky. ‘I’ll show you mere mortals the folly of your ways! My wrath upon these lands will now be doubled!’ she warns them, before flying off into the night.

‘Damn! No telling what she’ll do… I’ve got to get after her!’ the butcher announces. Holding the crystal ball, the tailor asks the butcher what kind of evil he has unleashed on them. The butcher suggests to the tailor that he move his hand before he loses it. ‘And where do you get off blaming me? You’re the one who woke her up’ he adds. ‘Woke who up? Just who the hell is she?’ the tailor asks. ‘Ever hear the story of the Witch Who Never Dies?’ the butcher asks. The tailor asks if it is the sorceress who lives forever by inhabiting the bodies of young princesses, and adds that everyone knows that old wives’ tale. ‘Well, that “old wives’ tale” just blew up your house!’ the butcher points out. ‘You can’t possible mean…?’ the tailor asks. ‘That’s exactly what I mean. That was her!’ the butcher responds, adding that he should have killed her once and for all after what she did the last time.

‘And just what did she do last time?’ the blind tailor asks. As they walk through the forest, the butcher announces that he will reveal this on their way, but they need to get moving before her trail gets cold. ‘Where?’ the tailor asks. The butcher tells him that he figures it, waking her up makes him just as responsible as he for making her remember. ‘So we’re going after her together. You and me’ he declares. ‘How could you possibly expect a blind man to be of any use -?’ the crystal ball enquires, but the tailor tells the ball that the butcher is right, this is their fault and they need to see it right. ‘And I need to “see” her again’ he whispers.

(Shown with flashback images)

The butcher reveals that the last time the Witch in a fiery form was seen was across the borders in the lands to the far north, where, long believed to be dead, she seemingly rose from the ashes to possess the body of the red-haired princess there. She wanted the kingdom for her own and single-handedly fought the armies dispatched against her to claim it. They never stood a chance. Warriors, witches and wizards of all kinds tried to stop her. No one stood a chance. Then, just as all hope was lost, a single man, the knight who was to marry her, was able to defeat the princess with nothing more than his heart. In the end, it wasn’t any weapon that won the day, it was the simplest by most powerful of emotions - love. And the knight and the princess were never seen or heard from again.


The blind tailor asks the butcher why the knight didn’t kill the princess then and there - why not take her life and end the danger once and for all? The butcher replies that the answer to that is quite simple actually - for even after everything that she did, ‘He still loved her’ the witch calls out as she suddenly appears in the forest. ’He raised his sword against her, but couldn’t deliver the killing blow’ the witch smiles, looking at the butcher. ’Isn’t that right, my merciful knight?’ she asks. ’Yeah, love can make you do stupid things’ the butcher calls out as he leaps forward, knives outstretched, he aims for the witch. ’Good thing I got smart’ he tells her. The witch responds by grabbing the butcher with a large fiery claw, and bringing him close to her. They gaze into each other’s eyes, before kissing. ’Good thing I did too’ the witch replies, before slamming the butcher against the ground, draining him of life.

‘And what of you now, tailor? Do you wish the same fate that befell your friend?’ the witch asks, appearing before the blind tailor as the princess. The tailor replies that he wishes for but one thing - ‘If you’re going to kill me, I would like to see you one more time before I die. Yours is a beauty I would take to my grave’ he announces. The scissors from the shoppe are strapped to the tailor’s back, as he tells the witch that he was under no spell, that her face is the only face he has ever truly seen. ‘I instantly fell in love with you…at first sight’ he reveals. ‘As you wish’ the witch replies, reaching out to touch the crystal ball. She appears suddenly without the energy glowing around her, then screams, and her head rolls back, before she collapses to the ground.

‘What did you do?’ the princess asks as she gets to her feet. ‘I hoped that love, my love for you, would be able to break the spell you’re under’. He adds that she would see the error of her ways and her true nature would emerge. ‘It worked. But I fear it’s only temporary. I can feel her fighting for control of me again’ the princess calls out. She tells the tailor that there is only one thing he can do. He holds the scissors, and hands them to her but tells her ‘No, I can’t...I love you’. The princess tells him that spell is already starting to take hold, and she can’t do it herself. ‘If you love me…’ her voice trails off as together, the tailor and the princess push the scissors into the princess’ chest. They kiss, and shove the scissors in further. As the sun rises, the tailor carries the princess out of the forest.

Characters Involved: 

Tailor (Cyclops)

Knight / Butcher (Wolverine)

Princess / Witch (Jean Grey)


Crystal Ball




(In flashback)






Story Notes: 

The flashback scene identifies that the witch is the Phoenix Force.

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