Forever After

“Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess who met a handsome prince.”

For Suzie, visiting Gramma’s house is a special treat. Gramma never travels: Daddy says she’s been shut-in since the Reagan administration. But she and Suzie always have a smile for each other.

“One moonlit night, as spring lingered in the air, the princess climbed out her window. Down, down, down the tower she climbed to meet her prince.”

Starry-eyed Suzie listens to Gramma’s fairy tale.

“There, in back of an enchanted bulldozer, the prince and princess expressed their love for one another. But the prince’s foot slipped, releasing the parking brake. Downhill rolled the bulldozer… crash! …into the castle.”

Now Suzie’s eyes are wide.

“The king was livid! Veins bulged in the king’s throat as he shouted at the young princess, pronouncing his royal punishment…”

“And that, dear Suzie, is why to this day, Gramma is not allowed out of her room.”

Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-42, where the novel prompt (appropriately enough) was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by the late Dentarthurdent Douglas Adams. Prompt topics include a theme of foolishness, and a setting of a house about to be destroyed. (Or having been about to will be destroyed, if I’m using my time travel tenses correctly.) Photo is CC2.0 by Maureen Didde.

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Snow White and Red All Over

Once upon a time, I had it all. My parents were royalty: their kingdom was great, and I was their world. Then an evil witch cursed them, and they died. That alone was insufficient for her, so she cursed me, too. I felt my life spiraling into tragedy, until my Prince Charming found me.

He still calls me “Snow White”. When he found me, he says, he had never seen skin so white, nor lips so red as mine. Not to mention my long, flowing mane of dark hair.

This, our wedding day, is our one-month anniversary. It was a fairy tale wedding. That evil witch stared down from the tower dungeon, powerless. The King and Queen were so happy to see their Prince Charming settle down. His frequent hunting expeditions into the forest delighted the nobles, but terrified his parents.

Now I wait for new husband in our royal bedchamber. As I brush my hair, the mirror catches the reflection of two wolf-pelts hung on the wall. The brilliant light of the full moon shines through the castle window. I hear Prince Charming entering the room.

Part of me knows it wasn’t his fault. He never knew those two wolves were my parents. Another part of me, a snarling canine force within, cries out for vengeance. My prince embraces me. I wrap my arms around him and know what is to come.

My fangs elongate. My fur grows out. I let loose a primal howl at the man who killed my parents while they were under the witch’s curse. Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

A second story for Flash! Friday vol. 3-40, where the prompt was Grimms’ Fairy Tales. This one was rushed in before the deadline and a little disorganized. (Also, I think I mixed up Snow White and Sleeping Beauty — inexcusable for someone with two young daughters!)

Image is still Three Sisters (Die drei Schwester). Public domain in the U.S.; artwork by Alexander Zick (1845-1907).

The Night Princess

When Minuella was a child, her summer days were spent laboring in the fields and tending livestock. At night she lay upon her straw mattress, with her cat Sareel curled up next to her, as Grandfather told tales of faraway lands and great kingdoms. Grandfather’s stories were the only wealth left to the family: they were Minuella’s inheritance.

One night, as Grandfather slept, Minuella grabbed Sareel and fled the ramshackle cottage. “I’m no peasant,” she proclaimed to the blue-eyed Siamese. “I want to see those great kingdoms. I want to be somebody.” She followed a star northward through the sweltering night, into woodlands that the older villagers said were enchanted.

In a forest clearing, Minuella stood in awe as moonlight trickled through the mighty canopy of leaves, freezing into solid form. Snow whirled through the summer air as the moonlight solidified into a Castle of Ice. Stars clattered to the ground to form a glistening tiara at her feet. Sareel leapt from her arms and transformed into a stately lynx.

A troupe of snow-men emerged from the Castle of Ice and bowed. “Your majesty! Take the starry crown, and claim your title as Princess.” Minuella did so. “Come, Sareel,” she said. “Our kingdom awaits.”

For a thousand nights, Minuella and the handsome lynx ruled from the Castle of Ice. “Oh, Sareel,” she confided to her feline companion one night. “My fairy tale dreams have come true. Why am I not happy?” She removed the starry crown and let it clatter to the frozen ground. Sareel licked her face gently and gave a rumbling purr.

With the first touch of sunlight, the Castle of Ice melted into the dewy ground. Minuella rushed home with Sareel the Siamese in her arms. “Come on! We’re late for breakfast!”

A fairy tale written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-40, where the prompt was Grimms’ Fairy Tales. My chosen prompt was a theme of transformation and a setting of an enchanted forest. Image: Three Sisters (Die drei Schwester). Public domain in the U.S.; artwork by Alexander Zick (1845-1907).