The Princess and the Pen

 

moonstone-gem

“What are you doing?” Her sister swished into the room, gown brushing the floor.

Without looking up, Keira sighed. “Brea, leave me be. I’m writing.”

Writing!” Brea gasped.

“Well! There’s not need to say it like that!”

“But…” Brea fanned herself. “That’s what crazy people do! You’ll be locked up!”

Keira tapped her pen on the desk, “Uh-huh. I’ll get on that. Now, if you please…”

“Are you even listening to me? You’re always with your nose, unpowdered by the way, inches away from a paper with scribblings on it. Why, you’ll get ink on it! Think of that! This…this…writing…” Brea waved her hand at the desk, “it’s indecent. Absolutely improper for a princess.”

“I don’t care,” Keira sulked.

Brea stood straight, accentuating her incredibly impossible height of 4 feet, 2 inches. “I’m telling Father.”

“Oh, Brea! You mustn’t!” Keira turned to see her older sister wasn’t angry but scared. “Please.” She stood up, pushing a loose hair from her face.

Keira’s eyes widened. She pointed. “You’ve got ink on your cheek now! How will you explain that?! Oh, Keira, this isn’t proper. It’s dangerous.”

“Iridescent,” Keria said.

“Pardon?”

“Iridescent,” Keira repeated. “I’m trying to think of something iridescent to put in my fairy tale.”

“But…” Brea tapped her chin. “That’s easy. I mean, honestly, have you lost your ability to think, sister? Iridescence is everywhere. There are numerous…”

“Such as?” Keira bounced on the balls of her feet.

“Well,” Brea inched closer to the desk. “Whatever the story is about, you can always add a dragon. Their scales are iridescent. Of course there are fairy wings, moonstones, mermaids’ tails, unicorns, sea serpents, and…um…” she giggled, “troll snot. Oh! Then there’s the rare…”

“No,” Keira slumped. “I’m writing a fairy tale. I need something that doesn’t actually exist.” Her sister’s eyes filled. “But thank you. I mean, those were excellent suggestions, Brea. You’re wonderful, helping me braincloud this way. You remember the fairy tales Mother read to us as children? The fantastical creatures and items in those worlds? That’s what I’m trying to remember.”

“Oh,” Brea dabbed her eyes with a lace-edged handkerchief. “Well, I seem to remember something…”

“Yes? What is it? What did it do?”

Brea shook her head, “I can’t quite place it.”

“I know,” Keira returned to her desk and plopped down. “It was like a sphere but not quite. A flying…thing. I don’t recall its purpose.”

“Yes! That’s what I’m thinking of. A sort of blobby, floating, purposeless creature. It…popped. On its own. Maybe that was its magic?”

“Popped. Yes… There was air inside, if I’m not mistaken. And it flew. Or, as you say, floated. Oh, blast it all!” Keira put her head in her hands.

Brea absentmindedly twisted her moonstone ring. She straightened her pink gown, tucked her hair into its ribbon, and turned to leave. “Well then. I’ll just tell Father you’re working on something for his grandchildren, shall I?” She smiled over her shoulder, “It’s called a ‘bubble’.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 4 Prompt: Iridescent
Genre: Fairy Tale

 

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Thorns

 

buffy-willow-xander

 

“Spike!” Buffy caught a kick, flipping the vamp on its back.

Xander held up a cross and looked around. “What?! Where’s Spike?”

“You nincompoop,” Willow slapped Xander’s head, “get her the stake.”

He looked at Willow. “Um. Ow! Was that necessary?”

“Well,” Willow nodded, “I think it was.”

Buffy dodged a punch. “Could you two deal with this later? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of in a fight here.”

“Told you,” Willow murmured.

Xander grabbed the stake, gave a sideways look at Willow, and tossed it to Buffy. “Oops…”

Buffy vaulted over a nearby gravestone. “What do you mean “Oops”?”

“It sort of went in that bush,” Xander chuckled.

“Which one?”

“Sorry!”

“Huh?”

“Berry!” Willow shouted.

“You know…oomph! I can’t…bury this thing!”

“The berry bush,” Willow gestured. “Oh! Hey! Use the berries!”

Both Buffy and Xander stared at her. “What?”

“They’re blackberries!” She smiled proudly.

“Wow, Willow,” Xander rolled his eyes, “can I just say how not helpful that is. You want her to dust a vamp with fruit.”

Willow glared at Xander. “Buffy! The blackberries! Trust me!”

Buffy somersaulted over to the bushes, grabbed a handful of vines, and shrugged. “They do have thorns.” She jammed them into the vampire’s chest. He looked confused then lunged at her. “Well,” she punched him, “it was worth a try.”

“I can’t believe you two made it through sophomore year,” Willow snuck over to the blackberry bush, held up a vine, and pointed. “I meant the wooden posts. They hold up the vines.”

“Oh, right,” Buffy ran over and yanked a post from the ground, “I knew that.” She turned just as the vamp attacked, driving the splintered wood through his heart.

Willow coughed. “Ugh,” she waved her hands, “do they have to do that? They’re so…dusty.”

Buffy smiled. “Beats cleaning up goopy goodness!” She drew her eyebrows together. “That did not sound right.” They started out of the cemetery. “So, who’s up for pizza?”

Willow smiled. “Ooh, me!”

Xander stopped walking. “Do you have to ask?”

“Cool.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 2 Prompt: Thorn
Genre: Fan Fiction
*

* This was RIDICULOUSLY difficult as I’ve never written or read any fan fiction. But it’s fun to step out of one’s comfort zone every so often.

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Riding Hood’s Grandmother Reveals Identity as Bestselling Author

 

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Years after the alleged attack on Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, Hazel, the now legendary grandma reveals her identity as bestselling author, Kale E. Pepper.

“First,” Hazel said, “let’s get this out of the way as I know you’re going to ask. The wolf never ate anyone. In fact, he was quite the gentleman. He had lost his way and needed directions to the barber shop. Quite the hairy beast, you know. Red sent him to the local ice cream parlor. That girl couldn’t find her way out of a cardboard box.”

The wolf then ended up at Hazel’s house after being assaulted by a group of school children who threw ice cream cones and popsicles at the poor beast. When asked if she still keeps in touch with the wolf, Hazel answered, “I don’t think he’s around here anymore.”

“But this,” she walked into her kitchen, “is why I called you.”

After brushing some fur off her counter, she showed us a collection of bestselling cookbooks such as Guide to Grilling Wild Game and Savory Large Game: Salads and Side Dishes which she wrote under her pseudonym. “They are selling very well.”

Indeed they are. Her informative new how-to guide, Find it Fresh, Fry it Up, just hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

“This one,” she picked up her book entitled Look What’s Coming to Dinner “has been in the top ten for three months,” she said proudly. “Fresh ingredients. That’s the key.”

We declined Hazel’s invitation to stay for supper.

 

Book Club Vampire Hunters

 

Had a bit of fun stringing together the tweets from the first week of #Tweets4Blogs. Each participant’s lines are in green, click on their names to visit them. The prompt on Twitter was:

Write the first line of a story about a book club that hunts vampires on the weekends. Use the hashtag Have fun!

And here is the story…

 

70 yr old Ree held Of Mice & Men as she skewered the vamp with her walking stick. “It helps when they underestimate you.”

“You know,” said Lisa, “you’re right. They think you’re an easy target then… Wham! Splat! Poof! It’s fun.” Everyone turned to stare. “Well, I’m just saying.”

Lisa, please do not launch into your ‘She was alone. Scared. Confronted with an evil she had only read about in books. She put down Memoir of the First Slayer and opened the freezer, knowing now just how to kill that blood sucker in the porch….’ story again.”

“I’m not. It’s just,” she gestured to the pile of dust under Ree’s walking stick, “look at that! She nailed the little…”

“When you say you nailed the little f*****, are we still talking of Sunday’s bloodfest or completing 50 Shades for the club?” Geoff asked.

“Was that necessary?” Vanessa chided.

“I’m really sorry about this,” Norah covered her eyes with one hand and staked a vamp with the other.

“We’re not helping anyone by sparing vampires’ feelings,” Sarrah W. said, “Look, had Darcy spoken up about Wickham, he could have saved Lydia.”

“I don’t remember anyone asking you to chime in. We decided not to read Pride and Prejudice. Let it go.” Sue said.

“Oh, I see, I suppose Geoff’s ‘50 Shades of Shit’ is a more worthy read?” Georgia considered this a moment. “You know, that actually might be interesting.” She saw the looks of alarm and shrugged. “Better than the original.”

“Can we please get back to choosing more weapons for tonight?” Allie pleaded. “It’s only a few hours until sunrise.” She gazed at all the stakes lying across the grass—oak, mahogany, lots of pine.

Geoff crossed his arms and gestured to Allie. “Seems someone is not opposed to my choice of reading material.”

“Oh I don’t know,” said Allie as she selected a stake from the pile of assorted weaponry, “sometimes a banana is simply fruit.”

Irene tiptoed around a gravestone. “Friday night, at midnight, members of the book club stopped reading.”

“Geez!” Cynthia jumped. “Will you stop whispering to yourself, Irene? You startled the hell out of me!”

“Yeah, it is a bit creepy, you stalking your fellow book club members,” Hope added.

“Creepy?” Kate asked.

Ruth raised an eyebrow. “As opposed to, say, walking around in the dead of night staking blood-sucking vampires?”

“I suppose it could be considered creepy but it doesn’t seem that way to me. Not anymore.” Helen straightened her garlic necklace. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a half decent book club be in search of vampires to hunt.”

“It only makes sense,” Eric agreed, “After all, books are a collection of paper made from wood pulp. The same wood used to make stakes. Used to vanquish the undead.”

“What he said,” Luccia grinned.

“So…um…” Charli adjusted the bloody wooden stake in her hand and asked Barbara, “Which book did you say we’re discussing this weekend?”

“Are we done with Eat, Pray, Love already? I keep losing track what with the hunting and all. And, to be honest,” Sacha said, “I haven’t found time to finish it.”

“Right. That reminds me.” J.D. threw Sacha her copy of Eat, Pray, Love and a garlic stake, “gives Eat, Pray, Love a whole new meaning, hey?!”

“We finished that last week. On to the Twilight series now,” Amber laughed. “Grab your UV lights, people, we have some Suckers to kill. That book might be on to something, maybe they DO sparkle.”

“I don’t think so,” Barbara rolled her eyes. “Let’s just hunt, okay?”

“I hunt for stories hidden in moonlight,” Katsyarina started singing, “I crave for answers even with a bite, a kiss’ll come with page of our love, I wrote what you read tonight!”

“Keep it down, Kat! You’ll give us away!” Loni hissed.

“Hey, at least she kills the damn things,” J.D. said, “What’s the rule? Okay…rules? Two things are unacceptable in the Yorkshire bookclub: eating next to a book and coming across a vampire and leaving it alive. She does neither so let her alone.”

Katsyarina smiled, “Thanks, love.”

“Of course,” J.D. winked.

Sarah, being the newest member of the book club, had stayed out of the way and watched throughout the night. As the sun cast its first streaks of orange in the sky, a vampire appeared in front of her. She slid a copy of Jane Eyre in her purse and asked Ree if killing him was technically murder considering he was already dead. Ree smiled and tossed Sarah her walking stick.

 

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You all are awesome. This was fun. 🙂

Hope you have some sparks of inspiration from your fantastic tweets so far. Have you searched for yourself yet? Did you find anything to expand?

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group

 

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A new support group started up this week in downtown Darby. They call themselves “The Misunderstood Stepmoms”.

The group is led by Snow White’s stepmother, Caroline, who is fed up with all the hostility.

For years, she was despised and discounted, never being asked to join local book clubs or invited to a girls’ night out. Following this past Mother’s Day weekend, Caroline decided enough was enough.

Needless to say, she did not receive flowers or a card on Sunday.

About Snow, she said, “The girl pigged out on junk food. She was always walking around with her hand stuck in a bag of corn chips or jellybeans. I gave her some fresh fruit and, yes, that included an apple. She took one bite and pretended to choke on it, falling down and accusing me of trying to poison her. The girl didn’t want to eat healthy. End of story.”

Caroline went on to say, “I heard similar accounts of stepmothers being unfairly bashed so I created a safe space for them to talk and share their feelings.”

Cinderella’s stepmom claims she tried for years to get her teenage stepdaughter to “take a bath and change her damn clothes.”

While Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom says she spent months warning her stepchildren not to wander into the woods before their disappearance. “They came home with some cock-and-bull story about a candy house and a kitchen witch. Everyone knows kitchen witches live in the city,” she said. In both cases, these women were blamed for the unfortunate state of their stepchildren.

“Sadly, these stories are not unique.” Caroline said. The three founding members were joined by fifteen others for their inaugural meeting. While there is no official motto for the group yet, Caroline said, “We want women to know that they are not alone.”

When asked about the group dynamics, Caroline admitted there is some tension. “We have a mix. There are a few members with anger management issues, while others are simply disheartened. But, for a first meeting, things went extremely well. We are a supportive bunch and provide a much-needed sense of community.”

The group will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.

 

Standing Stones

 

“And here,” he grinned over his shoulder, “is where they held their fertility rituals.”

Giggles rippled through the crowd. Hell, he loved this job. Taking tourists around the stone circle, watching them open-mouthed and wide-eyed.

“I’ve saved the best for last,” he stopped near a flat stone and dropped his voice. “This is where the aliens…”

“Okay, Brother. Enough!” She stepped out of the group, long black hair shimmering, eyes flashing, head held high. “You have had your fun. Come home. The Goddess is not pleased.”

“Damn,” he kicked at the ground.

She grabbed his arm and they disappeared.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

April 27, 2016 prompt: Showing someone around a property – 99 words (no more, no less) This prompt was given to us this week by Anne Goodwin.

I missed last week’s prompt by Norah Colvin: Circles”. So I incorporated both prompts into this one 99-word flash. Had fun, too. 🙂 I guess my complete lack of organizational skills as of late gives you another combo flash.


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Split Ends for Prince and Rapunzel

 

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Photo taken (by me) from Treasury of Fairy Tales

 

Rapunzel, famed for her long, golden locks, was dumped last week by her long-time boyfriend.

“I know, it’s hard to believe anyone would break up with me,” she braided a piece of her hair. “But, no biggie. I mean, I know he’s a prince and all but he’s kind of a jerk.”

Reports from the kingdom paint Prince as a kind and generous member of the royal family, often donating to the local animal shelter and helping out at soup kitchens.

“Everyone loves princey-boy. But he pulled my hair! He climbed it like a stinkin’ ladder! And he likes macaroons. I mean, seriously, who likes macaroons?”

When asked if she had any plans to get a haircut, Rapunzel answered, “I cut my hair one time, you know, to get down from this tower because,” she swung her arm in a circle, “no stairs! Then princey suggested I donate it to Locks of Love. I felt good for, like, five minutes. Then I shut myself up here until it grew back.”

When asked about Helga, the owner of the tower Rapunzel now rents, Rapunzel replied, “She’s a witch, you know, always brewing concoctions in her cauldron.”

“I believe the term is ‘Wiccan’, now.”

“Whatever. Anyway, it’s not ‘real’ magic stuff. She makes awesome hair products and I model them for her through there,” she tilted her head toward the window. “I just smile and,” she laughed, “let down my hair! She’s making boatloads of money.”

“So, just for the record, Helga doesn’t force you to stay here?”

“Ha! No! I’m not going out there.” She examined the ends of her hair through a small telescope. “Do you have any idea what sunlight and humidity can do to your hair?”

~~~

We visited the palace to speak with the prince about the infamous break-up.

He said, “I couldn’t support her shampoo habit any longer. Nearly all the gold from my kingdom is with the barber who closed shop and retired to Hawaii.”

When asked if he regretted his decision, he responded, “Nah. She’s pretty vain. And selfish. I’m happy she’s gone. Macaroon?”

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 52 Prompt: Hair
Genre: Satire/Humor

 

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Election Day Causes Many U.S. Citizens to Consider ‘The Cave’

 

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In the United States of America today, people have one thing on their mind: The Cave.

That’s right. According to the Study of Bizarre Election Day Phenomenon by the University of Wicked Smart Students and Pompous Professors (WSSPP), citizens are thinking seriously of ditching the suburbs and heading for the hills. Literally. Some have even started preparations for a quick exit to The Cave in early 2016 after the primary election for president.

“It’s a viable option,” says Carol Fixit of Florida. “The Cave is actually very nice. There are tile mosaics and natural hot springs.”

The Cave is an underground community designed by architect, Neo Opportune, who said in an interview last month that “The Cave is a fully-developed area with all the amenities”. It is currently under construction after a grant from the FFCC (Frantic Foundation of Concerned Citizens) funded the final extension of the sewer system lines.

When the DICs (Desperate Indecisive Citizens) questioned Opportune about the rumors that developers didn’t have the proper building permits, Opportune responded, “After the election, it won’t matter.”

It is uncertain whether any legal action will be taken against anyone involved in the building of The Cave. However, as of today, housing has been increased to accommodate 15,000 residents.

“There is no ‘lesser of two evils’ this time around,” says Nick Bottom of New Hampshire. “Not when the candidates don’t know the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite,” he shook his head. “It’s just not right.”

The confusion Nick refers to occurred during a televised presidential debate last Tuesday. When a candidate was asked what he planned to do to about the national debt, he pointed to the wintry scene through the window, making a comparison to the stalagmites in The Cave. He said they were too dangerous to allow families to consider a move there. Another candidate chuckled and called him on his mistake saying that he was pointing to stalactites, not stalagmites. Yet another candidate chimed in with the observation that they were, indeed, neither of these things and were mere icicles. Someone in the audience shouted that all this Cave talk was just a red herring and the moderator continued the debate by asking the candidates their stance on the regulation of Wall Street.

 

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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Week 34 Prompt: Cave
Genre: Satire

 

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Love and War

 

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“Keep it down!”

“Can’t hear you!”

“What are you doing up there?”

“Practicing battle techniques!”

“That’s it!” Jupiter stormed to the throne room. “Juno! Make your son stop this at once!”

“He’s your son too, dear. And, honestly, who made him God of war? Let me think…” She tapped her chin. “Oh, that’s right. You.”

“Nice. And who gave him his own holidays?!” Jupiter shot back. “You!”

“At least I didn’t name a month after him! By all the Gods, what did you think that would accomplish!”

“Hey!” Mars shouted, “Keep it down!”

Excuse me?!” Juno spat. She rose from her throne, gown trailing behind her, striding upstairs into Mars’ room.

“Gods, I love that woman,” Jupiter chuckled.

“Mars!” The door swung open at Juno’s voice. “You had better…” She gasped. “WHAT is going on up here!”

“Mother. Calm down.”

“Do NOT tell me to calm down! Greeks are not welcome in my home! Especially her!”

Jupiter cringed and bolted up the stairs. “Okay, okay. Let’s everyone just… Blast it, Aphrodite! I told you not to come back here! We’ll have to call over to Mount Olympus again.”

Juno turned slowly, eyes blazing. “She’s been here before? You…KNEW!”

“I…just the one time…I was going to tell you, love, I just…” Jupiter took a step back. “Mercury!”

“No need to call Mercury,” Hermes smirked, “I’m here now and all is well.” He turned to Aphrodite, “I’ve been looking for you, sweets.”

“Of course you have,” she purred, cleavage heaving.

“Oh, please,” Hermes gagged. “Get over yourself. Zeus sent me.”

“I’m here,” Mercury appeared, out of breath. “What’s he doing here?” He flung his arm toward Hermes.

“Just leaving, message boy,” Hermes grinned.

I wanted to send for Zeus,” Mercury whined.

Aphrodite twirled her hair, “Why don’t you both bring me home?”

“Hey…” Mars whimpered.

“You don’t own me, little God-ling.” Aphrodite sneered.

“But…”

“Oh, alright.” She ran her fingertips over his chiseled chest, “you are my favorite.”

“ENOUGH!” Juno screamed. “Get! Out!”

“Hermes,” Jupiter pleaded, “take her back to Mount Olympus.”

Mars wrapped his arms around Aphrodite’s waist. “No. I love her. She stays.”

“Aww…that’s so sweet,” she turned and kissed him. “And expected.”

“Hermes…Mercury…I don’t care who takes her home. She goes.” Jupiter glanced over at his wife. Juno’s eyes bulged, her face red. “Now!”

 

 

“Hey, did you hear that?”

“What?”

“Sounds like thunder.”

“Oh, mother says thunder is just the Gods fighting.”

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Read more stories and vote for your favorite here.

Week 32 Prompt: Mars
Genre: Humor

 

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Roman

Mars – God of War
Jupiter – King of Gods (Father of Mars, Husband of Juno)
Juno – Queen of Gods (Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter)
Mercury – Messenger of the Gods

Greek

Aphrodite – Goddess of Love
Hermes – Messenger of the Gods
Zeus – King of Gods (Father of Aphrodite)

Mermaid Misses Ocean, Files for Divorce

 

Following a four month separation, Princess Melody filed for divorce last week. Melody is confident about her decision. “I have no doubts,” she told reporters.

“These legs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be,” she said. “And these feet! Ugh. I have yet to find a pair of comfortable shoes and I simply cannot keep up with my toenails. They’re nasty. I’m paying for pedicures every other week!”

According to the princess, things have not been going well for a while. “The prince may be handsome and I appreciate him helping me get my voice back but he’s dumb as a barnacle. I haven’t had an intelligent conversation since I left the ocean,” she sighed. “Oh, and don’t get me started on the chef! He is still serving seafood for dinner!”

The prince is confused by Melody’s choice to end their marriage. “I divorced that regular girl and married Mel ‘cause she was cool, you know? She gave up her voice and her fin thing for me and now she wants to leave? Weird.” When asked if he planned to contest the divorce, the Prince answered, “Hey, I didn’t know there was a contest. What do I get if I win?”

Melody has discussed the situation with her dolphin friend, Fredric, who is now in negotiation with the sea witch for a potion that will allow Melody to become a mermaid once more. “That,” she said, “would be my ‘Happily Ever After’.”

 

 

This is part of a weekly writing prompt hosted by Sacha Black.

Writespiration #59 Prompt: Pick a Fairy Tale. What happened after ‘Happily Ever After’?