“I can’t eat another bite.” Hansel closed his trick or treat bag.
“Do you think someone cast a spell?” Gretel counted her loot again. There was more now than when she started eating.
“Let’s take it to the witch.” They set off through the forest along a now familiar path. No need for breadcrumbs any more.
The Sugar House Witch welcomed them with fresh cookies and milk. “What’s in the bag, pet?”
“Multiplicative candy,” Hansel said.
“Wish I had that problem,” the witch said. “I’m constantly losing candy decorations.”
The children finished their snack and left behind their ever accumulating treats.
Tabitha gaveled in the annual meeting of WG&G (Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins.) “In all the years that I’ve chaired this meeting, there’s never been a time like this.”
Casper Ghost interrupted her. “You always look on the dark side. What about the Salem witchcraft trials? How about Attila the Hun?”
“You think this is better?” Tabitha sniffed. “Anyway, how would you know? You’re on World of Warcraft constantly. You need to be more serious.”
Casper turned pink. “Play calms our fears. Think Halloween. A chance at make believe might distract people from their feuds. Use your words, I say, “Trick or treat.”
“I simply must have those glass slippers.” The Prince was confident they would fit. The dancing lady was nervous.
As the clock struck midnight, as he led her to take a seat and remove the heels, as the spell began to reverse, Cinderella ran. She was oblivious to everything but getting away before her riches turned to rags.
The Prince was dumbfounded. He chased her from the hall, stopping only to retrieve the first fallen pump. When he looked up, a charlady met his gaze.
“Where did she go?”
What he didn’t see was one glinting shoe on her foot.
“You threw it back? Then wish us supper.”
To please his sister, the fisherman did exactly that. Voila! A table laden with delicacies appeared.
She sated herself. “Foolish man, we could have had a different life for that wish. Ask for a fine house and all that would sustain us in it.”
“Would that make you happy?”
“You”ll have one wish left if it doesn’t”
Without the posh accent, education, and manners to go with the lifestyle, she was miserable.
Her brother asked the fish for happiness. He was six again. She was five. Valued equally by society, they thrived.
Daisy stood at the starting line and kissed her frog for luck. A long-legged young man arose from the dusty line-up and cleared his throat.
“Are you a princess?” Cedric worried he was lost.
“Daddy calls me Princess.”
The jumping contest official told them they’d need to move.
Daisy took Cedric’s hand. “Daddy’ll know what to do.” She pulled him into the chaos of the county fair.
Cedric slipped through her fingers and disappeared into a fortuneteller’s booth. She handed Cedric a tarnished lamp. When he rubbed the dust away, a genie appeared and Cedric found himself in another story.
Rip woke in a frenzy. What a nightmare he’d had. Befuddled by layers of dust on the furniture, his feet numb with sleep, he left the house. How long had it been?
A trail behind his house led to an overgrown pasture. Where were the cows he kept? And if they were gone, why hadn’t the deer replaced them? He tuned his ears to the sounds of birds and heard nothing. He found the river, now a creek. Sixty years ago, there’d been a spring that gushed from a rock. Now it was silent. Hope’s season had come and gone.
Time Waits for No One has been published by Scribes*Micro*Fiction in their 21st issue.
A drabble of a selkie mother and her human daughter’s good bye.
The shop bell tinkled behind the cat as he left the shoemaker pondering what had just happened. The shoemaker’s wife announced supper and when there was no response, she smoothed her hands along her husband’s shoulder. “You seen a ghost, pet?”
He came out of his thoughts. “A talking cat. He left these boots in payment for ones that fit. Think I’ve gone ‘round the bend, Eliza?”
“I did see him. From the window upstairs. Odd, that cat, like a man on two legs.”
“He were real. Measured ‘im meself.”
“Will you make the boots?”
“Said I would, didn’t I?”
Re: North Tower
There is a broken spinning wheel in the Queen’s sitting room in the top spire of the tower. Provenance unknown. It materialized without warning in a dim cupboard during routine monthly cleaning. Some surprise! Spider webs, dust, and other detritus hid a malfunctioning spindle. Please fix this at your earliest convenience.
I have placed your request in the queue. Be advised that all available personnel are busy with preparations for the Princess’s sixteenth birthday ball. I shall wait to schedule repair until afterwards. Thanks for your patience.
Reviewed in Lancre, August 29,2022
I received a pair of clear glass slippers as a gift from my Godmother. I worried they would shatter by the end of the first dance, but have been pleased at the sturdy construction that lasted through balls, numerous fittings around the kingdom, and an awesome honeymoon. Great for happily-ever-afters.
I would add two cautions. First, everything shows. Get a pedicure, especially if you clean the house in bare feet. Second, pregnancy can be a problem. Glass slippers have no give, so I can’t wear them now. I’ll save them for my daughter.