The witness took her seat and told the court the terrible truth about the defendant, Mr. Rumplestiltskin. “So, he wouldn’t give me his name. I was desperate. He would save my life for a necklace. The next time, it was a ring. The third time, my first born child. I agreed each time, but when the baby came… I couldn’t give her up.”
“I found Rumplestiltskin online with an image search. There’s hundreds of victims. A baby selling business, he trafficked alchemists. Your honor, Rumplestiltskin is an evil man who preys on others’ misfortune. Make him pay for his crimes.”
The silent Mirror left the Queen to reflect on what she’d done. It refused to speak the truth about her face; lined and aged and dried. Framed in the glass, unchanged was yesterday’s crone who had delivered an apple- a poisoned apple- to her stepdaughter. Once she’d rid herself of her rival, the hate seeped out through her pores.
Perhaps that rivalry was the only thing that had kept her young.
The Queen sat in the chair by her bed. She propped her feet. She slept. It was a sleep that lasted until Prince Charming kissed Snow White alive again.
“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.
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.
“You’ve got it wrong.” The farmer’s face turned the color of a ripe Gravenstein. “It was magic, not pesticides, poisoned that girl.”
“Now Mr. Darkfruit, our informants have presented credible evidence from underground surveys. There’s run off into their mines.”
“You know, the Queen is my best customer. She wouldn’t like it if you shut me down.”
“I have a warrant to inspect.” The investigator lifted his case full of testing equipment and walked through the open gate into the orchard.
“Nothing will come of this,” said the farmer.
“But it’s my job to enforce the regulations until instructed otherwise.”
While suitors climbed the glass mountain where the golden apples grew, the princess searched Google for profiles. Golden Boy, who climbed in heavy gold armor, was revealed as a serial philanderer and bigamist on the site, “Knights to Avoid”. She sent her eagle out. His talons were like a can opener.
Next came the warlord. That’s how she thought of him because he was interested in annexing her kingdom. The eagle tore him into pieces and left each limb in a different conquered territory. The torso it ate.
The farmer’s son was a different story. A happily ever after story.
The hairdresser threw a brown cloak on. She told her assistant, “I’ll be out all day.”
In bustled the Queen’s maid. “Glad to find you’re free. Her majesty would like to see you.”
“For tonight’s ball. Something simple, elegant.”
“I can’t. You see, my niece is imprisoned in a tower. I do her hair on Saturdays.”
”I’ve heard a lot of excuses. This takes the prize, though.”
The hairdresser felt terrible.
Coco cleared her throat. “I’ll do your niece’s hair.”
The hairdresser said, “You’re not afraid of the Enchanted Woods?”
”Give me a chance. There’s nothing I’d rather do.”
(To be continued)
Bears get a bad rep in the enchanted forest. I know, because thanks to an evil dwarf, I lived as a bear for years. One especially harsh winter, I met these two swell gals, Snow and Red. They took me in, let me crash on their hearth, and played chess with me. A princely game. Oh, did I mention, I’m a prince.
It all worked out in the end. I killed the dwarf, the curse was broken, and I married Snow. She cured my P.T.S.D. My brother likes a challenge. He married Red, a chess grandmaster. Beats him every time.