Fairy Tales, Of Sorts

The softest pillows and mattresses in the land. Real golden, soft human hair – no less – made them so. Business flourished and coffers were in demand to hold the coins pouring in. For sure, the odd trouble popped up. No one knew why but once in a while, a stray pillow or a petulant bedding would let its hair down; hair that would snake its way around the sleeper a little too tight. But the coffers would be quickly opened and a generous flow of its contents would burn away all memory of such unfortunate unpleasantness.

No one knew why? Well, not quite – SHE knew but SHE was locked up in HER high tower. And SHE had given up on HER prince. HER prince, now king, had come to rescue HER once but he stayed only to love HER hair more than HER; hair that meant gold.

*****

The fair pretty girl was on the floor. The old, sour-faced woman stood looking down at her, armed – as it seemed – with a broom. The door burst open and the midgets trooped in with loud yells. They took in the scene and saw the desperate plea in the girl’s eyes. Furiously they tore into the old woman. No one saw the look of bewilderment in her eyes. The girl with the snow white skin got up. No one saw the cold gleam that lit her eyes and the chilling smile that slashed her face to open up the cruelty beneath the skin. She shrugged. Oh well! The old hag knew too much. And her sweeping had got too sloppy anyway.

*****

There she was, a beauty laid to sleep in an open casket of ebony and ivory. The light of the crescent moon lent her fair skin the colour of a paler shade of alabaster. The prince stood in rapture awhile. Then he bent low and kissed her on her blood-red lips. Mmm…wet. Wet?!?

She opened her eyes, beautiful dark eyes.

She stepped out of the casket, all grace.

She sank into his neck, one inch fangs.

*****

The king was rich beyond measure, for he was married to a treasure trove that filled his coffers with coins golden as her hair. The king was miserable and lonely. The king knew not the reason. No, not even a block for him to stumble upon and discover why. He walked the long corridors of his castle, head bowed and hands clasped behind his back; a walking Atlas shouldering his vast gloom. One day, he found himself himself by the door of a musty old closet. He walked in. All he found was a mirror. A half-forgotten childhood story wafted into his conscious mind and stirred him to ask haltingly and not without some sheepishness:

“Mirror…er…mirror on the wall
Haha; Who’s the fairest of them all?”

A voice cold as the far hills came rippling out of the glass:

“Who else but you, my Queen!”

The dazed king staggered out of the closet.

 

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