The Ugly Duckling was at the bar, reading at a table in the corner. She didn’t come to bars to meet men, she didn’t concern herself with her love life. She was interested in more important things: Art, the human condition, the fight to end poverty.
Then the guy she’d been eyeing all night left with this girl who was wearing some weird floral jeans or something. It’s always the manic pixie girl that gets the guy, she thought, Fuck you, manic pixie girl!
Hansel and Gretel’s parents abandoned them when they were young, but after all this time they’d accepted it. Sometimes, they’d concluded with a wisdom brought on only by age and an open heart, people are just fuckin’ assholes.
Sleeping Beauty kept turning off her alarm and falling back to sleep without even noticing it, so she put her phone on the other side of the room so she’d be forced to stand up to turn it off. But then she just woke up lying on the floor across the room.
Puss In Boots’ boss friended him so he figured it was time to do some profile grooming. Take out any photos in which he was half-clothed or obviously inebriated. Delete the ones from those months when he tried to grow his hair long. Make himself look respectable, or at least not so feral. But then he was like, If she doesn’t like me for who I am, then I don’t want to work there!
I’m going on tour! If any Fairy Tales readers are in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, or Georgia, come out to see Unchained. I’ll be telling stories about being lost and getting found, God and the human condition, brief incendiary love, and my mom.
Rapunzel was walking through the park one afternoon, feeling like a new woman with her hair cut short. The past is only as meaningful as you decide it is, she thought. We can become someone new, let ourselves be whoever we dream, and no one can tie us to who we used to be.
Then she ran into that douche she used to let climb up her hair at night.
For some reason the Beast started flipping through every photo of himself on Facebook, and here’s the thing: For a long time when he saw old photos of himself it only reminded him of how much he’d changed and grown, but now he could see a photo that was six years old and think he’s the same person he was then. Was that a good thing, like he’d finally become himself, or did it mean he’d hit some kind of plateau?
Alice had tea with the Mad Hatter and she knew they weren’t just gonna be cheery and make small talk. Instead they spoke for hours about how their friends had changed in the ten years since Wonderland, and what it is that’s holding them back from being 100% happy. It was an amazing conversation that ended with this poignant silence that only old friends could have. It was beautiful, really.
Then Alice thought, Is this silence getting so long it’s awkward? Well now that I’ve thought about it it’s definitely awkward. Crap. What movies are out that I can ask if he’s seen?
T’was the night before Christmas and in every room, The family was up partying without a trace of gloom. They forgot their worries, cares, and frights, And let themselves be present with each other for tonight.
The brothers joked around like they were kids again, While their parents wondered, “When did they become men?” They all got drunk on eggnog and beers, Telling stories no one had thought of in years.
And when they finally all snuggled up tight in their beds, The same thought ran through each of their heads: I’m so lucky, more lucky than I know how to say, To have this family, to have had this day.
Years later, young entrepeneurs would ask Santa Claus, “How did you get your start?” He’d had a day job all through his twenties and made toys in his free time, always trying to find a balance between doing the creative work he loved and, you know, making sure he had health insurance.
But it never got him down. He didn’t care if he’d ever get into the history books. He made toys because he loved doing it, and because he believed it was good practice for his heart even if only a few people would ever want them. He was grateful for every smile brought on by something he made, and it was those little things that filled him with joy and renewed his faith every day. And that’s how he got to be where he was in the end.