of tooths and nails
and epic fails:
of apples sweet
(with poisoned meat)
and foxes fleet
with fools to eat:
Let me tell you tales that grate:
Of woodcutters arriving late
Of monsters (who will neatly plate
Those who thought Joy comes from Fate.)
Now: Epic fails!
Now: Princesses with poisoned nails.
Come follow me for strange derails;
with darkling winds
let’s fill your sails.
I. Once upon a time, we realized that, in the hands of certain writers, no good would come of anything that started with “once upon a time”, but did that stop us from reading? No, not at all. In fact, it only made us want to read more. Because we are bad people, and we are okay with that.
II. Is it your Destiny to save the Realm from a Villainous Scourge? Do you kinda like the Scourge and think the Realm should solve its own damn problems? Same here, friend. Same here.
III. Do you have trouble falling asleep? Why not get on the wrong side of an evil fairy godmother, and have your entire Kingdom fall into an enchanted Slumber for a hundred years?
IV. Did YOU build a house made out of straw? Are YOU surprised that a Big Bad Wolf was able to knock it down easily? That’s because you, my friend, are an imbecile.
V. Goldilocks dipped her spoon into the porridge. The spoon shattered into a thousand pieces, and her fingers got frostbite. The traveller looked at the second bowl of porridge, which was not only not cold, but actively emitting superheated magma. “If only I had another spoon,” she thought.
VI. If there is no Narrator, all is permissible.
VII. Once upon a time, in a magical fairytale Kingdom, there lived an unspeakable Eldritch Horror which devoured all things everywhere. The end.
The Dark Lord Jeff Mach frequently seeks new, interesting ways to rewrite this part, and then often ends up just shifting a few words around and hitting “Publish”. Don’t tell anyone.
Jeff is a writer and creator who has long aspired to be the sort of person who neither needs to promote his other work at the bottom of his short stories, nor need speak of himself in the third person. Sadly, in both regards, he has failed.