Magical Flash Fiction – And They Lived Happily Ever After by Bríd McGinley

Magical Flash Fiction - And They Lived Happily Ever After by Bríd McGinley

No. That’s it. I’m done. Get a new manager. Fairy Tale Retirement Home, dream job? I wish. Just look at my grievance scroll.

‘A wicked queen, the perfect qualifications,’ you said.

Well you try it. Try keeping the big bad wolf away from Bambi. Keeping Goldilocks to her dietary regime. Porridge morning, noon, and night with her. Poor Rumple Stiltskin is flat out trying to keep her in clothes. Her fuller figure has been a real turn on for Shrek, triggering his bipolar tendencies. Now he spends his time singing, with a harmonising donkey, underneath her window. This in turn has Rapunzel endlessly brushing her hair and tossing her dreary grey locks out her tower window, waiting for the Prince. No matter how many times I tell her, she won’t accept that the two-timing, demented wretch has forgotten her, along with everything else. He wanders round the garden croaking. This leaves me with the problem of Sleeping Beauty, who without the Prince’s kiss can’t be woken, so needs tube feeding. Hansel and Gretel had agreed to help with this, but it has brought up issues for Gretel and she’s now being treated for anorexia. Little Red Riding Hood is mesmerised looking at Gretel, repeating, over and over, ‘what big eyes you have Granny.’

And don’t get me started on Snow White. I know we’re related, but the carry on. Herself and Cinderella have discovered Julia Kristeva and have set up a study group in the dining room on resisting patriarchal narratives. No more tiaras and gowns. They stole Puss’s boots, and they’re demanding a policy on the elimination of gender stereotypes. Then the final straw, they insist on ‘helping’ the seven dwarves who have set up a mine in their bedroom, a cave, if you will, ‘we dig, dig, dig, dig, the whole day through.’ The dwarves resisted manfully, Bashful even tried to reason with them, suggested it was men’s work, so ‘Whitey’ swung at him. When Dopey intervened, ‘Cinders’ demanded he explain patriarchy which put him into a complete funk, we’ve had to quadruple his medication, he’s now like a twin to Sleepy, both wandering hand-in-hand, dazed, while Grumpy has barricaded the door, and last I saw, Happy was swinging from the lamp, leaving poor Doc trying to treat the wounded -and Sneezy- in the corner.

No, I’m done. I’ve only ever tried to do my best, do what’s right. I can’t take this anymore. I’m finished. Get me out of here. Anything, I’ll take anything.

An apple? An apple. A garden. A snake. Just me and a man? You’re sure? Just two of us? Yes. Sounds good. Yes. Sounds very good, perfect. I’ll take it. Yes, yes, yes. Today. Yes, of course. Straightaway.