Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories


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Tell us which you preferred:

It wasn't me
4
57%
The Catalogue
2
29%
Hilda and the Enchanted Compass
1
14%
The Mountains of Estrangement
0
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Total votes : 7
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Post January 15, 2020, 05:02:42 PM

Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories

Four short tales to choose from...
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Post January 15, 2020, 05:06:40 PM

It Wasn't Me!

It Wasn't Me!

by Iain Muir

"I swear, your majesty! I didn't take it!"
"Really, child? My finest emerald missing, and no-one has been in here since last night but you?"
"No, your Majesty! I mean, yes, your Majesty! I mean..."
"Oh shut up, child. We can sort this out quite simply. We'll just check the security monitor."
"The what?"
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall..."
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Post January 15, 2020, 05:07:51 PM

The Catalogue

The Catalogue

by Michelle Dutcher

Neesia shouted to her friend as she flew past in the darkening light. “The stone lantern is lit, Dewey! I wonder what’s going on!”

“The lantern?” echoed Dewey anxiously. “Maybe it’s Steven. The mullberries are in bloom, so I thought he’d be coming soon. I will be there as soon as I finish here.”

Dewey, a female woodland fairy about the height of a dandelion, looked at the opossum’s leg that she held on her lap. She was glad the opossum had just scraped it but it still needed to be wrapped with cloth strips, which she was running low on. She tore the final strip down the middle so she could tie it off and then patted the paw gently. “That will have to do for now, Slugger. Try to be more careful.”

The animal, five times her size and twenty times as heavy, nodded as best he could to thank her before waddling off into the darkening woods.

By the time Dewey arrived at the lantern, Steven was already there, finishing up unpacking his bag, to the delight of entire fairy clan. As he brought out his gifts, he matched them up with a book he held.

“Arion, I brought you a Peerless Enameled Steel Lipped kettle page 864. You can collect raindrops in it if you want, and it has a handle if you want to water the impatiens during the summer. I know how much you and Dewey like to suck on the nectar from their straws.” Stephen was thin for a human but healthy, and probably in his late teens. “Where is Dewey? – I have some supplies for her. I think everyone else has been taken care of.”

“Here I am!” she called out, zooming under the young man’s gaze.

“Good, good. I brought you a Ladies Muslin skirt, with wide belt trimmed with a 3-inch ruffle. No. 63772 on page 688.” Stephen laid the paper-wrapped clothing on the moss near the fairy. “I figure you can tear it into strips and the ruffle will produce lots of bandages when you pull it out.”

“It’s wonderful! I was almost out. Thank you so much.” Dewey fluttered down to the where the package laid and sat on it.

“I’m delighted you like it.” Stephen looked around the garden, drawing a deep breath as the fairies the sat on logs and stones surrounding him. It was a magical world of vibrant colors during the day, but his favorite time to visit was dusk when he could watch the Florissant tiny creatures skim across the surface of a nearby lake, the sunset’s colors reflect off the water. His eyes finally fell again on Dewey.

“I need to ask you a favor, Dewey,” said Stephen. “I will be leaving soon to go overseas and I may not be back for quite a while…perhaps a few Springs in fact.”

The entire clan seemed to gasp at once, and Stephen could see the light of their wings dim slightly.

“But what will we do without you,” asked Dain, zooming up close to the human’s nose.

“That’s why I need to talk with Dewey.” He looked directly at her as the candlelight in the lantern lit the oak stump he sat upon. “Remember how I taught you to read? I need you to order what your clan needs out of this catalogue until I come back.”

“How can I do that?”

“I’ve made it easy for you,” he answered, reaching into his pocket. “I have written up some order forms to be used in my absence. All you need to do is look up what everyone needs and write it down on these forms. Then take the form to the box on the top of the hill and put it inside. I have everything set up. Be careful not to let humans see you of course but you should be fine until I get back.”

“But why are you leaving us,” demanded Neesia. “You and your father before you have always taken care of the clan in the garden.”

“I must go to war.”

“War? What is that?”

“I knew you would ask, Neesia – so I brought a book about the war my father fought in. It’s called,” he pulled it from the bag, “Reminiscences of the War by Returned Heroes page 321. I will leave it in the lantern along with the order forms – so it will keep dry. I am certain I too will return as a hero very soon. And I will miss you all very much while I am gone.”

Christmas Eve 1918

Stephen got out of his neighbor’s Model T and checked the mailbox at the top of the hill. It was filled with letters, but no packages were inside. He put his mail into his duffel bag before descending the hillside, hanging onto trees to balance himself, lowering himself into the garden. He took a match from his army jacket and lit the lantern and waited.

About the time that Stephen had almost given up hope of seeing the fairies, Dewey flitted into sight, her tiny gossamer wings lighting the rocks and pine cones and mossy logs as she came closer.

“Where is everyone?” asked the human.

“They all went to other valleys… after the accident.”

“The what?”

“I read the book you left to explain where you had gone – the hero’s book – and we wondered what a gun was…so we ordered the smallest one ….the Hammerless Automatic from page 327.” She looked down at her feet, her wings almost stopping with sadness. “It was already loaded and Dain…well, he got in the way. And then Dain’s brothers pointed the gun at Neesia and she flew away with most of the others to another valley, where I hope they’re happy, the way we used to be here.”

And the man who taught the fairies to make war cried for the first time since surviving one of his own.
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Post January 15, 2020, 05:08:45 PM

Hilda and the Enchanted Compass

Hilda and the Enchanted Compass

by JonTrue

Once upon a time in the faraway kingdom of Rasenberry, before your great-great-grandparents were even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, there lay the sprawling quiet village of Hazelwood named for the dark and mysterious forest that it was built next to. In that tiny village, on the edge of the forest, lived a man and his two twin daughters named Hilda and Helga. Hilda was the eldest and by all accounts, the most beautiful of the twins, in form and in spirit. She had worked very hard since their mother passed away to make her father’s life easier. Anytime she would see him struggle to tend the garden or care for the goats, she would always be there to lend a hand.

“Papa, please don’t work so hard. I know Mama is gone, but you have worked so hard and so long to feed us and provide a loving warm home you should be able to rest now,” Hilda said in so melodic and caring a tone that even the birds of the forest stopped their singing and took notice.

“Ah, my lovely, thoughtful daughter, I am just a simple old man minding his work. There’s no need to make such a fuss over me. If you want to help out, how about getting the soup started for dinner. By the time I get finished here, it should be just about ready; if you start now.”

Hilda, eager to please her father, abided by his request and went inside to start making the most delicious soup that she could cook. While Hilda was cooking, her sister, Helga was fast asleep. Helga was not concerned with making her father’s life easier. It wasn’t that she hated the old man, she was just indifferent to him. She laid in her bed, drifting in and out of sleep. Sometimes, she would cry over the loss of their mother, and other times, she would stare at the wall. Helga hardly ever bathed and never brushed her hair saying, “Why should I brush it out? It will only get messed up again. Who has time for that kind of nonsense?”

Later that day, after Father had returned from his chores and Hilda finished making the soup, all three of them sat around their modest wooden table and ate from well-worn wooden bowls. The sun started to fall behind the tree line when a stranger knocked on the door.

A haggard man stood in the doorway. His clothes fit loose like the man that bought the clothes was twice as wide as the one that stood before them. “Excuse me, good sir, I couldn’t help but smell that delicious soup from the road. My journey has been long and my belt has gotten quite tight. Would it be too much trouble to give a poor traveler a half of a bowl full for my dinner?”

Father was as generous as he was hard working. He always said that times might be tough, and food might be scarce, but when the spirit of generosity was scarce, mankind is worse off by far, even with their bellies full and their hearths warm. It was important to him that his daughters saw him live by those words, and so, he invited the stranger to come and sup with them and treated him like family.

Tears welled up in the beggar’s eyes for it had been a long time since he had known such comfort and after a couple of bowls of soup, he said, “I cannot begin to say what this means to me. I have to admit,” he paused thoughtfully considering his next words. “I am not as poor as I might appear to be. I am a wizard. I’ve been away from my cottage in the woods for several years now on a quest to save the world as we know it. Gold means very little to me and I have more than enough that you will want for nothing, and you will never have to work another day in your life.” The wizard placed a magic compass on the table and continued, “Follow the needle a day’s journey into the forest. There you will find my cottage and I will give you all the gold you can carry.”

“You are very kind, but I have gotten too old for such a journey. My leg is not what it used to be and I can only walk as far as my daily chores require.”

Helga sat quietly wrapped up in her own thoughts.

“I will make the journey for you, Papa,” Hilda interjected. “It won’t be any trouble. I’ll pack some bread for the trip and I’ll be back in just two days.”

Just as her father was about to tell her no; the wizard interrupted, “It’s settled then. Leave in the morning at first light and I’ll be expecting you by nightfall.”

“Why don’t you stay the night here, noble wizard? You can have my bed and I’ll sleep on a blanket. That way you can travel together.”

“I’m afraid that is just not possible. There are important matters that I must attend to,” and with that, the wizard departed into the night.

The next morning, Hilda made porage for the family before dawn and left with a loaf of bread for her trip. With the enchanted compass in hand, she started into the forest.

When the sun was directly overhead and the day warmed up the thick canopy, Hilda sat down on a rock and started to eat the bread she packed. Just then a passing troop of goblins found her and ate her meat as sandwiches on the bread she packed. Afterward, the goblins found the compass and used it to track and kill the wizard.

The moral of the story, if you need that kind of thing to feel satisfied, is don’t be a fucking over-achieving busy-body Hilda. It will only get you and the people around you killed
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Post January 15, 2020, 05:09:46 PM

The Mountains of Estrangement

The Mountains of Estrangement

by Sergio Palumbo

The way up had been difficult and the temperature was falling by the minute. The two middle-aged brothers, dressed in wool overcoats, had finally gotten to the top of that mountain where they could enjoy the spectacular view.

But now they were uncertain about which direction to go, knowing that the night would be coming soon, diminishing their chances of safely getting back to the valley below before the light disappeared.

“A blizzard is coming in. I can see the clouds in the distance,” the younger of the two said.

“This is very bad,” the other admitted. “Brother, this might be our last day alive.” They had known when they left that it was likely that one of them would not make it back alive. But they had been sent there by their families to find rare herbs their sick cattle needed to survive. The brothers knew the dangers, and were also aware that these mountains had seen many travelers climb to the top never to be seen again.

After almost giving up, their eyes spotted something.

It was not exactly a human figure but a presence, like a ghost coming out of some trees that were wrapped in a faint mist. The brothers had heard fairy tales that such presences showed-up to be of help and guidance to lost travelers.

The two looked at each other and rejoiced. They knew what had to be done: simply follow its steps, soon they would safely be back in the valley below!

Regretfully, things didn’t go like that. A cry was heard when the first of the two fell down a cliff, his body badly hitting the ground at the end of a precipice hidden by the mist, soon followed by the other man falling as well, both dying on the slope.

Then the ghost disappeared, and no one was left alive on the trail.

But the worst was yet to come, preceded by terrifying sounds and the ravenous teeth that soon approached the corpses.

*****

Tiwaiwa’s pale features looked on silently. He didn’t remember how long he had been on those slopes as a ghost, not that it mattered to him, anyway.

Tiwaiwa knew that presences like his own were probably legendary by now as they frequently accompanied men during the last stage of their journey especially when they felt themselves in danger. Imagining there was someone else walking beside you, a comforting presence telling you what to do, was part of the most famous local fairy-tales since the oldest times in that steep region, of course.

Some called it ‘The Mystery of the third man’, and thought it was an experience that people had in difficult environments, when the air got too thin in the upper-reaches of the mountains. Some locals truly believed that the souls of dead travelers came from the afterlife to be of help to others under certain circumstances, which was real of course.

These dead climbers stood there nowadays, their pale features almost entirely hidden by the cold mists. And yes, they approached other lost travelers to be of help, to lead the way to safety or to bring them back to the valleys.

But not all of those presences wanted to help travelers… Tiwaiwa, for example, wanted the opposite, leading unwary people to a dangerous place where they would suddenly fall into a precipice and die. Regretfully for him, that was all part of a deal he had made in the past.

Years ago when he was still a tall chestnut-haired man, Tiwaiwa had dared go up here, searching for some rare herbs to heal his very ill cattle, but he had stumbled into a small rock and had fallen, dying immediately. His bony remains had stayed buried under the snow until they were sunbathed by the strong rays of the sun when the short summer came.

Weeks had gone by until, one morning, his ghost had spotted people he knew: his three sons! They had come up the path, up those slopes, searching for their father.

He had been happy to see them, but he was also worried because they were unaware of the dangers in the mountains. Most notably were the Baiyuhibi, evil creatures who occupied the dark mists of these places. They were terrible monsters, always ready to come out during the worst snowstorms and assault people, to drink their blood and eat their remains to satisfy their unearthly hunger. They were cursed because of how cruel they had been while alive - so they had to wander up there forever.

As soon as Tiwaiwa saw those evil creatures approaching his sons that morning, he knew he had to do something. He stepped forward, offering the Baiyuhibi a deal. He proposed that he could appear before other travelers, from that moment on, whenever the Baiyuhibi ordered him to do so, and pose as a benevolent ghost who had come to help lead them to safety. Instead, he would lead them to a place hidden in the middle of the mist where they would fall to their deaths. Then their remains would be eaten and their blood drunk to appease the Baiyuhibi’s thirst.

This was a dirty way to deceive people, certainly: taking advantage of an old fairy-tale to have the better of desperate people, but what choice did he have? How could Tiwaiwa let those creatures kill his sons and then spend his years as a ghost up in those mountains as if nothing had happened to them? Why let the evil Baiyuhibi kill them if he could do something to prevent their deaths?

As Tiwaiwa’s ghost thought in silence about the terrible thing he had done today, his eyes turned to the surrounding mist and felt saddened. Actually, the only time the deep shame on his face could not be seen was when it was hidden thanks to the thick mist itself.

And every single time, Tiwaiwa just wanted to hide in that mist…
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Post January 16, 2020, 08:41:54 AM

Re: Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories

My vote is in...eh,eh :D
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Post January 16, 2020, 04:02:51 PM

Re: Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories

Sergio is one of our most consistent authors of flash stories and he has just been honored in the Critters poll for his steampunk story Cold Inside - rated the best steampunk short story in 2019 by the voters. CONGRATS Sergio! Ente per Ente.
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Post January 16, 2020, 05:14:56 PM

Re: Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories

I remembered to vote this time ... and I'll add my congratulations to Sergio on the results of the P&E poll.
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Post January 17, 2020, 07:17:15 AM

Re: Twisted Fairy Tales - The stories

Thank you, indeed,...and thank you, also, and especially, for all the great edits and suggestions you send every time that make my stories look much better of course...eh,eh :D

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