Charli’s prompt from over at the Ranch
January 13, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) begin a story with, “Once upon a time…” Where you take the fairy tale is entirely up to you. Your character can break the traditional mold, or your ending can be less than happy. Elements of fairy tales include magic, predicaments, villains, heroes, fairy-folk and kingdoms. How can you turn these elements upside down or use them in a realistic setting? Write your own fairy tale.
I don’t recall fairy stories being told to me as a child. I must have learned them, had them read to me and read them out of the many ladybird books we had at home. But if I was pushed I’d say I remember legends being told, poems recited. Ingoldsby Legends was one such from which stories were culled. Smugglers and dodgy clergy had more resonance in my youth than any number of gingerbread cottages.
The Archaeologist led the way often with this love of myths and legends. I remember any number of books and papers in his room about the Loch Ness Monster. I think, for him, he didn’t want a legend, he wasn’t interested in stories, he wanted evidence that Nessie existed.
Dad was different. He loved the idea of stories, especially ghost stories. And eventually he combined his love of these spooky tales with his talent as a poet. You can read them here. Dad’s epic poems
MR James, a Victorian ghost story writer was a favourite of his; one about a Bishop’s Chair that was possessed he loved.The Archaeologist embraced these too and I can remember him spooking me with one about Casting some Runes. They made some great Christmas TV as I recall.
And Mary? She could do wit a little ‘Happily Ever After…’
The Truth behind the Myth
‘Once upon a time…’
‘Please, mum, give me a break.’
‘I was talking to Lotte, Penny.’
‘Can I tell her a story, mum?’
Mary smiled. ‘Sure.’ She snuggled the baby and closed her eyes.’
‘Once upon a time, there were two sisters and one went missing. The other was determined to find her lost sister so she gave up everything, neglected everyone to find her.’
Mary shuddered. Is that how Penny sees things?
‘Finally, despite every setback she found her darling and brought her home. And everyone understood and lived happily…’
Mary hugged her daughter, soaking her with her tears.
You can follow Mary’s back story here