The Ever Afters, Part Two; What’s In A Name #fairytales

Have you ever wondered what happened to the characters in fairy tales, after we leave them? Well this is where we find out.

‘Maybe it’s my accent.’

Rodney Drawstring, the registrar peered over his half-moon glasses, hoping his gaze was just the right side of beady. ‘How you form your vowels doesn’t explain the discrepancy, Ms…?’ He looked at the Ledger and the form he had just been handed. ‘Which one is right?’

The brunette tapped the form with the wrong amount of irritation. Fairyland may be known for its eccentrics, its magic and its ludicrously improbable folk history but none of that was possible without a fully functioning, robust and intransigent bureaucracy.

‘Ms White?’

‘It. Is. Wyatt. Not White.’

‘The Ledger of Residents clearly states that the one female residing at 7, The Miners Cottages is Snow White. That is you?’

‘Yes. And also, no.’

‘It cannot be both.’

‘It bloody can.’

‘Ms. … The powers delegated to me by the Lord Chamberlain make it plain. I am in charge of the Ledger of Residents. I am the sole arbiter of its accuracy. And it, and I say you are Snow White.’

‘Even if I no am?’

‘No am? Do you mean am not?’

‘See, it’s my accent. Prejudiced.’

Rodney sighed. ‘This would no change… wouldn’t change, even if you’re a wandering one-armed stool-sculptor from the Mystical Mountains.’ Rodney squeezed his eyes shut. His horoscope had told him not to eat cheese on Thursdays.  He had to admit, the young woman was pretty and that did allow him to exercise some latitude pursuant to the Patronising Male sections of Fairyland’s ancient patriarchal set of laws and statutes. ‘If you might explain the discrepancy, we may find a compromise.’

‘Your assistant…’

‘Runcible Peste?’

‘Exactly. He was no very helpful.’

‘I think that might have been because of the, erm, living arrangements you had described…’

‘He completely misunderstood an innocent…’

‘…innocent!’ Rodney swallowed the squeak. ‘A penniless girl moves in with seven… seven, mark you… less than attractive men whose profession hardly attracts the opposite sex, on the understanding that she can stay if she provides them with such domestic assistance as they require. I believe the word “services” was used.’

‘I hope you’re no implying…’

The Registrar shuffled his feet, some papers and a small pneumatic vole who happened to be awaiting his monthly stipend. ‘No, no… of course not. Just explaining why it might have been misconstrued and led to a degree of psychological contrafabulation on his part. It’s good to clear these things up.’ He lifted the Rubber of Erasure and held it at the approved angle for an Official Correction. ‘So your name is to be recorded as Snow Wyatt?’

The young lady shook her head, causing her curls to sway with a harmonic that could only be described as alluring. No wonder the seven landlords were said to be entranced, he thought.

‘That’s no right. I don’t have another name. I’m just Wyatt.’

‘You weren’t gifted a first name?’

‘Oh come off it. I’m a poor serving girl from poor but wholesome and worthy stock. There’s a porridge vendor and a woodcutter in my lineage for pity’s sake. We could no afford second names. I mean the labels in my clothes were per letter. A second name! Luxury!’

Rodney scratched his shiny pate and regretted the small personalised blizzard that obliterated the Ledger briefly. ‘Why did Rusticle include “Snow”?”

Silence.

‘Ms Wyatt?’

‘Sorry, I assumed that was rhetorical. I have no idea.’

‘You didn’t offer Snow as an option?’

‘No. I distinctly remember we were having a battle about my name with him insisting it was “White” and me telling him it wasn’t. I said, “It’s no White,” several times and eventually he just wrote it down, shut the book and sent me on my way. Then I come here to sign on, offer Wyatt as my name and am told I don’t exist but there’s a Snow White living at 7 The Miners Cottages. Not that we can call it that anymore.’

‘Sorry? Why not?’

‘Haven’t you heard? The mine’s closed. We’re having to rely on magic and intricately embroidered quilts rather than coal for heat and light. That’s why I’m signing on.’

‘You’re signing on? To work? What skills do you have?’

‘I can manage seven charming if incorrigibly irritating altitudinally challenged diggers. I’m an experienced apple taster, properly trained not to swallow but to spit. I’ve worked with every sort of royal ego. I’ve a professional simpering qualification and my dark-and-strangely-attractive-in-a-non-threatening-way tresses have been spoken about as possibly running for office in their own right. At a pinch I can work with cartoon characters, though I’d prefer it if they weren’t badly drawn and inclined to burst into patronising and sexually ambiguous songs.’

Rodney scribbled furiously. He looked up. ‘You’re not going off with the Prince chappy, then. I heard a rumour…’

Those tresses danced and dazzled, catching the sunlight unawares and dragging it across the room into a confection of rainbows. They’d better not run for office, he thought, because no one would be able to challenge such a silky sheen.

‘Oh no! To start with his hair was more bordello than bouffant and you know what they say about men with large chins…’

‘Er, large chin, small…?’

Wyatt giggled. ‘Silly! They end up acting as back up crockery. At least with the dwarves you don’t have someone stealing your moisturiser and using your depilator to de-fur their tongue.’

‘Good. Well, you’re now registered at 7, The Formerly Known As Miners Cottages as Wyatt and you’ll hear if there’s suitable employment. By the way, are you prepared to work in other Fairytales?’

‘No animals or animated carvings and subject to a veto over the quality of the tale’s moral. I don’t suppose there’s any with a strong female lead?’

Rodney snickered. ‘Really? This is fairyland, not some mythical utopia. Get real.’

‘No harm in asking.’

The Registrar dipped his head in acknowledgement. As Wyatt turned to go, he asked, ‘Any if your tresses are looking for work, I’m sure I can find them a slot at the King’s smoking club. You know, a bit of swaying and fluffing and draping…’

Wyatt glanced over her shoulder, letting go a small but utterly professional simper before leaving the chamber. The old Registrar sank back. He should have sent her packing for not being registered. Somehow he knew things were never going to be the same.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to The Ever Afters, Part Two; What’s In A Name #fairytales

  1. An excellent addition to a series that could run for a while. When Jackie applied on the phone for a Tesco card, despite having carefully spelled out her name, she received one for Mrs Nite. She rang to correct this, carefully spelling Knight once more – adding the sentence “that’s Knight, with a K”. To Tesco she has ever since been Mrs Nike

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gordon759 says:

    The best, mythical tale, of misunderstanding of the spoken word is this.
    On a tombstone in Yorkshire the inscriptin read.
    “Lord, she is thin.”
    The husband, noticing this, told the stonemason.
    “You left the e out.”
    The stonemason apologised and promised to rectify the problem.
    A few days later the husband checked on his late wife’s grave. The inscription now read,
    “Ee Lord, she is thin.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I remember a colleague receiving a letter he’d dictated which included a typo… ‘the problem you describe is a bugger one’. Finding it funny he struck through the ‘bugger’ and wrote in the margin: ‘bugger should be bigger’. Back came the corrected letter ‘the problem you describe is a BUGGER one’…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Darlene says:

    Very amusing! My secretary once left a message on my desk. Please call Konica. (Monica with a k)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Love it Geoff 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JT Twissel says:

    Delightfully silly! Bureaucracy comes to Fairyland.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done, Geoff. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eileen says:

    Love it! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    Brilliant, Geoff. More fairy tales, please.

    Liked by 1 person

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